5-Minute Holiday Decorating Ideas

Ideas you can do in less time than it takes to hang stockings by the chimney with care.

5-minute-vases_galPosts of Christmas Past
For a mantel with extra flair, collect family holiday cards from previous years and clothespin them to a long, slim stick suspended between two vases. Put them in chronological order and, if you want, date the pins.

A Pine Idea
Perfectly at home in a modern apartment or an Adirondack-style log cabin, pinecones in decorative bowl, basket or glass votive lend a touch of the season to any decor.

Bundles of Joy
Try hanging something unexpected, like a bunch of fragrant cinnamon sticks.

Star Power
Even a homemade ornament can pack a decorative punch. Gather a few small sticks from the backyard and trim the ends with sharp scissors. Arrange them into a star shape and tie together with jute or twine.

Sweet Sensations
Fill pretty glassware with sugar and mini marshmallows, then stuff old-fashioned stick candies inside. A holiday display that looks good enough to eat.

Step It Up
Show off some of your most eye-catching ornaments (that might otherwise get lost in your tree). Thread them with different lengths of thin ribbon or string, then tie them to a long, wide grosgrain ribbon wound along the banister.

Feast for the Eyes
Gather a bunch of doilies in white and silver and tape them together (or secure with a dab of glue) to form a one-of-a-kind table runner. For an inexpensive wintry centerpiece, fill glass vases and large compotes of different heights with pinecones. Spray-paint them gold and silver for extra sparkle, or leave them as nature intended.

Sunken Treasure
It’s no secret that poinsettias can seem like nature’s equivalent of the fruitcake. But they can also make a sophisticated statement. Just take them out of their foil-lined pots and sink them into pretty vases. NOTE: Poinsettias are mildly toxic to cats and dogs. While poinsettias are commonly “hyped” as poisonous plants, they rarely are but do watch for syptoms; drooling, licking lips, dermal irritation, vomiting. While medical treatment is rarely necessary, if these clinical signs are severe call your vet.

Flame Game
Set the mood by lighting scented candles and dropping tealights into delicate silver or gold holders or a miniature china house that glows from within.

Illuminate the Table
Top your holiday table with this illuminating piece. A pretty branch or beach wood adjourned with white holiday lights (battery operated pack a cleaner look). Makes white the conversation piece.

Setting Pretty
Turn old holiday cards into place cards. Cut them into star shapes; punch a hole, tie with a ribbon, and label accordingly.

Skirting the Issue
If each member of your family has, oh, four or five scarves, put some of them to work as a tree skirt. Arrange in a pinwheel fashion around the base of the tree and secure with safety pins.

Window Dressing
There’s more to holiday decorating than just the mantel―consider window ledges and empty bookshelves. Place pine boughs in a large vase, hang a handful of ornaments. Fill old jars with pistachio nuts, winterberries, or red peppercorns and nestle a tea light on top. Or go for a seashore motif, assembling an array of starfish draped with a length of plain red string.


Have you holiday dressed your home in less time? What tips do you have to offer?  Sound off in Comments, on the Patrick Parker Realty Facebook or Twitter pages and don’t forget to sign up for the monthly Patrick Parker Realty eNewsletter for more articles like this delivered straight to your inbox.