5-Minute Holiday Decorating Ideas
Posts of Christmas Past
For a mantel with extra flair, collect family holiday cards from previous years and clothespin them to a long, slim stick suspended between two vases. Put them in chronological order and, if you want, date the pins.
Looking to update your holiday decor? Get inspiration and festive decorating ideas.
Hang a Wreath
Try a painted magnolia-leaf wreath this year―and every year.
To buy: Wreath (in red, gold, platinum, or pumpkin), $123, themagnoliacompany.com.
Lend a Hand
Pin mittens―either stray ones or pairs your kids have outgrown―to lengths of yarn and display them along a mantel or a bookshelf. You can also hang kids’ striped wool socks or knit caps.
Take several lengths of heavy-gauge wire, knot one end of each, and string through a clementine and a jingle bell (yes, your hands may get a bit sticky). Twist all the wires into a cluster and secure with a large bow. Hang on a newel post or your front door.
A Pine Idea
Perfectly at home in a modern apartment or an Adirondack-style log cabin, pinecone candles lend a touch of the forest to any decor.
To buy: Find similar candles at worldmarket.com.
Frosty, the Snow Can
Sprinkle faux snow from K&K Interiors along a mantel or a windowpane.
To buy: $8, barnesandnoble.com.
Bundles of Joy
Try hanging something unexpected on the tree, like a bunch of fragrant cinnamon sticks.
Even a homemade ornament can pack a decorative punch. Gather a few small sticks from the backyard and trim the ends with sharp scissors. Arrange them into a star shape and tie together with jute or twine.
Fill pretty glassware with sugar and mini marshmallows, then stuff old-fashioned stick candies inside. A holiday display that looks good enough to eat.
Just Log On
Here’s one roaring fire that isn’t a huge bother to get started. Simply slip this DVD into your laptop and place the virtual flames on an end table.
To buy: Plasmavironments fireplace DVD, $15, plasmawindow.com.
Display a Collection
Line these shimmery mercury-glass urns along a mantel.
To buy: 12 inches, $75; 14 inches, $90; 20 inches, $120: Branca, 312-787-1017.
Step It Up
Show off some of your most eye-catching ornaments (that might otherwise get lost in your tree). Thread them with different lengths of thin ribbon or string, then tie them to a long, wide grosgrain ribbon wound along the banister.
Feast for the Eyes
Gather a bunch of doilies in white and silver and tape them together (or secure with a dab of glue) to form a one-of-a-kind table runner. For an inexpensive wintry centerpiece, fill glass vases and large compotes of different heights with pinecones. Spray-paint them gold and silver for extra sparkle, or leave them as nature intended.
It’s no secret that poinsettias can seem like nature’s equivalent of the fruitcake. But they can also make a sophisticated statement. Just take them out of their foil-lined pots and sink them into pretty vases.
Set the mood by lighting scented candles and dropping tealights into delicate silver or gold holders or a miniature china house that glows from within.
To buy: Point à la Ligne tealight holders (in silver or gold) in Lace Leaves, $13; and Branch, $10: pointalaligne.fr for stores.
Put your stamp on a wreath by hanging your surname’s initial in the center. This zinc version glitters in the light, but even a painted cardboard stencil will do.
Illuminate the Table
Top your holiday table with this illuminating conversation piece.
To buy: $99, westelm.com.
Turn old holiday cards into place cards. Cut them into star shapes and add tissue-paper cutouts to match; punch a hole, tie with a ribbon, and label accordingly.
Add a woodsy appeal to your dining-room table with these candles etched to resemble a tree’s grain. In natural and green.
To buy: Six-inch short pillar, $35; eight-inch tall pillar, $12: Branca, 312-787-1017.
Skirting the Issue
If each member of your family has, oh, four or five scarves, put some of them to work as a tree skirt. Arrange in a pinwheel fashion around the base of the tree and secure with safety pins.
Stick ’Em Up
Finally, a use for those colorful store-bought bows you’ve saved every year―and a project the kids can do. Take a plain paper plate, cut out the center, and stick bows all over it to create a sweet wreath.
There’s more to holiday decorating than just the tree and the mantel―consider window ledges and empty bookshelves, too. Place pine boughs in a large vase and hang a handful of ornaments on them. Fill old jars with pistachio nuts, winterberries, or red peppercorns and nestle a tealight on top. Or go for a seashore motif, assembling an array of starfish draped with a length of plain red string.
To buy: Starfish, $12 for 10, jamaligarden.com.