60 Creative and Elegant Christmas Decoration Ideas

Take our suggestions―from a DIY Advent calendar to a holiday candy centerpiece―and make them your own.

Christmas decoration ideas - bar cart
Photo: Johnny Miller

It's true: You can transform your home into a festive gathering place for family and friends this holiday season, even if Christmas crafts aren't your strong suit. Whether you're intimidated by DIY projects or don't have a fortune to spend on holiday décor, most of these Christmas decoration ideas take just minutes to pull together, use up stuff you already have, and can be crafted while enjoying your favorite Christmas movies on Netflix.

For example, let your beautifully wrapped presents serve as decorations until they're ripped open on Christmas morning, or consider hanging holiday cards from your stair banister to add a pop of color and cheer. Add some elegant Christmas trees to your repertoire of decorations, or create an edible version to sweeten your entryway.

Using our simple ideas as inspiration, we'll show you how to procure what's already around your house to customize a festive look this Christmas. Read on for decorating tricks and styling tips for your most beautiful holiday home ever.

01 of 60

Faux Fire Basket

Christmas decoration ideas - Faux Hearth
Nicole Franzen

If you don't have room for a traditional tree, create the same look on a smaller scale. Instead of a 7-foot fir tree, opt for a 3- or 4-foot-tall one, and use a decorative metal planter in place of a typical tree stand and skirt. Keep ornaments minimal, so you don't overwhelm the branches.

For a faux hearth to accompany your small tree, wrap birch logs in fairy lights and set them in a wire basket. Your room instantly looks warmer.

02 of 60

Beautified Bar Cart

Party Central bar cart
Johnny Miller

Gilded accessories and pretty bottles of your favorite alcohol look decadent and festive when displayed during the holidays. And when an impromptu visitor comes to your door, you're ready to entertain.

03 of 60

Wow-Worthy Mantel Decor

Holiday decoration ideas, Mantel wreath with flowers and pomegranates
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

For an unexpected and sophisticated mantel display, keep your pairings minimal. This grapevine wreath of evergreen branches, pomegranates, and amaryllis blooms makes an impressive holiday decoration when paired with a trio of elegant candlesticks.

04 of 60

Holiday Card Garland

Christmas decoration ideas, garland with holiday cards
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

For a clever way to display holiday cards that come your way, use clips or clothespins to string them along the staircase.

05 of 60

Striking Wreath Accents

Christmas decoration ideas, Wreath with evergreen and succulents
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

For a traditional-yet-updated winter wreath, welcome holiday guests by mixing classic elements (in this case, spruce and olive branches) with unexpected accents (echeveria succulents and seeded eucalyptus branches).

06 of 60

Lit Birch Logs

Fireplace with lit branches
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

Oh, the weather outside is frightful, but your fireplace looks so delightful. Set a cozy scene by wrapping twin birch logs in twinkling holiday lights. Position mercury-glass candlesticks and votives alongside for an extra boost of shine.

07 of 60

Glass Candlesticks

Christmas decoration ideas, Window with holiday decorations and candles
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

For a hassle-free holiday display, take over an end table or deep windowsill by grouping contemporary candlesticks and mercury-glass votive candles. Add colorful glass ornaments for a pop of color and cheer.

08 of 60

Special Delivery Advent Calendar

Christmas decoration ideas, Advent calendar from bulletin board and envelopes
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

Transform a large bulletin board into an Advent calendar with lined envelopes and stick-on numbers. Fill each envelope with treats that are joyful and surprising such as candy canes, gift certificate to the ice cream parlor, or a coupon good for an extra hour of video games. With the promise of a small treasure each day, the young and young at heart will love counting down the days to Christmas.

09 of 60

Silver and Gold Palette

Christmas decoration ideas, Metallic medallions over mantel
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

If red and green aren't your thing, lean on tones that complement your existing décor. Paper medallions in silver, gold, and bronze look right at home atop the mantel. Add a warm finishing touch by draping sprigs of evergreen garland embellished with berries and ornaments.

10 of 60

A Sweet Scene

Trees from foam cones decorated with rock candy
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

Greet holiday guests with a sweet indoor winter wonderland entry display. Decorate foam cones from the craft store with rock candy to create your own sparkly scene.

11 of 60

Window Snowflakes

Christmas decoration ideas, Silver and white gift bows hanging in window
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

Dreaming of a white Christmas? Dangling from a window, these cascading strands of silver and white gift bows create the illusion of falling snow. Shovel not required.

12 of 60

Center of Attention

Glass bowl full of glittery holiday light bulbs
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

'Tis the season for glitz and glamour on the holiday table. For this show-stopping statement, nestle sparkly, color-dipped vintage bulbs in a decorative glass bowl.

13 of 60

Double-Duty Decorating

Christmas gifts and ball ornaments
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

Pretty wrapped presents can work overtime as last-minute decorations. To pull this off, focus on the finishing touches: Adorn festive wrap with clever tie-ons (like a strand of color-dipped wooden beads), a fancy bow, and a peppering of metallic ornaments.

14 of 60

Cohesive Candles

Candles on Christmas mantel
Tom Merton/Getty Images

Group pillar candles for ambiance and extra light. Wrap festive ribbon around a few to compliment your décor and add texture.

15 of 60

Eye-Catching Table Runner

Christmas decoration ideas, String and poster board holiday table runner
Steve Giralt; Styling: Elizabeth MacLennan

Forgo the fine china, fancy linens, and extravagant centerpiece in favor of a unique runner to steal the dinner scene. Place pins along the sides of a gilded poster board and artfully weave colorful string from pin to pin to create a modern, textured focal point.

16 of 60

Fireside Forest

Christmas decoration ideas - Fireside Forest
Nicole Franzen

Layer an assortment of tree-shaped objects in varying heights and textures atop the mantel. Below, hang a metallic, leafy garland to reflect the firelight from below.

17 of 60

Twist on a Traditional Wreath

Christmas decoration ideas - Lemon orange wreath
Ditte Isager

Instead of traditional evergreens, make a wreath of citrus fruits. Start with a circular piece of florist's foam and then use wooden florist picks to secure large items, such as oranges. Fill in with smaller fruit―kumquats, clementines, and limes―and finish with a thick velvet ribbon.

18 of 60

Celestial Doorway

Christmas decoration ideas - Celestial Doorway
Nicole Franzen

Trick out a door or window frame with an asymmetrical assortment of stars. Use adhesive strips to hang a strand of cascading star lights accentuated with ornaments and various-sized lanterns.

19 of 60

Stockinged Stairwell

Christmas decoration ideas - Stockinged Stairwell
Nicole Franzen

Hang stockings from a banister trimmed with garland (live or faux) using floral wire or zip ties hidden amid the greenery.

20 of 60

Leaning Ladder

Christmas decoration ideas - Leaning Ladder
Nicole Franzen

Attach stockings to a decorative ladder and then liven it up with a swag of pine garland. In January, replace the stockings with throw blankets.

21 of 60

Sweet Centerpieces

Christmas decoration ideas -Christmas candy on a table
Steve Giralt

Bring colorful delight to the table with a sweet setup of treats that never goes out of season. We filled our no-fuss arrangement with red-and-white peppermint balls and fluffy marshmallows. Call on ribbon candy, multicolored chocolates, and candy canes as the perfect sides.

22 of 60

Overhead Opulence

Christmas decoration ideas - Christmas ornaments hanging from chandelier
Steve Giralt

Don't restrict magnificent baubles and sparkly snowflakes to the Christmas tree. Accentuate overhead lighting with shimmery decorations in a fresh winter palette like pale blue and silver. Finish with an elegant satin ribbon gently dangling from the chandelier.

23 of 60

Modern Simplicity for Stockings

Christmas decoration ideas - Modern Simplicity
Steve Giralt

For a breathtaking white mantel, we highlighted this gorgeous mirror with a charming border of decorative golden deer and white stockings.

24 of 60

Extra Ornament Displays

Christmas decoration ideas - Glass ball Christmas ornaments in vase
Steve Giralt

For a dramatic, high-impact window display, turn a bare windowsill into a stylish nook by filling glass jars of varying heights and shapes with leftover ball ornaments.

25 of 60

Fabulous Window Dressings

Christmas decoration ideas - Window Dressing
Steve Giralt

The ultimate preppy power couple―hot pink and lime green―make an unexpected debut in this modern all-feather composition. The dangling ornament adds just the right pop to this decorative piece.

26 of 60

Subtle Arrangements

Christmas decoration ideas - Christmas ornaments in a glass vase surrounded by a wreath
Steve Giralt

Pull off a show-stopping arrangement that speaks to your style by keeping decorative elements simple. Fill a glass hurricane with an assortment of holiday ornaments, and then surround it with lush greenery.

27 of 60

Alternative Tree Assortment

Christmas decor ideas - Christmas tree decorated with feathers
Steve Giralt

Brighten a corner with an alternative to the traditionally inspired Christmas tree like this one with a retro-inspired palette on the exotic side. Delicate chartreuse, lavender, and pink balls scattered amid the branches make an attention-worthy display. Instead of garland for texture, feathers provide an unexpected twist.

28 of 60

Charming Countdown

Christmas decoration ideas - Homemade advent calendar
Steve Giralt

This unique adaptation of the traditional Advent calendar speaks to the spirit of the season. Replace a leaning mirror for the month of December and fill pint-sized numbered bags with your family's favorite treats.

29 of 60

Frosted Tablescape

Christmas decoration ideas - White table settings with pinecone center pieces
Steve Giralt

Set a simple and sophisticated winter–white table to make your holiday gatherings extra special. Start with a delicately embroidered ivory runner for a hint of warmth and texture. For dazzle, fill silver mint-julep cups with beautifully frosted pinecones.

30 of 60

White Christmas Tree

Christmas decoration ideas - White Christmas Tree
Steve Giralt

A monochromatic tree sets a festive tone that's soft, airy, and completely captivating. Accentuate its pure richness with ornaments in clear glass, shimmery silvers, and brilliant white.

31 of 60

Seasonal Finds

Christmas decoration ideas - Mantel with jars of cranberries
Steve Giralt

Opportunities abound for sweeping displays of lavish greenery along the mantel. This warming seasonal vignette calls for apothecary jars filled with cranberries, accented by sparkling fruit and pinecones.

32 of 60

Playful Accessories

Christmas decoration ideas - Scrabble game
Steve Giralt

Think outside the overflowing bins and boxes of decorations for a clever way to embellish bare tabletops. Turn Friday's game night staple into an innovative holiday prop.

33 of 60

Wintery Scene

Christmas decoration ideas - Winter scene with moose
Steve Giralt

At your entryway, welcome a few unexpected characters to your décor by animating a tabletop with enchanting wintry wildlife.

34 of 60

Flanked Entryway

Christmas decoration ideas - outdoor door framers
Lucas Allen

Nothing like a pair of inexpensive plastic urns to instantly dress up a front entryway. Place a tall foam cone in each urn and anchor it with sand. Then use florist sticks and wire to attach greenery and Christmas balls.

35 of 60

Pinecone Table Topper

Christmas decoration ideas - Pinecone centerpiece
William Meppem

For this simple and elegant centerpiece sure to impress dinner guests, start with a garland of lush winter greenery that runs the length of your table. Enlist the kids to collect pinecones, and then secure them to the garland to serve as rustic toppers.

36 of 60

Centerpiece Simplicity

Christmas decoration ideas - Bowl filled with apples
Dana Gallagher

Load a simple glass jar or bowl with multiples of the same fruit, nut, or holiday candies. We filled trifle bowls with walnuts and the colors of Christmas—red apples and green baby artichokes. For a pop of brightness, display lemons or limes in a clear bowl, or put extra Christmas decorations to use. And think outside the table: Display clear containers of monochromatic ornaments in any room.

37 of 60

DIY Outdoor Decor

Christmas decoration ideas - Pinecones used as flowerbox filler
James Baigrie

You don't have to leave your outdoor planters stark until planting time. For a weatherproof display that lasts until spring, arrange pinecones in window boxes or pots on your porch, positioning the largest ones on the bottom and the tiniest on top.

38 of 60

Holiday Crafting for Kids

Christmas decoration ideas - Children making holiday garland
Melanie Acevedo

Crafting aluminum-foil ring chains is a perfect, zero-supervision craft for kids—no scissors, glue, tape, or (huzzah!) sparkles. Cut them squares of foil (or buy precut sheets), wait several hours, and then help the little ones display their chains wherever your home needs some extra shine. For easy removal in January (and damage-free paint and wallpaper), hang using Command strips.

39 of 60

Holiday Cut-Out Message

Christmas decoration ideas - Wall stencils
Lucas Allen

Stencil letters to express your holiday joy loud and clear. Back some—or all—of the letters with brightly colored construction paper, and then attach with a removable adhesive so painted walls stay undamaged.

40 of 60

Starlight Balls

Christmas decoration ideas - Lit holiday ornament
John Dolan

Wind a strand of battery-powered fairy lights around a medium-sized Styrofoam ball. Tie it off, and then tape the end of the strand to the ceiling or loop it around a curtain rod. For an even brighter arrangement, group three or four balls of varying sizes.

41 of 60

Cookie Forest

Christmas decoration ideas - Cookie trees
Melanie Acevedo

Decorate a buffet table with a trio of snowy cookie trees. Start with a base frosting by beating 6 egg whites with 3¾ cups powdered sugar. Spread a thin layer of the frosting on a Styrofoam cone and then, working up from the bottom, overlap vanilla wafers (use straight pins to hold them in place until the frosting dries). For a snowy effect, use a small sieve to dust each finished tree with powdered sugar.

42 of 60

Indoor Snowman

Christmas decoration ideas - Snowman made out of clementines and peppermint candies
Miki Duisterhof

Use the same frosting as for the vanilla wafer trees (beat 6 egg whites with 3¾ cups powdered sugar) to build snowman decorations from oranges or clementines. Stack the fruit, holding the pieces together with toothpicks until the frosting sets. Add cloves for eyes, peppermint sticks for arms and a nose, and licorice for a scarf. The hat is a vanilla wafer and peppermints sandwiched with frosting.

43 of 60

All-Purpose Candlelight Display

Christmas decoration ideas - candle mantel
Dana Gallagher

Streamline seasonal decorating with a mantelpiece tableau that takes you from Thanksgiving to New Year's with a mix of ivory and white candles. For Thanksgiving, tuck wheat around the candles' bases and add walnuts. Later, replace with greenery.

44 of 60

Wrapped Up Art

Christmas decoration ideas - Blank art canvases wrapped with ribbon
Lucas Allen

Blank canvases in assorted shapes make an artful (ha!) mantelpiece display when wrapped with cheerful ribbons.

45 of 60

Band Together

Christmas decoration ideas - rubber band ball ornaments
Lucas Allen

Make "ornaments" by wrapping multicolored rubber bands to form balls. (Maybe you have a few of these started...) Attach a bit of ribbon and cord to suspend in your windows.

46 of 60

Cookie-Cutter Approach

Christmas decoration ideas - Cookie-cutter sun catchers
Lucas Allen

These unique window decorations take just minutes to create. String tin cookie cutters of assorted shapes—angels, bells, and stars—on pretty ribbons, and then tack them to the window casing.

47 of 60

Holiday Card Display

Christmas decoration ideas - Give Greetings the Gallery Treatment
David Prince

Using greenery from outside, attach ribbons to a branch and then hang your Christmas cards using a pretty binder clip or safety pin. Recruit the kids for this afternoon project.

48 of 60

Sparkly Ornament Display

Christmas decoration ideas - Antique ball ornaments on a cake stand platter
Melanie Acevedo

Nest vintage ornaments with leaves on a cake stand for a stunningly simple centerpiece.

49 of 60

Monochromatic Color Palette

Christmas decoration ideas - tree with candy
Annie Schlechter

Spare can be beautiful. Decorate a small, artificial white tree with objects that share a color scheme―in this case: candy canes, peppermints, and red bows―and place it on a side table or a coffee table.

50 of 60

Front Door Flair

Christmas decoration ideas - jingle bells on door
Lucas Allen

Let visitors jingle all the way into your home. Tie big silver bells to the front doorknob with festive ribbon.

51 of 60

Mix and Match Centerpiece

Centerpiece with clementines and peppermint balls in glass jar
Miki Duisterhof

To make this five-second centerpiece, mix clementines or oranges with peppermint candies in a single glass compote or a grouping of three.

52 of 60

Wintery Mix

Christmas decoration ideas - Window ledge with holiday decorations
Annie Schlechter

Don't overlook a simple window ledge as a decorating opportunity. Pine boughs look charming in a large vase, while white starfish evoke snowy weather, even when it's sunny.

53 of 60

Modern Mobile Chandelier

Christmas decoration ideas - Wooden quilting hoops hung as a mobile
Lucas Allen

Use wooden quilting hoops to create a mobile that floats over a table like a weightless chandelier. Turn the inner ring 180 degrees and wood-glue it to the outer ring at the top. Use clear fishing line and thumbtacks to hang various-sized spheres at different lengths.

54 of 60

Indoor Topiaries

Christmas decoration ideas - Twinkling topiaries next to a fireplace
Lucas Allen

Light up a room with twinkling topiaries, which look especially magical flanking a fireplace. Buy them ready-made, or insert five-foot-tall bamboo plant stakes around the perimeter of a potted evergreen, tie them at the top with florist wire, and then swirl white lights all around.

55 of 60

Silver Bells Arrangement

Christmas decoration ideas - Brandy snifter filled with silver bells
Lucas Allen

Add sparkling style to your dining room table by filling a snifter to the brim with an array of shiny silver bells.

56 of 60

Glowing Tealights

Christmas decoration ideas - A mantel with tealights in frosted-glass vases
Lucas Allen

To create soft, flickering light for a mantel or a table in a dark corner, group inexpensive frosted-glass vases of different sizes, add tealights, and enjoy the glow.

57 of 60

Lighted Stairway

Christmas decoration ideas - Banister decorated with feathers and fairy lights
Lucas Allen

Create an enchanted stairway by stringing a banister with fairy lights entwined with feather trim. You can twirl the swag around the banister or attach it every few inches with ribbon or clear fishing line.

58 of 60

Family Photo Display

Christmas decoration ideas - Holiday cards display on a mantel
Annie Schlechter

On the mantel, collect your family's holiday picture cards from previous years and clothespin them to a long, slim stick suspended between two vases. Display them in chronological order and, if you're particularly detail-oriented, date the pins.

59 of 60

Lighted Hurricane Lamps

Christmas decoration ideas - Holiday lights coiled in bottomless hurricane lamps
Annie Schlechter

Strands of holiday lights coiled in bottomless hurricane lamps make a glowing addition to a mantel or sideboard. Run the socket and plug ends of each strand out from underneath its cylinder, connect the cords to one another, and insert the last plug into a wall outlet.

60 of 60

Lush and Natural Greenery

Christmas decoration ideas - Garland on a banister
Melanie Acevedo

A staircase looks festive with a garland of greenery. Instead of looping it around and around, lay the evergreens on top of the banister, fasten in place with floral wire, and wrap with extra-wide ribbon.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles