Advent No. 13: Christmas Decor


Tiah Bounds is a native of Washington who now resides in the prairies of Canada with her husband Jonathan and son, Moses, where they pastor two wonderful churches. Whether through her artwork, fashion, or creative decor, Tiah is always finding new ways to express her love for God, people, and life through her many creative outlets.


Whenever Christmas is mentioned, there are a number of classic traditional decorations that immediately spring to mind. One of the things that sets Christmas apart is that through the years, no matter how things change, there are certain items that we bring out every year to place around our houses, businesses, and churches. Many of our Christmas decorations carry rich symbolism pointing to the true meaning of the season, and every one of them seems to hold so many warm memories of Christmases in years gone by. Although these classic decorations will always have a special place, every year we seek out ways to keep things fresh, incorporating contemporary trends and styles into our classic decor.

You may have noticed that so much of modern decor is not just centered around futuristic looking pieces, but rather combining modern elements with vintage items and styles. One trip to Restoration Hardware or Pottery Barn and you’ll immediately notice the emphasis on beautiful new items that are made to look old. While I love these stores, and these are often great pieces and a good source of inspiration, I find that there is a way that is often more fun, and almost always cheaper! My advice to you? Embrace the adventure! Fall in love with the treasure hunt! There are so many wonderful ways to find old objects that have hidden value, if they are only given a little love and attention.

To show you just how easy and enjoyable the process can be, I thought I would show you some of the ways I have used some old items to create a fresh Christmas look for our church in Canada. I’m going to tell you about a few pieces that I’ve used for the decor, and hopefully they can be an inspiration to kick start your own imagination!


The first thing I needed was a good starting foundation, which in my case, were old wooden crates. In my experience, if you hit up enough little antique shops or farms in your area, you will eventually come across some great wooden crates that can be obtained for little to no cost. The great thing is, as long as you find crates that haven’t been too damaged by time and weather, there’s really not a whole lot you have to do to them! For our purposes, I placed them on the stage on their sides facing out, building up from there. I stood some of the top ones up, to create different levels of interest.



You’d be surprised just how much you can do with some old books. While old hardcover books already have a beauty and charm of their own, most people don’t realize that there are ways to turn inexpensive old paperbacks into something cool as well! For this project, you can use any paperback books you can find, as you will be getting rid of the covers and most of the visible type. What I did was rip off the book covers, and gave them a vintage look by covering the first page with packing tape, then carefully ripping the tape off. This will remove the type from the paper, leaving you with a book that looks like a cool manuscript copy. Next, take some twine and wrap it around a stack of about three books. While they look great in the crates or on their own, I personally love the way they look in the cloches I was able to find at Restoration Hardware.


Next, I decided to add to the old literary feel by using some aged scrolls. The only trouble with this is that old scrolls aren’t easy to come by, and neither is aged parchment paper with which to make your own. To solve this problem, I simply bought some poster paper from Staples, rubbed them with a mixture of coffee and water, and then cut the edges once they had dried to add to the aged look. The final step is to tie them with twine. As you can see, I think they look great in the cloches as well. To add a little holiday flair, I’ve added some beautiful string wire lights.


It’s time to move on to all the fun things to fill these crates with! I found some beautiful topiary balls, large and small, at a great Canadian decor shop called Chintz and Company. This is a great way to add some texture, life, and a nice bit of color to the mix. I added some glittery bark stars, also from Chintz, that added a sweet and whimsical look. I strung these stars through some twine and tied them to some of the old nails that were already in the crates. I also found some great driftwood trees from Restoration Hardware that fit well with the old wood of the crates.

Finally, for the finishing touch I added some gorgeous red poinsettias to add a pop of color and some nice added holiday cheer! When you are looking for vintage items to use in decor, every experience will be different, so the most important thing is to rely on your creative instincts and use your imagination to see beyond what these old treasures appear to be at first glance! Remember, embrace the adventure, allow your mind and feet to wander a little, and don’t be afraid to be the first to try something!


Check out Tiah’s YouTube channel for more inspiration: Happytiah!!!


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