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17 Easy DIY Decoration Ideas for the Holidays

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Tired of the stockings by the fire? The traditional Christmas trees? The string lights that never seem to blink in sync? The creepy musical ornaments? We hear you loud and clear. 

This year, why not do things a little differently? Ring out the old and ring in the bling in a big way. Just because the holidays are traditional doesn’t mean you have to do them in a traditionally. Santa will still bring you presents. 

Heat up those glue guns, and roll up your sleeves, it’s time for the holidays DIY style. Here are some of our top suggestions for making your holiday your own creation.

Glitter Deer Decorations

Rudolph’s nose isn’t the only shiny thing you can expect to see on the reindeer this year. Everything looks better in glitter, antlered company included. You can use a plastic deer and some powdered glitter to make your team of reindeer really fly.

To do it, you’ll need a plastic deer, a small paintbrush, glue, and powdered glitter.

Instructions: 

  1. Holding one leg, Coat deer body with even layer of glue
  2. Spoon glitter onto deer, shake excess into a bowl, let dry 
  3. Coat remaining leg with glue and apply glitter.
  4. Touch up bare spots by dabbing glue and spooning on more glitter.

Ornament Wreath

Who says your wreath has to be made of anything having to do with leaves or stems or that ornaments are only for hanging on trees? This year, why not mix things up a little?  By using colorful ornaments and a wreath frame, you get the final say over what hangs where. 

Materials

  • Wreath frame 
  • Hot glue gun
  • Tinsel garland
  • Ornaments of different sizes

Instructions

  1. Wrap wreath frame in tinsel
  2. Glue ornaments to frame and then together (start with large ones and glue on smaller ones in the open spaces)
  3. Let dry and hang, jingle bells optional.

Floral Tree Wrap

Holidays are not usually a time for thinking about the tropics, but with the floral tree wrap, you can make your tree go Hawaiian. By cutting down silk flowers and sticking them in to the branches, you can have your tree “lei’d” out in no time. Here’s how it’s done:

Materials

  • Silk flowers
  • Tree
  • Wire (optional)

Instructions

  1. Trim stems of flowers to 2-3 inches so they can stick right into the tree
  2. Start with larger flowers and fill in spaces with smaller ones
  3. Use wire to secure if necessary

Hot Chocolate Jar

You may want to put the lid on this one and seal it tight. There’s a chance that this edible decoration will disappear before Christmas, and that’s before Santa even comes down the chimney. Try making this “eye candy “decoration and see if it makes your Christmas any brighter.

Materials 

  • Clear jars
  • Your favorite holiday toppings (crushed candy canes, chocolate chips, marshmallows, etc.)
  • Hot chocolate, in powder form
  • Straw (decorative, if possible) 
  • Cardboard to use for lid
  • Wooden spoons dipped in chocolate (optional)

Instructions 

  1. Layer hot chocolate, and toppings alternately  in clear plastic jar
  2. Cut out a circle from cardboard for lid
  3. Punch a hole for the straw
  4. Insert straw
  5. Tie wooden spoons to the jar using string for extra decoration, gift tags optional.

Christmas Card Holders

Christmas cards are underrated. They are so lovely, yet they end up getting tossed aside in the mad dash for the presents on Christmas morning, unopened and unappreciated. You can give them their proper due by propping them in a Christmas card holder that you can make yourself. 

Here’s the easy way to display.

Materials

  • Wood craft blocks
    Acrylic craft paint
  • Painter’s tape
  • Paint brush 
  • Gold Sticker Letters 
  • Brass Jewelry wire
  • Pliers
  • Thumb tack

Instructions

  1. Tape off one corner of wooden blocks using painter’s tape
  2. Paint the corners of each block. Let paint dry and remove tape.
  3. Use fold letter stickers to spell out words that you think are appropriate and stick on blocks (you may consider “Merry” or “Jolly,” for example. The number of letters in the word should equal the number of cards you plan to display.
  4. Use pliers to bend wire into paper clip shape with long tail
  5. Use a thumbtack to punch a hole in the blocks and insert brass wire paper clips into holes and you have a card display that fall over every time someone shuts the door.

DIY Holiday Candles

Want to add some character to the mantel this year? With DIY holiday candles, you can actually add quite a few of them. Here’s a fun and easy way to bring all of Santa’s helpers  onto your mantle.

Rudolph Candle

Materials

  • Brown colored candle
  • Red Pom-pom
  • Two small branches or sticks

Instructions 

  1. Using a hot glue gun, glue a red pom-pom to the middle of the candle.
  2. Glue two small branches to either side for the antlers.

Snowman Candle

Materials

  • Fabric 
  • Permanent marker or acrylic paint
  • Buttons

Instructions 

  1. Use fabric to create scarves to tie around the “neck” of the snowman. Secure with buttons using glue gun.
  2. Use permanent marker to draw the face

The Petite Tree

If you’ve ever watched, “Its Christmas, Charlie Brown,” and seen that cute but sad little excuse for a Christmas tree Charlie Brown was carrying around, the Petite Tree is going to bring back some childhood memories. A chic-er version of Charlie’s branch, the Petite Tree can add some holiday style to animate any table top or surface in your home.

  1. Find a sturdy tree branch (preferably sturdier than Charlie’s)
  2. Spray paint white and set in a small vase. 
  3. Hang ornaments. Tree will lean to one side creating that Charlie Brown effect. 

Plastic Spoon Christmas Trees

When you’re buying the eating utensils for your holiday party this year, you may want to stock up on a few extra packages of plastic spoons. Plastic spoon Christmas trees are so hip it’s ridiculous; not to mention, they’re ridiculously cheap and easy to make. Here’s how you can spoon a little extra magic on to your holiday party.

Materials

  • Paper Mache Christmas Tree Form
  • Plastic Spoons 
  • Spray paint
  • Hot Glue

Instructions 

  1. Buy 100 spoons, cut the tops off.
  2. Lay the tops on a paper and spray them with different color spray paints.
  3. Once they’re dry begin gluing them to paper mache tree form.
  4. Vary the spacing of the spoons on different layers so the spoons alternate from layer to layer.
  5. Get to the top, and you’re done!

Joy Sign

Nothing says “joy’ on the holidays quite like a sign that says, “Joy,” and making one is a good way to spread it around. Here’s how to make a sign of joy pop up on your porch in time to greet Santa.

Materials

  • Boards cut to the same length
  • Red and white paint
  • Two paint brushes, one large, one small
  • Wreath 
  • Chalk

Instructions 

  1. Line up number of boards you wish to use for your sign.
  2. Nail one board to the back together,
  3. Apply a thin coating of white paint with larger brush.
  4. Use the chalk to write the letters on the board. Place the wreath where the “O.” should be.
  5. Use smaller brush to paint the “J” and “Y” red.

Wine Cork Angels

If you hear some angels singing off key this year, it might be because they’re inhaling the scent of wine. Considering that they’re made out of wine cork, the scent of alcohol might just be getting to them. No matter their degree of sobriety, their sure to make an intoxicating addition to your trees and presents. Here’s how it’s done.

Materials

  • Wine Corks
  • Twine
  • Ribbon 
  • Wooden Balls 
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Black Fine Tipped Marker
  • Blush

Instructions 

  1. Use the hot glue gun to glue the faces to the wooden balls to the wine cork. This will be the face and body of the angel.
  2. Tie twine around the neck and loop to the back. This loop will be used for hanging the angel from the tree or mantel.
  3. Make some bows using the ribbon and tie them to the backs of the angels.
  4. Use black tipped marker to draw the faces, apply blush to the cheeks.

Cookie Tin Christmas Tree

Considering how many cookies your little elves will be eating this year, you’re bound to have a lot of empty cookie tins. Why not pile them one on top of another? Largest on the bottom. The tins should get slightly smaller in diameter as you go up. Drape with a garland of life savers, top with a star and you’ll be the top cookie this Christmas.

Ruler Christmas Stars

Want to be the ruler of the stars? That may not happen, but you can still make Christmas stars out of rulers.  With some measuring sticks and a hot glue gun, these ruler stars can make a holiday display that you don’t have to go to great lengths to make.

Small Ruler Star

Place five 12” rulers into star shape and attach to one another with hot glue.

Medium Ruler Star

Make bends in a 5-foot folding ruler, at every foot, to create a 6-point star. Glue together at ends.

Large Ruler Star

Bend two six-foot folding rulers at every foot. Overlap first and last sections to form a star shape. Secure overlapped sections using binder clips.

Vintage Hanky Christmas Tree

When it comes to DIY gifts, the hanky tree is nothing to sneeze at. Gather your most colorful vintage hankies and secure them to a wall or bulletin board using thumb tacks to create the shape of a tree and prepare for a Christmas blowout.

Mitten Garlands

Remember when you came home after playing in the snow and put your mittens on the heater to let them dry? Now imagine if you strung those mittens together and hung them clothing line style across the mantel this year. That’s what the finished product of the mitten garland would look like. While you’re Christmas shopping, source vintage mittens. They’re around all year at flea markets. Use a large sized needle to pull yarn through the cuffs and secure with knots if necessary.

Apple Garland

You’re already decorating with pine this year, how about making it “pineapple”?  To make your apple garland, punch a hole near the center of the apple using a skewer. Then string wire through the fruit and secure it to the garland. It’s a great way to “spice up” the mantle or the entranceway to your home.

Coffee Filter Christmas Garland

Starbucks move over, it’s time for some home brew. You’re going to have to drink so many cups of home brewed coffee to make the coffee filter Christmas garland, you’re going to put Starbucks out of business. Just make sure to drink your cups early on Christmas Eve, remember, Santa knows when your awake. 

To make the coffee Filter Christmas Garland, stack twelve ruffled coffee filter alternating between natural and white colored ones and staple in the center. (Twenty of these stacks will make a 10-foot garland.)

Cut a piece of twine a foot longer than you want your garland to be, and knot one end. Thread the first stack on and then, six inches on, tie another knot. Slide on a second stack gently until it presses against the second knot. Continue until all your stacks are strung.

Scrunch filters to give them a flower like look. Your friends will never guess your garland made your coffee in another life. String across mantel and be merry.

 


Victoria Santalesa

About

A native of Brooklyn, NY, Victoria played guitar in a punk band with her twin sister before moving to LA to seek fame and fortune. She now lives in West Hollywood with her husband, tutors children and writes blogs whenever she can.


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