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This year, I decided I wanted to change my Christmas decorations. I think it all began when we planned to get a live (or previously live) tree instead of the artificial one we’ve had since we got married. Why? Well, that’s another story for another day.  It’s a good one, too.

I usually dress my mantle with an artificial garland. It touches the Christmas tree, so they are decorated with matching ribbons, white lights, and gold balls.

But I got to thinking that this year, that garland might look–okay, I’ll say it–cheap, next to the lush, fragrant foliage I’m envisioning.

Plus, I got this new decoration–a white stand-up word “believe”. Since my house is lacking in horizontal decor space, the mantle seemed the obvious place for it.

All that together led me to a new vision of Christmas.  A white and silver, snowy look Christmas.  Being a native Texan, I’ve never experienced a true white Christmas, so the theme is somewhat magical.

But the Man of the House suggested I wait until next year. “We can buy white and silver stuff on sale after Christmas. We really don’t need to spend the money right now,” he wisely suggested.

But, I am not known for my patience. So here’s how I made over my mantle for less than $5.

Begin with some tissue paper. I think this was $1, but it might have been even less.

Stack together about six layers of tissue. I used silver and white. Then cut the paper into rectangles of approximately 3″ by 7″.   Fold the rectangle in half.

Cut out a petal shape leaving the paper intact at the fold.  Like this:

Next get some wire.  I just happened to have some on hand for various craft projects, so this was free for me.  If you’re broke, ask around crafty people always have leftovers stored away.

I also had some spare beads.  They’re not necessary, but add a touch of sparkle.  Thread a few onto the wire if you’ve got ’em.

Then bend a little loop into the wire.

Unfold your petals and insert the wire into the center.

Now, spread the petals out to form a flower. 

I find it helps to slightly fold each petal in half as if it had a vein running down the center, which of course, true petals do.

Now twist the wire a bit to keep the petals in place.   Or, you can tie them onto twigs found in your own backyard.

Not impressed?  I know.  Neither was the Man of the House. 

But add in some pinecones spray painted with a $1 can of white spray paint, three 25 cent vases from a garage sale and a smattering of tea light candles I  keep on hand and. . .

Ta-Dah!

Here’s a closer look.

The incandescent lights–no, actually that’s a compact fluorescent–make it appear warm and golden, but in real life it’s very white and twinkly.

Bonus!  It won’t detract from my little princess’s birthday tea party decorations  in all pink.  (Yes, we have a “Merry Birthday!” in our family.)

So there you go.  I spent $2.  If you want to count the “believe” decoration, I bought it this year at forty percent off for about $3.  The vases, a total of 75 cents, are a year-round decoration I bought a few months back.  And the candles are always here.

I think I did pretty well.  Once again, I did it my way without disrespecting my husband’s wishes. 

It’s nice when everyone’s happy, isn’t it?

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