Looking for a way to stretch your Christmas decor budget? Here are 17 ways to make last year’s Christmas decor look like new.

Just in case no one else has mentioned it today?

You. Are. Amazing.

Did you know you inspire me every day? You make my day a little brighter and merrier with your comments and your encouragement and your joy. I am so so so happy I get to write this blog every day and I’m so happy we are celebrating the holidays together. It’s so much more fun to decorate with friends.

I’m in the middle of Christmas crafting right now and I have three amazing DIYs to share with you next week (including the CUTEST monogrammed wax ornaments).

But today?

Today is all about saving money and thinking outside the box.

Today is all about rethinking and reusing what you already have in a new way to decorate your home.

Here are 17 simple ideas to make last year’s Christmas decor look like new.

Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New

17 Ways to Make Last Year’s Christmas Decor Look Like New

1. Make a tree out of ornaments

You know how you decorate your tree with ornaments?

And then?

There are always boxes of ornaments left over. Sometimes they aren’t the right color. Sometimes you didn’t put up as many trees. Sometimes you just aren’t up for putting all those ornaments on the tree.

Why not use those extra ornaments to decorate with instead?

Paint a canvas board in bright colors and glue the ornaments on in the shape of a tree.

Easy art with ornaments that need a home.

And why stop with just making a tree? I just shared tons of other ways to decorate with ornaments.

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New hutch17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New by decorating a hutch

2. Spray paint everything to match

When it comes to recycling Christmas decor?

Spray paint is your best friend. I’ve spray-painted pitchers and sleighs and reindeer and houses.

And even a Santa or two.

I’m actually heading to Dollar Tree because I saw the cutest Nutcracker ornaments that I want to spray-paint gold. All you have to do is figure out your color scheme and spray paint your decor to match.

Easy peasy Christmas breezy.

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New tree branches

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New chalkboard tree

3. Make a tree from leftover greenery

I always have leftover greenery. Sometimes it used to be part of a tree. Sometimes it lived another life as part of a wreath. Sometimes it was just cast aside for new, cuter greenery.

Why not use it to make something completely new?

Like this tree.

It’s the easiest DIY ever.

Simply glue pieces of greenery in a graduated pattern to a canvas or board (or a chalkboard).

Then top with an ornament (or draw an ornament on the tree with chalk).

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New paper tree

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New fringe paper

4. Make trees out of Christmas Carol pages

I found an old vintage book of Christmas carols in the bottom of one of my tubs.

Don’t worry.

No Christmas carols were harmed in the making of this craft.

I made copies of the pages and used them to make a set of Christmas carol trees.

You can see the entire DIY here.

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New mini wreaths

5. Make mini wreaths out of garland

I had spools of this wired boxwood garland left over in one of my Christmas tubs.

Instead of tossing it, I cut it into 18″ strips and made it into mini wreaths.

I wrapped each boxwood strip twice and tied it off with a ribbon.

Then I decorated the wire rack in my kitchen.

(total aside: I also used it like ribbon on packages and added these wreaths as package toppers.

17 Ways to Make Last Year's Christmas Decor Look Like New bottle brush trees

6. Reimagine Bottle Brush Trees

You probably have bottle brush trees like these.

And you are like?

What do I make with them?

Glue them.

Glue them to a block of wood or a block or even a door knob.

Then line them up to create your own Christmas bottle brush forest.

7. Make trees out of jingle bells

If you have extra jingle bells left over from ornaments and garlands and wreaths?

This is the perfect project.

Why not remake them into a jingle bell tree?

You can see the step-by-step instructions for the project here.

8. Make a snowflake from pine cones

Depending on where you live? Pinecones are free.

And nothing makes me happier than free snowflake art.

This was such an easy project and all you need are those free pinecones and hot glue.

You can see the entire DIY here.

9. Make a garland cuter

If you have a garland that has seen better Christmas days, don’t get rid of it.

Embellish it.

Add in dried hydrangeas and burlap ribbon and pine cones and layers of other greenery.

Your mantel will thank you.

10. Add new bows to wreaths

I pull these wreaths out year after year.

I fluff them and twist them and turn them.

But the secret to making the wreaths look like new?

New bows.

You can make your own bows with yards of ribbon or buy new bows from the dollar store.

I shared some of my best Christmas bow secrets here.

Christmas cards letter banner

Merry banner

Christmas cards letter

11.  Make a Merry Banner from last year’s cards

This banner could actually say joy or peace or noel.

To make it I simply used a ruler and traced letters onto the Christmas card.

Then I cut them out and clipped them to a ribbon with clothespins and hung them on a basket.

The letters are different sizes (so much easier and less measuring).

They are just the size of the card.

And no curves, only straight lines for easier tracing.

You could also punch a hole in the edge and hang them with jute twine.

12. Make a bow from a scarf

Big oversized ribbon for bows is so expensive.

But what if you used a scarf instead?

It makes the wreath look so Christmasy and I had extra scarves laying around (Truth? We don’t really use scarves much here in Texas. They are much better put to use on a wreath).

You can see the entire how-to here.

Christmas card recycling project

Christmas card projects jolly house

13.  Make a Christmas village from Christmas cards

This house was made from two different cards.

For the base, I cut out a strip of card and folded it with two short sides and two long sides and taped them together.

Cards are perfect for this project because they are much stiffer than regular scrapbook paper.

Then I cut out a square for the roof and folded it in half and taped it to the top of the base.

I cut out four tiny rectangles for the chimney and notched two of them to fit over the roof.

I taped them all together and added a puff of “smoke” made from cotton batting.

Christmas card tags

Christmas card project tags

14.  Make tags from cards and gift boxes

This was the easiest project of all.

To make these tags, I used the gift boxes that lost their other have and the back of Christmas cards.

You could use a tag cutter or paper cutter or you could go all old school with a pair of scissors.

Simply cut a rectangle out of the card with your design in the center.

Clip the corners off of one end to make the tag, punch a hole and add a ribbon.

15. Decorate with pine cones

Each year I pull out last year’s pinecones and reimagine them. Here are a few of the ways I use them to decorate:

  • Make wreaths from them
  • Wire them into garlands
  • Add them to bowls around the house
  • Use them as place card holders
  • Glue them to a board and make a snowflake
  • Make them into ornaments
  • Fill a dough bowl

And on and on and pine cone on.

You can also see 21 ways to decorate with pinecones here.

Christmas card box

Christmas card Joy box

16.  Make a box out of Christmas cards

I made this tiny box out of one card.

The front made the top and the back made the bottom.

Wouldn’t it be so cute for a gift card present?

Making the box is so much easier than it looks.

I simply cut out two notches on each side and folded the ends under and taped.

Then I repeated the same steps for the bottom of the box.

17. Advent Calendar

Make an advent calendar out of a chalkboard and ornaments.

Use all the ornaments like Christmas trees or bells or stars or snowflakes.

Clip them onto twine and number each of them with chalk.

Every day have your family put one on the tree and tell something they are thankful for.

I hope this post inspires you.

Christmas decorating doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

All you need is a little imagination and these ideas.

And just in case you were keeping track? Christmas is only 40 days away.


Here’s to making all the days count. 🙂

I’m so excited to be part of an amazing Christmas series today. Here are some incredible, inspiring designing women a little bit about them and all the Christmas inspiration they are sharing today.


Crystal from Sweet Valley Acres has been an artist and dreamer since birth and currently lives in Kelowna, BC Canada. Crystal loves creating beautiful spaces in her home and garden for her family and friends to enjoy. She also loves pushing her builder husband, Bentley to his very limits when it comes to building and renovating. After 33 years of marriage and taking on many homes that were the worst houses on the block and turning them into showstoppers, Crystal has a wealth of knowledge and experience. In addition, she has won many awards for garden design and previously owned a home and garden decor store.  This month Crystal is sharing all the new trends in Christmas decorating.
Kristy from At Home with Kristy is from Texas, is a homebody at heart and very passionate about creating a warm & welcoming home environment for family and friends. Kristy has a BS Interior Design and has worked as an Interior Designer for 35 years specializing in Residential Interior Design. She is a planner, perfectionist, & big picture thinker, but also loves getting lost in the weeds perfecting every detail. Kristy loves sharing her knowledge and expertise to inspire, encourage and empower others.  This month Kristy is sharing how to bring the best of vintage and modern holiday decorations together to create a one-of-a-kind nostalgic Christmas atmosphere.
Sheri from Savvy in the Suburbs is also from Texas and owned and operated a successful interior design business for most of her adult life.  Now she is enjoying fluffing her own nest, spending time with her family – three married children and five grandchildren, and growing in her relationship with the Lord. As she joyfully enters the last season of her life, she relishes family time and believes in the old adage: God first, family second, all else third. She is enjoying the opportunity to share this truth as well as her years of design expertise and love of all things home.  This month Sheri is sharing how to turn your guest room(s) into a cozy festive Christmas retreat with a few simple holiday touches.

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Diana Diana

    I had the same question as Jean. I also noticed you had small little houses here and there, are they putz houses? Thank you!

  2. Image for Rizae Rizae

    SIMPLY AMAZING!!! Loving these ideas and wondering which one(s) to choose... 🤔🥰 Remember to take time for yourself as you gift us your wonderful, heartfelt craft and decore ideas. Big Hugs,

  3. Image for Peg Peg

    I love so many of these crafts!! This post made me think of the Grinch when he said maybe Christmas doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!! xoxo

  4. Image for Sheri Sheri

    Wow, KariAnne! What great ideas! Always fun to re-use what we have and save some money. Fabulous inspo here. Thank you so much for joining us with Designing Women Tell All! It’s wonderful having you along!

  5. Image for Crystal Ratzlaff Crystal Ratzlaff

    KariAnne I am so pleased and thankful that you agreed to be our very ever special guest. I am most thankful for our friendship. I cherish it so much. You are the reason I have stayed in this crazy world of blogging as you always give me hope. I got so many ideas from your post today. I love adding old door knobs to the bottle brushes!!! That is the cutest thing I have ever seen. The jingle bell tree was wonderful too and I love adding the beautiful scarf to a wreath. So, so, so many great ideas. Thank you for sharing all of them!

  6. Image for Kristy Mastrandonas Kristy Mastrandonas

    Wow, KariAnne! So many great ideas on how to reuse old Christmas decor to make it look brand new and fabulous! Thanks so much for being our 1st special guest on our blog post series, Designing Women Tell All!

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