The Home Beautiful

Christmas Decorations That Are Different

Though holly and mistletoe are still traditional Christmas decorations, they are not the only plants whose colors are in keeping with the Yuletide.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON December 15 1926
The Home Beautiful

Christmas Decorations That Are Different

Though holly and mistletoe are still traditional Christmas decorations, they are not the only plants whose colors are in keeping with the Yuletide.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON December 15 1926

Christmas Decorations That Are Different

The Home Beautiful

Though holly and mistletoe are still traditional Christmas decorations, they are not the only plants whose colors are in keeping with the Yuletide.

ANNE ELIZABETH WILSON

INCREASINGLY, during the last few years, we have been reminded of the effectiveness of metallics in Christmas decoration. Nowhere is it more clearly demonstrated than in the wreaths for indoor and even out door decoration.

Artificial fruit of the type found at millinery trimming counters, gilded pine cones and seed pods, artificial flowers and foliage, the ‘shell’flowers, also available in Christmas colors, the

red rowan or mountain ash berries, all offer suggestions for trimming of such wreaths.

The making of a wreath which will last through many seasons and can be renewed with an> new sort of trimming desired each year, is not at all difficult. One type is perfectly flat—a circle of stiff cardboard about two inches wide. This may be covered with tin-foil, which is now procurable in so many bewilderingly beautiful combinations, cut in strips about two inches wide, also. In silver and gold there is a pattern with little wreaths woven into its bright background, or diminutive fleur de lys: there are dazzling greens, mottled and plain stripes of purple and silver; cerise, blue, rose—every brilliant and striking combination imaginable. Many papers are two-sided, so that a contrast may be shown in winding the paper around the cardboard wreath. When the frame is all covered, paste the last piece of foil down firmly on the back, and you are ready to proceed with the trimming, which we shall go into later. The flat wreaths are also effective covered in narrow tinsel.

For a larger wreath, a little padding of cotton batting, on one side of the cardboard, is a good idea. This may be held in place first by a few drops of glue, and later, more firmly, by a few bindings of coarse thread. Such wreaths are best covered with silver, gold or red ribbon, about two inches wide. A cheap quality is all that is required, for even though the metallic ribbon may tarnish from year to year, it can always be lightened up with a touch of gold or silver paint.

Bind these wreaths in the same manner as the flat type, catching the last wrapping firmly at the back with several good stitches.

In addition to these home-made wreaths, there are also many very reasonable ‘permanent’ types in the red Christmas paper chenille, and artificial holly and juniper.

Now that the wreaths are ready for the finishing touches, let us proceed with the trimming. As I have mentioned, small artificial fruit and foliage is effective, as

are the ruddy colors of autumn leaves. Mixed with gilded pine cones, and artificial maidenhair fern, also touched up with gilt, they give an effect at once colorful, original and fresh. The trimming in the case of the foil wreaths, is best wired on to the lower semi-circle of the frame. In the ribbon wreaths, it may be sewn or wired, whichever seems easiest to the worker. Green silk covered wire, very thread-like, can be procured for this purpose. Now, at the top of the trimmed wreath, tie a bow of some striking contrast or different hue. On a silver or gold wreath, try a holly-colored ribbon, or a big fairy-like bow of the red Christmas gauze in which holly and poinsettias are woven in a lacey tracery of silver and gold. It is sold by the bolt, just like ribbon. On a metallic red wreath of tin-foil, try a silver tinsel-ribbon bow. On a wreath of combination paper, such as silver and green, use a brilliant green.

Considerable taste will have to be exercised in combining wreaths, trimming and bows. With silver and green, for instance, it would be best to confine trimming chiefly co red and green and silver—and not try to introduce the russets of fruit and leaves. Here the pine cone touched with silver, nestling by a bunch of holly or rowan berries, would be effective, with a bit of silver-gilded fern for daintiness. Green and silver Christmas gauze would

make a delicate bow and look charming.

Adornments

CHRISTMAS is the one time of the year that it is really hard to over-decorate, for there are innummerable places where wreaths, festoons, plants and fruits can be used delightfully.

The chandelier, for instance—what of it? Little festoons [of smilax or ivy and sprigs of branch holly stuck in its crown, may give it all the holiday air it needs. The portraits in the dining room will look gay with a spruce branch or two crossed above them and a rope of laurel or smilax festooned around. The old hall clock may even have its face lighted up considerably by placing a wreath beneath or a drapery of smilax. A pretty idea for the dining room mantel, is a heaping-up of fruits, among which candles stand with wreaths on either side, sprigs of holly here and there, and a dainty little garland of ivy or smilax draped above the fireplace. Mirrors are good for decoration, for they double the effect of anything placed before them. Usually, just a garland of fruit or gilded pods, and cones with pine branches in a sort of crest at the top, is effective. Just a bunch of boughs and berries at the bottom is striking, if tied with gold or silver ribbon. Artificial poinsettias make striking window decorations.

Every mantel presents opportunities for decoration. A pair of small wreaths hung above the mantel with red candles, is an attractive scheme, while a low metallic bowl, filled with any of the red everlastings, such as bittersweet, Chinese lanterns or sumach are all in the Christmas color feeling.

Decoration for the Apartment

/CHRISTMAS gaiety is not ^ noticed from the exterior of an apartment, as it is by the sight of wreaths seen through the shining windows of houses. For this reason, the custom of placing a wreath on the outside of the private door of the apartment, helps to make an appropriate Christmas welcome. Decorations are necessarily on a smaller scale in apartments, but such suggestions as have already been made are in order here as well. In most apartments of the average type, the living room and dining room, opening into one another, offer a splendid opportunity for decoration. Here a big crest of pine branches, gilded pods and cones, relieved with red berries, will make a triumphal arch leading in to the Christmas gathering. Small red chenille bells are effective for the small apartment, as well as narrower ropes of chenille, and smaller wreaths or poinsettias suit the windows.

But of all Christmas decorations, a growing plant is the most enjoyable. There are certain typical Christmas house plants available at this time of the year, which with care will last clear through till Easter. Christmas cherries (Solanum) lend a peculiarly Yuletide note. Even the exotic poinsettia may be kept for quite a while if sheltered from cold currents, and kept reasonably moist. Azaleas, begonias, cyclamen, Christmas cactus (Epephyllum), cineraria or senicio, spirea and even lily of the valley join in the holiday spirit, and are at their best just now.