17 Easy Christmas Decorations
If you are feeling crafty this holiday season, we have found a ton of ways for you to create your own decorations without spending a full paycheck on accessories and supplies. These hands on activities are a way to get your whole family involved in the festivities of the season. Not quite sure where to begin? We will take your from your entryway to your kitchen and living room, giving you a variety of ways to dress up your home. No snow to build a snowman outside? Use round fruit, like oranges or clementines, to construct a bright and colorful version inside that can stand the heat. Or, you can purchase an inflatable and set it up on your front lawn for all of the neighbors to admire. If you feel safer in the kitchen than at a craft table, you can cook up creations to use as decorations in your kitchen. Gingerbread cookies can be personalized as place settings for your holiday party dinner party. Can’t resist candy canes at this time of year? Try using them as centerpieces in the middle of your table. Real Simple’s ideas will give you inspiration and instructions about how to make your home the most festive it has ever been.
Flank an Entryway
Give your guests a dramatic welcome: A pair of inexpensive plastic urns from the garden center (or you can even order them online and have them shipped straight to your door) can instantly dress up a front entryway and make it feel complete. The urns are available in a variety of colors and sizes, so you can find one that goes with the outside of your home. To construct a festive display, place a tall foam cone in each urn and then anchor it with sand. When that is complete, use florist sticks and wire to attach greenery and Christmas balls.
Make an Easy Table Topper
How simple and elegant is this centerpiece? Buy a garland of lush winter greenery (available at garden centers or online) to run down the length of your table. Want to use it year after year? Buy a replica that will outlast the season. You can also get your kids involved by sending them out to collect pinecones, and use them as rustic toppers throughout your table scape. (You can also buy pinecones at garden or craft stores.) Simply secure them to the garland and you will have Christmas table decorations that are sure to impress all of your dinner guests this year.
Go With a Simple Centerpiece
Here is another festive idea: Load a simple glass jar or bowl with multiples of the same fruit, nut, or your favorite holiday candies. Here, trifle bowls are filled with red apples and green baby artichokes—the colors of Christmas—and walnuts. Or to add a pop of color to your space, grab a bag of lemons or limes and put them in a clear bowl. If you have extra Christmas decorations still in their storage boxes, take them out and put them to use. Monochromatic ornaments can be displayed in clear containers throughout your home for all to see.
DIY Outdoor Decor
Looking to embellish outside this season? For a subtle outdoor decoration, gather pinecones of various sizes and arrange them in a window box or in pots on your porch, putting the largest ones on the bottom and sprinkling the tiniest ones on top. By doing this, you don’t have to leave your boxes stark and empty until the weather starts to change and get warmer—this weatherproof display should last until you can replant your favorite flowers in the spring. And if you don’t know where to begin when it comes to planting, we have you covered. Check out all the tips and tricks right here.
Give the Kids a Holiday Craft
A perfect, zero-supervision craft for kids is making a bunch of aluminum-foil ring chains. All you need to give them is squares of foil (cut up a roll yourself or buy a box of precut sheets): no scissors, glue, tape, or—huzzah!—sparkles. Then, the little ones can help hang them throughout the home to add some extra shine. Don’t want to ruin your walls? Command strips are easy to adhere and will not destroy your latest coat of paint or wallpaper. Removal will be super easy when it comes time to take the shiny decorations down come January.
Spell Out Your Message
Stencil letters (available at the stationery store) will say it loud and clear. Back some—or all—of the letters with brightly colored construction paper, then attach with a removable adhesive so painted walls go undamaged.
String Up Some Starlight
Wind a strand of battery-powered fairy lights around a medium Styrofoam ball. Tie it off, then tape the end of the strand to the ceiling or loop it around a curtain rod. Suspend three or four balls of varying sizes together for an even brighter arrangement.
Set Up a Forest
Decorate a buffet table with a trio of snowy cookie trees. Make a base frosting by beating together six egg whites and 3¾ cups confectioners’ sugar. Spread a thin layer of frosting on a Styrofoam cone, then, working up from the bottom, overlap vanilla wafers (use straight pins to hold them in place until the frosting dries). Use a small sieve to dust each finished tree with confectioners’ sugar.
Build a Snowman
Use the same frosting for snowman decorations made from oranges or clementines. Stack the fruit, holding the pieces together with toothpicks. Add cloves for eyes, peppermint sticks for arms and a nose, licorice for a scarf. The hat is a vanilla wafer and peppermints layered with frosting.
Make an All-Purpose Display
Streamline seasonal decorating with a mantelpiece tableau that can take you from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. Mix various ivory and pure white candles. If setting up the display for Thanksgiving, tuck wheat around the candles’ bases, adding walnuts here and there. Later, replace with greenery.
Prop Up Some Art
Blank canvases in assorted shapes make an artful (ha!) mantelpiece display when wrapped with cheerful ribbons.
Do Something Sweet
Something as simple as glasses and dishes filled with seasonally appropriate candies can make a sweet table topper, especially at dessert time. Here, classic candy canes pair with chocolates wrapped in tinsel-colored foil.
Make Decorations Good Enough to Eat
Bake (or buy) gingerbread men to personalize for your guests. Pipe their names on the cookies and use as gift tags, place cards, or tree trimmings.
Make “ornaments” by wrapping rubber bands in a multitude of colors to form balls (maybe you have a few of these started?). Tie on a bit of ribbon and cord and suspend in your windows.
Take a Cookie-Cutter Approach
These unique window decorations take just minutes to make. String tin cookie cutters of assorted shapes—such as angels, bells, and stars—on pretty ribbons, then tack them to the window casing.
Display Your Cards
Why tuck away your greeting cards when you can display them beautifully for all to see in your home? With some greenery from outside, attach ribbons to a branch and then hang your cards using a pretty binder clip or safety pin. This project can be done with kids as an afternoon activity leading up to the holiday.