Add the spirit of the season to your home with these merry and bright ideas that are easy to do and easy on the budget, too

By Caylin Harris
December 12, 2018

Present Perfect

homemade wrapping paper
Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

Yes, you can take pride in your wrapping without spending a small fortune. Here's how: Spring for a fancy roll, but make it last by first wrapping presents with an inexpensive neutral paper (like kraft paper). Next, add a band of the good stuff around the middle. You can vary the width depending on how many people are on your Nice List!

O Tannenpom!

pom pom christmas tree topper
Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

Stash your star and pack away your angel—this playful tree topper from the lifestyle blog Oh Joy! will quickly become your new fave. Start with a bunch of pom-poms in different colors and sizes. Attach half of them to a piece of string (about three feet long), concentrating most of the pom-poms at each end of the string so the middle is sparser. Repeat the process to create a second string. Then it's as easy as winding the middle of each string around the top of your tree and arranging the ends so the pom-poms cascade down from the top. How fun is that?

Shine On

candles menorah blue colored sands
Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

Here's a holiday tradition that we can get behind: making your own menorah. We've spotted a few variations of this idea, and it couldn't be simpler. All you need are nine mini glass containers (we used clean, empty salt and pepper shakers), colored sand (we chose shades of blue), and candles. Fill your vessels with sand and insert the candles. Line 'em up and you've put a modern twist on the Hanukkah tradition.

Deck The Walls

ornament tree shaped framed wall art
Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

Baubles that are just too pretty to risk dangling from the tree become a piece of art using this idea from Abby Larson, founder of Style Me Pretty. Paint a piece of fiberboard in a neutral color. Arrange the ornaments in a tree shape, then secure them in place using pins. When framed and placed on the mantel, this project will keep heirloom ornaments front and center—and intact!

Have A Ball!

green pom pom mistletoe
Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

Instead of hanging mistletoe, make your own version that will never fade. Using a glue gun, attach pompoms in various shades of green to a styrofoam ball until it's completely covered. Screw an eye hook into the top (secure with glue if needed), and tie a bow through the hook. Use ribbon to hang your mistletoe from a doorway and ensure a smooch from Santa.

Technicolor Trees

colorful bottlebrush trees on mantel
Credit: Photo courtesy Sugar & Cloth

Who said holiday decor has to be red and green? This display of bottlebrush trees by Ashley Rose of Sugar & Cloth makes a compelling case for a new palette. Just pick up trees in pinks, blues, reds, and greens (you can get 'em at most crafts-supply stores) for a mantel display that says "HoliYAY!"

Bright Idea

string of paper lights
Credit: Photography by Peter Ardito

This super-simple garland from A Girl and a Glue Gun's Kimberly West is the perfect use-up for color swatches from your last paint project. Draw or trace a shape on several strips, then cut them out with scissors. Use a glue gun to attach each piece to baker's twine. Add any finishing touches (like our gray-paper "sockets"), then drape the garland over a mantel or a bar cart.