Create a festive holiday feel in your home for less
Hosting any kind of holiday gathering means putting up a few decorations to set the mood. If you’ve put off the job until the last minute, or you just have no desire to spend hundreds on an elaborate tree dripping with ornaments, here are some ideas to get you started without emptying your wallet.
Decorate the greenery you already own. Who says your ficus isn’t festive? A strand of LED lights won’t hurt it, and you might not want to take them down. The same goes for any sturdy houseplants – even cactus. Arrange them in a row against a wall for a nontraditional backdrop.
Put your leftover wrapping paper to use. Brightly wrapped books stand in for stacks of presents. You can also line serving trays or even fill empty photo frames with holiday paper. If you’re really crafty, you can create bows, place mats, streamers and even paper trees.
Shine lights through glass. The new strands of affordable, battery-powered LED lights are perfect for coiling inside mason jars, glass vases glass building block cubes or even glass serving bowls. Because the LED strands don’t get too hot, you can incorporate ribbons or other ornamentation.
Raid the yard for supplies. Pinecones and freshly cut sprigs of coniferous trees make an easy mantel drape, table runner decoration or even a tiny tree stand-in. Pinecones are perfect for dipping in metallic paint or dusting with glitter – a great art project for little ones if you have some around.
Make Christmas cards into something special. With nothing but a hole punch, some thumbtacks and a few yards of yarn, you can fashion a meaningful wall or fireplace display from all the pretty cards you’ve gotten. If you don’t have enough cards, fill out your presentation by alternating cards with construction paper snowflakes.
Set a memorable table with kraft paper. Unfurling a roll of this basic brown paper over your dining room table is just the beginning. Kraft paper can be decorated with everything from Sharpies and stamps to glitter and glued-on pages from old books or sheet music. You can even set out piles of crayons for the party. And when you’re all done, just roll up and throw away.
Leave no ornament behind. If you’ve got basic tree decorations that didn’t make the cut this year, dress them up with a little metallic spray paint or glitter. Pile them on a cake stand or inside a glass vase, and voila! Instant centerpiece.
Break out the fancy glassware. Even if you don’t drink from your martini or wineglasses, you can dust the rims with sugar and fill them with colorful holiday candies, then stash them around the house for party wanderers.