Decorate with Crafts

It Had to Be Yule

Get into the holiday spirit with a little help from the Country Sampler stylists as they share their favorite ways to celebrate the season via creative vignettes.

Along with cool weather's arrival comes a festive feeling seemingly everywhere you look. Suddenly, Christmas is all around, in storefronts, on magazine covers and all over the Internet -- and we couldn't be happier!

So many country decorators channel their love of family and togetherness into how they deck their halls, taking special care to create a dazzling wonderland for all who visit throughout the season. To honor that innate affection for holiday magic, Country Sampler stylists Sally-Jo Enstad, Nancy Borsodi, Debbie Plantery and Candy Garcia each channeled her inner Mrs. Claus to put together fun seasonal vignettes. "There's just something so wondrous about Christmastime," Sally-Jo says. "It feels like everything we do, including decorating, has a happy glow to it."

Speaking of glows, each stylist incorporated a lantern into her country-style vignette -- but from there, each of them tapped into her own distinct creativity to assemble a delightful arrangement. "It's important to let your personality show through in your decor," Nancy notes. "Include items that speak to you, not just whatever seems to be on trend this year."

From distinctive candle groupings to imaginative garlands to enhanced antiques, each sensational setup is packed with ideas you can easily translate into the Christmas scenery in your own home. Read on for 20 display tips that will help ensure that you and your loved ones have the perfect setting for a very happy holiday.

Good to Snow
1. Flake out. To compose a vignette that feels fresh even past Christmas, start with snow as a basic theme. Here, a redware snowman in a rustic lantern and a petite stitchery rest atop a quilted runner whose star pattern hints at a snowflake motif.
2. Build a base. Stack small and medium wood snowflakes -- these are actually ornaments -- and top them with a tiny tart pan holding a red votive.
3. Swap to it. In addition to wiring a wood snowflake onto the top of this small tree, Nancy also replaced the other ornaments' twine hangers with cute gingham ribbon, which is repeated by a wider bow on the lantern. A bold throw on the sofa adds another punch of red.

Forest of Nature
4. Be chair-itable. For a festive corner display, raise two faux mini pine trees of different sizes on a footstool and a painted chair. "You can also cover the chair's seat in a neutral fabric that brings an extra touch of texture," Candy says.
5. Lighten up. Instead of winding light strands around your trees, use them in a more unusual way. Here, Candy wrapped oversize wood star ornaments with white twinkle lights and tucked another strand inside a lantern.
6. Cut and run. Cut mitten shapes out of old sweaters, whipstitch around the edges with contrasting yarn, and string them into a garland. Drape the garland over both trees to unite them.
7. Base it on instinct. Repurpose a stacking box as a tree base. Or, place a shiny ornament in a bed of faux snow atop a gold charger for a little glitz.
8. Tread softly. To add softness, unify your grouping with a color-coordinating rug. To view a video about giving an old rug a merry makeover, visit us on YouTube.

Let It Glow
9. Spread the love. Arrange a wall hanging at an angle on your tabletop as a pretty base for a tablescape. "This quilt's holly border provides a visual boundary for the grouping," Sally-Jo says.
10. Call a substitute. Swap out café curtains for the season; pick a cheery plaid that livens up your entire room.
11. Dish it out. Look no farther than your kitchen cupboards for a fun candleholder. For instance, Sally-Jo nestled a battery votive in a pewter ice cream dish filled with bells and rested a Santa taper on a shallow wood bowl.
12. Glass up the joint. As another option, set a jar candle in a colored glass cup and sprinkle faux snow on the saucer.
13. Be there with bells in. To flip the script, Sally-Jo opted to remove the candle from the lantern in this barnwood-box arrangement and replace it with an assortment of jingle bells.
14. Take shape. Incorporate a unique piece, such as this metal obelisk hosting candy canes and greenery, to provide your centerpiece with extra dimension.

The Old Standard
15. Be grater-ful. "It is fun to work pieces of an everyday collection into a holiday display," Debbie says. "Kitchenware can make especially interesting additions." In this dry sink display, vintage graters lend their signature look as a platform for a Santa boot candle accent and as a makeshift lantern with a cute Christmas mouse wired on for a whimsical touch.
16. Throw in the towel. Drape a seasonal flour-sack towel over a wood rack as a soft-sided backdrop. Bring in more fluff with a felted snowman set front and center in an open cabinet.
17. Indulge in sweets. Glue peppermint wrappers end to end to create a garland, and tie it across the tea towel with twine. For more of a good thing, wrap a length of the same minty-fresh garland around another accessory.
18. Shoot for the stars. Scatter small doses of glow throughout a vignette; here, a hanging star with a battery taper and a mini lantern under the cabinet brighten up otherwise underused areas.
19. Dim the lights. Place a colorful jar candle inside a wire hanging basket, but feel free to forgo a flame -- its bold hue alone adds plenty of punch.
20. Don't forget greens. Draw the eye around your display with greenery -- be it pine, juniper, fir or boxwood -- gathered into a pail or tucked into an old funnel hung on a wall cabinet.

For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.

Reclaimed-wood snowflake ornaments and rustic wood and tin lantern, Olde Farm Creek
Redware snowman with flag, Eldreth Pottery
Let it Snow stitchery, Primitive Praise
Feathered Star table runner, Choices Quilts
Nicholas chenille jacquard throw, Annie Kay & Co

Burlap base mini pine trees and small steeple lantern, The Red Brick Cottage
Oval Mittens box, Gainers Creek Crafts
Reclaimed-wood star ornaments, Olde Farm Creek
Handmade pillows with ticking, bells and greenery, Homespun Blessings

Barnwood country Christmas lantern arrangement, Smicksburg Drying Shed
Black and ivory flameless votives, The Red Brick Cottage
Holiday jar candles, Willow Moon Candles
Belsnickle Santa battery-operated taper with metal pan and candle ring, Glory Days Mercantile
Twinkle Star/Holly wall hanging, Choices Quilts

Hanging metal star with battery-operated candle, Britches N' Bows Country Store
Season's Greetings flour-sack towel, felted snowman with star and small prim lantern with tealight, Whims and Wares
Believe Santa boot with greens and candle, Glory Days Mercantile

Written by Elizabeth Preston Morrissey
Photographed by Maurice Victoria
Styled by Sally-Jo Enstad, Nancy Borsodi, Debbie Plantery & Candy Garcia