Have a Cozy Neutral Christmas
If you’ve ever seen any of my Christmas decorating posts, then you might know I have an old Hoosier cabinet that belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It’s unquestionably my favorite space to decorate! When I start decorating for Christmas, that’s the first place I go because it’s in the hallway and I can start as early as I want. After seeing some paper angel wings, I got inspired to create a neutral Christmas display. Today, I’ll show you how you can deck your own halls in neutral colors!!
To begin with, I love white. White walls, white furniture, white picture frames. My daughter says if they would let me, everything in the house would be completely white. Obviously, she’s exaggerating. There would definitely be a few pops of color here and there. (HaHa!) No, truly, my obsession with white comes from living in a house that wasn’t designed to get very much natural light and has small rooms. The more white I have, the better I can see and the bigger the rooms look. It makes sense to me, but maybe not everyone sees it that way.
Basically, using a neutral (and natural) palette at Christmas involves having white, cream, browns, and of course, some greenery. I also didn’t purposely set out to choose between silver or gold, but it seems I lean a little more heavily toward silver. Not sure why, except that’s what I had and I’m all about using what you have!
What To Use
Rule Number 1: Always use what you have! Yes, it’s lovely to run out and buy brand new every time you decorate, but not only is that not affordable for most people, it’s really not practical. Unless you have some super storage facility, you’d have to constantly get rid of things to make room for the new.
As I’ve said before, anything can be a Christmas decoration if you use it the right way.
Things I Used That Aren’t Christmas Decorations:
- Willow Tree figurine
- book stack
- primitive angels (I decorated in primitive style for a lot of years)
- picture frames
- basket and crock (that the trees are in)
Things I Used That Are Christmas Decorations:
- mini tree
- wooden “Joy” angel
- alpine trees (two trees from a set of three)
- metal snowflakes
- cream colored ornaments
- crochet snowflakes
- Willow Tree Nativity set
- metal star (it’s an old tree topper)
- mini snowflake lantern
- crochet stocking
How to Get the Look
For the “Believe” frame, use a picture frame of your choice, replace the photo with a piece of burlap. Put a sticker–preferably with a clear outline–on the front of the glass. (I’m fairly certain that the one in this photo was from a set I got at Dollar Tree years ago and never used.) It’s just that simple!
Arrange everything the way you want. Make sure to vary the heights. I like to group things together in threes and fives. I think that might be some sort of design rule, but I didn’t take design classes so I’m not sure. It just always looks more pleasing to me that way, but do what feels right to you. There is no rhyme or reason to the way I placed the snowflakes. I just started filling in empty spaces with them and it worked out somehow!
Upcycle & Repurpose
Upcycling and repurposing aren’t new ideas. That’s basically how people lived their lives before we became such a “throw away” society. I grew up with a mom and grandparents who quite happily gave new life to old things and I have a father-in-law who hates to throw anything away “just in case.” On the one hand, I’m happy to say I have that same attitude. On the other hand, sometimes I’m a bit of a hoarder!!
In order to achieve a neutral Christmas look, I had to upcycle because I only allowed myself a budget of $20 to spend on new decor. Everything else had to be made from what I had.
What I Upcycled In Neutral Colors:
- NOEL letters
- Jingle bells
- Dollar Tree Christmas houses
- Basket. I’ll be very honest…a good half of the baskets that cross my threshold get a coat or two of white paint! This one was no exception.
How to Get the Look
The NOEL letters were unpainted when I bought them years ago and you can still find them at most craft stores. I’ve seen them at Hobby Lobby plenty of times and I believe Michaels has them as well. They have been red, black, turquoise, and white and part of the decor in multiple parts of my house. For this purpose, I painted them white and clipped them to the photo display board. Then I tilted the letters until they looked the way I wanted. Easy peasy!
The jingle bells were already silver, so I just added a coat of glitter. I couldn’t tell you how long I’ve had the ceramic Christmas houses but they weren’t formerly white! A coat of paint and some glitter went a long way. Also, I don’t think the tree basket was white when I bought it either. It’s probably 15 years old or more though, so I couldn’t actually say!
Crafts for a Neutral Christmas
Some of my best decorating pieces have been the result of playing in my craft stash (or hoard, if you want to call it that)! Paper, stickers, and fabric are so very versatile. There are so many craft tutorials online now that it’s almost impossible not to find something to do with all those craft supplies.
Crafts That I Made:
- Book Tree
- Paper Angel Wings
- Painted Book Stack
How To Get the Look
The “You Are Wonderful” printable is one that I made on PicMonkey at least a decade ago, so I don’t have a copy to share. Mine has gotten creased somehow, so I guess it’s time to design a new one. The words are inspired from a song by The Martins called “I Am, You Are.” It comes from a Christmas album called “Light of the World” and it’s still one of my favorites to this day. If you’ve never heard of The Martins, they have the most beautiful harmonies. Check them out!
I routinely purchase cheap books at thrift stores and at the Dollar Tree, so I always have some on hand to craft with. The instructions for the book tree came from The Cantaloupe Crate and then I hot glued a Dollar Tree candle holder to the bottom. The star on top is actually one of the crocheted snowflakes my Momma gave me decades ago. It’s just secured with a bit of hot glue.
The stacked books are made from books bought at the Dollar Tree, painted white, and wrapped with a piece of wide burlap ribbon and some trim (also from the Dollar Tree).
The angel wings were by far the trickiest and most time consuming thing that I made, but I’m totally in love with them still! My fingerprints will never be the same after the amount of burns I sustained though. Unfortunately, I remembered that I had some of those little finger protectors in my craft closet a little too late.
I actually used two different tutorials (book page angel wings and book page wreath) to figure out how to roll the paper and I used multiple photos for inspiration. The base was made of foam board from the Dollar Tree. I just free-hand drew the shape of the wings and cut them out. I recommend using a craft knife for that! Once I glued the pages onto the base, I realized it looked super messy and tried to make a paper medallion to cover that up. Unfortunately, I did something wrong (I still don’t know what), so I covered the middle with a messy bow made with trim from Dollar Tree. It all came together in the end!
Change It Up
Never, ever, ever be afraid to change something you don’t like when you are decorating. I promise that there are many times that I walk by and think “that doesn’t look right.” There’s no rule that says we have to leave it like we put it the first time. Change the layout, replace certain items, take it down and start over if you want to (no really…don’t start over if you can avoid it). Above all, never strive for perfection…strive to have fun and be unique instead!
Use Various Neutral Colors
Although, you are creating a neutral palette that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. There are so many beautiful shades to choose from and they complement one another so well. In this hallway, there are multiple shades of white, cream, beige, and brown. Greenery adds a level of depth and a touch of color. Metal and wood add texture. And glass and glitter add sparkle!
Deck the Halls for a Neutral Christmas
Having neutral Christmas decor is honestly very calming. It’s almost like walking through the woods when it’s snowing, only you won’t get cold or wet! Hopefully, I’ve given you some ideas and inspiration to deck your own halls in neutrals. If you need more ideas, check out Pinterest. Come back soon for more Christmas decor ideas and don’t forget to check out some of the older Christmas posts here at That One Mom!