If you are searching for holiday decorating ideas, you may be surprised at how many fun and creative options are just waiting to be discovered. From dazzling centerpieces to eye-catching wall art, a festive home can be just a few DIY projects away from being a reality. And you don’t have to wait for a shipment to arrive or brave crowded shopping malls to create that warm, comforting feeling of the season that you remember from being a kid. Read on as we explore some of our favorite holiday decorating ideas that can use supplies you may already have in your cabinets, craft bins, refrigerators, or garages.
Creative Leaf Art Ideas
One way to decorate your home for the holidays with supplies on hand is to gather the stunning autumn leaves that are already falling outside. If you have young children, they’ll love helping transform your home by creating leaf rubbings using crayons, leaves, and parchment or tracing paper. You can then cut out the leaf rubbings and string them together to hang across a fireplace mantel or on a child’s bedroom wall as festive Thanksgiving décor. Real Simple also loves taking deeply hued fallen leaves and then “affixing them to pretty pin boards as wall … art” for a gorgeous nod to the upcoming holidays in kids’ rooms or offices.
Traditional Thanksgiving holiday décor often includes a cornucopia basket filled with goodies. If you like the idea of this but don’t want to run out to buy a basket that you’ll only use once a year, Southern Living has a solution: “Skip the basket and opt for a wooden dough bowl for this centerpiece.” You can fill the bowl with the vegetables, fruits, and flowers that thrive during the season (and might be sitting in mesh bags in your kitchen right now). You can even showcase any small pumpkins or other gourds that are still in good condition following Halloween. And if you do go the gourd route, consider spray painting them in silver, gold, or even white to make them extra festive.
Martha Stewart Living loves taking a bread bowl (or wicker basket) and dressing it as a dazzling centerpiece. What is their favorite bowl or basket centerpiece suggestion? The Magazine adores the idea of crafting a “lush centerpiece [by inserting] a plastic liner, [that is filled] with a mix of neutral, silvery-leafed plants along with flowers in deep purples and soft magentas.”
Pretty Place Cards
Are you hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year? Martha Stewart Living suggests you take the colorful leaf art in a new direction when decorating for the holidays. The Magazine explains that you can “turn leaf rubbings, made with thin colored paper and standard wax crayons, into gift tags or place cards by trimming around the edges of the paper leaf” and then “[writing] the names of your dinner guests or gift recipients in a contrasting color.”
Is your home’s craft bin full of pretty silver paper (or stickers), craft paper, and ribbon? The editors at Martha Stewart Living adore “[giving] simple table settings a touch of finery with craft-punched place cards backed with silver paper.” The pros at the Magazine go on to explain: “We used menorah, Star of David, and dreidel craft punches to make Hanukkah place cards….” For step-by-step details, read more here.
If you have a supply cabinet full of 5×7 and smaller picture frames, they could be the perfect placeholders for your fall and winter holiday meals. How? Southern Living explains that instead of a written placecard, you can “show off your family’s personality with individually framed” photos of each one. The frames can hold pictures of childhood visits with Santa, holiday card photos repurposed, or solo shots from any time of year that highlight your loved ones in light-hearted moments.
Are you wondering how to welcome your family and friends to your home for the holidays in a unique way? The answer may be a pear (or seven) away. Martha Stewart Living reveals: “Simply arrange seven pears on a mantel” and then write your “welcome” across the pears. From there, you can add a scented surprise by “[pressing] whole cloves into the flesh along the lines.” They are a gorgeous, autumnal addition for Thanksgiving celebrations! And if you want to use them to decorate for the winter holidays, a dip into your supplies for metallic spray paint or a frozen white glaze will transform them into wintry decorative delights.
Holiday Wall Art
Do you already have holiday wrapping paper in your home? In only minutes, you can “wrap” hanging wall art, complete with a bow, to bring a festive air to living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms.
Do you know those tall, clear glass vases that you have hiding in your cupboards? Instead of an annoyance, those vases can become a treasured holiday decorating idea. For something subtle yet seasonal, take Midwest Living’s suggestion and “[nestle] a candle [or battery-powered votive] in popcorn kernels or other seasonal materials, such as candy corn or colored clear round stones.”
Do you have extra colored ball ornaments? Picture them filling a series of tall glass vases. Whether you choose to add blue, silver, and white ornaments for a wintry feel or add deep red and green tree ball ornaments for a Christmas-y vibe, you’ll love how quickly and easily the mood of your mantel, hall table, or dining room table is transformed.
Are you searching for unique decorating ideas for Hanukkah? Martha Stewart Living suggests creating a modern “glass vase” take on the menorah using extra flower bud vases. They explain that to make this simply beautiful menorah, you just need to “arrange eight bud vases in a row, with a taller one in the middle, and place tapers inside,” with “a bit of candle glue in the bottom of each vase” if added stability is required.
If your home supplies include washi tape, embroidery hoops (even large hoop earrings or thin metal bracelets), and clothespins, you are only a couple of steps away from creating fun and festive holiday wreaths. Parents loves these colorful mini-wreaths because “these graphic rings are terrific for kids and parents to do together.”
And the Christmas decorating project is done as quickly as you can apply the washi tape and clip the clothespins to the hoop. You can hang them up with string, spare ribbon, or nylon thread.
Fall foliage wreaths are simple to make, and they will bring a smile to the faces of your friends and family as they arrive for Thanksgiving. You can decorate a ring made out of florist foam, glued cardboard rings, or wire. Once shaped, the fun begins. What are Southern Living’s favorite additions? The Magazine “[adds] in foliage and pinecones” and then “[fills] it out with oregano, preserved plume reed grass, and phalaris grass.” However, you can use mini gourds, wooden beads, straw, wheat stocks – whatever supplies you already have.
When the winter holidays come closer, you can swap out the elements for more seasonal foliage. Wreaths made from an assortment of acorns and other hard-shelled nuts can be sprayed with winter white or silver. If you have a pre-made wreath that can use some love, add gold-sprayed pinecones and an eye-catching ribbon.
When choosing holiday decorating ideas, don’t forget the yard! You may already go all out with lights and Christmas displays, but even small additions to your home can make it feel festive. Do you have large boulders as part of your landscaping? A little craft paint and a steady hand can turn them into showpieces filled with drawn snowmen, snowflakes, or turkeys. Mason jars can light a path to your door – you just need to add some white sand or Epsom salts to create a sense of snow at the bottom of them and some battery-powered votive candles.
Finally, a light display can be yours when you repurpose your yard’s mini lights. According to Martha Stewart Living, all you need to do to “[create] a striking outdoor lighting display [is wrap] wire wreath forms with white mini lights and [string] the “shooting stars” between several trees” for a dramatic vision that is sure to usher in the holiday spirit.
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