A Dozen Clever Hacks for Your DIY Holiday Home

You don't have to shop 'til you drop to make things merry and bright this season. We've scoured the Web for 18 resourceful hacks to make your home—and your holiday—magical and memorable, without breaking the bank.

  1. "Faux" Real

    DIY Christmas Tree Stand

    You won’t have to fake enthusiasm for your artificial Christmas tree when it stands atop a genuine wood tree trunk, as seen on the blog Something's Hiding in Here. Collect a tree stump from your local tree service, and bore a hole in the center to accommodate the base of your tree to bring the beauty of nature indoors.

    Related: Look Alive—8 Ways to Make Your Fake Tree Fool Anyone

    blog.urbanoutfitters.com via somethingshidinginhere.com

  2. In Plain Sight

    DIY Wrapping Paper Storage

    Don’t relegate wrapping paper rolls to the back of the closet; give them a permanent dwelling on a desk or countertop, gathered in an attractive hamper basket or a simple dip-dyed storage canister. The talented DIYer at Home Made By Carmona coated the outer rim of her glass canister with gold spray paint for that dazzling metallic finish.

    Related: 18 Clever Storage Solutions You Can DIY for Free


  3. Snow Day

    DIY Paper Snowflakes

    Ordinary coffee filters are transformed into special snowflakes in this heartwarming holiday decoration from crafter Elsie Marley. After brewing a cup of joe for yourself, flatten and fold a couple of unused coffee filters, then cut them into your favorite snowflake pattern. Your lacy paper creations will be perfectly round and symmetrical every time—although no two will be alike!

    Related: 15 Insanely Easy Ways to Decorate for the Holidays


  4. Wrap It Up

    DIY Wrapping Paper

    Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of our favorite things...under the Christmas tree this year! Wrap toys and trinkets in brown paper bags adorned with baker’s twine and alphabet monogram gift tags to offer up rustic charm with a personal touch.

    Related: 8 Clever Ways to Reuse Wrapping Paper

    flickr.com via apartmentlife

  5. Take a Bow

    Door Holiday Gift Wrap Decor

    Don’t wait to deck the halls with boughs of holly when in mere minutes you can deck the door with bows of holly-red fabric. This artful decoration from Ohoh Blog uses a combination of light and dark red organza, but any festive fabric will do the trick—even cut-up bedsheets. Wrap the "ribbons" around your front door and secure them with staples to treat your guests to the gift of a stunning entryway.

    Related: 12 Totally Unexpected Ways to DIY a Holiday Wreath


  6. Thyme for Leftovers

    Thyme for Leftovers

    If you have fistfuls of leftover herbs that didn't get to dress the holiday bird, give them fresh purpose by proudly displaying them on empty walls and cabinet fronts. Simply trim remnant herb sprigs and stick them to the walls using washi tape scrawled with messages of holiday cheer.

    Related: 12 Easy Herbs to Grow on Your Windowsill

    instructables.com via Paige Russell

  7. Ladder to Success

    DIY Christmas Ladder Tree

    Take holiday decorating one step at a time—literally—with this nontraditional and easy-to-stow Christmas tree ladder. Using this Instructables tutorial, transform the rungs of a ladder into the painted “boughs” of a tree brimming with gifts and solid craftsmanship.

    Related: DIY Lite—The One Christmas Tree That's Not a Pain to Store

    instructables.com via Paige Russell

  8. Stovetop Scent-sation

    Stove Top Potpourri

    You don’t have to be a master chef to infuse your home with the unforgettable aroma of your favorite festive foods. Make like the blogger at I Heart Naptime and fill a pot with lush cranberries and oranges as well as fragrant cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves, then let it simmer on the stove, emitting spiced potpourri to immerse the senses.

    Related: 8 Ways to Make Your House Smell Like the Holidays


  9. Mint Condition

    DIY Christmas Place Cards

    Take a short and sweet approach to table setting with these miniature candy-cane place card holders from Industrious Justice. After gluing together upside-down candy canes, nestle name cards or food labels in the front two “hooks” of the candy canes to pepper your holiday dinner table with style.

    Related: 7 Tips for Quick and Easy Cleanup After Dinner


  10. Double the Fun

    Double Wreath

    A statement-making wreath can be surprisingly expensive. But that shouldn’t hold you back from adding holiday curb appeal to your front door. Rather than laying out the cash for a natural evergreen wreath, try this simple trick from the blogger at A Night Owl. Place a smaller wreath inside a larger artificial one, tie it with a pretty ribbon and hang as one. No one will ever guess your affordable secret. 

    Related: 12 Totally Unexpected Ways to DIY a Holiday Wreath


  11. Top Notch

    DIY Tree Topper

    The perfect Christmas tree isn’t complete without the finishing touch of a topper. Finding the perfect tree topper, though, isn't easy. Too tall and it scratches the ceiling, too heavy and it weighs down the branches, and, of course, the design has to suit your taste. Try creating your own pipe cleaner topper, using inspiration from A Beautiful Mess. It's simple, lightweight, cheap, and fully customizable. 

    Related: 25 Handy Stocking Stuffers Under $25


  12. Don't Miss!


    Today's artificial Christmas trees are looking more lifelike than ever! Spring for an artificial Christmas tree this year, and you could save significant cash on your holiday decorating costs for years to come. Click through to see our top picks.