Frazzled by how to get your house festive without the use of more f words? 17 easy, inexpensive and calminggggg Christmas decorating ideas for a fantastic holiday season.
It takes me 3 days to decorate my house for Christmas. I’m not sure if this makes me uniquely qualified or unqualified to give tips on Christmas decorating, but I have some of my best tips laid out for you in this post.
This year I’m in the curious position all of us are in. I really want my house to envelop me in every bit of Christmas coziness it can muster but at the same time I’m exhausted and unhinged. That means, I don’t know if I have the energy to do over the top decorating. It also means, I’m eating a lot of fried foods.
I’m also not sure that I want that kind of oppressive, over the top, choking on garland look I’m normally partial to. I need calm. I need easy. I need french fries.
The main reason it takes me so long to decorate my house is that I change it up every single year. Part of that is because I’m nonsensical and the other part is because I feature my house on my blog every year and figure you’ll report me to the bloggers authority if I don’t feature new and exciting things every year. I don’t begrudge you that. It’s kind of your duty as a blog reader.
So EVEN if I do things “easier” this year, it’ll still take me forever because I’ll have to figure out the best way to do it by trial and error.
You can see how I’ve decorated for Christmas over the past 8 years in my Christmas House Tours here.
I’m counting on there being a few tips in here that you can implement yourself this year; like placing twigs around your flopping paper whites. Or getting drunk.
In no particular order,
17 Christmas Decorating Ideas
as told by a Christmas addict.
1. To hang a wreath from cupboard doors, install a screw in cup hook or a 3M sticky hook on the inside of the cupboard door. Wrap fishing line around your wreath then hang it from the cuphook on the inside of the door. To make it look like it’s hanging from ribbon just wrap ribbon around the wreath and attach it to the cup hook as well. It’ll look like the wreaths are hanging by the ribbons but they’re actually being supported by the fishing line. THIS look is pretty calm. I like it for this year.
2. FOR EVERY CHRISTMAS PIECE YOU PUT OUT, TAKE AWAY A REGULAR ACCESSORY. Keep a Rubbermaid bin or cardboard box with you as you decorate, placing all the regular accessories into it. Then when you take Christmas away you’ll have all your regular stuff together in one spot making it easy to put out again in January.
3. Sometimes all you need to do is add a little Christmas colour. I had these berry sprigs that I bought for a wreath but didn’t like them in it. Which is a good thing because they look a million times better bunched in a vase. Again. It’s simple but looks Christmassy without making you feel like you’re being eaten alive by the ghost of Santa.
4. ADD SPARKLE. I like a rustic Christmas more than anything else but even I make sure there’s some glitter going on. You can get glitter from candle holders, a bowl of glittery pine cones, shaking an exotic dancer around your house, wine glasses or using sparkly ribbon on top of a burlap table runner.
5. Keep your Amaryllis or Paperwhite upright by surrounding the plant with twigs. The twigs stop the leaves and flowers from toppling over when they get too tall. Also … I get my glitter fix.
6. SCENTED CANDLES or plugins. If it smells like Christmas it’ll feel like Christmas.The world’s best scented Christmas Candle is Frasier Fir by Thymes. It is OUTSTANDING. They also make hand soap, car fresheners and reed oil dispensers all in the delicious Frasier Fir scent. I own the room spray, candles, candle melts, car air freshener and reed diffuser. And yet – I want more.
7. Santa doesn’t have to barf on your room to make it seem festive. In the case of my bedroom just adding a sheepskin mat to the floor and a cheap Ikea Christmas tree make it cozy and holiday-like. Again – nice and calm.
8. PUT YOUR LIGHTS ON TIMERS. Just do it. Inside, outside … doesn’t matter. Do ’em all.
9. Ornaments you already own are the cheapest way to decorate. Put them in bowls, mugs, vases or baskets. In this case, my antique egg basket holds my antique ornaments.
Below my DIY hanging magazine rack shows off some vintage ornaments. You can learn how to make the magazine rack here.
10. DOME IT. Glass cloches (otherwise known as domes) are available everywhere now. Big, small, it doesn’t matter. Slip a glass dome over just about anything and it looks great and makes the thing inside seem as special as 5 legged cat. Only cuter.
11. The snowy scene on my sofa table is just a platter with white Dollar Store trees and plastic snow sprinkled in. That’s it. O.K., and a garland and a sparkly candle and a white tree. This year it might feel like too much to me and I’d probably just have the garland and one other thing.
12. Vintage metal trucks SCREAM Christmas. I have no idea why. I blame Hallmark movies. I can also tell you that this random white truck that I bought at an antique store is one of the most commented on things in my house. Everyone love sit and no one really knows why. So if you can, pick up an antique metal truck if you ever see one. If you’re impatient Amazon has tons of replica vintage metal trucks.
13. FRUIT! One of my favourite holiday decorations are fruit and nuts. They’re festive AND edible. Mixed nuts in their shells, clementine oranges and pears are my favourites.
14. Pine Cones. If you can shove, hang, prop or display a pine cone in or on it DO IT. They’re cheap, festive and available everywhere from stores to the street. If you’re fancy you can buy the big ones that are covered in gold glitter.
Glue them on presents, put them in bowls, scatter them on tables or bookshelves.
15. Get your wrapping done. Just having wrapped presents around makes your house feel like Christmas. This year, it’s going to be simple for me. No over the top crazy wrapping but it will be beautiful. I haven’t entirely decided what I’m doing and with what materials, but I do know it’s going to be simple, oversized ribbon and plain paper similar to what I did a few years ago. Just a classic, simple, old fashioned Christmas look.
16. Just a few sprigs. You don’t need masses of store bought greenery, garland and wreaths. Just a few sprigs of anything evergreen from your yard can have an impact.
17. Don’t forget the porch or whatever main door you use to get into your house. Just a little porch tree will make you smile with its Christmas cheer every time you come home.
BONUS CHRISTMAS DECORATING TIP: JUST BECAUSE YOU OWN IT DOESN’T MEAN YOU HAVE TO PUT IT OUT.
I still have the same glass ornaments I walked into this house with and I’ll never get rid of them. I didn’t decorate with them this year but I did 2 years ago and I’m sure I will again in the future. So they stay.
But in the same box I have a bunch of older decorations that I loved at one point but kind of roll my eyes at now. I used to try to find a place to just stick them but now I realize just because I own them doesn’t mean I have to put them out. If I don’t like them or don’t have room for them I either don’t put them out or I get rid of them.
MY FINAL BONUS TIP.
The most important thing to remember when you’re decorating for Christmas is, you really can’t go wrong. It’s pretty forgiving and pretty hard to make a mistake. I mean, we put entire, full sized, living trees in our rooms and don’t think a thing of it. What other time of year would this seem sane to us? Then we cover it with flashing lights.
So no. You really can’t screw up Christmas decorating. Just have fun, make it cozy and shake that ho, ho, ho around.
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