I've lived in Arizona for 69 years (Tucson, Glendale, and Sedona). I love writing about Arizona history, antiques, books and travel.
My First Decorative Monthly Tray Was for Christmas
The Festive Monthly Idea Was Born Out of Boredom
If you are like many of us who find we are spending most days in our homes due to the Covid 19 Pandemic, we like to find creative ideas to update our homes without leaving home or without spending a lot of money. In the early months of the Pandemic, I walked through each room and made changes using items that I had tucked away. I moved our wall art around, and rearranged furniture, and rotated plants and decorative objects. (And a bonus was that I dusted and cleaned them) I liked the changes, and began looking around for other ideas that would add some seasonal fun and flair to each month.
Writing is my hobby, and I am not skilled in arts and crafts, but I love decorating. I had been alternating the tray on our coffee table with candles in the winter and faux plants during spring and summer, but why not make it special for Christmas. I choose to use my vintage Santas, but I could have used Christmas cards or pine cones, or Christmas ornaments, or favorite Christmas books or an arrangement of any items appropriate to December.
While we didn't have our usual amount of company during the Christmas season, those who did see the tray, loved it and I was already thinking about what items I could use for January.
January Made Me Think of Snow and Silvery Items
Some Ideas for Possible Items to Use and How to Arrange items
If you are using taller or more fragile items, place them in the center to avoid breakage. Decide what will be your key or most important piece that sets the theme, or begin with random items. Arrange and rearrange as you add more items to the display. For example, several days after the January tray picture shown above, I found some tiny pine cones on a walk and added them.
Obviously the number of items and the arrangement will depend upon the amount of space where your decoration will be placed. While I will continue to use my tray on my coffee table, a flat basket, large plate, shallow box, or any suitable flat surface can be used. Crushed tissue paper can elevate items, so that your creation will have not have an all flat appearance.
It's fair game to buy several items such as candles, a fake plant or two or a vase the right height that serve as starters that can be rearranged in different themes. However it becomes like a game to use items that you already have such as: Greeting Cards, postcards, ribbons, small decorative items or dishes, dried flowers, artificial flowers, jewelry, feathers, tiny books, small toys, children's shoes, lace or other trims, and any other objects that add to your theme.
My February Valentine Tray
Choosing a Theme for Your Design
During the months with holidays, the holiday can suggest your theme, but should you not celebrate that holiday, there is an endless variety of options. Choose any object that pleases you and build a theme around it. Such as a theme of one color or a natural looking theme, by using natural objects or teapot, a lantern, a doll, a vase, a picture or other art object, a hat, an animal, or a decorative tin for your focus.
Sometimes, random objects can be fun too. I admit to being a collector, and the decorative trays I have made so far have included pieces from my Nambe collection, my Santa collection and my old Valentines. Whether your collection is bottles or Baseball cards, finding new ways to display those items is fun.
Ready to Celebrate Easter Tray
Share Photos of Your Decorations
After creating the Christmas tray in December, I posted the photo to Facebook and to my surprise, it provoked such a response from family and friends wondering about my other Christmas decorations, I posted a photos each day in December until December 24th. I wound up hearing from them, and many were inspired to post photos of their special decorations and the memories attached to them. During that time of isolation, it was a total blessing.
Use your creativity to inspire others.
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