Christmas Decorating Ideas Using Stuff You Already Have
By Shari Brown
It's Christmas time again, and, even
strung lights outside your house and "decked the halls"
inside with boughs of holly (or cedar, or pine.), it just
doesn't feel festive!
You need something else. Something new.
But you don't really want to spend your hard-earned money
on new holiday décor- after all, you still have gifts to buy!
What can you do? Here's ten simple (but VERY effective) ways
to use common Christmas items you already have to add that
special holiday touch.
1. Take some of your old glass ball ornaments (you know,
the ones that look so drab compared to your other tree
decorations!) and arrange them in a bowl. Clear glass
bowls are especially striking, as the ornaments show
through. If you don't have an appropriate bowl, use a
I've also used small crystal candy dishes to display
the small ornaments that were passed down to me by my
grandmother- mostly tiny orbs that had broken at the
top and had lost their hooks, but still had beautiful
2. Use your ribbon (C'mon, `fess up- you weren't going to
put in on the packages anyway!) and some bows to "wrap"
unlikely items. Like the refrigerator. Doors. An end
table. Your kitchen cupboards. The dog. Okay, maybe not
3. While you've got the ribbon out, grab your curling
ribbon and make some curly "pom-poms". (Simply cut several
lengths of curling ribbon, curl them by sliding the
lengths against a scissor blade, and tie them together at
the center.) Keep in mind that the curling ribbon will be
much shorter after curling- figure on about half its
Tape or tie the "pom-poms" wherever you have a dull spot-
they can be tied to the end of your banister (inside or
out), hung on doorknobs, or even attached to the tops
of your dining chairs.
4. Recreate the Nativity with your children's toys. I admit
that you probably will get some interesting comments-
especially if you don't have kids! - but this can be a
great way to reinforce the Christmas story. Arrange them
on a small table, using a sheet for the ground if you'd
like. Just make sure any Barbie dolls you use are dressed.
(Helps if they have their heads attached, too.)
5. Make a holiday candle garden. Use a Christmas-themed
plate or tray, or even a plain metal one and arrange 3
or 5 candles of varying heights (odd numbers look best).
Tuck some greenery (artificial or real) in between the
candles to give your candle garden an extra festive touch.
This is also a great way to accent a special candle with
a holiday theme- surround it with plain pillar candles in
a complementary color.
6. Recycle old tinsel garland by cutting shorter lengths of
it and using it to accent your current décor. You can cut
out any matted or thin sections, using the "still-good"
pieces as filler in your wreath, candle accents, or as a
basket handle accent (wrap around the basket handle in a
spiral pattern, leaving some of the original handle
Re-frame a mirror with gold, red or green garland. Tie
a bow and attach it to the top of a present or homemade
7. If you have access to free pine cones, gather some up and
display them in a basket. You can spray potpourri oil on
them (cinnamon is traditional, but vanilla, apple, or
gingerbread would be very festive also) or spray them with
silver or gold paint. Another great idea is to dab a bit
of glue on each "point" of the cone and then sprinkle with
If you don't have any pine cones in your area, you can
usually find them (most likely pre-scented) at your local
8. Cut out the patterns- Santa, snowmen, penguins, etc.-
on your leftover wrapping paper and use them to decorate.
Spray adhesive (found at your local craft store) will
enable the cutouts to stick to your walls, wooden boxes,
bottles. pretty much anything you can find! And the best
part- it's not permanent! (Check the adhesive
9. Have any uncomfortable or worn-out Christmas socks? Stuff
them with a bit of batting, sew the tops closed (insert
a little ribbon loop in the corner first), and "string"
them on yarn or thin ribbon. Hang on the wall or mantel,
or even the tree!
10. The simplest, yet most beautiful holiday decoration?
Paper snowflakes! Relive your childhood and create a few.
Or a whole blizzard. If you're feeling generous, you can
ask your kids to help. When you're done, tape them on your
windows- whenever you look out, you'll see a white
Christmas (even if you live in the tropics!)
Shari Brown is the owner of http://www.JustASmallThing.com/,
A home décor site that brings you affordable accessories to
brighten your life. Because after all, "The small things in
life are sometimes the most important."