Quick and easy holiday decorating ideas

This time of year can get overwhelming fast. Before the turkey has even settled in our stomachs, it’s time to plan putting up the Christmas tree or getting ready to race into stores for Black Friday sales. I personally end up feeling like the entire reason for the season gets lost in the chaos of sales and decorations.

I love to put up simple decorations that honor the season and provide a daily reminder of what the true magic is this time of year, rather than ones that attempt to take center stage.

Here are some ideas for keeping it simple with some quick and easy holiday decorations.

Epsom salt candles


Photo by Remodeling This Life

Last year, I did a quick and easy project with my then five-year-old daughter by making shimmer candles. We took basic candles and glittered them up for a festive holiday feel. This project takes less than five minutes.

A simple wreath


Photo by Sarah Bohl Designs

I love a simple and beautiful wreath like this. A wreath is such a classic way to bring in the holiday spirit. There are a million and one ways to jazz up a wreath, but the most important thing about a wreath is to remember what it represents: the real nature of unending love.

String it up


Photo by Remodeling This Life

One of the quickest projects I did last holiday season was to string up some twine in my kitchen window, and then cut out stocking shapes from burlap and clipped them up. This year, my daughter wants to string up snowflake cut-outs. Anything would do — you could do anything from paper ornaments to cookie cutters.

Fill your jars


Photo by The Inspired Room

These jingle bell jars are so cute, and there are so many other ways to use jars this time of year, too. Fill them with ornaments, pine cones, bells, beads or anything else you might have on hand that can become instantly festive.

Are you keeping your holiday decorations simple this year? What are some ideas you can share with the rest of us?

21 Comments

  1. Prerna

    What lovely simple decorating ideas.. I love the idea of stringing twine with cutouts.. I think my toddler would love coloring cutouts.. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Heidi

    I also love the burlap stockings – sometimes with decorating less really is more. For those people out there (like me) who are just starting to collect a few Christmas decorations, here’s a shout out to the dollar store. There’s a lot of junk there, but if you take the time, there are some really great finds that can spruce up your home very quickly, when used in the right way!

  3. Jessica

    I love the jingle bell jars! I’ve never seen those before.

  4. Stacey

    My boys and I had fun last year making window decorations by sticking white circle stickers onto floss and hanging them from the top of the window. They drape down and look like it’s snowing. I got the idea from here I think, but I can’t find the post. It was fun and festive though!

  5. Marilyn Holeman

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing. Jesus is the reason for the season, and that is so-often forgotten. Have a blessed Thanksgiving and Christmas.

  6. Sara Cee

    Great ideas! I completely adore the fireplace in the photo above. Maybe I’m missing a link or something, but can you tell us more about it?

  7. the cottage child

    We keep it pretty simple – it has to be found or made, we don’t buy anything “brand new”. Thrifted vintage ornaments are one of our favorite collections. We add a few decorations every year – usually something we’ve made, and often a gift from someone. And interestingly enough, we always manage to discard or pass along as many as we take in (wow – if we could only apply that to every day life ;p). The simple ones we make are my favorites. Paper chain from old hymnal pages, garland from shells and twine, a bow on a found antler. Our decorations are quiet in color but they make us smile. I’m liking your daughter’s snowflake idea!

    We purpose to put something in every room that’s a reminder of the season.
    Last year we hung tinsel over the medicine cabinet and my husband taped one of those singing cards to the hinge so it played every time we opened it. It was kind of annoying, but mostly awesome. It was hard to not be cheerful after brushing our teeth.

  8. Katie Kerr

    I don’t feel like we go over the top but I love Christmas decorating! I think it is so special to walk into someones house and it feels like Christmas. This year is the first year my two year old will understand the house is different. I can’t wait to tell her that we are making the house extra special because we are celebrating the birth of Jesus. I think you can go all out and it still reflect the reason for Christmas.

  9. Trista

    My grandmother gave me a set of wooden reindeer (Dasher, Dancer, Prancer…) ornaments. Last year, I attached them to string and made something like your burlap cutouts. I hung them at the front door, and people loved seeing them as they came in the house.

  10. Whitney

    As a mom, I know how important it is to keep it quick and easy! So, thank you so much for the tips! We cannot wait to get started on our decorating for this year! And, I also know as a mom, it is very important to remember to always be safe this holiday season! Here are some decorating safety tips that I found and would like to share: http://www.fandfhomes.com/blog/index.php/2010/11/your-fischer-and-frichtel-holiday-decoration-safety-tips/. Happy Decorating!

  11. Living the Balanced Life

    I am in the process of decluttering my home. This will make it a little easier to do some holiday decorating as there won’t be so much stuff in the way! On the other hand, I plan to limit what I actually put out, as I am liking the minimal look of my living room and ktichen!
    I also love the burlap cutouts. May have to try that one with my grandkids!
    Bernice

  12. lori crawford

    My favorite repurposing idea is to use old christmas cards – cutting them out into large letters you can spell “Joy to the World” or collage them on a new piece of paper. You can cut them up to make new gift tags for this year’s gifts or stand one up on a shelf as a simple piece of seasonal art. Some cards are too beautiful to not be used another year in a row!

  13. Jimi Ann

    Thanks for the great ideas. The candles actually look doable for us! I love sparkly things!

  14. priest's wife

    the simpler the better- thanks for the ideas

  15. Katie @ Imperfect People

    the stocking idea is really cute and simple. Great post Emily!

  16. Rachel

    Apart from our trees, I throw a length of pine garland up on the mantle and wrap it in the same ribbon that’s on our tree (instead of tinsel). Looks like a million dollars, but doesn’t cost more than $20! I do the same thing on top of our kitchen cabinets. I also found these cute red lights that have a wrap on them that make them look like little poinsettias. I wrap them around another pine garland and put them on top of our bookshelves. I didn’t realize I was so big into pine garland…

  17. Scarlet

    I like all these ideas. The kids always provide me with some great festive artwork to hang up too!

  18. Sierra

    So cute!! I never thought of jingle bell jars before. I’m trying some new indoor things this year so this will help a lot. I think something new I’m trying this year is an outdoor one thanks to this cute blog post— using my front porch swing as a decorative piece (bells, wreaths, ribbon, etc.). I think it could look good!!

  19. Alan@ leopard bedding

    I love the ideas you have here, particularly the shimmer candles. My kids will love these. Thanks!

Get our weekly email called
5 Quick Things,

where we share new stuff from the blog and podcast—that way you’ll never miss a thing. Tsh also shares other goodness from around the web... It can be read in under a minute, pinky-swear.

(You’ll also get her quick list of her 10 favorite essays and podcast episodes from around here, helping you wade through a decade of content.)