Winter décor to avoid and to embrace

It’s that time of year when we break out all of our holiday décor . We all know how easy it is to get carried away with holiday spirit.  Sabrina Soto, home décor guru, host of HGTV’s “The High Low Project”, and author of her new book Home Design points to two holiday décor items you should avoid at any and all costs. The first? As tempting as it may be, stay away from artificial floral arrangements, especially a wreath. They never look good! The second item to avoid: cardboard or paper holiday signs. Sabrina says those belong in classrooms, not anywhere in your home. Instead, try some budget-friendly DIY decorations to spruce up your home for the winter.                                                                                                                                                                                  Sabrina brought her simple, do-it-yourself winter décor accents to “The Shine” that will make a classy statement in your home, while going easy on your wallet. Most of these items require items that you already own or can find in your backyard. And, these are great projects to do with the kids!

[More on The Shine: Check out a recent episode about how to take some stress out of cleaning]

Winter Nature Basket: Try an organic basket to make for a beautiful centerpiece for any winter holiday party. Fill a straw basket with greenery, pebbles, pinecones, and green apples. Substitute pebbles with walnuts or fresh cut veggies, and you’ve got a beautiful appetizer platter for the middle of your table. Supplies: basket, greenery, pebbles/stones, pinecones, apples

Cinnamon Sticks Wreath: This DIY accent not only looks beautiful, but it smells great too. Glue cinnamon sticks all the way around a circular cardboard or foam board. Adorn with a thick ribbon, and you can hang this fragrant wreath anywhere in your home from over the mirror or fireplace to on your front door or a window. Supplies: cinnamon sticks, glue gun, cardboard or foam board, scissors, thick festive ribbon

Pinecone Accents: Attach pinecones to canisters in your kitchen and/or anywhere you want to show your winter spirit. String the pinecones with hemp or twine and add to unexpected places like around the base of a bedroom lamp. Supplies: pinecones, hemp or twine, glue (optional)

Pinecone Topiary: Gather pinecones and glue to a Styrofoam ball. Then decorate as much or as little as you like. You can spray paint the pinecones for a little bling,or simply adorn with a ribbon. The pinecone ball can hang from the ceiling. Alternatively, attach it to a stick and place the stick in a plant pot. Fill the pot with greenery and you've created an elegant holiday topiary. Supplies: Styrofoam ball, pinecones, glue gun, glitter spray paint, flowerpot, berries, gold ribbon

Sparkling Branches: Bring the outdoors in with this winter arrangement. Take a nature walk and pick up some tree branches. Place the branches in a jar filled with sand, and adorn with hanging, mini tea lights. Place in the center of a table or entrance way. Supplies: glass jar, branches, gold spray paint, hanging mini tea lights, sand

Winter Blooms:  Take a wooden box and wrap it with some twine or rope. Place fresh cut flowers inside. Sabrina suggests simple white flowers like tulips. Supplies: White tulips or flowers, hollowed tree bark vase (or wooden box)

Looking for a cheap find?

Create beautiful, custom glass ornaments. Pick up clear glass ornaments at a discount store – you can find them for 40 cents a pop! Drop in the paint color of your choice, shake it up, and there you have it! Supplies: clear glass ornament, paint, string or thin ribbon.

[Related: Decorating Tips to Save Your Relationship]

When shopping for holiday décor, Sabrina says thrift stores are a great source. She also recommends Target and HomeGoods for holiday accents. Sabrina says to avoid department stores pre-holiday, but after the holidays, department stores put most of their holiday items on sale.

More on The Shine: Check out a recent episode about how to take some stress out of cleaning.