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What Are the Best Tips for Making DIY Christmas Decorations?

By Emily Pate
Updated May 17, 2024
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The best tips for do-it-yourself (DIY) Christmas decorations include using found supplies, re-purposing and re-furbishing Christmas and household items, and incorporating easy-to-find seasonal herbs, fruits, and plants. Scouring the home for makeshift supplies saves money and a trip to the store, while re-purposing and re-furbishing old holiday decor and household items give a new handmade life to them. Seasonal goods like cranberries and pears work well for simple and quick decor, and skills like knitting or embroidery can be used to make traditional Christmas and table decor.

Using found materials for DIY Christmas decorations keeps you from having to brave the busy holiday aisles, as well as being both economically and environmentally-friendly. Search for supplies that you have at home for inspiration. A large stack of scrap fabric can be cut into squares and sewn together for a festive Christmas garland. Old glass bottles can be painted holiday colors and used as candle holders or vases at the Christmas table. Have kids help to decorate simply by coloring or painting holiday-themed pictures and cutting them out for paper ornaments or to be hung from the ceiling.

Re-purposing and re-furbishing old Christmas decorations can also be effective. Old clear Christmas ornaments can be painted with stencils, decorated with gemstones, or have tiny objects like single feathers or pebbles carefully placed inside. Other objects around the home work well for DIY Christmas crafts, such as old light bulbs-turned painted ornaments or a cluster of bare branches placed in a large vase as a makeshift Christmas tree.

DIY Christmas decorations can involve seasonal plants, herbs, and fruits as well, with simple craft projects centering around one or more of these items. Pinecones, for example, can be spray-painted gold, white, or silver, and placed in a decorative bowl, and they work well as place settings with a labeled gift tag attached to each one. Cranberries can be placed in a bowl of water with floating candles or between two clear vases for a colorful floral arrangement. Create quick DIY Christmas decorations for the table by laying pears atop dinner plates along with sprigs of fir or eucalyptus.

Put your hobby or technical skills to work when creating DIY Christmas decorations. If you you have needlepoint, knitting, or crocheting skills, use them to make a Christmas-themed embroidery piece or a garland from yarn. Stockings and tree skirts are common, and you can create or embellish table decor as well, including napkin rings, wine bottle sleeves, and place mats.

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Discussion Comments
By anon354495 — On Nov 08, 2013

The Ornamator is a cheap solution to taking your older or beat up decorations and making them look completely different by clustering them together.

By Perdido — On Dec 30, 2011

My roommate and I wanted to have a unique tree in our apartment, so we wanted to make the ornaments ourselves. We came up with an idea for a garland that involved some DIY recycling.

We both drank a lot of soda in bottles, and we started saving the lids from every bottle. We decided to do this back in August, so by the time December rolled around, we had plenty.

We used a tiny drill to make holes in the sides of each lid. We then ran some flexible wire through all the lids, making a chain long enough to wrap around the entire tree from base to top.

This garland is the only one of its kind I have ever seen. I have a feeling we will use it every year, as long as we live there together.

By lighth0se33 — On Dec 30, 2011

My dad works in construction, and whenever he has scrap material left over, he will bring it home and find a use for it. One year, he got us involved in making Christmas ornaments from it.

He told us to trace out our designs on the wood in pencil, and he would use a saw to cut them out. We were all under the age of 10, so we needed his help when it came to sawing. We just stuck to the art work.

After he cut out our stars, candy canes, and gingerbread men from the wood, we got to paint them. We had some left over paint we had gotten in a paint by numbers set, and we used it to make our ornaments pretty.

He drilled a small hole near the top of each one, and we hung them on the tree with satin ribbon. These are still some of our favorite ornaments, because of the memories.

By wavy58 — On Dec 29, 2011

@seag47 – I also used pine cones for Christmas decorations, but mine didn't go on the tree. I needed something I could put in a basket on my desk at work to make it festive.

I spray painted them white. I bought a big box of small, solid red ornaments at a really cheap price, and I scattered them throughout the basket with the pine cones for extra color.

I saved a few of them for my sister to hang on her tree. She would take a pine cone and run the thread around it, and then she would run one of the red ornaments through the string, securing it on the base of the pine cone. This made the ornaments extra pretty.

By seag47 — On Dec 28, 2011

I have several large pine trees beside my house, and I make use of the pine cones around Christmas time. During my first year on my own, I didn't have a lot of money, so I had to make ornaments myself.

I did have a can of silver spray paint left over from an art project, so I used it to paint the pine cones. Then, I looped green embroidery thread in between the spaces and tied the thread in a bow up top. I hung these from my Christmas tree.

They were the only ornaments I had that year, and I cherished them. I saved a few to use every year as a reminder of how things used to be. Even though I have many new ornaments now, I like to remember the time I had to make my own.

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