Festive & Foreign Service-Friendly: HOLIDAYS 2014

The Holidays are almost here! With the maddening pouch rules for shipping and the insanely little amount of storage space (I know I’m not alone here), I’ve been trying not to go postal with Christmas decorations. I want my whole home to feel festive, but I don’t want to stare at bins full of stuff for the other 364 days of the year. This year I’m attempting to add visual impact, working with what will ship in time to actually use for Christmas or repurposed stuff I already have. Here’s my list of Holiday Adaptation House plans this year…

Paper_title As an artist and graphic designer, I have a long and happy relationship with paper. I’ve come to rely on it for even more since beginning to think of all my belongings in terms of weight.  It is so light! It’s versatile, and there are so many more options than the pack of construction paper you remember.



Shown above, Paper Source Burlap Wreath Kit  , Grateful Wreath Kit, and Poinsettia Wreath Kit, $19.50 each. I particularly love a company called “Paper Source”. For years I have been using their specialty papers and envelopes in my invitation projects, but recently they have expanded their offerings. Now some of my favorite products are their paper wreaths: They put the real thing to shame! The Fall leaf wreath kit just made it’s second appearance on our front door this year, and I think it will easily make it till next year. Of course something made of paper doesn’t last forever, but it shipped and stored flat, weighs next-to-nothing, was fun to assemble, and looks incredible!  And did I mention it costs less than $20? It was a done deal.


Washi_titleApparently this has been a thing for awhile now. But I swear, for all my Pinteresting and craftiness, I never heard of washi tape until I saw it on a “Foreign Service Friendly Decorating” Pin Board last month (thanks to fellow Trailing Houses member Zoe!). I immediately ordered every kind I could fill my cart with on Amazon, and have since found some even better online sources (see them on the Where to Shop page).



Shown above, Washi Tree post DIY, and wall washi tree, similar tape here. I plan on augmenting my Christmas decorations with tons of washi wall art installations, including the awesome wall tree that hangs christmas cards with the help of Ikea Riktig clips ( assuming I get any cards via pouch before Christmas).


While we’re on the subject of repositionable wall art, guess what I just ordered more of? Almost every shopping source listed on the Where to Shop page has holiday options, but I’m a big typography fan so this will be headed to our house this month.


Shown above, Believe wall decal, www.wallstickeroutlet.com, $28. One word of caution: don’t leave them on too long! Many walls and wall paints abroad are not of the same quality as stateside, and even repositionable decals may cause damage if left too long. This is the first time I’ve ordered from Wall Sticker Outlet, so I’m not sure how good their shipping is. If it doesn’t make it here well in time for Christmas, I’ll post an update.


Windowdisplay_titleI am a HUGE fan of art for all ages, and before we left the states I went on a hunt for supplies that my son could grow and experiment with. These Crayola window crayons made it into the shopping cart by accident, and I’m so glad they did!

CrayolaShown above, Crayola Window crayons, set of 5, $6.92 on Amazon, & Crayola Window Markers, $7.78.
It’s the perfect rainy-day activity, but they have also turned out to be a great way to decorate for the holidays, parties and the like. L and I made some fun bats and ghosts for our Halloween party, and I see lots of blue snowflakes in our future. Completely washable, yet vibrant and good quality color: I expect no less from Crayola.


Suff_titleSwapping out my throw pillow covers, kitchen and bathroom linens are a great way to decorate while being practical. These items take up a bit more space to store, but I want to make what I have last (and my plain white ones could use a break anyways).

HMThrowPillowsDid you know H&M not only has online shopping, but a home goods selection now?! Their holiday pillow covers fit my standard Kara Drexel couch throw pillows perfectly, for a whopping $5.95!! Pictured above, H&M Cotton cushion cover, $5.95


What are YOUR plans this year? Do you have a way you adapt your holiday traditions (stylishly, of course)? Comment please!