Last minute holiday decor ideas

If you need to do some last minute holiday decorating, check out these ideas for adding a little holiday magic to your home - using items you may already have on hand, in your backyard or can pick up with a quick trip to the grocery store or floral shop.

When it comes to holiday decor, I'm a big believer in using what I already may have in my home and just adding some subtle touches. Now that doesn't mean I don't have holiday decorations, I do, in fact I have a whole cupboard in my basement dedicated to vintage ornaments.  Let's be clear, I'll never be  called me a minimalist. I'm a collector, but I also like to repurpose vintage finds. Whether that's planting a small tree inside an antique crock, turning an old junk drawer into a sweet winter scene, or creating pretty paper ornaments from the pages of old books.

Here are 7 quick ideas for adding some last minute holiday decor to your home.

1. Gather a few holiday items on a pretty tray. 

One of the easiest things you can do to decorate is to gather a few festive items on a tray. Fill a bowl with ornaments, add a candle, a few books stacked on a tray, and voila - something festive, that doesn't take up a slot of space. 

2. Add a miniature tree or fresh greenery. 

No time to decorate a big tree? Place a small tree or fresh greenery from your local green grocer inside a metal bucket, planter from your garden, or an antique crock.  Just add battery operated lights.

Felt star ornament from Lorraine Tuson

3. Forage for last minute holiday decor outdoors.

Forage for fallen branches in the backyard or local park, then place them in an oversized jar and add a few ornaments for a simple Scandi-inspired look. Berry branches look pretty in jars too.

I added delicate little ornaments made from old book pages. You could also use newspaper.

Here's how to make the paper ornaments.

You'll need:
  • paper
  • scissors
  • ornament hooks
  • hole punch
Step 1: Gather a stack of paper and cut out the shape of a tree.
Step 2: Staple the paper together, add a staple to the centre of the tree.
Step 3: Use a hole punch to create a hole to hang the ornament.
Step 4: Fold the tree in half and separate the pages to add dimension.
Step 5: Hang the ornament with an ornament hook.

4. Add ambiance with candles

Gather together an assortment of jars and add some sprigs of fresh greenery tied with string. Just add a tealight candle.

Granted, I have a bit of an obsession with jars but a quick hunt through your recycling bin may yield enough jars to create a pretty display.

5. Make a quick holiday swag to hang on your front door or an empty wall.

Really, this hardly takes any time to pull together. A quick trip to the grocery store or local floral shop to pick up some fresh greenery and berries, floral tape and/or wire which you could ask the florist to sell you, and a quick forage for a decent sized stick or branch is basically all you need. 

Gather together a small bouquet of greenery and berries and secure with floral tape or wire. Add the bouquet to the branch, secure with tape or wire. Cut a piece of ribbon and tie to each end of the stick. Hang on wall or door.

6. Think outside the box.

This project takes a bit more time but it's cute and easy to do. All you need is a wood box or an old drawer, bottle brush trees, a few cute deer and some battery operated lights. It's a fun addition to a shelf.

  • box
  • glue gun
  • battery operated lights
  • cotton balls
  • bottle brush trees
  • toy deer
Step 1: You'll need to stick the trees to the inside of the box using a glue gun or glue dots.
Step 2: Add cotton. Stretch the cotton balls and spread it out inside the box to create "snow". It's up to you whether you want to glue it in place.
Step 3: Add battery operated lights. I used a little bit of tape to secure the wire to the wood.
Step 4: Add the cute little fawns.

 7. Add some holiday cheer to a cabinet or shelf.

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