Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Take a Break: Replacing Holiday Lights with Something New to Enjoy

I don’t know if it’s because I live in Vermont, but holiday decorations are a bit of a permanent feature, particularly outside. At a recent party, people were discussing how long they leave their trees up. Valentine’s Day was the take down date for more than one person. While the cold weather lends itself to keeping things up longer outside, there is something about a tree with twinkling lights that seems so comforting on a cold winter’s night.

This year, I’m creating a paper village for our mantelpiece that will be lit with a strand of lights from our Christmas tree. While a number of the houses are white, there are some red ones with heart windows to celebrate Valentine’s Day. With each passing month, the colored houses will be swapped out for ones that reflect the time of year-pastels for spring, a few “fairy houses” for mid summer night’s eve, red, white, and blue features for the patriotic holidays and lots of scary ones in the fall. If that’s an idea that sounds like fun, start with Make Tiny Paper Houses. 

Other ways to incorporate lights for year round enjoyment

• Depending on space, create a new light feature by winding string lights around twigs or branches stuck in a vase or large pot-all depending on size of “branches.” Paint the branches white for an even bigger effect. Hang “seasonal” ornaments, such as hearts for Valentine’s day, small masks for Mardi Gras, Easter Eggs, stars (red, white and blue)

• Light “Garlands” are suitable all year round. Some ways to use them: 

-       * Hang lights and use clips to attach photographs, art work
-      *  Punch holes in doilies and push the light through
-       * Tie squares of tulle fabric between lights. Can purchase tulle in many different colors so an easy switch out throughout the year.
-       * Mix with rope for a nautical themed room
-       * Use colorful cupcake papers and make lots of flowers with the light being the center of the flower.  Painting egg cartons can also create lovely flowers. 
-       * Use the lights to spell out a word or phrase.

• Use a blank canvas or even a picture and punch holes so that the light will shine through.

• String lights on large plants and/or hanging baskets.

• Make a bed canopy with lights

Not interested in today’s activity? Check out the Take a Break Pinterest for lots of Take a Break ideas. 

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