Create vignettes, centerpieces, or a mantel of galvanized Christmas decorations for a festive farmhouse feel with lights and “snow” for a winter wonderland.
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Hello! How are your holiday preparations coming along? After sharing with you our cottage Christmas decorations through the years, I’m excited to show you this year’s mini decorations that was inspired by this image from the holiday Pottery Barn Catalog.
Why mini? Well, many of you know that we have been renting from family while searching for a new home the past year. That is why 2016 decorations were absent last year – we had just moved and decorating wasn’t at the top of my list. This year, however, I wanted to add a couple decorations because I loved the snowy galvanized Christmas decorations in that inspiration photo from the Pottery Barn catalog.
Since decorating the piano top for fall was very similar to decorating for a mantel, I decided to recreate the snowy scene on it, too. Of course a scene like this works on any table top or mantel – you just use what you have, right?
I also added the simplest of centerpieces to the dining table to coordinate – and I think that’s going to be my mantra in future Christmas decorating, “keep it small and simple.” In our new house (hopefully soon!) I will pick just a couple areas to add greenery and a few themed items – just enough to make it festive without overwhelming me or the house.
Snowy Galvanized Christmas Decorations
(With tips for interpreting inspiration photos without breaking the bank.)
The first thing you’ve probably figured out if you looked at the inspiration photo is that I didn’t just buy all the items from PB. (Cough – so expensive – cough) In fact, I didn’t buy anything from them.
Here’s how to use inspiration pictures from catalogs to fit your budget:
- Choose your favorite things from the photo you want to use. For me in this instance it was the sweet galvanized houses, the candles with the flickering flames, a cloche, and the trees, snow, and lights.
- Shop your house first. What do you already have? I had the mini trees, lights, and plastic snow. I also had found a galvanized sphere at a thrift store a few months ago.
- Think about what you can DIY. To mimic the mercury glass tree look (I also have a mercury glass tree, but it is in storage), I decided to make simple white glitter cone trees. When I found a set of metal houses that weren’t galvanized, I knew I could paint them to look like they were.
- Search online and in stores for the other items you want at a price you want to pay. I’ll share what I bought and why below.
The highlight of the vignette for me in the inspiration photo were the houses. Not only were the Pottery Barn houses more expensive ($30-40) than I wanted to pay, they were really big.
I searched and found this set of small metal houses at Factory Direct Craft. Obviously not galvanized, but I knew that could easily be fixed with paint. They do sell the houses individually in a better base color for a faux galvanized paint technique, but the set of three was a better deal.
$16 for three is much better than $90 to $120 for three, right?
(Stay tuned for the complete tutorial for creating an easy faux galvanized look with paint in just minutes!)
I purchased three paper mache cones in two sizes, white craft paint, and clear sparkly glitter to make glitter cone trees. It took about 10 minutes to brush on the white paint and sprinkle all the surfaces with lots of glitter (over a piece of paper so you can easily add the run-off back into the glitter jar).
While not as elegant as the mercury glass trees from the inspiration photo, they add the light contrast to the galvanized and sparkle with the lights.
Since I wanted a small scene I didn’t need a bunch of big cloches. I found this sweet little cloche with a galvanized base and a plastic lid that looks just like glass. Just the perfect size for 3 little bottle-brush trees. This may be my favorite part of the whole scene, it’s just so cute!
Once these simple projects were done, I added them to the piano top along with the trees, galvanized sphere, lights and a couple more galvanized items I found:
- a medium size barn star
- a set of snowflakes that I attached to jute twine to make a garland
- an easel chalkboard (Love this – it was 50% off in the Christmas decor at Michaels and I can use it all year long! It was seasonal, so I can’t find it on their website to link to, unfortunately.)
The other thing I searched and searched for were the flickering flame candles with flat tops like the PB inspiration photo. I think these look more realistic than the melted top versions, which are mostly what I found. But holy cow, are the PB candles expensive! They start at $50 per candle. Yikes.
I know I’ll use these many other times during the year, so I was willing to make a small investment, but not $50 for a small candle. Imagine my excitement when I finally found this set of three for almost half the price of one PB candle!! And it comes with a fun remote that turns them on and off and allows you to set a timer. They had good reviews and after I received them I totally agree – realistic and perfect for what I wanted.
If you are looking for a set of flickering candles like this, I’ve done the work for you 🙂 so click here to grab yours – I think they would make great gifts, too.
After I had all the elements in place, I just sprinkled it all with a dusting of the plastic snow (a fine type) – it’s amazing how it brought it all together. I know it can make a bit of a mess, but when I’ve used it before I found it easiest to clean up at the end of the season by saving as much as you can and then just vacuuming up the rest.
I really love how these snowy galvanized Christmas decorations create such a sweet farmhouse-style winter scene. It makes me happy to see it both unlit and lit up. At first I thought because so much was so different from the inspiration that it wouldn’t turn out, but I actually like the simpler feel of my version better!
To bring some of the same elements to the table, I grabbed the new galvanized tray I got from the Magnolia home line at Target and added some greenery and a few of the old-style battery operated candles we already had. Then I placed a few of the galvanized snowflakes left over from the garland and a rustic wood “bright” ornament among the greens.
Done and done. I may add a few small vintage ornaments or not – it’s easy to update a centerpiece like this throughout the month as you want. I also like using trays for centerpieces because they’re easy to move when you want to do something else with your table (which for us is a couple times a month for game night).
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little ‘tour’ of my galvanized Christmas decorations this year. I’d love to know what you’re doing and if you use inspiration photos, too!
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