IHeart 2015 Christmas: Our Mantel & DIY Coffee Filter Tree Garland

Although Christmas has come and gone, we are still in celebration mode around here. Last week we traveled for a few days, arrived home just in time for Santa’s visit, and then had three more celebrations to attend over the weekend. I have so much love for this time of the year, but I think we are all ready to kick up our feet for a day or two. How have your holiday days been treating you? Have you been able to find a good balance of on-the-go fun and relaxation?

I decided to keep our Christmas decor fairly low key this year. There are years where I am so together and ahead of the game heading into the season, that I go crazy with my decorating. And then there are other years when I struggle with the idea of adding an abundance of new decor to our existing home chaos (which was the case this year). With the sickness that hit our household early in December and the amount of traveling we did toward the end of the month, I was content keeping things pretty simple.

We decided to mix things up and celebrate our annual tree hunt by cutting down our own this year. Typically, we head to the same nursery and pick something out as a family, but this year we grabbed a saw and set out to find something extra special.
Our boys are all so different and rarely do all three of them agree on a single thing, so when they all selected the same tree, we knew we had ourselves a winner.
Although I wouldn’t trade the tree for anything, it was uneven and sparse in areas and a little out of the norm from our abundantly full trees of years past. We all worked on the tree over the course of a week; adding lights, ornaments, garland and bows to continue to fill in the empty spaces. The end result was the perfect colorful mix for our family.
Last year I added white poinsettias to our mantel and I really liked the effect. Wanting to reuse them this year, I thought they would make great gap fillers around the tree. I initially wanted to do an entire garland out of the poinsettias, but I didn’t want to blow my budget on so many faux florals. Instead, I opted to create a garland to compliment the flowers I already had. I have always been a bit of a busy body and like to always be working on something, so over the course of a few days of recovering from my head-cold and catching up on Hulu shows, I crafted a coffee filter garland out of filters and ribbon. This was my attempt to resurrect the coffee filter wreaths that swept blogland a few years back.
I worked on this project in low light while sitting on the floor near an outlet for my hot glue gun and with a board on my lap as a solid work surface. Needless to say, I didn’t take many photos as I went due to my “work conditions”, so I used some leftover ribbon to recreate a portion of the garland in a quick video tutorial below.
I will be the first to admit, this was not one of those quick Christmas crafts that you can tackle in fifteen minutes and celebrate for the rest of the season. Because our tree was so large and I created almost two full ribbon spools worth of garland (almost 24 ft!), it took me quite a few combined hours to achieve the end result I was after. Lucky for me, I find these types of activities as natural stress-reducers, which is perfect for this time of year.
However, now that the work is done and I want to reuse the new garland year after year, I also have to store the extremely bulky project. I won’t be offended if you opt not to re-create this one, but I still thought I would share it since I received some questions about it from our friends and family that visited over the past few weeks.
The garland and the wood ladder were the only two Christmas projects that we took on this year, but I love both equally!
On the opposite side of the room, our mantel received some fresh green garland paired with a few more poinsettias and ornaments.
Mantels with televisions above can pose a bit of a styling problem, so I let the greenery steal the show. The stockings were hung using clear Command hooks.
Extra ornaments piled inside of bowls and vases and that was the extent of this year’s stress-free Christmas decor.
Although we weren’t home on Christmas Eve this year, we still made sure to continue our annual tradition of hanging our special family ornaments one at a time, chatting through the meaning of each. ♥
We sincerely hope that you all had a very Merry Christmas this year. We continue to be endlessly grateful to have you all as part of our virtual family, and consider you all to be special gifts, not just at Christmas, but every single day.

You can check out last year’s Christmas decor here.

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