DIY Christmas card box from a produce box

In year’s past, I’ve hung the Christmas cards we’ve received with ribbon on our kitchen cabinets. I loved being able to see the smiling faces of our friends and family and the beautiful holiday designs of the greetings they sent, but this year that just seemed like too much work and too cluttered.

Instead, I was inspired last night by the cardboard box housing the clementines I had just purchased. It’s a nice box, so why throw it away?

I pulled out some gold card stock, scissors and a glue stick and in less than 20 minutes had transformed it into something worthy of sitting on our coffee table.

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First, I traced each side of the box onto the gold card stock.

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Then I cut them out.

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And glued them securely to the sides.

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The blue insides kind of ruin the effect, so I glued some card stock over the blue parts, too. Had I a tad more ambition and time I would have covered the entire inside.

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There you have it!

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Our friends and family are really killing it with cute photo cards this year.

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I also love how the shape of the box sort of looks like Bethlehem’s skyline (at least how it’s portrayed as we often see it).

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It’s also nice having them out at kid-level so Corban can browse through them at his leisure. He loves seeing his loved ones’ faces.

Of course, that also means they’re at Mara’s level and thus will probably end up strewn around our family room most of the time…

How do you store or display your Christmas cards?

Decking the halls

Blame the early deadlines at work (we were taste testing holiday cookies in October) or the mini polar vortex, but I’m totally in Christmas mode.

My minimal fall decor didn’t last long this year, but I do want to share this little fall leaf project with you.

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Corban helped me pick out some leaves from the yard during peak color season, and I ironed them between pieces of wax paper, using this method, to preserve them. Then I just taped them to white paper and framed them – so easy!

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My other fall DIY project was this “Boo” door hanging. It took about 10 minutes to make – tie wooden letters together using twine, make a nice big burlap bow, hang the letters from the door and paper clip (really) the bow on.

Corban started requesting Christmas music the day after Halloween, so we’ve had our children’s Christmas CD on repeat for weeks, but Peter convinced me to hold off until this weekend to fully embrace the season ahead. We went straight from the “Boo” front door to what I’m calling my transitional Christmas wreath (since it has some fall colors in there).

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Yep, it’s my all-seasons wreath again (here’s the Valentine’s Day version and the fall version.)

Peter’s parents gave Corban a Little People nativity set that we only bring out during the holiday season, so Mara was sufficiently distracted by the “new toy” while I got all the decorations out.

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I think it’s the cutest.

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Then up with the tree…

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For some reason I struggled to make the mantel look cohesive this year. After much rearranging (and removing, adding back and removing again several pieces), here’s what I settled on.

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The stockings are from Hung By The Chimney on Etsy. They have so many great fabrics! It’s not easy to choose. (Looks like they have a $1 off sale going on right now. I ordered mine in the off season so they were discounted, but not sure if that’s how it always works.)

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Then, trimming the tree. Corban helped me with this after Mara went to bed.

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A new ornament this year (gift from Peter’s parents last year):

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I also love this little bird a friend made for me last year. Adorable, and kid/cat friendly enough for the bottom of the tree.

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My favorite ornaments are my babies’ newborn handprints.

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The project will make you scream with frustration, but if they turn out they’re worth it.

In ornaments-that-didn’t-make-it-on-the-tree news…

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The cozy glow of the Christmas tree was my main motivation for getting the decorations up early this year, and I must say, it sure made driving home from work in a blizzard on November 24 that much more rewarding.

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…even if our cozy glow is having some issues with a section of lights not working…

(Oh, and here’s how to make the burlap tree skirt – all you need is a glue gun, burlap and ribbon!)

Merry early Christmas! Or should I say, Happy Thanksgiving.