Some spend a lifetime collecting ornaments. So why bring them out for traditional tree trimming only? Stylist, author, and Rue Living Inspirer Matthew Mead incorporates these delicate pieces into holiday gifts, place settings, and around-the-house décor.

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For Gift Giving
“Embellish packages, gift bags, or wrapped bottles of wine or seasoned oils with a decorative ornament. These chandelier-style drop ornaments dress up any package with sophisticated style that the recipient can add to their own collection.”

As Table Favors
“Make your holiday table more engaging with this glittery butterfly ornament. Roll and tie your dinner napkin with ribbon and attach the ornament with gold cord. Place one at each place setting as a gift for your yuletide dinner guests.”

For Decorative Vignettes
“To decorate side tables and entryways, gather vintage bottles and decanters on a silver tray, fill with a dusting of faux snow, and top the bottles with glass spire- and star-style ornaments. Surround with flickering votive candles for a sparkling display.”

Find these eye-catchers at our Dress Up the Tree: Designer Ornaments Boutique on Saturday, November 16, at 3PM ET.

By Julia Ivins, Staff Writer

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Matthew Mead is a stylist, writer, author, photographer, and lifestyle editor. The former style editor of Country Home magazine and co-editor in chief of Flea Market Style magazine (2010), Matthew is also a regular contributor to Better Homes and Gardens and Victoria magazine. Matthew has written several books and produced countless magazine spreads and ad campaigns for noted companies such as Pottery Barn, Dove Chocolate, Target, and Stonewall Kitchen.

November 16, 2013

With just under a week until Christmas, I’m still fighting the urge to go ballistic with a surge protector and a few dozen more strands of twinkle lights.

This season, however, I’m trying my hardest to prescribe to a “less is more” approach when it comes to decking my halls (please note: this does NOT apply to presents). So, I tried my hand at creating a simple (and season-friendly) twinkle light garland that you won’t have to stash in the attic with the waving Santa from your front yard come January.

What you’ll need:
•  String of lights
•  Fabric scraps (I suggest burlap, lace, or grosgrain ribbon)
•  Scissors

How to do it:
1. Cut your fabric or ribbon into pieces approximately 6 inches long (2 inches wide, max).
2. Tie each piece to the strand of lights in a single knot, allowing the two ends to hang down evenly.
3. Use about two pieces between each bulb, alternating in color or material for textured visual appeal.
4. When you’re done, the fabric should cover the majority of the green wire, so that just the lights poke through.
5. Use this to decorate a door archway, your tree, or even the posts of your bed.

By Grace Romanowsky of Valenki By ACE, Staff Writer

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December 20, 2012