Christmas Decorating: Create A Lifelike Santa In Your Bathroom

by: Johann Erickson

If you love to go all out with your Christmas decorating, here is a whimsical, original idea for your bathroom:

Materials needed:

White shower curtain, canvas, or fabric (a new canvas drop cloth works great)
Shower curtain liner (to protect curtain from moisture)
Projector*
Permanent black marker, preferably a thick one
Paint pens
Paint
Fiberfill or cotton balls
Santa hat
Black felt (about one yard)
2 red hand towels or red fabric

*If you can draw, you may not need the projector. If you are not artistically inclined, and do not already own a projector, see if you can borrow one.

-Christmas Towels: Bathroom
-Christmas Towels: Bathroom (Photo credit: vanherdehaage)

Let’s get started!

If you’re using fabric instead of a shower curtain, you’ll need to make it standard shower curtain size, which is about 72″ x 72″. Cut the fabric 73″ x 73″, fold each side over one half inch, press into place, and hem each side to make smooth edges. Purchase plastic rings (usually found near the curtain rods) and sew them to the top for shower curtain rings. If you don’t already have a second rod, pick up a tension rod. They are inexpensive and simple to install.

The next step is finding a great picture of Santa Clause. Look in coloring books, storybooks, or online. Once you find a picture you like, blow it up on the projector until Santa looks life-sized. Hang the fabric or shower curtain on the wall or a door with thumbtacks or straight pins, and project the image onto it. Santa’s knees should be about 6″ from the bottom of the shower curtain. Stop at the knees and do not draw the rest of the legs (you will see why later).

Next, trace the image with a permanent black marker (put paper behind the curtain to keep marker from seeping through). Fill in the details for Santa’s face as well as other intricate areas with the paint pens. Fill in his suit with paint. Nearly any kind of paint will do, but craft paint is the least expensive.

In order to create a three dimensional effect, use fiberfill or stretched out cotton balls for Santa’s hair and beard. Apply with regular school glue or use fabric glue. Use a real Santa hat instead of painting one. These can be found at dollar stores and discount stores for very little money. Simply stitch the hat onto the curtain from the backside, or attach it with fabric glue.

Add a piece of black felt for Santa’s belt. A real buckle makes a nice touch. You can remove a buckle from an old belt that you no longer wear and thread the felt through it, or you can purchase a used belt at a thrift store and simply remove the buckle to use it for this project. Stitch the felt into place or apply with fabric glue.

Hang the curtain and tuck the bottom edge inside the tub. Santa’s knees should line up closely with the edge of the tub.

Here’s the really fun part: Fold the red towels in half lengthwise and stitch or glue the sides together. If using fabric, cut to the size of regular hand towels (not fingertip towels) and proceed as directed above. Next, arrange the towels so that the attached edges are in the middle instead of along the side then press into place with a warm iron. This seam should face the shower curtain so it won’t show. Stitch or glue the towels to Santa’s knees. Santa now has three-dimensional legs that swing when the curtain moves!

Make mittens and boots from the leftover black felt. Attach the mittens to the curtain and the boots to the towels. Another neat idea is to set a pair of boots outside the tub and tuck the “legs” into the boots. This looks terrific and makes the effect even more dimensional. This idea is best used in the guest bathroom or on the day company is coming, after everyone has showered, if used in the main bathroom (otherwise, you’ll have to keep moving the boots each time the tub is needed).

To make your shower curtain even more festive, wrap small empty boxes to look like gifts and attach them to the curtain, or sew on tiny plastic ornaments or candy canes. Just use your imagination.

This is a fun, yet fairly simple project to complete, and you will get lots of compliments on this unique, whimsical decorating idea.

About the author:
Johann Erickson writes for such sites as Online Discount Mart (http://www.onlinediscountmart.com) and TV Products 4 Less (http://www.tvproducts4less.com).

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You Know Your Home Decor is Frumpy and Stale when……..

[original heading for article: You Know Your Home Décor is Frumpy and Stale when….] [article has been formatted by admin]

by: The Home Stylist newsletter

As a decorator, I have gone into many different homes and met homeowners with questionable taste. One thing I am shocked about is people living in a time warp. I recently had a client who hired me because they had an ah- ha moment seeing their living room style on a circa 1980’s sit-com rerun. Yes, their living room had not been restyled in 25 years. Sometimes people just decorate like their mother did because that is all they have ever known. Let’s not be frumpy and stale.
So how can you tell if you are living in a time warp and need to freshen up your home’s look? Here are just a few of the telltale signs:

1. Look up. What do you see? If you see a popcorn ceiling or glitter mixed with ceiling paint, you have an outdated look.

2. Now, look down. Do you see dark carpeting? over 10 years old? Do you see wall to wall plush carpeting? The trend is most definitely hardwood floors with gorgeous area rugs.

3. Look to the side. Do you see any fake wood paneling whatsoever? The darker and shinier it is, the worse it is. No paneling!

4. What do you see on the wall? Please don’t tell me that you see white paint. The trend is color, color, and color. Don’t be bland! A rich complex color can bring your room up to the new millennium.

5. If you removed a picture from the wall, will there be a telltale sign that it hung in that exact spot too long? Paint fades over the years, ya know. Be sure to change the accessories around every few years. I bet that picture is hung way too high also. Is it hung more than 6 inches from the top of the sofa? See told ya.

English: my couch
English: my couch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

6. Do you have over 5 photographs of children who are now grown? Subtract points if the frames are all different types and sizes.

7. How about the furniture? Is it lumpy and bumpy (formally known as cascade back style)? It reminds me of rolls of fat. Yuck! The updated look it smooth sleek lines with classic styling. Toss it to the curb with its buddy, the extra large lazy-people recliner.

8. Speaking of the couch, please don’t let me see a knitted afghan folded over the back of the sofa. I love things made by Grandma too but it doesn’t need to be the focal point. It is no longer fashionable to place a folded blanket of any kind over the back of the couch.

9. How about the accent pillows? The old style of placing matching pillows at each end of the couch is dated too – just because they came with the couch doesn’t mean you have to use them. Spice it up with pillows of contrasting colors, unique motifs, and hip textures.

10. Let’s check out the kitchen. This is an easy room to tell if is out of date. On the floor, do you have bold geometric vinyl? Are your appliances harvest gold or avocado? Do your cupboards lack character? Do they have their original knobs and pulls? Are the counters a color like 70’s Brady Bunch orange or even 80’s country blue? It really pays to redo a kitchen but if you can’t right now, update the knobs, get a rug, and gallons of paint.

And the bonus question:

11. On your bathroom counter, is there a grouping of lotions and potions? The big pump bottle of everyday moisturizer? On your bedroom dresser, you don’t have your collection of perfume bottles of scents you haven’t worn in several years, do you? Don’t you remember your mother doing this? Let’s not decorate how mom did.

Now you know if your decor is frumpy and stale. You also know a few ways to make it fresh.

Next, how about those pleated slacks?

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Rustic Country Decor – How To Decorate Cottage Style Homes

: David Buster

Rustic country decor and how to decorate cottage style homes are extensions of American country style decorating. In addition, traditions are borrowed from French, English and some Swedish country looks. Rustic country decor can be defined as coarse, charmingly simple, unfussy, unfinished and yet with endearing qualities. Rustic country decorating includes the use of natural woods, aged surfaces, rough finishes and simple lines. Cottage style homes are comfortable, modest, quaint homes that can be made of thick stone or log wood.

Floors in rustic country decor and cottage style homes are made with stone or wood materials. Wooden floors were traditionally constructed with boards that were bare and simply waxed and hand-polished (high-gloss varnishes did not exist). Sometimes the boards were painted with light colors. If you like floor coverings, use oriental rugs and throws for visual warmth and color. Rustic country decor is about handcrafted objects, simplicity, furnishings that you enjoy and connecting back to nature.

Rustic cottage furniture is commonly made with pine and perhaps painted with hand-painted designs such as flowers, birds, animals, country scenery or leaves. Use ladderback chairs, rocking chairs, benches, wicker furniture and Windsor chairs. A large rectangular table made of pine is a good option for your kitchen or dining room table. To give your furniture a rustic look, brush a coat of paint on the furniture piece, then rub most of the paint off. After it dries, apply wood stain unevenly for an older weathered appearance. It will be perfect and rustic looking!

Windsor Georgian Double Bow chair with cabriol...
Windsor Georgian Double Bow chair with cabriole legs. Photograph taken by Amanda Slater on 2008-05-03 in Coventry. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Baskets can be used to store wood, pine cones, flowers, plants and needlework. Brass candle holders, oil or kerosene lamps, sconces, hurricane lamps, tin lanterns, recessed ceiling fixtures or a vintage wrought-iron or metal chandelier provide successful lighting for rustic country decor and cottage style homes. Colors used in rustic country decor or cottage style homes are neutral tones ranging from white to bone, earth tones, red barn, blues and greens.

For rustic country decor in the kitchen, use open shelves, hutches, buffets, plate racks and cupboards for storage. Often, country kitchen storage is crammed with stoneware pots, plain glazed earthenware and glass jars. Kitchen pots should be made of copper, steel or cast iron – cookware tends to be large and plain. Use open shelving in the rustic country kitchen to display plates, dishes and dinnerware collections. Natural woods, light colors and bright fabrics work great for window treatments. Adding a rustic butcher block island creates a wonderful visual effect as well as provides useful functionality.

A rustic country decor bathroom has neutral tones or soft colored walls, antique-looking lighting, and wooden antiques or antique reproduction cabinets and vanity. Knowing how to decorate cottage style homes and bathrooms can result in creating a calm and elegant atmosphere. Clawfoot tubs, pedestal sinks, country style antique brass faucets and old-fashioned country cabinets provide the kind of atmosphere that makes you want to spend time there. Plain white towels are recommended instead of patterned or bright modern patterns. Use wicker or wire baskets to keep your sponges, loofas and shampoos handy near the tub or shower.

Understanding how to decorate cottage style homes means including items like quilts, antique furniture or reproductions, flea-market pieces, trunks, chests, armoires, stenciling, wallpaper, adirondack chairs, flower wreaths and bistro chairs. These types of elements give cottage style homes the kind of rustic country decor that is simpler, very personal and warmly inviting.

Whether in a seaside setting, an urban environment, a countryside location or a wooded mountain retreat, cottage style homes are cozy and unassuming, combining the past with the present. Read all you can find and learn what creating the rustic country cottage means to you no matter where it is located. Enjoy expressing your personality and showing what the definition of home means to you.

Copyright 2005 InfoSearch Publishing

About the author:
David Buster is VP of InfoSearch Publishing and webmaster of http://www.yourdreamloghome.com – visit the website and learn more about rustic country home decor and design, rustic kitchens and bathrooms, fireplaces and much more.

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