Sitting by the fire on a chilly winter night is a staple of the approaching holidays. In fact, the fireplace itself is a pivotal area of holiday celebration in many homes - too important to leave undecorated. If you're trying to save money on holiday decorations this year, look no further than these easy-to-make paper decorations to give your mantel a makeover. In no time you'll be celebrating the start of winter, the holidays, the new year and everything in between.
Candles create a flickering atmosphere of comfort and serenity, and custom wraps make them look like they're straight off the pages of your favorite home décor magazine. With your PIXMA printer, print a holiday-themed pattern onto a blank sheet of standard or vellum paper, trim to fit around the candle, and secure with double-sided tape. For a truly seamless, professional-looking design, opt for water slide decal paper. You'll begin by printing your artwork on the decal paper, then spraying it with clear varnish. Once the design is dry, trim it to the appropriate size and submerge it into a bowl of water for a minute or two until the paper backing loosens. Carefully remove the decal from the water and apply it to the candle, peeling off the loose backing as you go. Smooth everything with your fingers or a paper towel and let dry before displaying.
Wooden Block Messages
Wooden decorations will stand the test of time, year after year, and with your PIXMA printer, you can turn a few wood scraps into holiday signage that festoons your mantel with cheer. You can't feed a piece of wood through your PIXMA printer, but you can transfer prints from waxed paper to wood. Begin by trimming waxed paper into standard 8.5x11-inch sheets. Using your favorite word processing program, type out a holiday phrase in a fun font or find festive word art online. When you're ready to print, be sure to do it with the phrase in reverse so that it reads correctly once it's transferred to the wood - you'll have to configure your printer settings to allow for reverse printing, often by selecting a "transfer" paper type. Print onto the shiny side of the waxed paper, guiding the sheet with your hand as it exits the printer to prevent rolling and ink smudges. Place the design carefully, ink side down, onto the piece of wood and firmly run the edge of a credit card across the back of the image, transferring the ink from the waxed paper to the wood. Lift the waxed paper to reveal your finished design.
Adorn the family photos already living on your mantel with festive silhouettes of snowflakes, holly leaves, stars, bells and other shapes. Begin by printing a series of shapes on card stock or festively patterned paper, then cut out the shapes with a pair of scissors. You can thread an embroidery needle with twine or silk thread and "sew" the shapes onto the length, or simply squeeze some glue onto the back of each shape and adhere it to the twine or thread. Be sure to space your silhouette shapes evenly along the length of string. Then, once you've created a long enough garland, simply loop each end to secure it and drape the chain of shapes across your mantel.
A wreath extends the warmest of welcomes to guests and lends a festive touch to your home décor, whether it's mounted on the wall above the fireplace or displayed at a tilt on top of the mantel. This one's made entirely out of paper, which means it will last year after year. Begin by printing several sheets of card stock with your favorite photos or holiday-themed patterns, then trace and cut out as many leaf shapes as you can fit on each printed page (aim to make them about five inches in length). Create a large circle from another piece of card stock to use as your wreath form. Roll the edges of each leaf together so they overlap and staple or glue the leaf to the wreath base. Continue all around the circle, alternating colors and patterns randomly. Finish off with a ribbon and place on your mantel.
A Word of Warning
Paper decorations are great for livening up your holiday home, but it's important to remember fire safety while you're decking the halls. Keep decorations far from open flames and extinguish all candles and fires before leaving the room or going to bed.
- Martha Stewart: Decorative Decal Pillar Candles
- In My Own Style: Paper Holly Christmas Garland
- The Red Thread: Paper Christmas Wreath Tutorial