November 29, 2011

Holiday Decorating Made Easy (And Fun!)

We’re excited to have Stephanie, a Marketing Manager for Children’s Books from Chronicle Books guest posting on our blog today. Chronicle Books publishes distinctive books, gifts and stationery for children and adults.

One of my favorite things about this time of year is getting the house decorated and ready for the holidays. Decorations come in all different shapes, sizes and styles from hand strung popcorn and cranberry garlands to glittering ornaments brought back from far away countries.  Although decorations vary from family to family, one thing’s for sure – it’s hard not to enjoy a decorated house.

An easy, but satisfying, decorating project is to make Shimmering Snowflakes from Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids.  In just a few easy steps, you can create your own fun decorations to hang off the mantle or decorate the tree.  I made a few of these Shimmering Snowflakes this weekend and can’t wait to hang them up!

Shimmering Snowflakes Instructions

You can make these pretty snowflakes as simple or complex as you like.  To make them smaller or larger, simply adjust the length of your pipe cleaners to the size and design of your snowflake.  For a more traditional look, use white pipe cleaners, or add some pizzazz by using multicolored ones.  Hang them in the window, off the mantel, or on the tree!  The diagram will help you with the simple process, but once you begin, it becomes rudimentary.


6 silver or gold pipe cleaners (each 12 in) cut into the following lengths: 3 pieces –  6 inches, 6 pieces – 3 inches, 6 pieces – 2.5 inches, 6 pieces 2 inches

Needle-nose pliers

Shark scissors or wire cutters

Piece of silver or gold Christmas metallic elastic wrapping cord about 10 inches long

1. Join the three long pieces of pipe cleaner by twisting the

centers together and then stretching the spokes out. This

will create a six-pointed star. To be sure that the pipe

cleaners are securely attached, press the twisted area with

the needle-nose pliers.

2. Begin the spoke design by taking a 3-inch/7.5-cm piece of

pipe cleaner, placing it midway on one of the arms, and

wrapping it around the arm so that the pieces cross. Make

sure each spoke projects an equal distance on either side

of the arm; if necessary, trim the ends with scissors.

Secure with pliers. Repeat with the rest of the arms to

create all six spokes.

3. Repeat the process above with the next-longest pieces,

positioning them slightly above the first set of spokes.

4. Finally, repeat the process a third time with the remaining

pieces, adding them near the tips of the arms.

5. When you’re ready to hang the snowflakes, wrap a piece of

ribbon around one of the arms—tying it close to the middle

of the arm is best for balance—then gather the ribbon to

the back and tie the ends to make a loop.

Once the decorations and stories have put you and your little ones in the holiday mood, it’s time to celebrate!  And what would be better than a new holiday outfit to celebrate the Holiday Season?  Tea’s festive outfits and Chronicle’s seasonal books offer easy ways to prepare for the holidays.  How do you decorate for the holidays?   Share your answer in our comments section to be entered to win a Tea Collection holiday girls dress or a holiday boys outfit and Holiday Crafting & Baking with Kids, Follow the Star and Snow Baby.

Be sure to shop Chronicle Books wide selection of holiday stories this season.  Learn more by following their blog or by visiting their Facebook and Twitter.


Congrats to Carmen Van Deursen, who will be winning the Tea holiday outfit of her choice and three great festive books from Chronicle Books. Chronicle Books wants to ensure that everyone has a chance to shop their great selection of holiday books so they are offering an exclusive promo for Studio T fans.  Use the promo code TEA11 to receive a 25% discount on your Chronicle Books purchase.  Hurry, this promo code expires 12/9/2011!

Thank you everyone for sharing your holiday decorating traditions!  Subscribe to our Studio T blog to learn about new contests, behind the design features, and all things Tea!


  1. Lucy says:

    I love decorating for Christmas. I especially like to try to make the decorations kid friendly. What’s the point in pretty decorations that no one can touch or that you worry about getting broken? I have several kid friendly nativity scenes and I only put non fragile ornaments on the tree so the kids can rearrange as they wish!

  2. Farrah says:

    I start out slow. My favorite is to first hang up the twine on the banister for the Christmas cards. I have gold painted clothespins waiting to hang all of the cards as they come in- so the photo ones can all be on display. People usually send me theirs first so I can get them up and stay there all season.

  3. jeannine m says:

    I make decorations with the kids. we hang those and the ones they have made at school over the years

  4. debbie m says:

    We try to decorate inside and out as a family. It is sometimes hard with a 16 month old! We love to have music playing and bake cookies to make it even more special!

  5. Raina@mamacitaspinstheglobe says:

    We turn on the holiday music any time we are doing anything holiday related… it adds a little extra cheer! This year we are planning to make a majority of our ornaments for our tree, with all of the inspiration that I’ve found on Pinterest and the learning about different cultures that we do every month in our home, I think we will have some really great culturally inspired holiday decor!

  6. kate says:

    i love putting up our tree together, telling my daughter about where the ornaments came from, what they mean, etc…a lot of them were mine when i was young and were handed down from my mom, it’s fun to be able to share them with the next generation!

  7. lisa hawkes says:

    As a single mom we don’t have too much money so my 3 year old and I like to go to the dollar stores and second hand stores, you can be surprised with what kind of cute treasures you can find and even modify!

  8. Laurel says:

    My husband is in charge of the outdoor lights each year and hauling in the huge Christmas tree. I take out the boxes while my little girls ooh and aah over all the decorations. We add to our collection each year. The girls also have their own felt Christmas tree upstairs. We try to make the house extra special for all of the festivities and our annual Christmas party.

  9. Kellie O says:

    We decorate the Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night with hundreds of ornaments new and old. Then we decorate the outside with lights. We let the kids decorate holiday cookies after we put up the tree.

  10. Jenn Hillman says:

    We go up into the mountains all bundled up in our snow gear and cut down our own tree. Once we get home I put a pot of hot chocolate on the stove and we drink hot cocoa and decorate the tree, with christmas music going! I then decorate our mantal with a wreath and a few diy crafts and of course hang our stockings! The kids adore our tradition and can’t get over what a wonderful day they had!

  11. blessedta says:

    We put out the Christmas tree

  12. Jill Dalton says:

    My kids love to get out the nativity set and change it each day. Sometimes there are even extra ornaments in the nativity set – Mary might need a little help from Bob the Builder sometimes. One thing we like to do together is make our own wrapping paper. We get sponges and create stamps out of them. The kids like to come up with different designs for each family member.

  13. simone says:

    Hmmm, decorate you say? Well I guess you can count the Snowman wreath I put on the door each year as decoration. We also have a tree we made form tequila bottles filled w/ christmas lights that adorns the front of the house. That was one expensive tree!

  14. Tara says:

    We hang garland, bells on doorknobs, and felt mittens. We cut down a tree, decorate it and add lights. I love Christmas!

  15. Lesley says:

    I have saved lots of decorations, ornamnts and things I made from when I was a child. Now my little ones love to see them along with their works of art all around the house. With a 6, 4, and 1 year old I keep it kid friendly and simple- the tree, fresh garland on the banister and mantle, stockings, a toy train, and lots and lots of chirstmas books! I also put candy canes, cinnamon sticks, pincones etc. in different glass jars for simple, cheap, beautiful displays.

  16. Katie says:

    We keep it relatively simple with our Christmas tree and stockings. We usually put lights outside, which is my favorite part.

  17. Megan says:

    We have a standard tree, coated in random ornaments collected and/or made by my little girls over the past few years. We also hang stockings, display our “Elf on the Shelf” in a different hiding place daily, have advent calendars hanging on the wall, and…. *sigh*…. we have a giant inflatable penguin in our front yard. Yes, we’re THAT house, lol.
    megancrose at gmail dot com

  18. val says:

    i love making cookies and gifts to give friends and family for the holidays. this year my kids made advent calendars for our friends and we delivered them wearing xmas garb before december 1st. each day had a box with directions about something to do that day, like sending a letter to the troops. it makes the holidays more fun doing it together.

  19. Amy says:

    Usually we make snowflakes out of tissue paper and then glue them in the windows. We haven’t gotten to it this year. We leave them up until the end of January since snowflakes are good for winter as well as Christmas.

    My son and I also decorate inside and outside. He loves helping to hang lights and ornaments.

    His favorite part is when we put out Santa’s Marching Band. They play the bells and he loves listening to them.

  20. jane kim says:

    We have a Hanukkah tree with a combination of Christmas and Hanukkah decorations. The best of both worlds.

  21. Carmen Van Deursen says:

    I have a beautiful daughter with autism, for some reason she doesn’t like changes. When we decorate we have to involve her as much as possible. We get the tree and my husband sets the lights with my son and my daughter and I put up the ornaments, but she might not like all the ornaments so she decides on which ones. We put wreaths outside our doors. That’s it. Holidays are very stressful for my daughter, unfortunately she is in the hospital today due to stress.

  22. aura says:

    We celebrate Hannuka. On our front door we hang a happy hannuka sign made by my kids and then on the mirror in our front enteranceway I let my kids decorate the mirror with window markers and every night another child gets to draw a candle on the menorah I drew. My kids also use window clings on our windows to “light” and my 3yo’s have wooden menorahs with wooden candles to light on our enteranceway table

  23. Emily Hamilton says:

    We decorate the tree and put up many holiday decorations around the house, many of which have been passed down from my parents and my husband’s parents. We also do lots of homemade projects, this week we’re making Rudolph’s for R week!! I like the snowflake idea!

  24. Timi Pace says:

    These are adorable , we are going to get started right away and start a new traditon by decorating with them this year! FUN!!!!!

  25. betsy says:

    We decorate the house with all are favorite Christmas decorations. Our favorite decorating project is making edible ornaments to decorate a tree for the birds in the forest.

  26. Kari says:

    We love to decorste for Christmas. We put up lights outside and we put up the tree on Thanksgiving weekend. We also decorate the mantel. My son loves pulling out all of the ornaments and talking about when we got them or when he made them. He would love the shimmering snowflakes. We are definitely going to try them!

  27. kelly clements says:

    We all go to the local tree farm, the kids pick out the tree and my husband cuts it down, then we bring it home and decorate it :) wreath on the door, lights on the bushes outside. my kids and i make christmas ornaments as well and hang them on our tree.

  28. Lindsay says:

    Now that my son is a little older, I’m going to teach him how to make snowflakes to decorate his room. I’m also thinking of making our own jarred snowglobes, it looks like such a fun idea!

  29. Barbara D. says:

    We put up our Christmas tree. I turn on some Christmas music and have the kids help me. We also do fun little crafts during the day to decorate arounf our home. My little ones love it!

  30. Kate says:

    With 2.5 year old twins I taped contact paper up on the window in the shape of a Christmas tree. Then I pulled back the sticky side and the girls defeated the tree with green tissue paper and foams shapes. We did a turkey too with colorful feathers, so fun!!! They also loved decorating the real tree too!

  31. Sarah Hirsch says:

    I do minimal decorating for the holidays, but I always hang up anything the kids make at school. We also do window clings and menorahs.

  32. Danni says:

    My kids LOVE making paper chains for the tree – colored paper and glue sticks, who doesn’t. We also cut out snowflakes from white paper and hang them from a tree branch for a wall decoration. Beautiful.

  33. Aimee Porter says:

    We decorate the tree with family ornaments. The kids decorate gingerbread cookies to line the mantel of the kitchen fireplace. We have a nutcracker collection and our four children love to place them in their rooms. We love involving the whole family in decorating inside and out:)

  34. Sujin Kim says:

    We love decorating the tree with various ornaments including ones we pick up during trips & our snowman ornament collection. We also put up lights on the house & our stockings & Christmas figurines.

  35. Tara Golden says:

    My three year old LOVES to throw tinsel on the tree! It creates a mess, but she even loves picking it up!

  36. Mechele Johnson says:

    We decorate with a combination of mine and my husbands, and the kids. What I mean by that is that my husband has collected ornaments since he was a kid. We have an awesome collection of from the 1970’s to present of Hallmark ornaments, Star Wars, Lego, Charlie brown, etc. I have always loved making and preserving Gingerbread Houses, so we also have about 20 different ones we put out every year. We then add all the beautiful decorations our kids have made over the years as well as ones we have gotten them for their own collections as adults. We love Christmas decorations!

  37. Abby says:

    I have really enjoyed decorating for Christmas this year with my little ones. We made shimmery pine cone owls and plan to make a holiday wreath for our front door. Fun, fun!

  38. Courtney Fisk says:

    love these, gonna pin this! we make “God’s eyes” every year. The kids love it and it brings us together!

  39. Robin O says:

    These are great ideas! I love using pinecones to decorate our house for the holidays. Thanks for the opportunity to win!

  40. shirley says:

    This year, made an advent chain with 24 small brightly wrapped gifts for my 2yo to enjoy counting down to Christmas. I hope it becomes a tradition even if it’s time consuming to make. We always decorate with stockings, a live Christmas tree and look forward to filling our mantle with Christmas cards from loved ones!

  41. SusanE says:

    So many traditions I love about the holidays now that we have two little ones (nearly 3 and 6)! Put on Christmas Reggae, sip hot cocoa, string popcorn garlands, make clove-studded oranges, hang handmade stockings and tell silly stories about the history of all our quirky ornaments.

  42. Amy says:

    We skip the Black Friday mess and spend the day getting out holiday decorations and decking the halls!!! I love making homemade ornaments with my child. It is so fun to get them out each year and remember when we made them. It makes our tree feel so special!!!

  43. Cortney says:

    Collected pinecones from our nature walks!

  44. Denise L says:

    We’ve made all manner of homemade decorations over the years, but by far my favorite are the plain glass ball ornaments that my daughter decorates. She takes the plain ornaments, then adds several different paints to the inside and swirls all around. They are beautiful!
    We start our decorating every year with the Advent Calendar, then the tree my family had when I was 2, covered in all our handmade ornaments. Love it!

  45. Lynn says:

    Since my daughter will be just 18 months this Christmas, we are enjoying our Christmas tree with just lights this year. It is on my to do list to sort the Christmas ornaments into kid-friendly and not, but it is not a priority.

  46. Diana Cote says:

    We decorate for Christmas by getting out the lights, trees and decorations out. Our little one is too young still to take much part in helping but she is loving all the lights and the tree. I also set up a Christmas music list on spotify and we have been playing it daily and dancing together…. she loves it and gets kick crazy and bounces a lot and laughs.

  47. Joanne says:

    We get a new decoration for the tree each year, linked to a trip we’ve made, or something we’ve done as a family. We go out and cut our tree all together, then decorate with Christmas music playing, remembering where each decoration came from over the years and what it means (and as this is only since the kids came along, we pad out with lots of unbreakable baubles!).

  48. Yanie says:

    We pull out the decorations the day after Thanksgiving. We have 2 trees, a smaller one for the kids and then an 8ft one for the living room. The kids get to decorate the little tree on their own which they love! We also put garland on our fireplace mantle and display all the Christmas cards we receive there.

  49. ChocoCro_girl says:

    Play Christmas music, bring out the tree, and start decorating!

  50. natashya says:

    This year is our first year with our little boy! Hes 4 months so couldnt help out very much but LOVED looking at the lights on the tree, I normally put everything up the day after Thanksgiving so everytime I walk in the door it reminds me that Christmas is right around the corner. I cant wait to start little traditions as he gets older!

  51. Carmen Van Deursen says:

    I am super excited! Thank you so much!

  52. Janine L. says:

    Every year I decorate my staircase railing with a paper chain made by myself and my two eldest grand-daughters. We keep adding to it every year. Besides that, I’ve a small but ever-growing snow globe collection. To me, it’s the simple personal touches that make your holiday decorating meaningful to you.

  53. Amazigh says:


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