A Starry Night.
The Christmas Cloche

Every year I do my house  a little bit differently for Christmas.

 

That’s not the plan of course. The plan is always to do it exactly the way it was the year before because that would be the fastest and easiest thing to do.  Plus every year when I do the house I think, Yup.  THAT’S IT!  THAT is the way I should decorate for Christmas EVERY year.

Then I decide to move stuff, or add things or decide that I no longer need a near life sized Santa Claus that tromps up and down a ladder while carrying lights and toys all to the sound of really bad Christmas carols.

Just moving an end table during the year can cause mayhem at Christmas.  WHERE AM I SUPPOSED TO PUT THE BOWL WITH BALLS NOW??!

The year I replaced all of my furniture and redid my whole house I had no idea where to put anything. Nothing was the same. Christmas was a real shitshow that year.

This year I’ve gone a little bit simpler for a couple of reasons. I’m in a mess because of the kitchen and dragging tons of Christmas decorations out just makes it feel like more of a mess. And I’m tired. I’m just plain tired. And I figure if I’m tired now, chances are I’ll be tired when it comes time to have to put away the mountain of Christmas decorations in January.

So really, my pared down Christmas isn’t about me being lazy right now.  It’s about KNOWING I’m going to be lazy in January.  I’m being proactive and problem solving.  I’m kind of great.

I’m still decorating for Christmas, it’s just a little more restful looking. As opposed to most years when it looks like hungover Santa barfed Christmas into my house.

When I saw this on the cover of the Restoration Hardware catalogue I knew I had to do it. I already had the cloche … all I needed was the set of lights.

 

 

Starry Lights Restoration Hardware

 

My first plan was to order them online but with shipping and duty it was going to be too much money. So then I planned to head to my nearest outlet mall with a Restoration Hardware in it.  They were sold out.

Back to my first plan of ordering them online.  Nope.  Still too much money.

So I searched around and found similar lights on Amazon for a lot cheaper.  $16 for 20 feet, as opposed to $40 for 20 feet from Restoration Hardware.

Both sets are plug in lights.  I have a very short string of these lights one of my sisters gave me years ago that work off of batteries.  I prefer the plug in, because nobody can hide an extension cord like I can, and you never have to worry about batteries running out.

Cloche Lit

 

I love them they look great but …

 

Cloche Unlit

 

… they are hilariously bright.

 

Dresser

I actually laughed out loud when I first plugged them in.  I was counting on them to be subtle. They are not subtle.  They could be used in a number of emergency situations including but not limited to landing planes.

 

Drama Shot

Once I got used to their brightness I loved them.  They’re beautiful, which doesn’t quite come across in the photos.  It’s remarkably hard to capture the beauty of a fake tree standing in a fake starry night.

I can rest a little bit now, knowing no matter what,  my season will be merry and bright.

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92 Comments

  1. Ella says:

    Very cool! Where is the Restoration Hardware outlet?

  2. What a great idea. I think I need to check out this Restoration Hardware place. I have never been! I always see such great knockoffs like yours on the blogs! And it would be kinda handy to be able to land a plane in the house!

  3. Kathy Hartzell says:

    I’d they are direct plug in, can you intercept the power with a dimmer? LEDs don’t quite give the amber glow of incandescent lighting when dimmed, but it is just, well dimmer.

  4. mia pratt says:

    Very cool, love it a lot. A. Lot. I’ll have to find some goldfish bowls or something to use…I’ll never get anything made of glass here like you have in time for Christmas. I do have lights, and an old rectangular goldfish bowl somewhere…and an old santa snow globe…? Oh, the projects you spawn that you never see (thank God)…I always feel like a combination of McGuyver and an Elvis impersonator when I try to pull off one of your glam displays! Can’t you EVER make anything out of palm leaves and coconuts?

  5. Marti says:

    Yup, lovely…and helpful when the Martians invade. Not to us, of course, so for heavens sake, turn them off when that starts!

    Restoration Hardware….GIMME BACK MY MONEY!

  6. Cathy says:

    Karen, these are so delicate! Is there a link to purchase? And you must do a post on hiding ext. cords, I am so awful at it.

    • Karen says:

      Cathy. There’s a link to the Amazon lights in the post. And I can’t remember but if you click on the Restoration Hardware picture it might bring you to their lights on their site. ~ karen!

  7. Cathy says:

    Oh, and I totally agree with making Christmas more restful. Not lazy at all. I will put a couple of treasured pieces out and call it done. Your home looks warm and inviting, festive and eclectic. No Santa vomit anywhere!
    Enjoy. ( anxiously waiting for the fab kitchen reveal)

  8. Laura says:

    Very pretty. Could you plug them into a dimmer?

  9. Amie Mason says:

    I love it Karen! That’s my favorite decorations yet! Your making me feel just a little less “Bah Humbug”.

    We’re moving house, so we won’t be putting up a tree this year… which I’m actually very happy about because I hate christmas trees, and tinsel is an abomination! There’s a very special place in hell for tinsel people; it’s right next door to the fake lawn people. Bah!

    • Sally says:

      I totally agree with the tinsel thing. Who invented that stuff? You haven’t lived until you have had a cat eat tinsel and then deal with it coming out the other end in one, long, unbroken strand.

  10. Claire says:

    I filled a lantern with white baubles and white lights for a similar effect, gorgeous!

  11. Love it! Simply beautiful

  12. karol says:

    Very, very beautiful.
    On a completely odd side note, I must tell you that I was watching a video on VH1 and I had an OMG moment. It was a P!nk video (love her) and I realized that she is who I picture in my head when I read your blog.

  13. Leigh says:

    I love it!!!

  14. annie says:

    Dollarama let you down? i am going to check there today! that is beautiful… it’s so dark these days anything that adds a light is welcome!
    thank you Karen.

  15. Sue says:

    Let us know if three wise men with camels show up at your doorstep. heehee It really is beautiful!!

  16. Amanda says:

    I’m in love.

  17. Karen too says:

    Cool!
    I did something like this in a vase with red and silver “festive things on stems.” How do I email you a photo?
    & I saw a version of your lit up snow jars somewhere and knew a sister “TADS blog reader” was the artist responsible.

  18. Tigersmom says:

    Well, the song says, “May your days be merry and B – R – I – G – H – T….” Haha.

    I’m glad to know you’re not killing yourself on the decorations this year. My decision to scale back a bit this year is taking longer than the usual 3 days due to my stupid sprained ankle. And I change stuff so often in my house that Christmas is never the same twice.

    I’m awaiting the arrival of some slightly less cheap battery-powered lights for my small trees and garland and wreath outside as the super cheap ones I originally restrung them all with this year (2 hours I would like back, thank you) lasted just under 12 hours. Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    I, too, am anxiously and impatiently (as usual) awaiting the completion of your kitchen (Ha! Did you know that if you mistype kitchen by putting an s in between the t and c it becomes kitsch-en?). But I bet no one is more ready for it to be done than you. I remain in awe that you keep your normal entertaining schedule through out a kitchen reno.

  19. Kelly says:

    i’m looking for a christmas tree alternative. I went out to buy a tree on the weekend and stood there looking at them. couldn’t bring myself to do it. a bottle brush upside down strung with lights has major appeal, especially when i contemplate january. oy, i don’t want to contemplate january!

  20. Su says:

    lovely… nice idea! thanks for sharing….

  21. Thera says:

    Beautiful as always!
    And don’t feel bad about paring down, minimalism is good and refreshing.
    I just got rid of three good sized boxes full of ornaments, the cheap plastic “filler” balls, the old glass ones missing the tops that have no meaning, the silver tinsel garland I haven’t used in 5 years.
    We only put the prettiest most special things on our tree, some lights and a bit of beaded garland.
    The rest is all done with natural greenery, cranberries, twigs etc.

  22. Corinna says:

    I saw these lights at Jysk, too.. I think they were $8. They confused me, though.. Now i’m less confused..

  23. Erika D says:

    This is so pretty, love it! But the Amazon link doesn’t work for me. 🙁

  24. Reg says:

    Really beautiful. I like the brightness of the lights.
    Now I need to learn how to hide extension cords.

  25. Mel says:

    I love the look of those, but the reviews on amazon were scary! Apparently other buyers have gotten strands that overheat, have lots of dead bulbs, and they’re pretty sketchy. Did you luck into a good set? Don’t burn down!

  26. jainegayer says:

    Beautiful and peaceful.

  27. cred says:

    I’ve seen your cloche before but I didn’t realize that it was that ginormous. Did you put all 33 feet of the lights inside? If not, is the rest of the strand hiding behind?

  28. Ev says:

    Glad your Christmas will be Merry and Bright! Trying to find the tiny lights now!

  29. Janet Thomson says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you for all you do. I was wandering on Etsy and saw this amazing company in Italy that sends you plans for building the most interesting furniture/accessories. Just thought it would be right up your alley! The link is https://www.etsy.com/shop/IFUstore?ref=l2-shop-info-name.If this link doesnt work the store name is IFU store….amazing!

  30. Jodi T. says:

    I must have missed the “all new stuff for my house” post…. WHERE WHAT WHEN and I WANNA SEE! 🙂

    Love this project, and that has to be the Grandaddy of all cloches…er.. cloche.. uh.. clochi. ((?))

  31. Ashley says:

    It looks a bit like a very festive Tesla ball.

  32. Debbie says:

    Great look and I love that the woman in the picture has such a lovely view of the display! Another morning smile from Karen. Thank you!

  33. Lia says:

    The amazon link does not work for me either it goes to something called: MuchBuy Copper Includes Adapter Individual

  34. Sherri Hanigan says:

    It’s beautiful, Karen. So beautiful that I can’t think of anything sarcastic or snarky to say. This is a rare Christmas miracle. Happy Holidays!

  35. kari says:

    Brilliant! Lovely. And thank you for the genius reminder that we have to put all of this hoo-ha back away afterwards. Keeping my decor pared down and restful is indeed the best idea! Thank you! Oh shoot, I think I just gave away the fact that I didn’t quite make the pledge…..I can explain, really.

  36. saf affect says:

    Love those pretty little lights! So magical.

    Love cloches too. I ‘made’ mine from industrial light fixture glass globes picked up from Habitat for Humanity reStore!

    http://safaffect.wordpress.com/2013/12/04/vintage-inspired-christmas-decor/

  37. Sally says:

    I know many people who are having a simpler Christmas this year. Sometimes we just have to take a break. Because we are both downsizing this year, Basil Cottage will challenge you to ‘garland wars’ next year. So save up you garden centre points over the summer….you’re going to need them. Mwa ha ha ha (that’s an evil laugh typed out).

  38. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Very pretty Karen but could you please throw a cover over it tonight..the light kept me awake all last night down here..lol..I bet you could fit into that cloche too..looks about as big as the pot you were in..lol

  39. Bols says:

    It looks quite nice although it appears to be the “cool white”. I saw similar lights featured elsewhere and I am not sure where they were from … some high-end retailer, maybe Anthropologie? they were copper-coloured (the wire) and the lights were very warm white … so far so good …. but the price was $98 – definitely not so good.
    We have Jysk in town so I may take a peek there if I have a trip in that direction but I really don’t need any more lights. I was not even planning to put up any outside lights – but last weekend, I felt like complete Scrooge because pretty much all the houses in my street have some lights up (although I really was not motivated by saving money) so I strung a single strand of lights along my handrail. Some of the bulbs are burnt out so it looks a bit funny, but hey! – I have lights! Nobody can accume of skipping Christmas like the Kranks. Plus, I have a Christmas tree with lights galore.

    • Linda S. in NE says:

      Bols, Maybe you should have done what I did instead of caving to the neighborhood pressure. I made a sign for my front yard, about the size and shape of a real estate company “For Sale” sign. On the sign, I printed one word: “DITTO” and placed two arrows below that, one pointing left, and one pointing to the right. Works for me, and come January, I will be even happier.

  40. Sandra says:

    Try adding about three small to medium glass ornaments inside a few of them … you will be amazed at how gorgeous this looks.

  41. Deirdre Fowler says:

    Beautiful, and bright.
    Now I need you to teach me (amongst others I’m sure), how to hide an extension cord like nobody’s business.
    Please.

  42. Rondina says:

    In the old house I had a corner sink with a box window. The “box window” actually had six 12 X 30 divided light glass windows. I had developed a whole scene where in I put Byers carolers and these wonderful Christmas trees in various heights up to two feet tall. These are the prettiest decorative trees I have ever seen. I got them on sale at 50% off. I’ve never seen them at a store again and there is no company name on them. I even have a plug-in “gas” light and a Byer gas lighter. Under a “blanket” of snow, I placed a string of regular lights, and sprinkled the snow and carolers with Department 56 snow. (Can be ordered on Amazon. Try it instead of salt.)
    Anyway, when I moved here—no giant box window. I found strings of tiny LED lights with battery packs at Pottery Barn and the scene is now on my mantle. This year I painted the black battery packs with white Annie Sloan chalk paint, so I didn’t have to worry about hiding them under the snow. I also made up a little chalk paint for the gas light cord that is the same color as the fireplace and wall. (I mix in a little calcium carbonate (Amazon again.) for chalk paint. The cord runs down the edge of the fireplace unnoticed.
    So next year, I’m using a version of your idea with things I already have. I’m taking a large deep vase, putting the tiny LED lights and pack in the bottom (because it won’t show with the white paint), pouring in Dept 56 snow, and placing a 10 in. Christmas tree that I made for my children around 1984 in it. BTW, I reuse the snow when I use it like that. Thank you for the inspiration.

  43. nancy says:

    Oh wow, this is as beautiful as the lighted orb. I don’t have a cloche but I do have a rather large cake stand and dome cover thing. It’ll be gorgeous. Also, I have a large glass skull but I think it’s the wrong time of the year??

  44. Kathy says:

    Hi Karen
    That is so beautiful! I just wish they shipped to my part of Canada, I am in BC and most things on the American amazon site won’t ship to my address. The Canadian amazon is always so much more expensive.

    I love the huge cloche but I have never seen one in a store. Where does one buy a cloche?
    Thanks

  45. magali says:

    Tell me about it, taking good pictures of most Christmas things is hard! This year all I hung in my tree is thirty something glass balls with battery operated tea lights in them and a glitter bow as a topper. It looks like when real candles use to be put in tees. Simple but perfect. It’s so peaceful to look at, but I can’t manage to take a picture that does it justice!

  46. Sandy says:

    That is the best idea!! I love it.

  47. Laura Bee says:

    Ooooh such prettiness! What a coincidence, you have to see what I came across tonight – I might make these!
    http://justsomethingimade.com/2013/11/handmade-colorful-bottle-brush-trees-at-goat-hill-fair

  48. Donna says:

    May I say I love your humor and wit, you always make me laugh. I love your talent, I have none, when I see things like what is on your site, I say who thinks of things like this, why you do of course. I love your great ideas
    I really haven’t been on long,as I just found it but ill be here from now on
    Thank You

  49. Carolyn says:

    Hahahaha. Shit show and bowl of balls… Hahaha. I love Christmas… It’s alot of work. During the tree. Shopping for people you don’t like. Making cookies and candy for more people you never meet. Sitting there Christmas morning with a hang over, looking at each other. You feel like you came down the chimmey.. Hang in there. I really like this project, I have to do it. So pretty… Thank You Karen

  50. debra says:

    Half the feedback on the Amazon site says these lights get quite hot, melt down…fire hazard! Maybe put a fire extinguisher in twin cloche nearby 😀

    • Karen says:

      LOL! Probably good advice. Mine seem to be great. They aren’t even warm. But I’ll keep the extinguisher handy just in case. ~ karen!

  51. Mindy says:

    My house officially looks as if Santa had some serious diarrhea. My job here is done.
    And speaking of bright lights, it’s a long dreadful story, but we ended up replacing our tree lights this year with LED. Multi-colored (it’s a touchy subject). Anyway, the point of my story is, you can see our tree from space. So I bet if you looked out your window right now, and I flashed it on and off, I could send you a morse code message.
    I think your cloche is beautiful.

  52. Barbie says:

    I am SO doing this one! I need a new centerpiece and this will work PERFECT on my big ol long table in the kitchen…I have a bunch of those cloches leftover in the warehouse that I used for prototype samples and have been looking for something to use them for forever! Oh thank you Karen! This just made my day! HOw far did that 30 feet go for you? Do I need a new string for each cloche?

  53. Barbie says:

    38″ around? That doesn’t sound right or “look” right when I see the picture. Are you sure it’s 38″ around?

  54. debra says:

    38″ circumference = 12-ish inch diameter.
    http://www.onlineconversion.com/circlesolve.htm

    Math. It’s google-able.

  55. Janet says:

    I saw these little ‘rice lights’ at Hobby Lobby today, and also at Target, Had quite a conversation about this blog post with a total stranger at the light display in Hobby Lobby…..(it was all good).

  56. Debbie says:

    Loved them, ordered them. Thanks for a new idea.

  57. Yeah, yeah, yeah..they’re merry and bright and great and all but HOW did you hide the extension cord? You left me hanging!

  58. Kari says:

    I LOVE this. Gah

  59. Leisa says:

    When I’m working on a painting, I have lightbulbs that are light purple to counteract the warm yellow of incandescent lightbulbs (purple is the complementary colour to yellow) so maybe you could try the opposite by dabbing some warm coloured transparent nail polish on the lights – cuz I know you have all kinds of time to repaint a thousand lights! LOL (you could try out some shades on a regular lightbulb to see if it works) Just a thought…

  60. Andrea says:

    Not as cheap, but the venerable Canadian Tire stocks something similar:
    56′ for $44.99
    (but I scored mine with a sale price!)

    http://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/noma-156-outdoor-starry-christmas-lights-assorted-colours-1510750p.html#.Uqpymo3FbDc

    I want them installed in my ceiling – they are so starry.

    • Karen says:

      They don’t look bad! And they do always have sales. The best really do remain the ones from Restoration Hardware on the thick copper wire though. ~ karen!

  61. Megan says:

    Hi! I know this post was from a while back, so I hope this reaches you! I ordered some cloches and string lighting because I love the look of that! Buuuuuut I’m lost. Trying to hide the battery pack? Did you have to drill a hole in the glass! How did you plug it in and keep the glass level on the wood? Thanks so much!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Megan! Yup, all comments reach me no matter how old the post. 🙂 There are two things you can do. If the wire is small enough just run it under the glass. If it’s thin enough you won’t even notice the cloche is not level. The other thing you can do if the wire is thick is, using a small wood chisel, just cut out a tiny portion of the wood base that’s deep enough to tuck the wire into. Once you put the glass on it again, it will sit flush. I know it seems scary to chisel out the wood but it’s easy (just be careful and take tiny bits at a time) and you’ll never notice it once the cloche is on. Good luck! ~ karen

  62. Jen says:

    Hello! I’m actually looking for the tree in your cloche. I’m having a hard time finding a large natural or white one. Where did you get such a big one? Thx!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jen. That tree would have come from one of two places. Either my friend who buys me a small tree for Christmas every year, or … the dollar store, lol. I got a bunch of white ones like that but they’re from Dollarama in Canada I’m afraid. ~ karen!

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