Here's Our Favorite Easy DIY Christmas Decoration Ideas for the Holiday Season

Posted by Dave Jury at

‘Tis the season for decking your halls, walls, and anywhere else with holiday décor.

Purchasing your decorations is often the easier route, but there’s something charming about Christmas decorations you’ve made yourself. With how many easy DIY Christmas decoration ideas there are out there, you can easily recreate your favorite holiday looks using items you already have.

Creating your own holiday décor gives you the opportunity to let your style and design choice shine. You can keep things as simple as you want, adding just the right amount of holiday spirit around your home.

Simple décor is best. Over-the-top decorations can end up cluttering your home and taking away from all the sparkle your decorations bring to each space.

We’ve rounded up our favorite easy DIY Christmas decorations for in and around your home. Whether you’re looking to create something that’s more traditional or modern, minimalist or extravagant, you’ll discover your next project for the season. Happy making!

Clever DIY Christmas Trees

If you grew up with live Christmas trees each year, you know how much of a hassle it can be. Between watering, cleaning up needles, and disposing of the tree — upkeep isn’t always easy.  Sure, the scent of pine is a wonderful reminder of Christmas, but lack of care can heighten the risk of fire (not so merry).

Rather than continue cutting down trees or spending hundreds on a fake one, create a unique tree using things around your home.

1. Candy Cane Ribbon Tree

Inspired by the candy treat of the season, this is a super easy and sweet alternative to the typical tree. The most difficult part will surely be picking out the ribbon you want to use.

This is easy enough to do with kids, but since hot glue is involved, it’s suggested you do this with them.

What You’ll Need:

  • A paper cone
  • Ribbon 1.5 inch thick (for the look of a candy cane, opt for red and white striped, or otherwise choose your favorite seasonal design)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

How to Make It:

  1. Prepare your ribbon. Make 3 inch loops, pinching them in the middle, about 5 at a time.
  2. Cut each loop on one side. This should give you 6 inch strips.
  3. Fold each strip into a teardrop shape, with both ends held at the top.
  4. Glue each teardrop to your cone, starting at the bottom. Go lower than the height up each strip so that your first layer flares out at the bottom.
  5. Continue gluing each layer, working your way up the cone. Stagger them so that each layer just barely covers the one beneath it (hiding your glue, too).

This should take you about 15 minutes, depending on the size of cone you choose. Go larger if you want more of a focal point type of tree, or smaller if you’re looking to make a centerpiece.

2. Wall Hanging Tree

If you’re a little tight on space, or want to take an entirely new approach to your tree this year, this DIY makeshift Christmas tree wall hanging will add a fun and festive touch to your home.

This approach is very minimalist, and will add a more modern touch to your holiday décor.

What You’ll Need:

  • A super long wooden dowel
  • Fresh greenery (think evergreen or herbs like rosemary)
  • Scissors or shears
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Painters tape
  • A saw

How to Make It:

  1. Cut your dowel into as many pieces as you want/need. Start with your longest, so you can work your way to the smallest piece.
  2. Cut your greenery into pieces long enough to cover each dowel.
  3. Super glue each piece of greenery to your dowels. Let dry before handling again.
  4. Create long rolls of painters tape and stick them to the back of each dowel.
  5. Hang and push each piece securely onto your wall.

The best part about this tree is that it really can be tailored to fit your space. Go as big or small as you want to. Add in some twinkle lights or a few easy DIY Christmas ornaments to make it your own.

3. Stacked Book Tree

If you’re a bookworm, you’ll appreciate this idea. Depending on how detailed or difficult you wish to make this task, how many books you wish to use will dictate the time you spend on this project.

Luckily, you should have everything you need to make it.

What You’ll Need:

  • Books and/or magazines
  • A stool or empty box
  • Optional (lights, ornaments, etc.)

How to Make It:

  1. Gather up the books you want to use.
  2. With the pages facing outwards, create the first layer by placing books down in a circle.
  3. Continue this pattern moving upwards, making sure that each circle is smaller than the previous one.
  4. Once you’re ready to create the “tip” of the tree, put a stool or empty box in the middle of your stack. This will create a stable spot to start building upwards, rather than around.
  5. Build up to a stopping point.

This can be a fun activity to do with your family, having each of you choose your favorite books to include in the tree. Finish it off with some lights and a topper for a complete Christmas look.

Easy and Unique Homemade Garlands

When it comes to holiday décor, garland is the most versatile decoration of the season. It adds cheer to any counter top, dining table, or staircase. It looks great as a border along doorways and hallways, and can make any mantle a focal point of your room.

This is a decoration that can easily look or feel cheap if purchased from a store or online. Instead, make this one of the Christmas decorations to make yourself. You won’t be disappointed in the end result.

1. Coffee Filter Garland

Even if you’re a light coffee drinker, chances are you’ve got a package of coffee filters sitting in one of your cabinets. Coffee filters aren’t just for whipping up a fresh pot — they’re perfect for creative endeavors.

There are a few ways to go about this, but a favorite is creating a string of filter rosettes.

What You’ll Need:

  • Package of coffee filters
  • Water
  • Bowl or bucket
  • Paper Towels
  • Blow dryer (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Fishing Line
  • Long Needle
  • Thimble (optional)
  • Dye (can be food dye, fabric dye, water color paints, or even coffee)

How to Make It:

  1. In a small bowl of water, add a couple drops of dye. Do this for each color you’re using.
  2. Dip each coffee filter into the water. Depending on how saturated you want your filters, this can range from a few seconds to a few minutes.
  3. Pat excess water from the filters and let air dry. You can also use a blow dryer to help speed things up (carefully!)
  4. Once dry, stack about 40 filters on top of one another.
  5. Staple them, twice, in the middle of the stack. Repeat for each rosette.
  6. Thread your needle with the fishing line. Begin threading each rosette.
  7. Tie knots as you go to help keep rosettes separated on the line.
  8. Crumple each stack lightly to fluff them up.

You can get creative with the colors you choose, or patterns you incorporate onto the filters. If you opt for something more holiday-neutral, you can always keep these up year round.

Instead of fluffing the filters to look like a rosette, you can also just stack them on a fishing line for a more simplified look.

2. DIY Ornament Garland

This is very similar to the trendy ornament wreath you’ve likely seen this season, but now you can take things up a notch.

Using extra ornament bulbs or some bright and shiny new ones, you can recreate this easy garland décor for a look that mimics a big string of pearls.

What You’ll Need:

  • Bulb ornaments (around 50 ornaments will make 3 feet of garland)
  • Long embroidery needle (this can be done without a needle, too)
  • Ribbon or tulle
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue (optional)

How to Make It:

  1. Thread your ribbon or tulle through each ornament loop.
  2. For added loop support, add super glue around each loop edge.
  3. Keep the ornaments tight to create more volume in your garland.
  4. Make sure each end is tied off and secure.

For a festive touch, add in some small twinkle lights. This’ll really make your ornament garland shine.

3. Classic Christmas Garland

For a classic holiday look, go with evergreen. If you want things to feel more authentic, use pine branches rather than fake garland. If you’d prefer a more modern look, you can also use eucalyptus, rosemary, or olive leaves.

While you may have to purchase supplies for creating your garland, it should still cost you less than buying pre-decorated garland from a store.

What You’ll Need:

  • Greenery (creator’s choice)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (optional for gluing together leaves or branches)
  • Lights
  • Wired ribbon
  • Ornaments
  • Florist wire
  • Extra flora (creator’s choice)

How to Make It:

  1. Assemble your greenery (if needed). Using the hot glue gun, glue leaves and/or branches together. Do this to the length you desire and let dry.
  2. Double up on the greenery for a fuller look, or take the time to fluff each branch.
  3. String the lights throughout the garland. Try to tuck lights beneath branches. For added brightness, use 2 strands.
  4. Add the ribbon, threading it between branches. Use the wire to your advantage to create a fuller look in the ribbon.
  5. Using your florist wire, affix each additional piece to the garland.

Place your finished garland on your mantle, above a doorway, or use it as a centerpiece. Any garland you have leftover can always be used in another DIY project (like creating a wreath)!

Cute DIY Wreaths

You can’t forget about the exterior of your house when decorating for the holiday season!

To create homemade Christmas decorations for outside, start with a wreath that will welcome friends and family as they enter your home. Wreaths are great because they can be easily made by yourself, and are a great activity to do with friends and family.

1. Gift Bow Wreath

Bows add the perfect hint of fun to any gift wrapping job. An entire wreath made of them is sure to bring a smile to those walking into your home.

No matter your wrapping skills, this super easy DIY gift bow wreath can be done by even the most novice of wrappers.

What You’ll Need:

How to Make It:

  1. Take your ribbon and glue it to the foam wreath. You should be able to wrap and glue as you go — no need to cut until it’s fully covered. Snip at the end and glue down to secure.
  2. Add your bows to the foam wreath. Peel away the back that reveals the adhesive and add a small bit of glue before you place each bow.
  3. Push bows up against one another to cover up the ribbon underneath.
  4. Cover the entire wreath, leaving the back bare so that it can hang flush against your door.

This is another fun, customizable project. Choose what color scheme(s) you want to go with, add in glittery or patterned bows, or even go with a full monochrome look.

2. Fresh Sage Wreath

A chic take on the classic evergreen wreath, this sage wreath is simple but still makes a statement.

Plus, after you’ve made the wreath and the leaves begin to dry, you can crush them up and keep them later for cooking. Keep in mind as the sage dries, it will shrink. So if you want a full wreath, you’ll want to use a lot of sage.

What You’ll Need:

  • Styrofoam wreath form
  • Floral pins (u-shaped pins that are great for holding things in place)
  • Fresh sage (3-9 bunches depending on size of wreath)
  • Ribbon (optional)
  • Scissors

How to Make It:

  1. Pull the sage leaves from their branches. Often 4-5 of them will be in one little bunch.
  2. Take groups of leaves, around 5-6 leaves at a time, and pin them down to the wreath base using the floral pins. Cover the base fully.
  3. Fill in with more sage to create a fuller look.
  4. Using the ribbon, create a bow to tie to the wreath if you’d like. You can also use the ribbon to hang the wreath.

Keep your wreath simple or add in some festive holiday touches. If you plan to cook with the sage, make sure you’re not adding in any toxic glue.

3. Modern Christmas Wreath

This style of modern wreath continues to be used for holiday décor and seasonal events.  From weddings and graduations, to a new season arriving, this take on the wreath is sophisticated, simple, and can be used year-round.

All you need to start with is a metal floral hoop. From there, supplies are very minimal, as you won’t be covering the entire ring.

What You’ll Need:

  • Floral wire
  • Floral tape
  • Gold string or ribbon
  • Dried flowers, greens, pinecones (all optional and should be chosen to fit your aesthetic).
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Assembly is quite easy, as you just need to be sure you’ve wrapped the area you wish to cover in floral tape. Otherwise, it’s all in how you arrange your greens and flowers.

How to Make It:

  1. Using hot glue, attach the greenery to the ring.
  2. Wrap floral tape around the stems of each flower. Push the floral wire through the stem and tape to attach it to the hoop.
  3. Add in the pinecones using either the wire or hot glue.
  4. If you opted for multiple wreaths and wish to connect them, use the floral wire to keep them together. Cover the wire with the gold string or ribbon.

Now that you’ve got the inside covered, it’s time to get started with outdoor Christmas décor.

Easy DIY Outdoor Christmas Decorations

Remember the homes on your block that always went above and beyond in their Christmas decorations? Think Clark Griswold’s approach from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Now that was over-the-top.

Decorating the exterior of your home doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, and it certainly doesn’t have to take up too much of your time.

1. Christmas Candy Decorations

Create your own winter Candyland, without the cavities, in a few simple steps. This project would be a fun one to do with children, and gives them the chance to add their creative flair to your decor.

Not only are these giant paper plate lollipops kid-friendly, but they cost less than a dollar to make. You can get a lot of bang for your buck by adding these to your outdoor décor.

What You’ll Need:

  • Paper plates
  • Wooden dowel (from the craft store)
  • Cellophane
  • Ribbon
  • Green and red paint plus paint brushes
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun (or tacky glue for kids)

How to Make It:

  1. Paint lollipop designs on the back of 2 paper plates. Let them dry.
  2. Cut a small square shape out of each paper plate (this will be at the bottom of each one).
  3. Glue the 2 matching paper plates together, matching up the square cut outs. This will create a hole at the bottom.
  4. Insert the wooden dowels.
  5. Wrap cellophane around the paper plates and finish them off with a ribbon.

The cellophane should help in keeping the lollipops safe (enough) from the elements. With how easy this project is, you can make these candies year-round. Just change up the candy colors.

2. DIY Rustic Snowman

The rustic look has been around for quite some time now, and doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. Even if your entire design aesthetic is not rustic, it won’t hurt to have a couple hints of it here and there.

This is one of the more in depth projects you’ll see on this list, but once you get going you’ll find you can finish it quite quickly.

What You’ll Need:

  • Wood pallet pieces
  • Black, white, and orange paint
  • Black buttons
  • Red fabric or tissue paper
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Saw
  • Hot glue gun
  • Sandpaper
  • Large and small paint brushes
  • Pen or marker

How to Make It:

  1. Cut wood piece(s) into the size you want.
  2. Using sandpaper, smooth out the wood’s surface.
  3. Paint the wood white (front, back, sides, top and bottom).
  4. Using the pen or marker, sketch out the shape of the eyes, nose, and mouth. Use a pencil first if you’re nervous about making a mistake.
  5. With the black paint and small brush, paint over the outline of the eyes, nose and mouth.
  6. Fill in the nose with orange paint.
  7. To make the hat, cut out a piece of tissue paper or fabric that’s large enough to wrap about the top of the wood.
  8. Super glue the base of the hat to the wood, then tie the top of the hat with ribbon to give it a point.
  9. To make the scarf, cut a strip of tissue paper or fabric long enough to wrap around the wood. Place it underneath his face and tie it in a knot. Add hot glue for extra support.
  10. Using hot glue, add the buttons on his body.

Using wood pallet pieces allows for you to make more than one of these cute snowmen. Alternate heights by cutting your wood at different lengths to make a little family of rustic snowmen.

3. DIY Christmas Planters

Putting together your own Christmas outdoor planter adds a new level of festivity to your porch. Using evergreens, berries, pine cones, and any other seasonal flora or fauna that comes to mind will set your outdoor décor apart from your neighbors.

There are a lot of ways you can go about this. From the size of your planters to how detailed you choose to get, it can likely be a little overwhelming thinking about where to start. To get inspired, here is a list of some stunning planters that you can borrow ideas from!

What You’ll Need:

  • Planter (can be in the form of pottery, a plant stand, bucket, etc.)
  • Floral foam or soil
  • Lights (optional)
  • Greenery (garland, pine branches, etc.)
  • Pinecones, berries, dried flowers (optional)
  • Birch branches (optional)
  • Ornaments (optional)

How to Make It:

  1. Using either the floral foam or soil, fill up your planter.
  2. If you have birch branches, stick them down into the foam or soil.
  3. Cover foam or soil with the greenery you’ve chosen. Fluff up to create a fuller look.
  4. Add in your extra pieces to bring it to life. Lights will really brighten things up, and any pinecones, berries, or ornaments you choose will bring the holiday spirit to life.

Keep Your Home Free of Clutter

With all these DIY ideas, you may find that they’ll help you clear up space for your holiday décor, get rid of unused items, and otherwise keep things in order. You’ll have more room for festivities and fun.

Keeping your home clean and free of clutter allows for even more holiday cheer and joy this season. Whether you’re putting away Thanksgiving décor, making room for your tree, or organizing your home furnishings, you’ll need space.

Maybe you’re already setting a goal for the new year to keep yourself more organized. It could be time for some custom drawers, so you’ll always know where to find what you need right when you need it.

If it’s time to spruce up your house this holiday season, don’t miss out on our holiday special running right now!

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