14 Easy Last-Minute Holiday Decorating Ideas
Whether you choose real foliage or faux, a garland of greenery can pick up the mood in any room. Run a garland down the banister, drape one over a bookshelf or mantel, or tack one up to frame a window. Cut greenery has the nicest smell, of course, but faux garlands can be used year after year.
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Chances are you already have Mason jars, candles and seasonal fruit, which are all the ingredients you need for this pretty centerpiece. Layer evergreen cuttings, mason jars, tea lights and colorful fruit (such as rosy pomegranates, bright citrus or red apples) in an arrangement that can go on a table or mantel.
Tip: Putting a bit of salt, sugar or pebbles at the bottom of the Mason jar will save a difficult cleanup if the candle wax spills over.
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Display any leftover holiday decor or seasonal ingredients — pine cones, string lights or ornaments that didn’t make the tree — into clear class containers, apothecary jars, cloches or cut crystal bowls. Place the containers on a bar cart or anywhere else you could use a little holiday decoration.
Tip: To fill a cloche, place all of your baubles in the upside-down cloche, put a piece of cardboard over the opening, flip over the cloche, place it on the table and carefully slide out the cardboard. Use the same technique in reverse to empty it.
Welcome guests and boost your home’s curb appeal with a holiday swag hung on the garden gate or front fence. A big bright bow draws attention to this arrangement of vintage skis and an evergreen swag. Get the look by combining fresh greenery with vintage winter accessories, such as skis, poles, snowshoes or a wooden sled.
Dabs of liquid gold leaf take this simple pine cone garland to the next level. Create one yourself and save time by using paddle wire or ribbon, rather than drilling in small screws, to attach the pine cones to a length of rope. Hang your finished garland from the mantel, along a wall or across a window.
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Try unexpected spots to hang a wreath, such as on a bookcase, cabinet or kitchen window. While fresh wreaths dry out more quickly inside warm homes, preserved wreaths — those made of moss, boxwood or pine cones — are a great alternative, as they’re already dried and can be used for years to come.
Browse winter wreaths in the Houzz Shop
Decorating for the holidays in a warm climate, or dreaming of a tropical getaway? Take a leaf out of the design book of Richard Westbrook Interior Design and create swags made of fresh palm leaves and eucalyptus sprayed a glittery pale blue and tied together with ribbon. Hang them on the stairs, along the porch or on the front door.
For a more laid-back place setting, skip the tablecloth and lay a table runner topped with greenery down the center of the table. Cover the runner with evergreen cuttings and candles. You can go beyond conifers and use ingredients like rosemary twigs, seeded eucalyptus, grevillea, myrtle or sprays of winter berries.
Miniature wreaths come together quickly if you have extra evergreen clippings to twist into a circle and hold together with a few wraps of paddle wire. Hang multiple mini wreaths from ribbons in a window or above the mantel, varying the height to help fill up the space.
Battery-powered fairy lights are your solution for making nearly anything look more magical for the season. Turn a simple star into a twinkling focal point by outlining the shape with lights. Run the lights down a mantel or table centerpiece, or wrap around a wreath or a houseplant.
Tip: Hide battery packs for lights behind a potted plant, a candle or anything else you have as part of the display. For more open arrangements, slip the pack into a small drawstring pouch.
Find battery-powered string lights
Looking to simplify but still want the fresh smell of a conifer in your home for the holidays? Display a pine, spruce or fir branch in a vase to stand in as a miniature Christmas tree. You can decorate with your tiniest ornaments or a string of copper wire lights, or leave it plain, and enjoy the fresh smell for weeks.
If you downsized your tree this year or skipped it altogether, you can use holiday ornaments as decorations in other areas of the house. Try threading them onto ribbons and hanging from a chandelier in an entryway, a suspended wire basket in the kitchen or an extra wreath frame hung anywhere you’d like.
Trading out year-round throw pillows for a few in bright holiday hues can give a room an entirely new look. Either swap or layer the holiday pillows, if your year-round ones are neutral, and double down on warm throws to help cozy up living rooms and bedrooms.
Branches of berries kept in water last much longer than cut flowers and can take you all the way through the new year. Display large clusters of branches in glass or ceramic vases set on side tables. Put smaller clusters of berries in bud vases to decorate bathrooms and bedside tables.
6 Branches and Berries to Spruce Up Holiday Decor