Get ready to deck the halls with ornaments that you made yourself. There are tons of reasons to move away from ready-made decorations: reducing consumption and waste, upcycling old belongings and saving money are just a few. Bonus: It’s oh so satisfying to say, “Like this? I made it myself.” Here we’ve gathered all the inspiration you’ll need to get started.
DIY projects provide the perfect opportunity to stimulate creativity, personalize your home with unique elements that reflect who you are and gather with loved ones to craft something meaningful—memories, most of all. You’ll quickly realize that everything you need is often already on hand: leftover paint and glitter to recycle old Christmas balls, beautiful ribbon and string to make a garland, branches picked up on a walk to make swags and wreaths. The only limit is your imagination!
Greenery, twine, ribbons, fishing wire, needle and thread, cardboard, nails, tape, hammer, screws, screwdriver, multipurpose glue, scissors and, of course, a hot glue gun.
These elegant hanging decorations are perfect when displayed in windows, in a nook or on a living room wall.
Nature’s bounty provides plenty of easily collected materials to design superb creations. Dried eucalyptus branches make a beautiful hanging bouquet (you can also use rosemary, fir branches or flowers). A few small twigs glued together form a tree shape, and walnuts and ground cherries can be strung together with decorative thread to create a chain.
This eye-catching hanging decoration highlights holidays past with a collection of antique and travel finds, childhood mementoes and family heirlooms. All that’s required is a sturdy branch, ribbons of varying lengths to hang your souvenirs, glue to secure the objects to the branch itself and a long piece of twine to suspend this piece from the wall or ceiling.
The traditional Christmas tree is the pièce de résistance of any holiday decorating scheme—its iconic shape can form the base of creations with unexpected looks that are just as impactful as the real thing.
For the traditionalist, this beautiful little lemon cypress keeps its foliage through the winter. Decorate with paper or rattan spheres, small Styrofoam balls coated with glitter and cinnamon sticks for a charming accent. Perfect for sprucing up any small space!
Begin by drawing up the plan for your tree to determine the number and length of boards needed for the branches. Assemble using nails or wood screws on a board that will support the whole form—this will serve as the trunk—then add a few shelves for your decorations. As a final touch, drill as many holes as possible to thread LED lights through; bring the lights to the front, allowing the cords to remain invisible at the back of the tree.
Whether suspended from the ceiling, on a wall, along the fireplace mantel or around the branches of the tree, a holiday garland is always at home.
This aromatic garland brings holiday fragrance to the fore. Simply cut oranges into thin slices and dry them on a baking sheet in the oven at 170°F for about five hours, turning occasionally. Let the slices cool completely before threading them onto fishing wire or rope, interspersing them with cinnamon sticks.
Around the Tree
Trimming the tree is a classic holiday tradition. Whether you have a natural or artificial version, these decorations don’t disappoint.
Begin by opening the top of your ornament. In each glass or plastic ball add a little mixture of pouring medium (such as Mod Podge) and the coloured glitter of your choice, turning to coat. You can also try this with combinations of different colours of acrylic paint. Reattach the top, let the ball dry and it’s ready to hang.
Personalize gifts under the tree by making your own wrapping paper. Using stamps or your own designs, apply images and text to kraft paper to create your own unique look. Tie with ribbons made from natural fabrics or raffia for an organic esthetic.
On the Table
Wow your guests with charming tabletop ideas. From place markers to party favours, we’ve got you covered!
Create this simple party favour using faux-wood patterned paper (like scrapbook paper). Fashion into a cone shape and secure with double-sided tape, then fill with chocolates or sweet treats of your choice. It’s as delightful to receive as it is easy to make.
Sparkly Place Makers
Write the names of your guests on label-sized parchment paper with a felt tip or calligraphy pen. Remove the metal cap from a transparent ball ornament, fill the ball with glitter and curls of ribbon. Roll the name tag tightly and insert into the ball, use the glitter and ribbon to hold it in place before replacing the metal cap. Try filling these balls with small sprigs of winter greenery for a natural feel.
Tired of classic red and green holiday colour schemes? Add a bit of whimsy with bright blues and pastel pinks.
Finish off your creations with a cheerful touch using vibrant iridescent or metallic shades. Ball ornaments can be gathered in a newspaper- lined basket and sprayed with different colours from a distance of about 10 inches. Tip: You’ll get the best results if the base coat is painted in a lighter shade than the top coats.