Have you begun your holiday decorating yet? I’ve found that my friends fall into two very distinct categories when it comes to festive holiday décor this year. Group 1 was unpacking boxes of sparkling ornaments almost before the dishes were cleared on Thanksgiving Day. Group 2 is thinking seriously of not even bothering to set up a tree! This year, more than ever, I am firmly in the “more is more” category. Across the country, some holiday cheer is so desperately needed, and for me, beautiful Christmas decorations never fail to bring a smile. My one concession this year is to use what I have on hand, rather than purchase anything new. So, I am filling existing bits of china and silver with greenery, adding mountains of shiny balls to crystal bowls, and using milk glass in Christmas decorating.
Almost everyone I know has a piece or two of milk glass inherited from a mother, grandmother or even great-grandmother! From bud vases to bowls, decorative wall plates to pitchers, milk glass is available in hundreds of shapes, sizes and patterns. This white glass first became popular during the Victorian era (1837 – 1901). And, although production slowed down considerably after the turn of the century, milk glass was still made during the 1920s through 1940s. Lucky for us, there was a massive resurgence after World War II and the glass made from the 1950s and 1960s is easy to find (just check your top cupboards for pieces your may have forgotten all about!).
No inherited milk glass? It’s an easy fix. A quick visit to your local thrift shop is guaranteed to yield a treasure trove of options. Best of all, they can often be had for as little as 25 cents.
Christmas Decorating Using Milk Glass
Using milk glass in a Christmas decorating scheme is so simple. The milky white glass easily lends itself to a variety of color combinations and “themes.”
For example, I adore a sophisticated all-white look that pairs the white glass with piles of clear and silver Christmas balls and draped beads in silver or pearl. This look works best when pieces are massed together. Place on a glass table or shelf.
Or, use milk glass in high contrast to Christmas-y red by corralling bunches of bright red berries in pretty pitchers. Tie vases up with perky red Stewart plaid bows. Or fill a bowl to the brim with shiny red cranberries.
Milk glass also lends itself to simple, rustic décor. Cut some fresh pine boughs, add a bit of arborvitae or eucalyptus and – voila! – a festive, fragrant and beautiful display.
If vintage vignettes are more your style, milk glass compotes, punch bowls and cake plates can be pressed into service to hold everything from flocked reindeer from the 1960s to charming celluloid Santas.
Have a favorite milk glass decorating scheme? Please share it. We could all use some extra holiday cheer this year!
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Susan Said… WHAT?! is your guide to a life filled with style and was named one of the Top 50 Beauty Blogs in the World by RebateZone.com. You’ll find everything from fashion, jewelry, beauty and accessories, to gorgeous gardens and stunning interiors and DIY projects, plus the latest ideas events of all kinds. Susan Conforte McNeill is an author, entrepreneur, and co-founder of the literacy organization Success Won’t Wait!
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