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Rat Pack Christmas Decorations

The Design on a Dime team used wrapping paper, vintage toys and TV antennas create this stylistic, Rat Pack-inspired Christmas decor.

Four roommates, Lori, Zach, Meredith and Kevi, share a home and a love for entertaining. They love to host theme parties, such as the ugly-Christmas-sweater party they threw a couple of years ago. Inspired by the home's architecture and the roommates' silver tinsel Christmas tree, the Design on a Dime team designs a Rat Pack-style decor for Christmas and beyond, for less than $1,000.

The Dilemma
The living room features midcentury modern architecture, including a flagstone fireplace and a wooden ceiling with open beams. A bar built by a friend and the black leather sofa will stay, but some of the other mismatched furniture has got to go. The room needs a cohesive style.

The Solution
The designers concentrate on aqua, silver and royal blue. Inspired by the 1950s architecture of the home and the roommates' love of entertaining, they design a Rat Pack-style Christmas decor. To match some vintage blue and silver wrapping paper that Lee found, two of the walls are painted royal blue, and the other two are painted a lighter blue. Silver starbursts adorn the walls, and vintage accessories tie the theme together. A new shag rug and coffee table are placed in front of the black leather sofa, and the updated bar has two new silver and black stools. This room is definitely ready to party!

The Cost

Texas table do-over - $50

Futon cover and pillows - $56

  • fabric for futon and pillows - Kashcool

Tree dressing - $76
  • ice cube trays for tree decorations - Ikea
  • mold material for tree decorations - Silpak
  • spinning color wheel - Craig's List

Paint - $65
  • Dunn Edwards' Island View, DE 5339 5848, and Rainy Lake, DE 5852

Table settings - $42
  • table settings - Ikea
  • glue for plates, Modge Podge's Pearl Paint

Starbursts and centerpiece - $83
  • mirrors - Michaels
  • Tinker Toys - Toys R Us

Coffee table - $46
  • coffee table, Angersby, Ikea

Rugs and pillows - $62
  • rug - Ikea

Bar fix-up and accessories - $334
  • bar dressings - Ikea
  • bar accessories - Cost Plus
  • stools - Craig's List

Fireplace sputniks - $40
  • fireplace sputnik supplies - Lowe's

Additional lighting - $145
  • lamps - Target

Total - $999

Lee paints the front of the bar royal blue to match the new wall color. Then he cuts out an abstract shape from a sheet of benderboard, paints it black to match the top of the bar and screws it to the bar front. Next he attaches three small light fixtures to the bar front and screws in funky starburst light bulbs. New Rat Pack-style martini glasses and barware are right at home on the remodeled bar.

Summer assembles the tinker toys into several starbursts and spray paints them silver. Then she glues small round mirrors to the circular disks. The kitschy starbursts are arranged on the blue wall in the dining area. They coordinate with the playful tinker toy centerpiece on the table.

She spreads decoupage glue on the back of clear glass plates, and then cuts out pieces of the vintage paper, allowing for some overlap. She lays the paper face up against the back of the plates and spreads more glue generously on the back of the paper so that it penetrates the paper and bonds to the plate. Then she uses her hand to gently smooth out the paper and get rid of the air bubbles. When the plates dry, she trims the excess paper and finishes the edges with a nail file. The retro chargers are arranged with handpainted plates and beaded napkin rings for a festive look.

Charles buys several star-shaped silicone molds intended for candy and ice cubes. He mixes two-part casting resin, blue dye and silver glitter, pours it into the molds and lets it cure for an hour. After the stars dry, he drills a small hole in each one to hang them on the tree. The tree lights reflect off the glittery ornaments against the silver tinsel.

Lee uses chandelier caps for the bases, drills extra holes in them and puts antennas in the holes, setting them at different lengths. He hangs the sputniks on the flagstone fireplace to turn the focal point into a real conversation piece.

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