Instead of the traditional evergreen, try a homemade wreath of citrus fruits. Start with a circular piece of florist’s foam, then use wooden florist’s picks to secure large items, such as oranges, first. Continue with smaller fruit―kumquats, clementines, limes. Tie with a thick velvet ribbon.
Place vintage ornaments on a cake stand nested with leaves for a stunningly simple centerpiece.
3 of 30Annie Schlechter
Personalized Place Settings
Serving holiday dinner buffet style? Wrap each dish in a sheet of parchment paper and tie with a length of ribbon before stacking it. Guests will be rewarded with a pretty presentation (not to mention a little gift-opening practice).
4 of 30Melanie Acevedo
Invite Greenery Inside
Lush greenery draped around the house, especially doorways, creates an inviting atmosphere and a woodsy aroma.
5 of 30Lucas Allen
Garland with a Natural Touch
Or use a string of pinecones (available at garden centers) to make an easy swag: Tie a big bow in the middle so you can center it perfectly over a doorway, then tack it up with nails.
6 of 30Melanie Acevedo
An Understated Mantel
For an elegant look, trim the mantel with a row of white votives and dramatic white amaryllises. Amaryllis bulbs can be repotted and forced to bloom again next winter.
7 of 30Annie Schlechter
Monochromatic Color Palette
Spare can be beautiful: Decorate a small, artificial white tree with objects that share a color scheme―say, candy canes, peppermints, and red bows―and place it on a side table or a coffee table.
8 of 30Francesco Lagnese
Stylishly Suspend Ornaments
A grouping of old-fashioned ornaments hung from the ceiling makes a whimsical “chandelier.” For how-tos, click here.
9 of 30Lucas Allen
Front Door Flair
Let visitors jingle all the way into your home: Tie big silver bells to the front doorknob with festive ribbon.
10 of 30Ditte Isager
Frosting on the Door
With a bit of spray paint, you can transform a wreath into something befitting a winter wonderland.
11 of 30Ditte Isager
Embellish a Wreath
An even simpler way to make a pinecone wreath your own: Decorate it with colorful ornaments.
12 of 30Annie Schlechter
Festive Flair for Stemware
Use leftover ribbon to tie around the stems of your Champagne flutes or wineglasses for an extra bit of festivity. Bonus: Choosing a different color for every glass will help guests keep track of their drinks.
13 of 30Miki Duisterhof
Mix and Match Centerpiece
A five-second centerpiece: Mix clementines or oranges and peppermint balls in a single glass compote (or a grouping of three).
14 of 30Annie Schlechter
A window ledge allows for plenty of decorating opportunities. Pine boughs look charming in a large vase, while white starfish can create a feeling of snowy weather even if flakes aren’t falling from the sky.
15 of 30Lucas Allen
Modern Mobile Chandelier
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. Choose various sizes and hang the spheres at different lengths with clear fishing line and thumbtacks.
16 of 30Lucas Allen
Everything is Illuminated
Light up a room with twinkling topiaries (they 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, then twine white lights all around.
17 of 30Francesco Lagnese
Showcase a Vintage Collection
Make a “curtain” of vintage ornaments: Cut a length of ribbon one foot longer than the length of the window; tie to a tension rod fitted in the frame. String on ornaments, knotting them in place about 5 inches apart. Repeat across the window, staggering the ornaments.
18 of 30Francesco Lagnese
Creative Place Settings
Personalize your ornaments: Fill clear glass orbs (find them at craft stores) with glittery garland, pine needles, or special trinkets.
19 of 30Annie Schlechter
Update Outdoor Decor
An idea for a newel post (or your front door): Take several lengths of heavy-gauge wire, knot one end of each, and string through a clementine and a jingle bell (your hands may get a bit sticky). Twist all the wires into a cluster and secure with a large bow.
20 of 30Melanie Acevedo
Wreath Filled with Wishes
Hang an unadorned twig wreath in a spot where guests can’t miss it. Set out red Magic Markers and small plain cards on a table next to it. Post a little sign asking visitors to scribble a greeting or a wish for the upcoming New Year, along with their names, and have them slip the notes into the wreath.
21 of 30Lucas Allen
An Arrangement of Silver Bells
Add a little sparkling style to your dining room table by filling a snifter to the brim with an array of shiny silver bells.
22 of 30Lucas Allen
Casting the Perfect Glow
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.
23 of 30Annie Schlechter
Colorful Banister Display
Show off eye-catching ornaments by threading them with different lengths of thin ribbon or string, then tying to a long, wide grosgrain ribbon wound along a banister.
24 of 30Lucas Allen
Light the Way
Create a heavenly stairway by stringing a banister with fairy lights entwined with a length of feather trim. Either twirl the swag around the banister or attach it every few inches or so with ribbon or clear fishing line.
25 of 30Annie Schlechter
Decorative Photo Collage
Up 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. Put them in chronological order and, if you want, date the pins.
26 of 30Annie Schlechter
Light it Right
When coiled in bottomless hurricane lamps, strands of holiday lights make a glowing addition to a mantel or a sideboard. Run both 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.
27 of 30Francesco Lagnese
Electrifying Wall Decor
For an electrifying wreath, wrap a wire wreath frame with a string of lights, making sure to leave enough slack to reach the plug; otherwise, use an extension cord.
28 of 30Francesco Lagnese
Plastic greenery tends to look, well, plastic. But place boughs of holly, evergreens, or mistletoe in clear glass jars or vases and they make for a glossy yet understated table decoration. Group various sizes and shapes together for a stronger statement.
29 of 30Melanie Acevedo
Lush and Natural Greenery
A staircase looks lovely with a garland of greenery. Easier than looping it around and around: Lay evergreen on top of the banister, fasten in place with floral wire, and wrap with extra-wide ribbon.
30 of 30David Prince
Fresh Tree Trimmings
When it comes to the main event―the big tree―berries, fresh and dried fruits, and flowers offer up a completely organic way to decorate it without the fuss of hanging lights or delicate glass ornaments.