DIY: The Poor Gal's Guide to Christmas Decorations


By Carolyn Shields

I grew up with Charlie Brown Christmas trees decked out in my grandmother's sand dollars. I somehow inherited her creepy reindeers and molting dove ornaments as well. This is my first year with my own apartment to decorate for the Christmas season, and though I proudly display her classic pieces, I wanted to implement some of my own.

But wait! my wallet cried. You have no money! Never fear, sweet women. You can create a festive home without spending a Franklin. All projects are fairly simple with minimum instructions needed, but be sure to read the helpful hints!

Sliced Orange Garland

Slice thin! Dried sliced oranges are surprisingly heavy. Place out on a cookie cooling wrack in order to prevent either side from becoming smudgy. If you don't have one then flip the slices every day until totally dry. To speed up the process (air dry usually takes about one week), place slices on a cookie rack and place in the oven at 200 degrees, occasionally flipping until most moisture is gone. If you want your place to smell divine, sprinkle cinnamon on the slices. When stringing together, be sure to thread as you see depicted. If you pass the thread through the slice only once, the slices will hang at the wrong angle.




Pine Tassels

Gather several armfuls of discarded pine branches and break off the twigs. String with ribbon or twine! (Also pictured above)






Pine Cone String

I gathered all of my pine cones from Valley Forge and was left wondering what to do with them. Drape over windows, above doorways, or your fireplace!