Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Home Tour: Home-made Christmas


It is the time of year that many bloggers are sharing home-tours of their festive houses for Christmas,
so I thought I would join in.

Welcome to our home.

To say that I love our 1850 stone farm house is to say that I actually never dreamed I would live in something like it.  The story of how we came to own it is a host of answered prayers.
I need to write it down sometime, especially for the kids.

Of course, having all these animals wandering about is just icing on the cake:
such sweet feathered friends

(well, maybe not so much in the summer when they scratch the mulch from my flower beds).

 The quaintness and quirks of old houses seem to go hand-in-hand.

The thick outside walls and the fireplaces (which were built inside the home to help make the house warmer) uses up more inside space, making this living room smaller.

Of course, this also makes those wonderful deep window sills.

 This room has become a variety of things:
living room, wall cupboard full of school/art supplies,
music room,
and there is a little table on the other side of the piano for my daughter to do her schoolwork.

Isn't it funny that when young, we have ideas of how we will do things.

I remember thinking that someday I would have beautiful store-bought Christmas decorations,
leaving behind the colorful home-made creations we'd made to cover our tree as kids.

Then I grew up and found that I prefer the home-made ornaments over those that are either too fancy or too plastic.

This year, my 11 year old daughter helped me make the snowflake garland out of heavy paper, glue, and glitter: we'll wrap them carefully when Christmas passes and see if they can be used again in coming years.

The red horse bookends were picked up at a charity store: their gold color had chipped paint,
exposing the plaster they are made of.

(I mixed up some red paint with plaster-of-Paris to cover the slight gauges and painted them a cheerful red.)

  For the Christmas season, they put on some old greenery I had from a broken candle garland.

I painted the slate for the craft sale this year and hung it here when it didn't sell.
It is painted from an old image I found in one of my vintage books.
(I will post the image in a few days for others to use: it is too pretty not to share).

The white trees on the mantel are made of cereal boxes.

They were cut and pasted, painted with several coats of a thick mixture of white paint and plaster-of-Paris,
allowed dry for about a week, and then painted with glue and doused with glitter.
They were last year's craft.

The green pine trees in the old silver sugar and creamer are artificial moss covered cardboard cones.
I didn't want to part with the sugar and creamer, so they were salvaged for these trees.

The grapevine star was decorated with a rusty canning jar lid,
rimmed with red paint.

The stars are made from toilet paper roll cardboard.
I sliced them, painted them red, crinkled them into star shapes,
painted glue on them, and then covered them with clear glitter.

(I hope to post how to fold these star shapes easily in the coming days.)

We got our tree from my sister who planted about 100 of them a few years back.
I left it unpruned, opting for the natural, wild look
(If I admit that it just slipped my mind until I saw these pictures,
does that count as wanting the natural look?)

The kids helped me decorate the tree with our 'colorful' variety of ornaments.

There is an assortment of canning jar lid ornaments.
Because we can so much of our food, it is hard to just throw away all those little discs when I pop them off the jars.  Some of them usually end up getting made into something.

(I hope to share a post in the coming days of my canning jar lid ornaments...
for any of you out there who are as much of a pack-rat.
I am sure many of the same ideas could be used for regular jar lids).

(The striped table in the center of the room was one I found for free by the side of the road and painted up.  The rocking chair was my husband's grandfather's chair.)

The snowman painted cupboard door was another craft sale unsold item that my daughter claimed.
It sits on the window by her school table.
The old frontier house was created by my husband's grandfather.

These silver trees are made from something recycled.  Can you guess?
 I have a visual step by step I hope to post sometime soon for these as well. 
The snowman was made from a styrofoam ball covered with newspaper papier mache'
and then painted.

These music-box carolers are in the window near my daughter's school area.
I got them somewhere and the head was broken off of the child.

I crafted a new head as well as the baby in the mother's arm from some clay a few years back
so that they would better fit our family size.
 They were a gift to my daughter who likes musical decorations.
(Don't look too closely: it was my first attempt at crafting with that clay and it is a bit rough.  She liked it, so we keep it).

 This little dresser was one a friend gave to me to refinish.
The sled is from a yardsale and I filled it with some greenery.
The older lady I bought it from said her son had made it for her.
I love that it was home-made.

Let's go in the room that gets the most use.

In our kitchen, I used real evergreens pieces.
It's funny because the lady who used to own our farm just sent a Christmas card today.
She mentioned that they used to cut a tree from the farm every year for their Christmas tree,
but that they were probably too big now to use for that.

Yes, they are about 20 feet tall now,
but I trim some of the branches for use in here, so they still make it inside to spread their cheer.

By the time Christmas gets here,
they may need to be replaced or their cheer may be shedding needles,
but I have found it is just as easy to clean up the mess and throw it outside
than to store it all in the attic.

I have to admit also that I am usually so busy trying to get things done for Christmas,
I don't dust all these high places before I put up the boughs.
It will get done after Christmas because the dried boughs will make it happen.

The kitchen windows are so sunny in this house.
I love the kitchen.

I sewed the curtains from an old torn table cloth that was my grandmother's.

Isn't the color of old cobalt blue pottery stunning?

 I made the trees by the blue pitcher below as well.

Perhaps I will get that tutorial on here before this season is passed.

The red cereal cupboard is topped with old pieces from several relatives.

I change the plant piece in the old bottle
as well as the picture in the glass canning jar lid depending on the season.

I found this sweet candy cane image from the Graphics fairy,
printed it on tan paper, cut it into the circle shape,
and then crinkled and finished it by tea-staining it.

The top part of this cupboard was one my aunt found
 and gave me.  My husband found recycled cupboard doors that fit and attached them for me,
and then I painted it.

The bottom half was purchased at a yard sale.
(The top surface was badly chipped veneer,
so we pulled it up
and I painted a slate look on it with some slight images of birds and vines.)

Off of the other side of the kitchen is the office.
Two of the pictures on the wall are silhouettes of our children painted on the glass of old frames purchased at a yard sale.

I put just a few things in the bathroom to make it festive:
a gift from my father.

The house was a gift from my daughter when she was nine.
Her hard earned dollars were used to buy it,
and I think it is sweet next to a vintage tree.

(The dragon verse on the chalkboard hopefully will be changed before Christmas.
It was put on there for my son...one of his favorite subjects right now.
I hear him reading it every time he goes in there, so I hate to change it yet.)

The window in the office looks back on what used to be the back porch,
but it is now enclosed and our real "living" room.

(This small white tree was rescued from the charity store and put into a pot with some plaster-of-Paris to give it a new base.
I consider it my tree: I decorate it with some simple ornaments we made that have more of a the vintage look that I like.)

The back porch is big and sunny;
 It is my favorite room.

This table is where I teach school
and is most often graced with books and crafts.

We do clear it off and have holiday meals out here;
the table gets turned long-ways to fit more people.


The view is so peaceful.

I remember everyday for a month or more coming out here when we first moved in and pinching myself to see if it was real.

I don't decorate much out here except this corner
and the table when it is set for Christmas dinner.

My sewing machine sits in front if this window looking into the office.

I wanted snowflakes to hang here.
The plastic snowflakes looked too...
well, plastic,
so I made these from the cardboard in paper towel rolls.
I sliced and then curled them like quilling;
glued and painted;
then painted glue and dipped them in clear glitter.

Thank you for stopping by.

This was a long post:
I'm hoping it showed that even the simplest things can be turned into cozy creations for the home,
or at least personalized decorations...

all to suit your own style.

I love the things we have made and the home God has allowed us to live in.
The challenge of using little to create it has been rewarding...
and fun.

If you don't come by again,
I hope you have a joyous, Merry Christmas!

Sharing this tour at these blog parties:
Jenniferrizzo.com: Show-us-your-holiday-home-linky-party
Thenester.com: Welcome-to-the-2013-christmas-tour-of-homes


  1. Your home has so much warmth and character. Thank you for sharing this amazing tour~

  2. I simply adore your home. It's charming and unique...and really refreshing. Thank you for sharing it. Have a very blessed Holiday!!

    1. Thank you. So kind! Have a Merry Christmas!

  3. SO charming! The house and décor is lovely!!!

    1. Thank you for stopping in and leaving a sweet comment.

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  6. I love it all! Every bit of it!! So warm and cozy.
    And I have always, always, always wanted a tour of your house.
    It is just as charming as I'd imagined.


    1. Thanks for stopping in, Sue. I'm glad you made it by. Wish you could stop in for tea. :)

  7. Replies
    1. Thank you, Tammy! I always love your festivities, too. :)

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  10. an absolute delight! your home is simply lovely, thank you so much for sharing!! xoxo

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Nester. I love your blog!!!

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  12. Tonya, Your home is beautiful and decorated so pretty for the holidays! Thanks for joining the Open House party and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    1. Thank you, Sherry! Thanks for taking the time to stop by and to comment. Very sweet!

  13. Love your style and your creative homemade decorations! Very nice post! Put me in the Christmas mood...thank you! Visiting from Open House Party

    1. Thank you, AnnMarie. Isn't Christmas time so sweet for the homey Christmas feelings? I enjoyed stopping by and visiting your blog and seeing your home as well. :)

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  15. Such cozy home you have. I love your fireplace! And the tree is just gorgeous. Thank you for sharing. :)

  16. I am in LOVE with your home. Don't know why I'm just now finding your blog, but I'll be stopping by from now on. I love the primitive, coziness of your place. It's just perfect. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much, Leslie. Glad to have you here! :)

  17. Your house, your home, your style.... beautiful!! Have a merry Xmas!

    1. Thanks so much, Mumzy! I hope you have a Merry Christmas! :)

  18. Your home is so picturesque I hardly would know where to start to tell you how much I love it. Especially love your fireplace and the mirror! A beautiful homey loving home…thanks for sharing! Merry Christmas!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I'm overwhelmed by all the kind comments. :)

  19. Absolutely beautiful! I love what you said about how you love your house & how you got it thru host of answered prayer. I feel the same way about mine. I know it's a gift from God & I'm so thankful we get to enjoy it. And yours is in such an amazing setting!

    1. Thank you, Julie. :) God's gifts are amazing...sometimes waiting is involved...like our place, but His gifts are sweet, when they are fantastic things, like a place to live or better yet, the incredible gift of His Son, but also even when they are just simple things. :) Thanks for your comment. :)

  20. I just discovered your blog from MMS. I just love all the personal touches you made throughout your home. It feels so warm and cozy. Your home is so picturesque.

    Mary @ Orphans With Makeup

    1. Thank you, Mary. It's been a fun journey. :)

  21. WOW - I LOVE, love, love your house! It is SO neat!!!!! And the decorations are beautiful. Thank you for linking up!

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to stop in, Kelly!!! :) I LOVE all the fun homes at your link party. I haven't been able to look through them all yet: they're like a dessert in the evening when I get a chance to slow down. :)

  22. How wonderfully cozy and festive! I just love it :)

  23. Thanks for the peak! You have a gorgeous home!

  24. I loved your tour. I took in every detail of your beautiful home. From the gorgeous hand-painted slate, to the tiny stars crafted from toilet rolls? (SO clever!) Your views are amazing. I would pinch myself too if I was blessed to wake up to them each day! I Love your giant fireplace adorned with your daughter's beautiful snowflakes. I'm so glad you linked up with us! Your post isn't specifically related to ornaments which was our theme, but I'm featuring you as a special mention anyway at tonight's party! Your Christmas home warmed my heart :) Tonight's theme is handmade gifts. I'd love for you to share again!

    1. Thank you, Christy. I'll be sure to stop over again. I might be a little late for the handmade gifts link party. :( I didn't get to check these comments until today. I'll see what else you have going on over there and see what the other ideas there are...I need some! :)

  25. I love everything about this! Your house is pure perfection. Stopping by from the KK linkup! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    1. Merry Christmas to you...and thank you. :)

  26. I just discovered your blog from a link on Confessions of a serial do-it-yourselfer. I admit I am pretty tired of seeing Christmas tours right now. It seems there are an over abundance of them this year. But I saw the pic of your blue door with the Christmas chalkboard & wanted to see more.

    Oh my!!! I loved your tour! I have to say it's the best, most inspiring I've seen all season. You've shared so many simple ideas anyone can do with a little creativity! I will be browsing your blog, pinning some favorite images & following through Feedly. I hope you find time to show some of the tutorials you mentioned...I'll be watching for them!

    1. You have no idea how much your comment meant to me...it was so thoughtful, actually brought tears to my eyes. I am overwhelmed by the kind comments. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!!

  27. You have beautiful house. It's feel like I'm visiting your house right now.

    Merry Christmas and Best Wishes for a Happy New Year!
    Bring you Good wishes of happiness.

    Sorry for greeting you earlier,, just don't want miss saying this.
    By the way, I'm Clotee. It's my first time visiting your blog. I am blogger too, and now try my best luck to open an e-shop. Nice to know you.


    1. Thank you, Clotee. I hope your e-shop is a great success. I'll have to check out your blog as soon as I get a chance.

  28. Your home is very beautiful. I like the simplicity and its natural rustic bones. Your Christmas decor goes perfectly.

    1. Love your name! :) Thank you for the comment. I've garnered so much from reading other bloggers tips and am thankful for how these blogs are so give and take with ideas and encouragement! Have a Merry Christmas!

  29. Beautiful! I LOVE old farmhouses! Ours is an 1831 farmhouse and I love all the history behind it. Yours looks absolutely charming!:)

  30. I would love to hear the story of how you got this farmhouse and all the answered prayers. Please share it with us SOON.

  31. Tonya, I found your blog through Get Your DIY On, and I'm so glad I did. I've spent more than an hour looking at your gracious and lovely home. After the Christmas home tour I read your Home Tour page, and now I am definitely in love with every room in your house. I'm following you on GFC and FB, and look forward to more inspiring posts. I think what impresses me most is that you have used the gifts and talents God has given you to create this wonderful place. Anyone can go to a home décor shop and plunk down a bundle of cash to furnish and decorate their home, but it will never have the unique beauty, charm and delight that your home has. Congratulations. Well done. I hope you and your family will have a very merry celebration of our Lord's birth. -- Nancy @ A Joyful Cottage

  32. I love old farmhouses and yours is just beautiful.

  33. your home is beautiful, simple and old timey! what an absolutely beautiful place to call home! i love love love the tree!! Merry Christmas and thank you for sharing your home.


Thanks for your thoughts! If you have a question, I'll try to answer it.