15 Easy Holiday Decorating Ideas That Take Five Minutes or Less
RELATED: 7 Decorating Ideas to Try From the West Elm Holiday House 2019
Posts of Christmas Past
For a mantel with extra flair, collect family holiday cards from Christmases past and clothespin them to a long, slim stick suspended between two vases. Arrange them in chronological order and, if you want, date the pins. The display will remind your family of holidays past.
Hang a Wreath
Try a painted magnolia-leaf wreath this year―and every year. Real magnolia leaves are coated and sealed with lacquer, which gives them the appearance of being trapped in glass and lets them last for multiple seasons.
To buy: From $118, themagnoliacompany.com.
Step It Up
Show off your most eye-catching ornaments hanging from beautiful ribbons throughout your home. Find everything you need with a one-stop shopping trip to your local CVS.
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 hats.
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 stair 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. This set of three means you can scatter them along the dining table to create a dreamy glow.
To buy: $13 for 3, crateandbarrel.com.
Bundles of Joy
Try hanging something unexpected on the tree, like a bunch of fragrant cinnamon sticks. You can also leave fresh cinnamon sticks out in a bowl as a simple DIY take on traditional potpourri.
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 search "Fireplace for Your Home" on Netflix to watch an old-fashioned fireplace set to (you guessed it!) classic holiday tunes.
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 the pinecones 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. The trick: take them out of their foil-lined pots and sink them into pretty vases.
Put your stamp on a wreath by hanging your surname’s initial in the center. This zinc version glitters in the light.
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.
Take a Bow
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.