If you're looking for cheap and cheerful Christmas decorations (and something to DIY), let Mr. Christmas (aka interior designer Benjamin Bradley) show you the way.

By Lisa Milbrand
November 24, 2020
Credit: Getty Images

Holiday Home Makeover With Mr. Christmas is the feel-good Netflix binge you're probably seeking right about now, with its heartfelt holiday message, and its smart and stylish Christmas decorating advice, courtesy of Mr. Christmas himself, interior designer Benjamin Bradley.

The bonus? You don't need to spend a small fortune to give your house a festive upgrade for the holiday season. In fact, you probably have most of the trimmings you need already in your kitchen or in your backyard.

If you're ready to start decking your halls for the holiday season (and don't have time to watch Mr. Christmas), these are the key holiday decorating takeaways you can use.

Mr. Christmas likes to go with a lot of fresh and organic materials—and pinecones are definitely his go-to. He tacks them into garlands, turns them into bird feeder outdoor ornaments (with a generous coating of peanut butter and birdseed), and even uses them to help his house smell like a pine forest, with a dab of pine essential oil.

They can be hot glued together by their cellophane wrappings to make a garland, or covering a styrofoam cone for a pretty table decoration. Or arrange a set of unwrapped candies on a parchment-lined cookie tray, heat at 330 degrees for 10 minutes so they soften and meld together to make a fun (if not entirely functional) serving tray.

Put a little treat at every place setting (a jumbo candy cane, a prettily packaged panettone, a silver star ornament) to make everyone feel welcome.

To flock a Christmas tree or garland, you just need flocking powder (or corn starch or coconut shavings), a spray bottle filled with water, and a sifter. Spray the branches with water, sprinkle on your fake "snow," then spray again to help seal it on.

Tuck fresh-cut pine trees into your landscaping, then deck them out with lights, glittery ornaments, and pretty twig and pinecone natural ornaments. (That'll get your patio ready for outdoor entertaining.) 

And we're not just talking about gingerbread houses. Coat nuts or fruit in glitter (or sparkling sugar, if you want to eat them later) to use in your Christmas decor, as festive holiday centerpieces or attached to wreaths.

Anchor small trees into pots with a layer of oranges and cranberries, hot glue tree-shaped pasta to cones to make a festive tree, and layer espresso beans onto a tray so you can nestle Christmas cookies into it.

Outdoors, popcorn balls attached to string or ribbon can be natural ornaments that help bring the birds to your yard.

Excess is best when it comes to candlelight—crowd more than a dozen tapers down the center of the table, or hang multiple lanterns over an outdoor space for a warming glow. 

Tuck fragrant items like cloves and cinnamon sticks into your decor, or set a pot simmering with an array of spices (anise, cinnamon, cloves), an orange peel and a pine cone to make your house smell like Christmas.

You don't have to keep your everyday furniture arrangement, or put the same decorations out in the same places year after year. Rearrange furniture to make it cozier (more pillows and throws will definitely help), and retire decorations that aren't working for you anymore.