For some creative individuals, decorating their spaces every year is a no-brainer when the holiday season rolls around in order to help foster the festive spirit. Others might just be getting their feet wet when it comes to sprucing up around this time, as many of us have spent more time at home than we’ve been accustomed to in the past. To gather some holiday decorating inspiration for novices and pros alike, we caught up with AerieREAL Changemaker Jenna Zapata of contemporary art gallery Zig Zag Galleries.  

Jenna, who describes herself as a “big thrifter,” explains that nearly all the items on her tree are either from thrift or vintage stores. The gold butterflies, some of the favorite pieces that she’s found this season, help reflect the lights throughout her tree while her handmade salt dough ornaments can double as creative gifts! Jenna has also used her arts and crafts skills to get nifty with her wrapping paper, explaining that all of it features handwritten text for a personalized touch (from a local small business, @letterhouseco!).  

We caught up with Jenna some more to ask how she homed in on her craft, her favorite part about decorating during the holidays and more. Read on below for more of her inspiration and tips! 

How did you learn your arts & crafts skills? 

I have always been creative. Being crafty and doing DIY projects is one of my self-care activities so I love making things!  

What is your favorite part about decorating during the holidays? 

I think now that I have my own place, being able to decorate and create a space that feels like me is my favorite part. I love deciding when I want to start decorating or taking my decorations down. Even if you just have your own room, decorate and make it your own!

Being crafty and doing DIY projects is one of my self-care activities so I love making things!

What are the primary materials you use when making decorations and ornaments? 

I definitely always have jute rope on hand. I love the natural look and it makes it easy to be consistent in your decorations and is an easy addition to turn something into an ornament! You can use jute rope to wrap gifts, make garlands, and ornaments! The possibilities are endless.  

What were you inspired by this season for decorating? 

Definitely vintage, affordable, and minimal. I love using vintage pieces because they are one of a kind and you are giving a piece a second chance! I try to stick to one metal accent color (gold, silver, copper, rose gold, etc.) along with a color scheme. For me, it’s gold with cream and brown tones. 

What advice do you have for people when it comes to finding unique/quality items at thrift and vintage stores? 

Glass ornaments are so stunning, and you can find them anywhere! Definitely open the boxes just like you would check eggs to see if there are any cracks as they are delicate. I would say I had better luck at antique malls for unique holiday decor pieces! Happy hunting! 

How are you decorating for the holidays? Let us know your tips in the comments, Aerie fam!  

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