Fun And Festive Holiday Decor

Spruce Up Your Home This Holiday Season With These Easy And Affordable Do-It-Yourself Ideas

by Kasey Wright // October - November - December 2016

Does decorating your home for the holidays stress you out? With all the pressure we put on ourselves, it can be a bit much to create that perfect look to capture the spirit of the holiday. I encourage you to take a different approach this year. Try a few small vignettes to set the mood that you can do yourself. For many, hearing the term “DIY” can be really intimidating – but it doesn’t have to be that way. When it comes to decorating your home with do-it-yourself projects, the possibilities are endless. It is a great way to get a lot of accessorizing bang for your buck, too. 

Around the holidays, incorporating a few pieces of décor that highlight the current season can really warm up a space. Oftentimes, you can take a particular space or item in your home and do a simple holiday theme swap as we go from one to the next. This can be done quickly and easily, yet can completely transform the look of the space. A great example of this can be done in the dining room by creating an inviting tablescape. Take a simple wood tray or box, place candles of varying heights (I use electric ones to avoid the risk of fire) inside, and surround those candles with assorted styles of greenery, leaves, and pumpkins for fall. This simple trick can carry you from early September through November. Find a color-coordinating table runner to use underneath (such as burlap or one with natural fall hues). The runner adds texture and layers to your design and helps makes it “pop.” When December rolls around, you can easily change it over to a Christmas focus by simply swapping the table runner out for a red and white version, or whichever color you tend to incorporate into your Christmas decorating scheme. Replace the fall fillers with either natural evergreen branches or faux ones that you can pick up at local craft stores. There are so many choices available that you will easily be able to find something that fits your style. Maybe place a few small glass ornaments in as well to catch the lights, then sit back and admire your DIY prowess. 

Lanterns also allow for creative ways to add simple yet eye-catching holiday cheer to your living space. During the non-holiday season, you can showcase candles, moss rocks, or stones in your lanterns, then switch them out with items such as mini pumpkins and gourds as the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays approach. Replace those fillers with ornaments or glitter pinecones for the Christmas season. Don’t be afraid to play with different choices until you are happy with what you have created.

In the living room, toss some holiday pillows onto your couches or chairs as well (you can certainly buy these at your favorite retail shop, or try your hand at stenciling festive images or holiday phrases onto blank canvas pillow coverings with fabric paint). Decorate your mantel with an arrangement of a plank wood sign, candles, and natural elements such as pinecones and leaves for autumn and garland for Christmas to really add some warmth and personality. Go a little further with your DIY holiday decorating goals by designing your own sign – for example, paint in your best handwriting a stanza from your favorite Christmas carol. Be sure to vary the height of the items you choose to display and don’t be afraid to layer them on top of or in front of one another. 

Starting with small projects like the ones I’ve mentioned here is a great way to get immediate decorating results and build your confidence to try bigger, more complex DIY projects down the road. Gone are the days of asking our spouses to do these tasks for us! Do some research, watch some videos online, or visit local workshops and get crafting. There is such an empowerment from taking an idea from scratch to fruition – it just takes some practice and a little courage. What’s great about making something yourself is that it’s not meant to be perfect … if you mess up, you can hide these accidental flaws by distressing an item, enhance its character by layering paint, or even highlight those imperfections. Make your DIY decorating project as unique as you are. If you don’t succeed the first time, don’t give up … just change the plan of attack and try it again!

Kasey Wright

Owner of AR Workshop Raleigh, offering hands-on graphic design and DIY workshops in a studio boutique.