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.


    • says

      Hey TG,

      Nope, we’re big believers in moving in and living with a house for a while before doing anything major, just to see if our initial “instincts” about a certain project shifts. A lot of times it changes for the better after we get our bearings and live with things for a while- which is the reason we ended up with an extra bedroom and an extra wall full of cabinetry in the kitchen along with a dishwasher. We never would have thought of that specific floor plan possibility when we moved in, so we’re so glad we took our time to come up with the best plan of attack!


  1. Katie says

    I’m curious about the stocking holders that are used on your mantel. Do you remember where you purchased those. I’m looking for something simple like that. I am annoyed at the high prices of decorative ones. We used “removable” hooks last year and wouldn’t you know it – though easily removable, they removed some of our 80 year old varnish.

  2. Stephanie says

    I love the idea of wrapping the little boxes! I have a picture ledge on the wall and I wrap the picture frames for the holidays so it looks like little presents on the ledge now! Good Luck with the move!

  3. says

    Our tree is up, but that’s it so far – looking forward to decking the halls this weekend with the hubby and baby (while it’s technically her second Christmas, she wa sonly 2 months old for her first, so I’m really looking forward to this one!)

  4. Jennifer says

    Will you decorate for Christmas at your new home too or will you be too busy unpacking? Either way, I hope you all have a fantastic Christmas :-)

  5. Lesley H says

    LOVE this theme! The wrapped boxes are adorable and what an easy way to stick with a chosen color. Also can’t believe how different the stockings look this year with the slight embellishment change. So so so lovely….may all your Christmases be pink :)

  6. says

    We’re moving, but it’s literally happening this weekend so I decided that we would just wait until we got to the new house, go out and buy the largest tree we could find (Cathedral Ceilings!) and focus on finishing the one room where the tree is to enjoy during the Christmas season. The rest of the house can wait until 2011, right?

  7. Leslie says

    YES, we moved near Christmas, and I still set stuff up, everything actually that year! Sheesh, it was a lot of work but made the move easier emotionally, I think.

    Yes, this year I put up three trees on Saturday. White tree with green snowflakes and frogs – I collect them and have wanted to have a frog tree for years! A green tree with only red ornaments, and another white tree with silver and crystal ornaments. The trio proudly stands in my front room.

  8. Christin says

    We have decked the halls at our place – and all the rooms too. ;) December is my absolute favorite month of the year!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *