Monday, December 5, 2011

It's Christmastime in our Dining Room

It finally happened - I found a free afternoon to get my decorating mojo on and put a little Christmas in the dining room. 

We usually have a series of vintage floral plates on the wall over the sideboard and a floral batik that my Grandmother made in the frame in the centre (you can see how it looked last winter here).  I wanted to use red and white in the dining room this year so the florals had to go.   I decided to cover up the batik by taping a piece of linen-like cloth on the glass and exchange the floral plates for something more festive.  It was a simple solution that gave a clean, natural backdrop to the red Christmas decorations.  

I bought six cream coloured plates at the Dollar Store and discovered that a red Sharpie would not only write on them, but could be washed off with hot water, soap, and a brush.  You better believe me when I tell you that this was key to the success of the festive plate project.  It meant I could make as many boo-boos and hideous designs as I wanted to, without our six plates ending up costing $600.  

I Googled "Christmas doodles" and selected images that I could draw.  Given that I can't really draw, this meant a lot of searching for things that were easy for me to replicate.  The centre two plates are covered with writing - one sacred and one Santa-related - or more specifically one is the Nativity story and one is from The Night Before Christmas.  I have messy handwriting and it came in handy for the first time in my life, as the text kind of just blurred and made an all over pattern.  

My friend gave me a box of vintage mason jars a month ago as an early Christmas present and I wanted to incorporate them into the sideboard arrangement.  Pretty much anything that was red, white, or red and white got put in a mason jar.  I had some red and white candy leftover from a Valentine's Day sale (for shame ...).  Now that it had turned rock hard the candy was ready to be put on display.    I added red tea lights and a few Christmas decorations for a bit of sparkle.  

I bought a couple of metres of cream tea towel fabric with red stripes down the sides to use as a runner on the sideboard.  The sides are already hemmed when you buy it which is a serious bonus.  It meant I didn't have to do anything to it (given that I didn't hem the ends).  

We hung our new red berry wreath centred on the picture frame and added the twine letters that I made last year to the top of the frame (you can read about how I made them here).  

I kept the table simple with a red runner and a cluster of white candles (thank you IKEA).  

I also got the mantel decorated in the adjoining family room, but I didn't change things around much from last year.  I kept it simple so our collection of Spindle Santas would be the main feature (you can read their story here).

The most exciting new addition was the twisted gold ribbon and white pompom snowballs that I added to the underside of the mantel.  I linked the snowball pompoms together to make a chain and hung them from some hooks.  Ingenious, I know ...

There you have it.  We still have to decorate the living room and put up the tree, but we are going to wait until Kate comes home on the 15th to do them.  

How's everyone else doing?  Is the tree up?  Have you decorated the rest of the house yet?

Linked to Tablescapes for Christmas at The Lettered Cottage,
Weekend Warrior at Ask Anna,
First Annual Holiday Mantel Party at From My Front Porch to Yours,
Sunday Showcase at Under the Table and Dreaming,
Mantel Link Party at My Uncommon Slice of Surburbia,
Wow us Wednesday at Savvy Southern Style,
Holiday Dining Block Party at No Minimalist Here,
Christmas Mantel Link Party at Home Stories A to Z,
Holiday Vignettes at French Country Cottage,
Dare to DIY at NewlyWoodwards


  1. Hey Grace! That looks lovely! I especially love the night shot! Our tree goes up this weekend as we always save it for our daughter's birthday...her choice. Decorating just got started inside and strangely enough I started more or less in my office!

  2. I love it Grace! It looks so pretty! That idea of using a red sharpie on the plates...brilliant!! I may borrow that idea! Angie xo

  3. now I LOVE the Sharpie and plate idea! YEs..for those of us who can't draw:)
    Love red and that is just adorable. Lovely!

  4. You are so clever! Your Christmas decor looks lovely!

  5. You are one clever cookie, Grace. I love the simplicity of the plates and then personalising them with a red sharpie. Fantastic. x

  6. I love your style, Grace. The J*O*Y letters are so cute! :D I can handle the Sharpie on the plates. The only skill I have is drawing, so I appreciate your sharing this project!!! Everything is so *pretty*.

  7. Grace ... LOVE the plates ... brilliant!

  8. Love the vignette on and over the sideboard, simple, warm and elegant. Great job. Jo @ Let's Face the Music

  9. Wow, your dining room is so lovely! I love your idea about the plates. And the sharpies. So very clever and so pretty! Kit

  10. Love that berry wreath and the plates are so cute, how wonderful that you made those yourself.
    Red and white....
    I think we have started a trend.

  11. I love your dining room. Very pretty Holiday touches! Love the plate wall too. Have a great day.

  12. super cute. definitely staying awhile and looking around.

  13. I love it! So simple and elegant! Great job :)

  14. I LOVE your plates!! They are so pretty, and I am in awe that you drew the little lights, and ornaments on them yourself. So cute!

  15. WOw, love, love , love the plate idea. I might just have to steal that! Thanks for sharing and your home looks beautiful. Lots of love.

  16. those plates are absolutely gorgeous and i can't believe you did that yourself!! what a great idea!!! and don't say you can't draw - those are wonderful!

  17. This is so cute! My plates made quick friends with my dry erase markers, but I didn't know that a sharpie would come off. Look out, plates!

  18. These are so pretty! You did a great job!!

  19. This is so pretty! I'm esp. smitten with the plates that you used Sharpies on. Seriously genius. I love the whimsical drawings and designs. I'm a big fan of red for Christmas, so I really enjoyed seeing your dining room. Thanks for the inspiration.

    And thanks for linking up to Dare to DIY! Hope you get a chance to check out some other projects today!

  20. Such pretty decorations! Your plates are so awesome and creative - you're a great artist! And I love the idea of displaying ornaments in the mason jars. So charming!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! I'm a new follower. :)

  21. I love everything about how you decorated that sideboard!