“Trying out all the ideas that come to you, within the limits of your present place, money, talents, materials and so forth, will not use up everything you want to save for the future but will generate and develop more ideas. So why not surround yourself now with things that communicate something of your appreciation, your taste, your interests.” -Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
So you may be asking yourself, “Where in the world am I going to start?” or “Will my husband agree to my crazy ideas?”
I am right there with you! When I first looked at my house way back I had no clue what I could do to make it pretty. I wasn’t trained. I didn’t know how to pick out curtains, tablecloths or anything other than maybe a candle (I have always loved candles!).
Some people are proficient at this. Some of those people are relatives and that can cause quite a stir sometimes. It’s even worse when your husband has an eye for things and wonders why you can’t do it, too! lol
That one gets them every time!
And if your like me, it just takes one item at a time. One change that seems to just be nice enough to appease myself and my husband.
For instance, flowers on the table.
Okay, let me stop right there to tell you I am not a florist! I can only hope something is “passable” and praise God when it is!
And so what do I do?
I get fake flowers from dollar stores and Walmart! Seriously!
But you know, once I started sticking them on the table, it made the place homier. Weird how flowers can do that. 🙂
Another thing I did was add a table cloth.
There were also a bunch of Christmas table clothes that were actually given to me. It took me YEARS to figure out how to make them truly appealing!
I also got my kids involved in decorating for the holidays. Just hanging snowflakes that you and your kids made on the ceiling of your home make it festive for Christmas time (and becomes a beautiful tradition!). For Thanksgiving you can make a paper tree and put it on your wall and take colored paper to make leaves and write on them what you are thankful for! It is a mixture of fun and yet can be as creative as you want it to be.
You want some other ideas? Edith Schaeffer mentions these in her book, The Hidden Art of Homemaking and I truly suggest you get yourself a copy.
1) Restoring old cast-offs
I have some friends who are amazing at this! This is definitely something for those who are gifted but can also be learned. I bet there are tons of books at the library now that have ideas.
Making your own candles are crafty and can be quite fun, even if you don’t have the molds. I remember trying to do them as a teen and maybe I will try it again sometime in the near future. Maybe it can be for home and Christmas gifts!
My husband is amazing with wood! I am so blessed by some of the things he has made, including a small bed for Olivia when she was younger, a toy box and a bookshelf. These things have truly helped in the long run. Maybe eventually I can convince him to make a bunk bed for the boys! 🙂 Yep, I dream big!
4) Looking in second-hand stores.
I have friends who have done this and I think I would like to but I haven’t figured out how to do it with all my kids yet. I may if I see one nearby but maybe this month I should intentionally look (at least plan one trip to one).
5) Make a Doll house.
One of my friends had dollhouse materials and they wanted to make it but didn’t know where to start, so her brothers joined in and they built it. When they finished, her husband did the “interior decorating” and painted and made all types of things for this little dollhouse for their daughter.
I know other families who have done something just like that. It’s really up to you and the resources you have and, just so you know, you are allowed to ask others for help! You may inspire them on a project they have been thinking about doing for years but were never fully motivated to do.
6)Make toys (homemade blocks, trains, trucks, etc made of wood)
I think someday it would be interesting to learn to wood carve. Put it on the list of things I want to do when I grow up! lol You can use old toys on a shelf around the top of the kids rooms, too, to make it look neat (stole that from another friend’s house!).
7)Make a Wendy House
What is a Wendy House you ask? It’s a play house for kids. Most people buy them at the store and they are plastic, but there are so many ways you can make it and you can decorate the inside of that. I know this idea is large scale, but it allows your kids to interior decorate their fun house or pretend to be adults working and living in their own home. Hey, why not?
8)Help older people decorate their homes if they are physically unable.
I never thought of this idea until my husband’s grandmother got older and she couldn’t put up her own tree and decorations without having it fall over or her falling over. I think if I had lived closer, it would have been a lot easier to help her decorate for Christmas, especially with my kids help! They love decorating for Christmas!
We were able to have her here for Christmas Eve a couple of times and she said it felt like Christmas. I was so blessed because I wanted her to have some good memories of being with us on Christmas.
Could you imagine how many people we could bless if we just heard what they like and love and were able to surround them with those things?
Just a great idea and hopefully one I can implement in the future, even if it is just hanging snowflakes from the ceiling and stringing lights around the room for someone to brighten their day. You never know how you could bless another person’s life!
Let me just get through the rest of this list!
9)Cut strips, sew them together, and make your own rugs.
10)Embroider your own tablecloth (a lost art!).
11) Knit traveling rugs or couch covers.
12)Crochet your own table mats.
13) Make lampshades and devise your own lamp bases out of bottles, old pitchers or blocks of wood.
14) Learn how to paper, paint and decorate a room entirely yourself.
15) Or just paint a picture to hang on your wall!
The skies the limit! 🙂
Some of these ideas may be more craftier than you are but it doesn’t have to be crazy. Don’t get overwhelmed. Like I said, I started with flowers on the table. Just start somewhere with one thing this week. You may be surprised at how blessed you become when a piece of yourself is in your home!
“Express yourself not only in selecting things to buy, not only in your choice from many things displayed in a store, but also in what you can produce yourself with some degree of originality, craftmanship or artistic creativity.” -Edith Schaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking
And check out Edith Schaeffer’s book if you can! I first found it at my local library.
Have a blessed day!