Decorating for the Holidays & Ironing the Wreath Ribbons

Welcome to the 564th Metamorphosis Monday!

How was your weekend? Are you busy getting ready for visiting family and Thanksgiving? Since I do have family coming for Thanksgiving this year, I’ve divided my “To-Do” list into two basic parts: Decorating and Cleaning.

I spent the latter part of last week and the weekend working on some of the decorating. I hope to finish that in the next two-three days, then I’ll start on the cleaning. My house could use a deep cleaning, meaning cleaning the louvers on all the shutters, cleaning the light fixtures, including two chandeliers and wiping down all the molding.

It’s times like this I wish I could call in a cleaning team for just a one-shot deal. I don’t need or want someone cleaning my home regularly, but it sure would be nice to have someone come in maybe twice a year to help with the more intensive, deep cleaning. I worry they wouldn’t do it the way that I do, though–or would possibly use chemicals on my furniture or brass that could damage it. I’m such a worry-wart about stuff like that.

What do you do this time of year when you’re hosting parties or having family in? Do you do all the cleaning yourself?

So where am I now with the decorating? I have both trees up (Yup, I’m setting them both up this year) and plan to decorate them today, well at least one of them. The other one, the family tree that I like to place here in the kitchen, may not get decorated. I may save it for when my son, dil and grandchildren are here and we can decorate together since the ornaments that go on that tree are more sentimental and family-themed. Here’s a glimpse of it in a much older post, sorry about the terrible photography.


I also got all the wreaths hung, although the two wreaths I normally hang on the garage both need new bows. The wiring that held the old bows together came apart last year when I took them down. I thought I saved the ribbon, but I was unable to find it this weekend. So I’ll be shopping for ribbon today to make two new bows.

(Aside: See those black streaks on my roof? I’m going to find out how to clean those off, I really don’t like how it looks! Those just started appearing the last couple of years. I’ll let you know what I find out. Apparently some of the chemicals like Spray and Forget will remove that, but I’m going to check with the company that installed my roof to see what they recommend. Any suggestions?)

How to Hang Christmas Wreaths on Exterior Windows


When I got all the wreaths out this year, I noticed the ribbon on a few of them was curling up badly from the bottom. Arggg!


I ironed them all out using the “Acrylic” setting on my iron.


Here’s how they looked after ironing the ribbons and fluffing out the bows. I hope they don’t roll back up again, at least not for a while. I like it when they gently curl, but not roll up as they were doing.

Note: If you have the same curling issue with your outdoor velvet ribbons, use the lowest setting on your iron when ironing them. Anything higher will melt the backing! Found that out the hard way when I tested it on a slightly higher setting. As mentioned, the acrylic setting worked well for my ribbons.

Wreaths on Exterior Windows, Ironing and Fluffing the Bows



Where to Buy Red Outdoor Velvet Bows for Wreaths

If you are interested in hanging wreaths on all your windows for Christmas, you’ll find an amazing price for a dozen outdoor, waterproof velvet bows with the long streamers like mine, here: 12 Pack of Red Velvet Bows. The reviews look amazing so when my bows need replacing, I’ll be buying them from that source.


Wreaths on my windows are by far my favorite decoration for Christmas because you get to enjoy them from both the inside and out.

How to Hang Christmas Wreaths on Exterior Windows


I love seeing them through the windows so much. I’m always sad when it’s time to take them down after Christmas.



You’ll find a tutorial for how I hang my wreaths in this older post here: Hang Wreaths on Exterior Windows.


I think I’m going to set my Hot Cocoa Bar up on the porch this year. If you would like to set up a hot cocoa bar on your porch or inside your home for a family gathering, you’ll find my post sharing how I set this one up here: Hot Cocoa Bar for the Holidays.

Make a Hot Cocoa Bar for the Holidays


Okay, back to the decorating! Happy Early Thanksgiving to you!

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  1. You are my hero! I iron, too, and have the very same dilemma with cleaning. Set in my ways…however, “time” goes more quickly…or, I’m s l o w e r. I ” robbed” the cocoa set up…what happened to the chocolate covered marshmallows??!!?? franki

  2. I would only like someone to clean garage!!

  3. thank you Susan, wow you are in full decorating mode! I have a professional service clean my house twice a month, it’s heaven!! I hate hate housework so it’s a delight for me, the name of the company is The Cleaning Authority, I’m sure there’s one in Atlanta…

    • We have had the same cleaning lady for 30 years! Now just twice a month. It’s nice to know bathrooms and kitchen get done so I can focus on other things. I’m sure you can find someone to help you…need to relax!

  4. Your wreaths are gorgeous Susan! I’ve always wanted to try those on my house – now I’m inspired! 😉 I do have a service come clean for me at the start of the holidays. I love cleaning my own home, but really just run out of time these days. Most services will happily use your own products and are very good about being gentle with your things and following your wishes. Especially if you stick around while they’re cleaning, for questions, etc.

    Good luck with it all, and Happy Decorating!

  5. That’s gonna be a lot of holiday in one visit, lol. I bet you are so excited to have them visit you. Perhaps you can audition cleaners at a calmer time of year and then have all that time for decorating.

  6. Your wreaths with the warm house lights on looks like a picture perfect Christmas card. I just pulled out 6 wreaths from my attic and was looking for inspiration! Merry, Merry

  7. I’ll be interested to hear what you find out about your roof. We are beginning to get mildew on ours too.

  8. WANDA BRADEY says

    Beautiful as always. Thanks for sharing ideas. I actually did my 9′ tree in travel ornaments yesterday. I have collected for years and it turned out nice. I didn’t realize I had so many ornaments from around the world. I did my hot cocoa bar on Saturday and my dining table. Went with a more casual table this year than my usual Lenox Holiday Tartan. Changed it up. Hope you enjoy the visit from your son and dil and especially those grandsons!

  9. You can for sure just hire a cleaning woman/service for specific times of the year too! I canvased my neighborhood and spoke with my neighbors for their recommendations after we bought our home. I was walking my doggie on a Sat. and just started asking everyone I saw with paper & pen handy. Got a great woman that way too! I provided all the cleaning products I preferred as well…plus I stayed around for the visit to give guidance – sure saved my ole back too! Best money spent! Go for it…such a great feeling after it’s all clean, and you’re still rested, hehe❣️

  10. I think I can tell you are really getting into the spirit with those little boys coming! They will love the hot chocolate bar for sure (as well as the dinner table). I just love your way of hanging the wreaths. I don’t have double hung windows but I still used your idea to stream a piece of ribbon down from the top of my window ledge outside and then so easy to pop them off with a broom and not climb a ladder. Getting them up is a little hard. I, too, like viewing them from inside the house. Is it the pop of red? I won’t have Christmas decorations out for a bit because there are so many gold leaves on the trees still and on the ground that it doesn’t “feel” like Christmas with all the gold. I need to deep clean, but rarely have guests. I used to share cleaning chores with a friend. I cleaned her kitchen and she did something for me. Sometimes cleaning up someone else’s mess is easier than cleaning my own!

  11. PS You have a digital iron? I am way behind in that area!

  12. Linda Nixon says

    The new Better Homes and Garden Christmas plates are out and are they cute. The cutest is a Christmas train thinking it is going to be about my fave. Two others are ok. An elk on one plate and horses on another. would not have gotten either of the animals but since my granddaughter is an event jumping, cross country, dressage and show jumping I got them for her. They plates are stacking up and soon I won’t have room for more. The new plate boxes were nearly gone the first day or two. Your home is beautifully decorated. I always enjoy and look forward to how you decorate every year.

  13. I have a maid/housekeeper weekly. Rosa is the best and she loves my dogs which is more important to me than anything plus she’s honest. I have had 2 maids before her, one who stole my jewelry (I had to buy it back from all the little pawn shops where she had taken it all) and the other took a $100.00 bill out of my wallet.

    But it’s difficult for Rosa to do a deep clean in the 3 1/2 hours weekly she works. We do have services here where they come in a team of 2 and REALLY clean. You might reconsider using something like that only you provide the cleaning products and be very specific. You have a large home and if they just take care of the floors and woodwork it would be worth it. Good luck.

  14. Bobbi Duncan says

    Like you, I’ve always done my own house cleaning. The companies I tried out many years ago just didn’t clean as well as I do, so I’ve just never bothered after that. I’ve never done spring cleaning because I tackle everything, with the exception of deep cleaning cabinetry, each time I clean ( yes, I am pretty much OCD lol!) However, now that I’m almost 70, and have a back that gives out, I’ve seriously considered hiring help to come out a couple times a year to clean and wax all our cabinetry and polish the silver ( jobs I hate because they’re so time consuming). We are having company come stay for the week of Thanksgiving, so I have been busy busy. I won’t put up the Christmas decor until the end of November, so that makes things somewhat easier. Know you’re going to have a wonderful holiday since your son and his family will be there. The holidays are so much better with family and friends.Hugs!

  15. Thanks for the bow link. Just what Santa wanted.

  16. I’m another fan of the wreath, but have a hint for you! instead of using a bulky iron, use your curling iron. (The only time I use mine.) It gets inside the bow and you can straighten or curl the ends. What do you call that part of the bow?

  17. Thanks so much for hosting each week!!

  18. Kathy Horosinski says

    I adore your window wreaths! I read your tutorial which seems to address only double hung windows. Unfortunately I have casement windows (some open, cranking out vertically, and some are fixed). Any ideas for me?

  19. Susan, Your house looks so festive. Usually I dislike thinking about Christmas too far ahead of time but since it snowed here and was very cold for several days it put me in the Christmas spirit. When you commented on the wreath ribbon replacement I wondered if you would ever switch to your beloved tartan plaid.

    • I love that idea and I have thought about it since I love tartan ribbon so much. I’m just afraid the tartan design wouldn’t be very visible at a distance. I think the solid red makes a bit more of impact and shows up better from the road and the yard. But I do love the idea of tartan ribbon and bows, though!
      I’m decorating a little early this year since I have family coming for Thanksgiving. They won’t be here for Christmas so I wanted the trees, wreaths, etc… up while they are here to make things that much more festive.

  20. Susan, thank you for hosting once again. I love your home and especially your screened porch, they are always so beautifully decorated. Love the hot cocoa bar. In the past you posted info on engraved spoons you use at the cocoa bar but I can’t remember where you ordered them from and I would like to order some for Christmas. Is there a link to order them from? Enjoy making memories with your family this holiday. I’m sure your grandsons will have a blast!

    • Thanks so much, Carol! You read my mind, I was just thinking about the spoons tonight because I’m getting ready to put together a gift guide and I wanted to include them. I ordered them from here:
      I love giving them along with a cute mug and maybe a good book. Perfect gift for winter when we just want to stay inside where it’s warm.

  21. Cyndi Raines says

    Great start for a BIG job Susan! Saturday starts my deep cleaning. I’m sure your family will appreciate all your hard work and the Christmas decorations. I’ll be getting my window wreaths up this week as well. Thank you for this awesome idea. I love the wreaths with their pretty red bows, making the house look so festive and an electric candle in the lower window, so pretty.

  22. Susan, you are such an inspiration! I have always done my own cleaning but there are times I wished it were otherwise (like last winter when I popped a lower disc and sustained two fractures in my back) as cannot do the heavy chores nor can I go at the same pace to get them done like I use to. In respect to Thanksgiving and Christmas; we here in Canada celebrate the former in mid October so that is off the list however this year as my daughter is hosting festivities for the latter I’m keeping preparations at a minimum BUT do have the majority of my Xmas shopping done. To conclude; it appears that all your hard work is paying off, as everything appears absolutely beautiful. -Brenda-

  23. That is not mold on your roof–it’s cyanobacteria, a type of blue-green algae. If your roof is composite, do not power wash it–you will wash off the granules that protect the underlying roof and shorten its life. Wet & Forget is one of several benzyl ammonium chloride formulations against cyano. It slowly kills the cyanobacteria by disrupting the cell walls, but it takes a while.

  24. I am with you on the cleaning crew…. I am afraid they will not do it as I do – and I will just have to go back and “re” do the cleaning…
    As for the streaks on your roof – I wonder – are they from leaves or nuts that get dropped…. just a curiosity – I do not have any solutions…. ( I am a big help…)
    Love the wreathes – it is sad when all the “holiday” decorations get put away – the house appears so empty. Well, back to my hot chocolate!

  25. A warm large barrel curling iron is great to peek up already tied bpws. Also store bows with tissue paper in each loop to help keep their shape. Happy decoraying!

  26. Cheryl King says

    I’m interested to hear what you find out about your roof– we have that problem here in Arkansas on almost every roof you see. I have a customer who owns a pressure-washing business, and I asked him for his opinion. He said there is a chemical that can be used to clean this, but it reduces the life of your shingles. I would imagine it would also be detrimental to plants around the foundation, too. Please post what you find out!

    • I called my roofing company and they recommended a guy who pressure washes homes and cleans roofs. He came out today and will be emailing me a quote. He basically goes up on the roof, sprays a cleaner on it that sticks to the roof shingles, then shoots water up in the air so it falls down on the roof like rain and it washes off into the gutters. He doesn’t pressure wash the roof since it could damage the shingles.

  27. Susan, I’ve been following you for many years but this is my first comment. Your blog helped me so much during the difficult years I was taking care of aging parents. Have you ever thought about being a content creator on YouTube? You would reach a much broader audience of folks like me that work full-time. I would love to share you with my younger friends that think blogs are outdated.

    • Thanks so much, Hattie! That makes my day to hear that BNOTP helped even just a little bit during those years you were caring for your parents.
      I’ve thought about it (YouTube) but have been reluctant for a few different reasons. From listening to other YouTubers, it sounds really time-consuming. Most of the folks I see making YouTube videos do that almost exclusively, only blogging occasionally. I get the impression it’s hard to do both. Maybe I could find the time to make one video a week. Thanks for the suggestion. I will give it some thought for the new year. Happy Thanksgiving to you!

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