Monday, November 28, 2011

Making December Birthdays Special: Decorating

Decorating for birthdays at Christmas can be a challenge. While some folks choose to decorate with Christmas sprinkled in, I have always tried to keep the birthdays and Christmas separate. When I had my first  "Christmas baby" I chose to decorate after his birthday. That wasn't too difficult since there were still several weeks to enjoy the Christmas decorations. However, when his brother came along with a due date just days before Christmas, I knew I was going to have to change the way we decorated. 

I keep one room undecorated for Christmas until after the birthdays. This is usually the kitchen/living room - with the exception of our tree which is now usually put up the first weekend in December. 

I love using handcrafted reusable decorations. Last year, I made a few and this year I added several more. 

Balloon Wreath
Using How Does She's Birthday Wreath Tutorial, we used our birthday wreath for the first time last year. I looked for several months for a wreath form at the thrift store and finally found a very ugly wreath for $1.00. This year, I added curling ribbon recycled from a cute bow that came on last year's present from the grandparents. 

Birthday Pennant Banner
Last year I made a pennant banner from Pink and Polka Dot's Valentine's Pennant Tutorial using some shirts my kids had outgrown. But they were small flags and since they were stripes on a white background, they did not show up well. This year, I made another pennant banner, this time from Sew4Home and used my favorite bright bold colors. What a difference!! I love the way the yellow beads pop in the brightness of the other colors. (The beads were borrowed from a lacing toy.)

Birthday Crown
I made this crown last year following a great tutorial. Unfortunately, I did not save the link and can't find it again. (If you have seen it, please let me know where!!) The crown is reversible in my boys' favorite colors - blue for my oldest and red for my youngest. I may add some fun rick-rack to it this year if I have time. 

Birthday Chair Cover
You can tell by my pictures that we live in a very brown house. There is brown paneling on all the walls in the living areas and kitchen. The doors are brown (to match the paneling.) The baseboards are brown too (to match the paneling and the doors.) I have tried to lighten up the very warm feeling of our living space with a cooler decorating scheme. But on birthdays, I brings out the brights - fire engine red, sunshine yellow, bold blue and kelly green! I love the brights for birthdays. Bright bold colors just spell FUN to me!! 

For my chair cover, I took I took some stripey fabric and hemmed the edges. Then I added ties to the sides. I've already come up with a better way to do it though. I think I'll rework it after the holidays and add a tutorial when I do.

Birthday Plate, Tablecloth, Placemat and Napkins
I saw many adorable birthday plates around the web but couldn't justify the cost. I bought this one from the thrift store for $1.00 to hang on the wall for Christmas and decided it was the perfect birthday plate. My boys loved it!! All meals are served to the birthday kid on the extra special fancy red plate. This year I am planning to make napkins, a place-mat for the honoree and a tablecloth to go with our Birthday Plate. I have in my mind a patchwork tablecloth but we'll see. (Kinda fudged it for the pictures!)

Birthdays are supposed to be special. Though birthdays during the hustle and bustle of the holidays can be a challenge, as long as the birthday person feels special, that is all that matters. 

What do you do to make birthdays special in your house?


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