Holiday Decorating: Making Faux Presents For The Mantel

Jingle bells! Batman Smells! Robin laid an egg. Batmobile lost a wheel and Joker did ballet.

What? You didn’t sing that song at camp while wearing culottes and a tie-dyed shirt? Well I did. Anyway, the point is that I hung the stockings and did a little extra Christmas decorating beyond putting up the tree (just in time to put it all away in about a week when we start packing for the big move in mid December). Gotta celebrate Clara’s first Christmas, even if it’s only for a hot second. Out came the ol’ feather trees (from Target and a local store called Buford Road Pharmacy a few years back) along with the same ol’ Target stockings that we’ve been enjoying for the past few Christmases:

Since the stockings and the feather trees were from a few years past, I decided I wanted to do something new to spice things up – but I didn’t want to spend much money. So piggybacking off of our pink and silver tree, I picked up two pretty sheets of wrapping paper from a local gift shop (Mongrel) and grabbed a roll of silver wrapping paper while I was at it. Then I raided our gift closet for boxes and ribbon. I ended up having a ton of empty gift boxes and even had my fair share of pink and silver ribbon thanks to welcoming a baby girl six months ago (I’m totally that cheap-o who saves all the ribbon along with the boxes /bags from gifts that we receive over the years).

So my little stacks of eleven faux-gifts (since they’re just empty boxes that I wrapped for effect) were accomplished for the cost of the gift wrap (around $7 or so). I think they’re sweet and kind of vintage-ish, plus the fact that there’s a touch of yellow in some of the paper really works with our yellow rug in there. They’re so cute I’m thinking that I might save them and work them into the decor every year somehow…

And of course Mr. Concrete Greyhound now has his Christmas best on (read: I tied a gold ribbon that I already had around his neck, but don’t tell him that).

I also made little card stock tags for each stocking (John and I shared one labeled “Mom & Dad” so both Clara and Burger would have their own). Then I tied some extra ribbon around them so they relate to my little stacks of faux gifts. Took two minutes.

With the candles in the fireplace burning and the tree all plugged in it’s more festive than ever.  I’m so glad we took the time to put things out, even if it’s only going to be enjoyed for a short time.

Are you guys decorating yet? It’s officially December so I feel a lot less odd about breaking out the holiday cheer. Is there anyone else who’s moving but still putting some stuff up to enjoy it just for a little while?

Psst- Check out a ton of holiday decorating and gifting ideas in this section of our Projects page. Ho, ho, ho.


  1. Emily says

    We’re moving December 15th – but we put all our decorations and tree up last week for a Christmas get together – it’s coming down this weekend and up again in the new house!
    I don’t care however, I love Christmas and decorating and I can’t wait to decorate my new house!
    All the best with your new house and your move!!
    At least you won’t have mounds of snow to contend to like we do!

  2. Sara says

    Lol, I always heard the song as “And Joker got away”, but your version is more funny!

    Everything looks beautiful!

  3. Zoe says

    I will never forget moving the day after Christmas. We were opening up our gifts Christmas Day, and as soon as we opened them, we put them back into boxes and took them over to our new house. Luckily enough, the previous owners had vacated the house months earlier, so we were able to move things over at a leisurely pace until we closed on our old house. But still, the fact of moving around the holidays is crazy enough!

    Good luck with the move!

  4. says

    What a great way to use up random boxes! We still have a ton of boxes from wedding gifts! I’m sure it’d be fun to wrap them up and use them for decoration around the house :)

  5. sara says

    Hi guys-
    I’ve been lusting after your yellow rug for a while now and now that I found the blog Ten June and read about how Michelle stole your rug I don’t mind doing it either! Can you tell me where you got it, or a brand or style name so I can hunt it down? I think it would look really sweet in my living room with my blue tufted couch (similar to the first couch in your scans post) and teak wood. Do you think it works well in a high traffic area?

    Thanks guys and good luck with the move!!

    • says

      Hey Sara,

      It’s the moorish tile rug from Pottery Barn (no longer available but we see it on ebay all the time). It works great with a dog and a baby in our highly trafficked living room. Hope it helps!


  6. Allison says

    I looooove what you’ve done! And of course I love the color pink as well :). We’re planning on decorating our tree tonight and really get our home sparkling with other Christmas decorations around the house. I love this time of year! Best of luck with your move…and I think it’s great you’re not depriving yourself of one last holiday celebration in your current home before you get all of your things packed up.
    BTW I totally have jingle bells in my head – love it!

  7. Amy says

    Ha ha! I was singing that version my son this morning.

    This is technically not his first Christmas, but he was less than a month old last Christmas. We’re really looking forward to getting the house all decked out!

  8. says

    I would not be putting up Xmas stuff in your situation, but would have the boxes easily accessible so they’re the first thing unpacked in the new house. But that’s why this is your job and not mine. Anyway, I like the faux packages. I have been known to wrap the (huge) boxes that I store ornaments in and decorate with those. Saves me a couple trips up and down the attic steps and adds to the look!

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