Easy Decoration Ideas That'll Holiday up Your Home
Cue the Conifers
Make your mantel look amazing with a colorful assortment of vintage and inexpensive evergreens. The bottle‐brush variety are readily available online and at crafts stores; the miniature ones were plucked from a model train set. Votives make the snow‐dusted landscape sparkle.
Bag-O-Frosted topiaries, $13, department56.com
Jingle all the Way
To make comings and goings much more festive, gather a variety of crafts-store bells (these are red, gold, and silver), and string them onto two loops of wire. Mold them into a cluster shape, twist the ends of the loops together, and tie on a big bow. Hang the ornament from a doorknob with a piece of cord. Creatology jingle bells, 16 mm, 20 mm, and 30 mm, from $4.50 a bag, michaels.com.
Fake a Flame
Stock up on Stockings
Nope, they're not just for kids. These John Robshaw beauties add texture and color to any space -- and can eb put to new use: Fill sachets with fallen pine needles, tuck them inside the stockings, and perfume your home in a stealth way. John Robshaw Wana and Tuwan stockings, $99 each, johnrobshaw.com.
Go out with a Bang
Christmas crackers -- prettily wrapped cylinders that hold tiny gifts and emit a loud pop when pulled apart -- date back to mid‐19th‐century Great Britain. Place a pile in a bowl by your front door, and send guests home with a jolly fun party favor.Olde English crackers, from $24 for 6, oldenglishcrackers.com.
Spread the Love
Rather than tucking mistletoe in a doorway, make family meals warm and fuzzy with an overhead centerpiece. Wrap a wreath frame with fresh eucalyptus and faux mistletoe (toxins in the real berries can harm kids and pets), and attach ornaments with floral wire. Ashland wire wreath frame, 18", $4, michaels.com. Artificial mistletoe spray, 3" by 30", $5, factorydirectcraft.com.
Light the Way
To set up this modern menorah, arrange eight bud vases in a row, with a taller one in the middle, and place tapers inside. For added stability, put a bit of candle glue in the bottom of each vase. Post‐holiday, repurpose the vessels for greenery or small garden clippings.Stick-Um candle adhesive, $11, amazon.com. Jamali Garden glass crystal bud vases, $10 for 5", $13 for 7", jamaligarden.com. Metallic taper candles, 12", in Silver, $17 for 12, candles4less.com.
Count Down to Christmas
This whimsical Advent calendar comes together in a few basic steps. First, paint a two-by- four-foot pegboard slat; let dry overnight. Using stencils, craft paint, and a brush or sponge, paint the numbers 1 through 24 on muslin gift bags; let dry overnight. The next day, evenly space 24 small wooden pegs in the board; fill the bags with little toys, candy, and handwritten messages, and hang the bags in order. Then just place it on a console table or ledge, lean it against the wall (or mount it, if you have small children), and let the anticipation build.White pegboard, 3/16" by 2' by 4', $8, homedepot.com. Cotton muslin pouches, 4" by 6", $18 for 25, snugglymonkey.com. Krylon ColorMaster gloss enamel, in Banner Red, $7 for 12 oz.; Lara’s Crafts wood axle pegs, 1 ", $4 for 31; Craftsmart stencils, in Western Alphabet, from $7; and Martha Stewart Crafts multisurface satin acrylic craft paint, in Habanero, from $2.50 for 2 oz., michaels.com.