Easy Last-Minute Holiday Decorating

Creativity & Design

Planning to decorate, but ran out of time? Whether you just want to get in the holiday mood or plan to host guests, sometimes you find a need to decorate and just don’t have the time to. While this list does have a few things you could probably make up using items or decorations you already have in your home, it might be worth giving yourself at least a day or making a weekend project out of it with kids. Here are some easy, last-minute decorating ideas for the holiday season.

Raid the holiday section at the dollar store. The dollar store will have a lot of materials to help you out with some of the things on this list, but it will also have a stock of its own decorations and party favors ready for use—all for only a dollar. Some things that you might want to look for are garlands, wreaths, glitter, tinsel, fake holiday plants, candy canes, construction paper, wrapping paper holiday place settings, fake snow, cotton, ribbons, and candy.

Use your ornaments creatively. If you don’t want to or can’t set up a tree, don’t let your ornaments go to waste sitting it out this year in a box. Tie them into bundles to hang at key places around your home. Fill glassware with colorful ones and put them on display. Place them on a wreath to hang or use as a centerpiece on your table; you can place candles in the center for an added effect. Take heavier ornaments or figurine ones and set them on flat surfaces to create a display or holiday scene. Attach them to a garland and hang them along your staircase or hallway. The possibilities are endless!

Use colorful paint and glitter to make anything holiday themed. Give old holiday or non-holiday items a new lease on life by using paints and glitters in holiday colors (red, green, gold, silver, white, and blue) to turn them into fresh holiday decorations. You can also make plain seasonal things, like a bare wreath or pine cones, more festive by adding sparkle and shine to them. Write out season’s greetings on a card on your dining room table or in an area it can be seen easily. Another fun idea is using paint pens to draw snowflakes and ornaments on your windows and other glass. You can buy water-based paint markers to ensure cleanup is easy after the season is over.

Repurpose your wrapping paper. Make use of those dreaded wrapping paper scraps by decorating things around your home with it, like centerpieces or furniture. If you have a lot to spare, take it a step further by “wrapping” your door to look like a present too. Attach a bow or ribbon and call it a day!

Make the most out of candles. Adorn your tables and centerpieces with candles in holiday colors. Place them in candleholders that you’ve already decorated with fake snow, holiday paper, or seasonal greetings. Many stores have holiday scents to make it seem like you’ve baked all the holiday favorites, or seasonal scents to bring the outdoors inside. As always, if you have pets, be sure to place candles in areas they can’t reach, and double check the ingredients beforehand to ensure they’re safe for your non-human family to inhale.

Use fake snow to your advantage. Whether it be windows, mason jars, a wreath, or something else you’re wanting to winterize, you can use ripped up cotton or snow spray to make whatever it is look ready for the holiday.

Make use of premade garlands and wreaths. If you get garlands made of fake leaves and holly, you can use them to decorate your tables, chairs, doorframe, or stairway. Take your wreath décor to the next level by hanging them in other places besides your door or window. You can even lay them out horizontally on your tables and decorate with ornaments and candles to use as a centerpiece.

Craft your own ornaments. Especially fun if you have kids, cut out, decorate, and make your own ornaments out of construction paper to adorn your home and windows. Just remember to let them dry before hanging them up anywhere.

Wrap up the rest. Use Christmas lights or other string lights to make anything else in your home festive for the holiday. If you’re worried about your electric bill or the possibility of the power going out, look for string lights that are battery operated.

Do you have any easy, last-minute decorating ideas? Let us know in the comments section!


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