Christmas Kitchen Decor on a Budget

DIY enthusiast turns her kitchen into a winter wonderland with E-bay finds and crafty creations.

Christmas Decorations inspired by Pottery Barn

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Inspired by a pair of carved angel wings from Pottery Barn, Alyshia made her own, from recycled materials. She displays them on a French door frame someone had thrown away, backed with paintable wallpaper. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Kid's Table for the Christmas Kitchen.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Alyshia found Hannah’s table and chair set online, painted it black and re-covered the seats with leftover upholstery fabric. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Christmas Kitchen

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Alyshia's crafty Christmas decor can be found throughout her kitchen. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Dining Room decorated for Christmas.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Silver and gold. From the coffee-filter flowers in the pitcher to the silvery twigs woven into the chandelier to the gilt frames, Alyshia’s dining room glimmers. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Silver snowflake ornaments.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Fanciful flurries. The silver snowflake ornaments cost $1 apiece; Alyshia gave them a coat of oil glaze, hot-glued them to fishing line and hung them from the ceiling with clear thumbtacks. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Pine garland accents this Christmas Kitchen.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Lavish pine garland bedecks the pot rack, with grapevine and hand-stamped burlap woven throughout. Feathers and giant pinecones serve as natural accents. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Blackboard Welcome Sign

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Blackboard paint and some artificial berries turned this little tray into a welcoming sign for guests. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

DIY Candle and Ornaments.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Alyshia wrapped a $1 glass candleholder in faux sheet music, made by stamping coffee-stained paper, and glued it on with Mod Podge. She tied up the look with brown grosgrain ribbon and a vintage button. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Jingle Bells

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Too-shiny but -bargain-priced jingle bells were artificially aged with raw umber oil glaze. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

DIY Craft Christmas Trees

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Alyshia’s paper trees, left, start with a Styrofoam or plastic cone that she covers with squares of stamped coffee-stained paper. Click here to learn how to make these festive paper trees for your kitchen. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Mirror balls used for Christmas decor.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Alyshia gave mirror ball ornaments, a find at 25 cents each, the vintage treatment using raw umber oil glaze and grosgrain ribbon. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Christmas Kitchen on a Budget

Josh and Alyshia Wilson, with daughter Hannah, get ready to host their big holiday gathering. Photography by Stephen Karlisch.

 

By Barbara Schuetz

When it comes to holidays, especially Christmas, Alyshia Wilson pulls out all the stops.

“I love Christmas,” says Alyshia, a freelance interior decorator, artist and DIY enthusiast in Frisco, Texas. “My husband, Josh, and I host the big family celebration, so I really get into decorating our home. But I don’t put a lot of money into my decorations.”

Instead, the inventive mother of two—Hannah is 5 and Micah is 7 months—relies on finds from thrift shops, garage sales and discount stores and makes them over with a little paint, oil glaze, fabric, pinecones, stamped script and whatever else she can think of.

“It’s not just a matter of being thrifty,” she says. “We’re big recyclers, so I hate to see anything go to waste. Even Hannah will pull things out of the recycling bin and ask, ‘Can we make a dinosaur with this?’”

Alyshia also appreciates things with character and history. “My dad says I have an old soul,” she notes. She blends select pieces, such as the 1950s buffet in her dining room, with items and furnishings she can artfully, artificially age. Her homey kitchen is a prime example.

“When we bought our house,” Alyshia recalls, “the cabinets were an orange-ish oak, and the ceiling had a large fluorescent light over an ordinary island.”

Island Makeover

An old four-poster bed—a $35 find from Craigslist (an online classified ads site)—provided the posts. She split them, attaching some to the cabinets, then brushed on layers of acrylic craft paint in grays and browns to mimic years of wear. After nailing the leftover posts and the feet to the island, she painted it black and distressed it with antique gold so it resembled a piece of furniture.

“I also painted the ugly white fluorescent light box and trimmed it with molding,” she adds. “Of course, there’s more I’d like to do, but for now, I have the custom look
I wanted.” And she got it for less than $100.

The home’s open floor plan means visitors can see the kitchen the moment they enter the front door, and Alyshia’s holiday decor draws them in.

The pot rack over the renovated island is almost hidden, wrapped beautifully in pine garland, grapevine and hand-stamped burlap. Alyshia wired in loads of pinecones and then added feathers, feather balls and birds as accents. More greenery and pinecones peek out from atop the cabinets, giving a holiday feel to her birdhouse collection. Add some paper trees, a painted “Merry Christmas” tray and a Santa cookie jar, and the room looks elegant and festive.

“I found the cookie jar at a resale shop, but I also pick up new ornaments, candles and other holiday basics at the Dollar Tree, or buy items online,” Alyshia says. “The minute I see something, I know what I’ll use it for.”

Instant Aging

Take the mirror ball ornaments she found at an irresistible four for a dollar. To artificially tarnish them, she splattered some raw umber oil glaze—her favorite aging tool—into a plastic box, added the balls and rolled them in the wet paint. Then she clustered and hung the dry ornaments with brown grosgrain ribbon on a pair of wall sconces at the kitchen entry.

Alyshia uses everyday household items, too, ruffling coffee filters into flowers and staining everything from kraft paper to fabric with coffee for an antique look. She even bleached twigs from the backyard and sprayed them silver; now they glimmer in her dining room chandelier arrangement. “You don’t have to spend big bucks for a big impact,” she says.

 

Click here for a better look at Alyshia’s kitchen layout.


lori 1 January 12, 2012 at 11:37 am

A couple of readers wanted to know more about the oil glaze Alyshia uses. She tells us the product name is Finishers Glaze by Benjamin Moore, sold in quart-sized cans for $11 in her local hardware store. “An oil glaze can come in any color,” she says, and she prefers raw umber “because it is a very neutral brown (not too warm or cool, not too red or too blue).” And, she says, if it’s not available premixed on the shelf, you can have it mixed behind the paint counter at a paint store like Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams.

Also, my recommendation would be if they are not too familiar with painting, to start at Michaels or Hobby Lobby with water-based paints and glazes. Faster dry time, and much easier cleanup. They can buy a clear glaze, for example, Delta Ceramcoat (or any other brand) and then add a bit of raw umber colored craft paint (the 2 oz. craft paints would work great). It would be an inexpensive way to start. Valspar at Lowes also has a water-based glaze in raw umber for around $12, it comes in a plastic bottle with a pour spout)

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