DIY holiday decor

on November 25 | in Crafts, Decor, DIY, Holidays, Home, Interior Decorating, Tutorials, Uncategorized | by | with 22 Comments



I believe it’s only natural to want. Right? Every time, without fail, when I’m out and about I find big extravagant things that I want to purchase. This time of year we are all taunted with a psychological battle between what we really want and what we actually need.

Take the same challenge that I take each time the season changes. While you are out browsing around from isle to isle take into count what moves you. Why do you like the things you like. Take mental note what your style is, what type things you keep gravitating towards. Purchase the things you need then walk (quickly) out the door. Don’t fall into the temptations of the purchases of things you can recreate at home for much, much less.

First things first: What do you love?

This year I fell in love with aged Christmas bells and burlap bows.

The price tag on these babies were outrageous. At around $4 a bell I took the challenge to create a similar product for much less. After shopping around some local stores I found these bells for only 99 cents.

Yes, I realize they are plastic and no were near as cute as the original inspirational bells in all their patina-ed glory. That’s nothing a little faux painting wont fix.

To create vintage Christmas bells you will need:

El-cheapo plastic jingle bells

silver liquid guilding

flat black paint

cotton ball

paint brush

rag/paper towel

There is a crafting product that I have had for a long time-silver guilding paint. A little goes a long way with this product and anything you paint with it appears to be metal. I would compare it to a liquid gold/silver leaf.  I imagine it can be found at any local craft supply store. Even if you have a can of silver spray paint, I believe with a little extra faux painting you can get a similar effect.

Using a cotton ball I dabbed the liquid silver guilding onto the bells to achieve a hammered metal look.  This photo shows the difference with only one coat of the product. Looking better already, don’t you think?

I then went in with a little dry brushing. With a dry paint brush, very lightly, dab into black paint. Swipe your brush back and forth on a clean paper towel to make sure there is almost no black paint on your brush. With random movements back and forth, concentrating in the holes and crevices, paint your bell. Add a little extra here and there if needed. Remember a little goes a long way.

Allow to dry. I personally don’t think that they need to be sealed. Any little nicks and dings will only add to the aged look.

The next thing on my wish list this year is big lush burlap bows. Burlap is a hot commodity these days. However, I can’t imagine ever buying it. Check around your local farm and feed stores. Most will give them away for free, or very cheap. Although, burlap is still very affordable if you end up having to purchase it.

To create your own burlap bow you’ll need:

burlap sack


hot glue gun

a piece of string

I started off by cutting away the stitched side. I like the look of the rustic edge with the bold stitching running down the center. We’ll use that later.

Cut a strip about 4-5″ wide.

This will give you two strips (If you keep the sack in tact.)

Fold each strip over and glue. Use just enough glue to keep them in place.

Repeat, folding over just slightly more and glue.

Criss-cross the two pieces.

Then tie together, tightly.

Using your cut, stitched piece (from the first step) wrap around the string (just to cover up) and glue into place.

Cut “V’s” into the ends and then you have yourself a bow.

After going into my very favorite stock of decorative items (aka: My back yard) I created a beautiful, full and lush, one of a kind Holiday vignette. Would you believe this basket came from a deep freezer? This one was bound for the trash and I got it for free. I adore its shape, size, and metal-locker-basket type look.

Two very easy projects, very little money, and I was able to create something that I love and I think you can do the same! Are you up for the challenge?


I linked these DIY projects up at

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22 Responses to DIY holiday decor

  1. Janice Gum says:

    I love it! I kept the spoon rack from an old dishwasher. Its that pretty aqua green color! I use it on my countertop to hold my spatulas, ladles, etc. I love it!

  2. Sherry Smyth says:

    This is so simple, so easy and so frugal. You get the same effect and the pleasure of knowing you did it yourself. I found so many lovely displays when I was out antiquing and junking a couple of weeks ago and felt the same way you did…I did notice what I kept being drawn to and then purchased antique/flea market items to come home and recreate the same effect. There is such a sense of appreciation in knowing that you haven’t broken the bank and that you did it yourself. I love what you created here….think I’m going to try that bell project for myself. Thanks for sharing!

    • Emanuel says:

      What a fun and useful idea. I love aclatuly doing something with all those pinterest pins. BTW, your pumpkin came out great! SO cute! I am a new follower from Creations by Kara. Vicky from

  3. Beth says:

    Amy this is beautiful. I am on the hunt for some el-cheapo jingle bells now! :)

  4. There’s about to be a HUGE demand on el-cheapo bells for certain now. And burlap feed sacks. Loved both tutorials, thank-you! Your natural take on decor is right up my alley.

  5. Amy this looks so beautiful and I’m all about getting that expensive look for lots less! It looks so pretty in your fireplace and gives you big impact in a natural, elegant way. Well done! :-)

  6. Jana says:

    SERIOUSLY….those bells!! SO COOL. I love this!!! Natural IS the best way to go for Christmas. Great post.

  7. Absolutely love it! Simple and beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Charlotte says:

    I don’t do many crafty things these days, but after seeing this, I’m going to go buy some el-cheapo bells and try this! I love it!

  9. Ruth Barnes, Southern Junkers Group-Memphis, Tn. says:

    I love gathering found objects! I have 4 acres and my backyard is full of woods! There are Pine Trees, Cedars, Pinecones, berries and all kinds of wonderful naturual beautiful things! An old tree had fallen down and I picked up a perfect size hollow log, some pine and cedar greenery, pinecones and berries! Got out my Mod Podge and Epson Salt! Just take an old paintbrush and dab some Mod Podge where you want the snow to appear. Sprinkle the Epson Salt and let dry! Beautiful! Ta Da! You have Snow covered greenery! I put my greenery in the hollow log and put my new centerpiece on a silver tray on my talbe! Would make a great mantle piece as well!

  10. Dee Quier says:

    On my way to the Dollar Store, now!!!

  11. [...] the entire look I placed some plastic jingle bells that I faux painted to look like aged metal. click image to see the jingle bell [...]

  12. Shannon Fox says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this at the Dollar Tree Christmas Link Party. It’s the perfect example of how you can take something “El Cheapo” and make it look like a million ;) I love the aged patina you gave the silver. It’s so rich and pretty now. I just adore it. I have not seen the bells at my Dollar Tree but I will make sure to look for them now. I’d love to make some of my own.

    Happy Christmas from Fox Hollow Cottage :)

  13. i love putting things together like this – gathering up things from the yard, the gardens, or even just from around the house. I like to clear off a shelf or a mantle when I’ve had the same things there for a log time – and start all over again by gathering what I already have and displaying it in a new way – throw in a little crafty craft like your bells and bows and you’ve got a winner!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. debbiedoos says:

    I hear those sleigh bells ringing all over town. TOOOO cute! So glad you shared this with our Dollar tree party.

  15. [...] The bow was created with only a burlap sack,scissors, and a hotglue gun. For my tutorial on how to make this bow click HERE. [...]

    • Veronica says:

      This turned out great! I need to make one too. My earginrs are in a big pile right now because I thought I would organize them and well, haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks for the inspiration!

  16. [...] took my cues on this pretty arrangement from Amy’s DIY Holiday Decor on the FOLK blog.  She made some pretty greenery decorations with cheap jingle bells that she found at the [...]

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