Decking your halls with holiday decor can be tricky when you’re on a budget. That’s why it pays to be resourceful when it comes to spreading holiday cheer throughout your home. Luckily, some of our most humdrum home essentials actually offer ample decorating opportunity. With a little imagination, you can turn everyday items—like puzzle pieces, newspaper, and houseplants—into seriously stylish trimmings.
To prove our point, we rounded up a few of our favorite up-cycled holiday decorations for your consideration. Read ahead for seven innovative ways to dress up your place for the season with stuff you probably already have.
Paint Chip Wreath (above)
Still deciding what to do with that massive pile of paint chip samples growing in your junk drawer? With little more than scissors, glue, and some florist wire, you can cut and fashion your very own holiday wreath (just like Hipster Mum) in any color scheme you choose.
Houseplant Christmas Tree
Not working with enough space (or moolah) for a full-blown Christmas tree in your apartment this year? Whether with mini-ornaments, ribbon, or pom-pom trim (which you can buy for pretty cheap on Amazon or your local craft store), a dressed-up houseplant or cactus (like this one by Sugar and Cloth) can still make a surprisingly impactful (and not to mention adorable) holiday scene.
Puzzle Piece Napkin Rings
Looking for a festive way to dress up your dinner table without buying new serveware? Designer Brian Patrick Flynn suggests spray-painting a handful of old puzzle pieces (although hand-painting works fine, too) and hot-gluing them onto napkin rings for a fresh set of snowflake-inspired table accessories.
DIY Gift Wrap
Stylish gift wrapping paper often comes with a hefty price tag, Instead of covering your presents in pricey paper this season, try using pages torn from your favorite fashion magazine, newspaper, or catalog for super cool and eco-savvy gift-wrapping (go the extra mile by dying the sheets and creating DIY flowers like Scarlett Clay did here).
Scrabble Tile Gift Tags or Place Settings
Sitting on an old set of Scrabble that you haven’t used in years? Ciao Newport Beach recommends spelling out your loved ones names with the tile letters and gluing them to popsicle sticks for some one-of-a-kind gift tags and place settings (we think they’d even be great ornaments!).
Bake Your Own Cookie Ornaments
Why buy holiday ornaments when you can bake your own? Not only do homemade gingerbread cookie ornaments smell great (check out this post from Kitchn for the perfect recipe), they’re an easy way to personalize your tree without dipping into your shopping budget. (We’ll throw in a “hang at your own risk” here if you have pets that like rogue cookies as much as Santa.)
Mason Jar Snow Globes
Few things look more festive on a table or shelf than a glittery snow globe. You can make your own unique snow globe this season (à la Hey Lets Make Stuff) with nothing more than a mason jar, bottlebrush tree, and your favorite color of glitter.