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13 Holiday Decoration Ideas Anyone Can Do

Most of the holiday projects you see in magazines and blogs are a load of reindeer crap. Many are 1) impossible to do, 2) wouldn’t look good in a real-world home, 3) incredibly time consuming or 4) just impractical. Face it, it’s the first week in December and you are not really going to use pliers to deconstruct a pine cone and reassemble it as an army of whimsical elves. So what are you going to do to make your home festive? I’ve scoured the pages of said publications to find projects that are beautiful and do-able.

Mary Jo Bowling
  • Photo credit: Via Apartment Therapy, photograph by Alison Conkilin, styli
    Deck the Walls

    This is a cool idea featured on Apartment Therapy, but there's no doubt it would take a little effort to make it look great. The creators simply drew a tree on a huge sheet of kraft paper (you can get the big rolls at paint supply or hardware stores) and tacked up lights and ornaments. The trick is getting the paper to lay correctly, as it would take nails—but if you don't mind a few nail and tack holes in the wall, it's a great look. And, compared to some projects, it's within the realm.

  • Photo credit: José Picayo for House Beautiful
    Feathering the Nest

    One of the easiest ways to whip up an elegant Christmas fast is to start with preassembled materials. This statement-making wreath involves a humble premade garland you can score at almost any Christmas tree lot. Make your next stop Cliff's Variety (Northern California's home of flamboyant feathers) or Michael's Crafts to pick up the plummage. Glue in the feathers and hang—it's just that easy.

  • Photo credit: Lara Robby/Studio D for Country Living
    Two Skirts Make Merry

    I'm not the Country Living type, but their Halloween and Christmas issues are not to be missed, as they contain some of the most innovative holiday ideas around. Case in point: They had the brilliant idea of taking two skirts, cutting them in half and layering around the tree for what is (literally) a tree skirt. I'm not sure I have any in my closet I'm willing to sacrifice, but I'm confident I can find some at the thrift store.

  • Photo credit: William Waldron for Country Living
    A Christmas Basket

    Martha Stewart's elves popularized the idea of "planting" a cut Christmas tree in a container several years back. Of course, they favor the kind of container that is devilishly hard to find (i.e. an old-fashioned galvanized washing machine tub from a flea market). They also tend to gravitate towards containers with narrow openings, making watering the tree a difficult exercise. Country Living takes a more practical approach: A wide-mouth basket that's (kind of) readily available.

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