101 Fresh Christmas Decorating Ideas
Bring cheer to your house this holiday season with these easy decorating ideas.
This warm and cozy backyard retreat is decorated for the season. A beautiful Christmas tree takes center stage while the mantle is adorned with fresh greenery. A simple wreath above the fireplace completes the stunning scene.
To create your own gleaming arrangement, generously cover the bottom of white paper bags with sand, which will keep them sturdy and stationary when exposed to the elements. Arrange bags in desired positions (the luminaries lining the walk above at left all 2 feet apart), and then insert tea lights or battery-operated LEDs.
Bright Idea! For a twist, use a hole punch to create snowflake patterns, or adhere letter-shaped stickers spelling out a holiday message such as "NOEL" or "CHEERS" to the bags. (Safety note: Never leave luminaries unattended, and extinguish the flames when finished.)
Tallow Berries: from Flower Depot Store; flowerdepotstore.com
Vases: Bark vases in polished aluminum by Michael Aram; michaelaram.com
Cedar Rose Heads: from Dried Flowers “R” Us; driedflowersrus.com
Wrapping Paper: from Snow & Graham; snowandgraham.com.
Gold Christmas Trees: from The Great Big Greenhouse & Nursery; greatbiggreenhouse.com or (804) 320-1317.
Glass Cylinder Vases: Crate & Barrel; crateandbarrel.com or 1-800-967-6696.
Metallic Ornaments: Crate & Barrel; crateandbarrel.com or 1-800-967-6696.
Holiday Decorating: Chris Carter of Christopher Glenn, Inc.; (205) 870-1236.
Pillows (in wing chairs): Judy Ross Textiles; judyrosstextiles.com for retailers or (212) 842-1705.
Birch logs: Decorative Birch Logs from J.N. Firewood; jnfirewood.com or 1-800-630-2960.
A traditional element in all Southern Christmas decorating, the magnolia wreath is given a modern makeover with a square shape. Wide white ribbon keeps the embellishment to a minimum and the focus on the room’s tall, paned windows.
- Magnolia Wreath: Step-by-Step Directions
Basket (as tree base): Large Round Rush Planter from Coco Company, (847) 398-2626.
Mercury-Glass Ornaments: Mercury Glass Ornaments (small, medium, and large) from Napa Style; napastyle.com or 1-866-776-6272.
Basket (with mercury balls): vintage cherry basket, from Pieces, Inc.; piecesinc.com or (404) 869-2476.
Disco Ball: 12" Mirror Ball from Spencer’s; spencersonline.com or 1-800-762-0419.
Ribbons: all from Midori; midoriribbon.com or 1-800-659-3049.
Temple Bells (for tree topper): by Roost; roostco.com for retailers or (415) 339-9500.
Lanterns and Lantern Stakes: For a similar look, try Pottery Barn; potterybarn.com.
Boot Tray: For a similar look, try the Mudroom Boot Tray from Williams-Sonoma; williams-sonoma.com
Cardinals: Barnard, Ltd.; barnardltd.com
Make your own Christmas tree topper. Cut from ½-inch-thick foam core board, this star topper is covered with tartan and edged with ½-inch ribbon. Decorated with a trio of jingle bells, it’s studded with plaid buttons that add interest.
Buttons: CafePress; cafepress.com.
- Tree Topper: Step-by-Step Directions
Give a dining room double-duty with built-in bookshelves that help transform the room into a library when it is not in use. These shelves were crafted from gypsum drywall, instead of wood, for a more modern profile.
Seeds of Life: $44 each, from seedsoflife.com
Florist Tip Mix gold and silver. We layered two kinds of gold ribbon and then added large and small shiny and matte silver balls.
Canners and crafters rejoice! We found the craft of the season!
Florist Tip Rotate the centerpiece to make sure it looks full from every angle. Add more hydrangeas, if needed.
Twirl topiaries with fruit. Start with two bonbon compotes. Hot-glue sheet moss to a plastic-foam cone. Stick florist clay adhesive (joann.com) to the bottom of the compote, and press the cone onto it. Attach a row of green plums (or Key limes) by skewering with a wooden pick and inserting into cone in an upward swirl. Glue scabiosa pods and dried hydrangea blossoms next. Repeat. Skewer a pineapple (spray-painted gold) with a wooden pick, and insert into top of topiary.
Florist Tip Spray-paint the dried hydrangeas white. (We used Design Master Colortool Floral Spray paint in Flat White; joann.com.)
Pressed for time but want a big show? Fit a 7-gallon magnolia into a decorative planter, and fill in around the edges with spray-painted magnolia branches and sprigs of seeded eucalyptus. After the holidays, plant the magnolia in the garden. Designed to come together quickly, the look is easy to tailor. Change the plants or colors to suit your taste.
Don't let the look get too serious! To make your own tree topper, bundle together a group of curly silver sticks, and wire it to the top of the tree.
Play off the abundance of round ornaments with a large paper lantern on top. Float the lantern by hanging it from a bow attached to the ceiling, letting the ribbon cascade down the tree for effect.
Tie an oversize apricot bow with the ends cascading down the tree for extra drama. No bow-tying skills? Have a local florist make one for minimal cost.