DIY Holiday Decorating Ideas

Ideas for creating a homemade holiday

We can’t all be professional designers, but lucky for us, New Hampshire native Matthew Mead shares some of his holiday decorating ideas that you can make your own. Mead, whose work has been featured in many national publications, is also the former editor of Country Home magazine, and his eye for style is impeccable. From creative ways to embellish gifts to making your wrapping station the star of the show, he often uses objects you can find around the house.

Newspaper, clothespins, greens from your backyard — even jarred vegetables find new life as seasonal decorations. You don’t have to spend a fortune or be an interior designer to make your home look festive. Using these images as a starting point, why not take a walk around the house to see what else you can turn into creative holiday ornaments?

Gifts on Display

Be prepared up until the last holiday minute with wrapping supplies that double as décor. Stage a wrapping table with jars and bins filled with everything necessary to wrap and trim gifts. Ornaments, ribbons and vintage finds make for a stellar display.
No need to hide pretty packages under the tree. Instead, incorporate them into your holiday décor by filling a cupboard or open shelf with gifts, tags, ribbons and more. Red against black makes for striking contrast. Packages, are bound in graphic ric-rac trim with no bows to crush, making stacking and arranging easier.
Cards and wrapping paper can be made by scanning vintage tags. Simply print and then cut them out.


 Upcycle old newspaper into a fun stocking with a sewing machine and pinking sheers.
Upcycle old skates as door décor. Tie skates together at laces, fill with fresh greens and berries and hang from a door knob.


Make an instant centerpiece with a toy truck, some faux snow and tiny feather brush trees. Park it on your dining or coffee table and surround with candles and gifts.
Make an instant centerpiece with seasonal naturals. In a glass cylinder, place cranberries and apples. Then simply add sprigs of fresh and fragrant evergreens.

Going Green

Bring your garden statuary inside and reinvent it with some greens and a topiary form.  First, fill a mini birdbath with wet floral foam. Festoon with fresh greens and plant a clay pheasant in the center. Top with topiary cage and water daily. 
Save money and make your own wreath with greens you can find in the back yard. To a mossy wreath add sprigs of ivy, holly and yew bush (or other greenery you have handy). Keep fresh with a daily spritz of water.

Get Crafty

Jar your favorite fruits and savory vegetables in vinegar brine or a light sugar syrup. Run through a water bath and top with fabric, ribbon and berries. Or, search farmstands and gourmet food stores for pretty jarred foods and simply embellish. 
Serve hot cider in white-ware cups with designs drawn on with permanent marker. Here I chose leaves and berries.
Fimo clay, cookie cutters and a patterned stamp make easy, homemade ornaments. Air-dry according to directions and trim your tree.


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