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26 DIY Christmas Decorations Anyone Can Make

Get ready to deck your halls with these simple holiday crafts—and get the whole family involved in the Christmas festivities.

Felt Christmas candy cane ornament, scissors, paper template, thread, needle, red and white felt pieces and scraps, filler, ribbon on old wooden background. Christmas DIY concept. Kids holiday craftsOnlyZoia/Shutterstock

‘Tis the season…for holiday crafting!

There’s nothing like holiday crafting to get you into the Christmas spirit. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with the family and save money on holiday decor. But what if you’re the least crafty person on the planet? Don’t worry! These DIY Christmas decorations are easy enough for anyone to make. (Yes, even you—we promise.) Many of them are also made from upcycled and natural elements, adding an environmentally friendly spin to the season. So, brew some hot cocoa, turn on the holiday tunes, and spend a day making these festive crafts and decking your halls in all sorts of wonderful ways! While you’re at it, make sure to avoid these 18 common holiday decorating mistakes.


Making garland with Christmas trees from paper forms for muffins. Simple decorations with their own hands. DIY concept. Step-by-step photo instructions. Step 4. Make lot of Christmas trees13Smile/Shutterstock

Cupcake Wrapper Garland

Holiday cupcake wrappers are adorable and inexpensive. Pick out a sleeve of mixed-pattern liners to create this easy garland. First, flatten the cupcake liners, and fold them in half. Then, stack three folded liners to form a “tree,” and secure with hot glue. Add a paper star at the top, and secure the cupcake liner trees to a length of twine or yarn with staples or hot glue. For more easy Christmas crafts, here are 7 DIY holiday decorations you can make in 10 minutes or less.


closeup of some handmade christmas balls, mad with ribbon bow, strings and buttons of different colors, and a pile of different haberdashery items on a rustic wooden surfacenito/Shutterstock

Christmas Ribbon Bauble

Use large styrofoam floral balls to create these easy DIY Christmas decorations. Simply stick mini Christmas ribbons onto the surface of the ball and glue a loop of string at the top for the hanger. Mix and match the ribbon to coordinate with your existing holiday decor. Want to try something different with your decor this year? Take a look at these 6 new ways to deck your tree.


How to make a Christmas tree from raw pasta conchiglie. The process of making Christmas trees from pasta, cardboard plates, hot glue and paint or spray. Guide, step by step on the photo.Handmade, DIY.Olya Detry/Shutterstock

Pasta Noodle Christmas Trees

This pretty little pasta tree looks a lot more difficult to make than it actually is. Roll a piece of cardboard into a cone, then hot-glue it together. Put a dot of hot glue at the base and stick on a noodle. Glue one noodle at a time concentrically until you reach the top. Once you’re done, spray paint it whatever color you like. Don’t forget to add a bow-tie noodle for the star! If this pasta creation has you thinking about what to cook for the holidays, check out these 12 Christmas menu ideas everyone will love.


Candle decorated with cinnamon sticks, moss, ivy leaves and wooden deers - beautiful natural Christmas arrangement. Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Cinnamon Stick Candle

There’s nothing like the spicy smell of cinnamon to put you in the holiday spirit. For this easy craft, you’ll need a large pillar candle (at least 9 inches tall), a bundle of large cinnamon sticks (about 8 inches long), ribbon, and a hot-glue gun. To start, put a small dab of hot glue on a cinnamon stick, and place it on the candle. Once you’ve placed the cinnamon sticks all the way around, tie some ribbon around it to help hold everything in place. Tuck in some faux berries, sprigs of evergreen, or mini pine cones to complete the look. You can leave out these DIY Christmas decorations once the big day passes, along with these winter decorating ideas to get you through the post-holiday blues.

How to make orange pomander ball with candle - step by step, tutorialAgnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Citrus Pomander Candles

Citrus pomanders are classic DIY Christmas decorations. Take this popular craft one step further and transform it into a tea-light holder. To make one, slice a thin piece of skin from the stem end of the orange to create a base. On the opposite end, use a sharp paring knife to cut out a hole that’s just large enough to fit the tea light into. The tea light should fit down in the orange, with the top of the tea light even with the skin of the orange. Decorate the outside with cloves, then insert the tea light. Remember to be extra careful when using candles, and also make sure you know these other holiday decorating mistakes that could put your family in danger.


Child making decorations of orange peel for Christmas. Children's art project. DIY concept. Step by step photo instruction. Step 7. Final result 13Smile/Shutterstock

Citrus Ornaments

Instead of tossing citrus skins into the compost pile, transform them into ornaments. Use cookie cutters to trace shapes onto the skin, and cut them out with a sharp knife. Let them dry on a tray for a few days, then thread them onto a piece of string for a garland or pierce them with a metal ornament hook to hang on a tree. By the way, if you haven’t started decorating for Christmas yet, this might convince you to start.

cardboard gingerbread housecourtesy Debbie Wolfe

Cardboard Gingerbread House

Skip the messy candy-and-graham-cracker gingerbread kit and make a gingerbread house out of cardboard boxes instead. It’s easiest to use a square box for this craft. To make the front and back of the roof, cut off the corners of two opposing flaps to form a triangle. Then glue the two remaining uncut sides to the triangles and then to each other. Use chalk markers or paint to decorate your cardboard gingerbread house. Need a centerpiece idea? Here are 8 last-minute (and super easy!) Christmas centerpieces.


candy cane reindeercourtesy Debbie Wolfe

Candy Cane Reindeer

Nothing’s better than a DIY Christmas decoration you can eat. Cut a 3-inch-long piece of brown ribbon. Then, glue two candy canes together, back to back. These are the antlers for your reindeer. Use wiggly eyes and a red mini pom-pom for the face. To hang on a tree, loop a piece of ribbon through the antlers.

Domestic handmade Christmas decorationsPiotr Debowski/Shutterstock

Wood Burn Ornament

Wood burning is a versatile craft that looks amazing and is surprisingly easy to do. Either purchase wood slices or forage in your yard for a branch to slice down. Lightly sketch your design on the wood slices before you apply the heat with a wood-burner tool. Stick with simple geometric patterns, like snowflakes. The slices can be hung as ornaments or used as holiday coasters if they are large enough.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Flower Pot Christmas DecorationPlatslee/Shutterstock

Reindeer Pot

Terra-cotta pots are an inexpensive crafting medium that you can do so much with. Create this adorable little reindeer with pipe cleaners, craft paper, wiggly eyes, and a pom-pom. Cut out ears from the craft paper, and adhere them to the pot with hot glue. Twist the pipe cleaners into antlers, and glue them onto the pot, along with the eyes and nose. For a finishing touch, embellish the top with paper twine and some beads. If you’re looking to up your outdoor-decorating game, here are 11 holiday lighting tips to have the best display in the neighborhood.

Kid is holding a Christmas tree decoration in his hands. Kid is showing a Christmas tree decoration. Merry Christmas tree project for kids. Scissors, green cotton yarn on a wooden tableOnlyZoia/Shutterstock

Cardboard and Yarn Christmas Tree

Sometimes, the simplest DIY Christmas decorations are the best. This little Christmas tree is a cinch to create using yarn, cardboard, and glue. Cut out a simple triangle tree, then paint a layer of glue onto the cardboard. Wrap yarn around the tree, and let it dry. Glue a paper star at the top with a loop of yarn for the hanger. How do other countries celebrate Christmas? Check out these 14 traditions from around the world that you’ll want to steal.

cute hand made recycled christmas ornaments on a wooden tableWollertz/Shutterstock

Bottle Cap Snowmen

Make these mini snowmen by gluing bottle caps onto a length of ribbon. Use premade mini craft snowflakes, or cut small, white circular pieces of paper that will fit into the caps. Decorate the pieces of paper, then glue them into the caps. Another option: Paint inside the caps to create your snowmen. Your tree isn’t the only thing you need to decorate, of course. Here are some ideas for a gorgeous (but low effort) Christmas mantel.

Candle holder made of glass balls. Beautiful table decoration for Christmas and carnival. How to make, step by step, tutorial. Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Christmas Ornament Candle Holder

Mini Christmas ball ornaments are inexpensive and come in a variety of colors. Make this festive candle holder by gluing the tiny balls onto a foam wreath form. These pretty little candle holders make perfect hostess gifts as well as a lovely tabletop centerpiece for a party. If you’re planning your own holiday bash, check out these 12 fun Christmas party themes you never thought of until now.

Vintage tray with glass vase filled with red and pearl baubleswith snow and evergreen centerpiece on coffee table by chair with magazine holder saying "home" on the front holding christmas magazinekaren crewe/Shutterstock

Ornament Vase Centerpiece

Another way to create an easy centerpiece is to fill a glass vase with ornaments. You can swap out colors to match your decor. This sophisticated-looking centerpiece is inexpensive, versatile, and super simple—genius! These adorable pets have amazing Christmas spirit.

Christmas composition. Christmas garland made of tree branches, cones, dried orange slices and thuja branches on white background. Flat lay, top view, copy space.Ariadna Nevskaya/Shutterstock

Natural Garland

This natural garland is not only an easy-to-assemble DIY Christmas decoration—it’s also a great way to keep the kids busy and feel included. Have them gather sprigs of evergreen branches and pine cones from the yard. Add in slices of dried citrus, if you desire. Then clip them to a length of twine with clothespins. As the pieces dry out and become brittle, simply swap them out with fresh pieces. Looking for more things to do with the family? Try one of these 20 easy Christmas ornament crafts for kids to make.


View of a jar with snow and a green Christmas tree decoration and Christmas lights on white snow and a wooden rustic background with copy space. Christmas or winter interior decoration or design VIGO-S/Shutterstock

Snow Globe

Snow globes are the perfect seasonal crafts to make with an upcycled glass jar. Place faux snow at the base, and then add a mini tree inside. Finish off the snow globe with battery-operated LED mini string lights to add a warm glow to any room. Once the big day is done, use these clever ways to store your Christmas decorations.


Decorating Christmas table with pine cones viki2win/Shutterstock

Pine Cone Centerpiece

If you have a yard full of pine cones, use them to create this simple centerpiece. Just place various sizes of pine cones into a wide glass bowl. Then add cinnamon sticks and sprigs of pine for natural fragrance. If you don’t have access to pine cones, you can pick up an inexpensive bag at a craft store.


ribbon treecourtesy Crayons & Cravings

Ribbon Tree

Crayons and Cravings has the perfect project to make on a rainy (or snowy) day before Christmas: a ribbon tree. Use up all your bits of leftover ribbon to create this darling rustic decoration that matches your holiday decor. For more smart ways to upcycle your Christmas leftovers, check out these 10 gorgeous and inventive ways to reuse your holiday cards.

wreathcourtesy Crayons & Cravings

Mason Jar Ring Wreath

Do you have mason jar rings piling up in your drawers? Use them to make mini wreaths. These wreaths look adorable tied to gifts or hanging on your tree. Head over to Crayons and Cravings to see how to make this easy DIY mason jar wreath. If you love to listen to holiday tunes while you craft, here are the 20 best-ever Christmas songs.


ginger bread house ornamentscourtesy Angela Hine - Projects with Kids

Gingerbread Pots

If you’re looking for a way to create a gingerbread village without having to bake or purchase a kit, check out Projects with Kids’ terra-cotta gingerbread houses. Using terra-cotta mini pots and chalk markers, you can create these sweet little houses that look good enough to eat. If you also want to make the real deal, be sure to follow these 5 steps for creating the perfect homemade gingerbread house.

christmas lanternscourtesy Angela Hine - Projects with Kids

Magical Lanterns

There’s nothing like candlelight during the holidays. Projects with Kids has an easy DIY that transforms glass jars into magical lanterns. The lanterns look stunning lit up with a candle inside and make the perfect handcrafted addition to any holiday decor. If you want to take your DIY efforts up a notch, try making one (or more!) of these 26 handmade gifts for everyone on your list.


hand painted Christmas mitten salt dough ornaments on festive wood tableLynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock

Salt Dough Ornaments

You can’t talk about DIY Christmas decorations without discussing salt dough ornaments. They’re a classic for a reason, after all! Make the salt dough by bringing together 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup water. Mix the ingredients until they form a dough with a Play-Doh-like consistency. Form the dough into a ball, and knead for approximately 5 minutes. Then roll out the dough to a 1/4 thickness, and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 200 degrees Fahrenheit until the dough is completely dry and hard. Once the shapes have cooled, decorate them with paint. If you really want to get into the holiday spirit, here are 11 DIY ways to make your home smell like Christmas.

Top down view of florist's worktable. Making of Christmas wreath. Copy space - perfect for a festive card.Karniewska/Shutterstock

Evergreen Wreath

If you adore the look and smell of a fresh evergreen wreath but hate the price, you’re in luck. Creating a wreath is easy with the help of a straw wreath form and u-pins. Simply gather evergreen greenery, and cut the branches into smaller pieces. Gather a handful of sprigs, and form a small bundle. Pin the bundles to the wreath. As you go around the form, be sure to overlap the bundles slightly to hide the pins. This can also be a great seasonal housewarming gift. For other times of the year, check out these 22 homemade housewarming gifts any new homeowner will love.


Christmas season, rustic decoration, Santa hats on pine cones with lights at snow and brown wooden background.vulcano/Shutterstock

Pine Cone Santas

These darling little Santas are easy to put together with premade mini hats that you can pick up at the craft store. Paint the tips of pine cones white, and let them dry. Pop on the mini Santa hats, and these DIY Christmas decorations are ready to go! Ever wonder why Christmas colors are green and red? We’ve got the answer!

Little Christmas tree izzzy71/Shutterstock

Evergreen Branch Arrangement

Use those leftover branches that were trimmed off your fresh Christmas tree to make a simple tabletop arrangement. Line a decorative pot with a plastic insert, then add soaked floral foam. Insert the branches into the form at varying heights. The branches will stay fresh and not dry out as long as the floral foam stays moist. For more Christmas inspiration, take a look at these best Christmas towns in every state.


Originally Published in Reader's Digest

Debbie Wolfe
Debbie Wolfe is an author and freelance writer specializing in home, garden, DIY, and lifestyle topics. She covers lifestyle, culture, and craft content for Reader's Digest and contributes regularly to HGTV, The Home Depot, Walmart, Family Handyman, Realtor, Bob Vila, and more. Her book, Do-It-Yourself Garden Projects and Crafts (Skyhorse Publishing), features a variety of practical DIY projects to beautify your garden and home. Debbie holds a degree in Creative Writing and Earth Science from Northland College.