Maybe new Christmas decor isn’t in the budget, or if you’re like me, you prefer not to use your holiday budget on new holiday decor. Even though the decor I have can feel a little tired as I pull it out of the Christmas bins, I’m always surprised at how a few Christmas decorating tips and tricks can give fading ornaments and thinning garland new life.
Christmas Decorating Tips and Tricks
“Just make due with what you have.”
I can hear my mom’s advice encouraging me every year as I sort through and survey the ribbons, garland and ornaments I’d stored away the year before, determined to make what’s old feel new again.
Reuse Common Household Items for Christmas Decor
If I’ve learned anything about decorating on a budget, it’s to repurpose everyday items to add newness to your holiday decor.
- Glass jars and tin cans make lovely luminaries and vases.
- Anything from wine buckets to trophies to pitchers to bowls can be a vase to display holiday florals. I’ve even used a trifle dish before.
- Sticks from outside work just as well in vases as store-bought ones. You can leave them natural or paint them a festive color like white, silver or gold.
7 Ways to Bring New Life to Old Christmas Decor
Sometimes just repurposing or embellishing what you have gives it new life.
- Add fresh greenery to old garland. It can be anything you can clip from your yard; magnolias, holly bushes, red tip photinias, roses…anything that grows naturally where you live. If you’re working with inexpensive garland like mine, follow these tips for making it look elegant.
- Use paint, ribbon, or holiday themed wrapping or scrapbook paper to dress up old ornaments and common household items.
- Ornaments aren’t just for trees. Use them to create simple vignettes in a bowl or hang from a chandelier. And speaking of ornaments, anything can become an ornament. I’ve used cookie cutters to decorate wreaths and hang from windows.
- Jute twine makes a very simple, natural garland.
- Tuck framed holiday photos in your tree or in a bowl of pinecones.
- Fluff. Fluffing old garland and artificial Christmas trees goes a long way in making them look as good as possible.
- Use a new color ribbon or garland on your tree. Just this one change can make your Christmas tree decor look brand new.
- Use ornaments with missing tops or fading colors to fill boxes, bowls, or vases in your vignettes. They can also be easily disguised when tucked into garland and wreaths.
Simple Holiday Styling Tips That Make Big Difference
- Use shiny objects – the reflection adds depth and interest to an all matte vignette
- Incorporate natural elements (even if they’re faux). Pinecones, flowers, fruit, antlers are all easy choices.
- Create depth by layering. Instead of setting all your decor front and center, place them in the front, middle and back. Also create varying heights. Tin cans, books, small bowls or cups can be used to create levels.
- Resist the temptation to put the same things together in the same place year after year (unless you still love it that way.) I put my tree in different places from year to year, mix up the decor to create new vignettes, and place decor in new places. Ornaments that decorated the tree one year might fill a bowl the next. One year, I sorted all my ornaments by theme and created themed trees and vignettes. Once you get started, the ideas will flow.
Take your time as you open bins full of Christmas decorations and let yourself enjoy the process of creating traditions and making memories. Trim the tree and deck the halls knowing every bauble and bough is an outward expression of the joy of the season.