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Easy Christmas Home Decorating Ideas

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Looking for easy and budget-friendly Christmas decorating ideas? In this post you will find doable projects, ideas and inspiration that will have your home festive in no time.

The day my tree goes up, the atmosphere of the house changes dramatically. The everyday ordinary takes on a festive spirit with the glow of Christmas lights and Christmas music playing in the background.

I enjoy decking the halls in my own style – nothing formal or fancy. I change the colors I use every year. I think I yearned for a little extra comfort and joy this year and went with traditional colors.

Part of the magic of Christmas is the many memories we bring to the season. Attic boxes filled with garlands, stockings and ornaments come out once a year and remind us of the anticipation and magic of our childhoods. We have songs we listen to only in December and recipes that are only made for the holidays.

I love this feeling and want to make sure I don’t miss any of it. I tend to go more vintage with my style at Christmas. As well lean more towards simplicity, handmade, nostalgic touches, and all things cozy. The season is all about comfort and joy and I happily oblige.

I also like having the house filled with natural elements and the fresh scent of pine.

red and green plaid doormat on top of a black and white check mat by front door of holiday decorated home

I didn’t buy anything new to decorate this year, except for the pointsettias that line my fireplace mantel.

Instead, I added a Christmas touch to everyday items using these items:

  • White twinkle lights
  • Candles
  • Greenery from my yard
  • Jingle Bells
  • Ribbon
  • Glitter and fake snow
  • Ornaments

The Entry

I decorate 3 rooms for Christmas – the entry/foyer, living room and kitchen.

Red ribbon around large basket filled with branches. Christmas tree in distance.

In the entryway, I wrapped red velvet ribbon around a basket filled with dead branches.I liked that their color matched the basket. I tied a jingle bell and sprigs of pine onto the ribbon with florist’s wire.

  • Another length of the red ribbon also ties the sleigh bells onto the doorknob. I love when we open the door and we hear the bells jingle. Nothing sounds like Christmas to me more than jingle bells.
Faux paint cement paint technique used to create the look of a cast stone planter.

Across from the door is a dresser I use as a foyer sideboard. I made this large lightweight bowl using two plastic bowls. To learn how I made it, here is a link to the post about it:

The faux cedar wreath I bought at HomeGoods. Candleholders are from Balsam Hill.

basket of greenery on floor in foyer

Simple Christmas Decorating TIP:

  • Cut evergreen branches from your yard or the woods. Place in a basket.
    • If you want to keep the greens fresh longer, place a tray or large bowl in the bottom and fill with water.

I love how the smell of fresh pine boughs suddenly makes the house smell like a walk in the woods. Or how the twinkling lights on the tree cast a soft warm glow and dance on the ceiling after the sun goes down.

I placed a 6-foot tree in one corner of the entry and wrapped the base with a faux fur rug. The tree came pre-lit, but I added a few strings of twinkle lights.

Antique music stand with Christmas music on it. Basket filled with branches in front of it.

We keep an antique music stand in the opposite corner. I changed the sheet music to “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”.

Living Room

The living room is truly where we live. My house is small and this is the only gathering space. It is open concept with the kitchen. The walls are white, except for the barnwood paneled accent wall corner where the sofa is.

I made sure to make the room comfy, cozy and full of Christmas color.

Christmas decorated living room using red and plaid.

Turn Off The Overhead Lighting

Candles and Christmas lights create a cozy feeling all their own. It begins to get dark around 5:30 where I live.

Lighting can make or break a space. To up the Christmas ambiance, I love turning off all the overhead lights, dimming table lamps and letting the twinkling tree lights and a candle or two create magical lighting while we watch TV or just relax.

I made the oversize Fixer Upper wall clock to look like the one in Chip & Joanna’s house.

Red & Plaid Accents

I used red and plaid accents throughout the room. I made the plaid pillow covers using fabric I had left over from last year. The fur pillow is from my guest room. It works perfectly with the look I wanted for the room.

On the sofa table, I made an ornament finial for the thrift store lamp I recently made-over. You can find out how I made the lamp and the finial:

Rustic Red and Plaid Christmas Living Room

Simple Christmas Decorating TIP:

  • When any decorative item needs a lift, stack books to add more height as I did for the two candle hurricanes above. Cover the books in gift wrap for added style and color.
White candle with cranberries around it sitting on a cedar wreath on living room coffee table decorated for Christmas

A glass vase and candle are placed inside a wreath on my mirrored Farmhouse coffee table. I filled the bottom of the vase with fake snow and faux sugared cranberries.

I made the match holder. The coasters I bought at Pottery Barn a few years ago.

Mantel in living room decorated for Christmas

Adjacent from the sofa and accent wall is the fireplace wall.

Over the summer I found a few aged boards in my garage. I liked the patina and made a long wood planter box to sit on the mantel. I thought I would just use it for the summer, but I like the simple clean lines it creates and have kept it up, but have changed what is in it seasonally.

I didn’t have a red tree topper, so I made one using a piece of scrap wood and paint. I will post how I made it next week.

Stone fireplace with white stockings hung on the left. Christmas tree on right. Fire in fireplace.

I lined the inside of the planter with foil, so if I spill any water when watering the poinsettias, my mantel won’t get wet.

3 white Christmas stockings with plaid cuffs and pom-poms hanging from a fireplace mantel.

I made these stockings when I first started blogging. I change the cuff fabric every few years. You can find the stocking pattern here:

How to Make Merry Christmas Stockings & Pattern

A red pedestal photo cube, a candle on greenery and a planter with pine on a table.

On the side table, I covered a white plate with a seashell motif with sprigs of cedar and placed a candle on top. No more seashells… Instant Christmas decor.

I made the photo cube pedestal a few years ago to showcase Christmas photos from when I was a child.

Plaid giftwrap covering the top of a sideboard is one affordable Christmas decorating idea.

Another way I decorate for Christmas is to cover tables and sideboard tops with gift wrap. It is very budget-friendly and easy to do.

Santa and Me Card on Christmas decorated sideboard.

For instant decor, display a vintage Christmas card or a photo of you with Santa when you were a a child. There is a photo of Ed when he was about 4 sitting on Santa’s lap inside this card.

  • Place nuts in small bowls and use as edible decor.
Living room decorated for Christmas.

The view from the fireplace wall looking into the kitchen.

I live on a large lake and this room and the kitchen have great views of it. There are glass doors across the entire wall, except for a short spot in between the rooms. This is where we have a wall mounted TV. I can never get a great photo of the wall as the sun makes it too bright and the images are always blown out.

Outdoor deck and dock Christmas decorating ideas

The view out the sliding glass doors is part of my decor.

The Kitchen

Wall Chalkboard in kitchen with snowflakes and the word Joy drawn on.

As you enter the kitchen from the living room, this chalkboard wall is to your left. I like to change what is on it seasonally.

White kitchen with fruit and veggies on wood and silver tiered pedestal. Red Christmas ornament and pine spring on top.

My kitchen is very small so I only add a few festive touches in the way of an ornament, a candle and sprigs of greenery tied with ribbon.

Open white shelves in kitchen. Red and plaid paper doilies line each shelf. Red ornaments and pine sprigs tucked in randomly.

A few years ago, I made these plaid paper doilies to accent the open shelves. I re-used them, but in a slightly different way this year. You can see how I used them originally in this post:

Fast, easy and affordable Christmas decorating ideas that don't require bins of Christmas decor. Clementines on a white pedestal lined with greenery.

Simple Christmas Decorating TIP:

Turn food into decor. Pile fruit on a pedestal lined with greenery. Or fill a glass vase with candy canes.

Kitchen counter with wine bottles and a white pitcher filled with pine. Jingle bells are tied on with a red ribbon is tied around the pitcher. Fast and easy Christmas decorating ideas.

Tie a ribbon around a pitcher and add a jingle bell or two.

Simple Christmas decorating details. Use a tray with a candle and sprig of pine and jingle bells.

Or tie the bells to a sprig of pine from your yard.

Kitchen table decorated for Christmas using red and plaid accents.

It may just be myself and Ed for Christmas dinner this year. No parties planned or guests coming this year. :-(

I had fun rooting through my stash and found the pink/red glasses, fake trees that were on my mantel last Christmas, my favorite Kosta Boda Snowball candle holders and fake snow.

Pinecones with painted white tips becomes place card holders.

Christmas decorated kitchen and table setting.
Late afternoon in my kitchen when the sun is setting over the lake.

The best feeling of Christmas for me is the feeling you get when you fall asleep in the twinkling glow of a Christmas tree, or when you light candles at a dinner table… magical moments I look forward to every day in December.

More Ways to Add Some Christmas Jingle

Christmas ornament used as a doorknob accent that jingles. Easy DIY that looks and sounds like Christmas.

I bought 3 ornaments a few years ago that say Joy, Peace and Hope. I don’t use them on the tree. I use them instead as doorknob jinglers. I tied the jingle bells to a garland tie with red ribbon. The garland tie then simply wraps around the doorknob.

Have you ever used garland ties? They are the best Christmas decorating secret. You can discover all the ways I use them here:

Christmas Sounds & Smells

Decorating is only one part of the getting my house holiday ready equation. Equally important for me is how my house smells and sounds like Christmas.

Make Your House Sound Like Christmas:

I have Christmas CD’s, Spotify playlists and more on my TV, computer, phone and car. Hearing my favorite holiday songs is something I look forward to come December.

Make Your House Smell Like Christmas:

I make homemade potpourri and have it simmering in a pot of water on the stove all day long. I don’t have a recipe and make it differently every time. I like using a combination of water, citrus, cloves, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves.

Somewhere In My Memory…

The song from Home Alone, Somewhere In My Memory says it all for me on what I hold dear for Christmas. Holiday decorating comes second to memories for me.

What Christmas decor do you love? Decor that brings back fond memories of Christmases past?

Holiday decor that holds a special place in your heart that goes beyond decoration?

Have you decorated your home for the holidays yet? Do you have any creative ideas or tips to share that you do in your home?

I hope you enjoyed the tour and picked up a Christmas decorating tip or two that will help make decorating your house for the holidays easier.

Foyer door open with red ribbon tied sleigh bells and basket. Text overlay says Christmas decorating home tour

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  1. Yay! You used poinsettias! I love this Christmas flower but you don’t see too many real ones in homes any more. I knew an elderly woman who would plant hers in the garden at summer time and they got so big! Your home is cheery and colorful – love all the plaids! Thanks for opening your beautiful home to us!

    1. Hi Jennifer –

      I wanted traditional this year and poinsettias fit the bill. Red and and not expensive. I have never replanted them in past years when I used them, but I am going to look into it.

  2. This tour is fun and I love tour Christmas home ? Great ideas that are pretty and simple enough for any of us to do!! Love the special touches that hold memories for your family. That’s what I always try to bring to my home too ???

  3. Somewhere in my memory is one of my absolute favorites…. I remember watching my kids sing it at a concert and trying not to cry. It just gets to me. Gosh, I am tearing up just remembering that moment. Love all of the plaid in your home- it has that perfect lake house Christmas vibe!