Just in case no one else has mentioned it today?

You. Are. Amazing.

Thank you so much for showing up for this “12 Days of Getting Ready For Christmas” series I’m hosting with my sweet friend Leslie. Every comment, every message, every suggestion is making my heart a little merrier.

We’ve shopped together and we’ve planned out our themes together and we are busy getting our homes ready for the holidays.

And 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.

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.

2. Make ribbon and ornaments look like new

I saved this ornament idea as its own number because it’s my favorite.

This is such an easy idea and a perfect solution for all those leftover ornaments.

All you need is ribbon and duck tape (you can use command hooks if your window isn’t covered by a valance or cornice board).

Simply thread the ribbon through the top of the ornament and duck tape it to the top of the window.

Easy peasy Christmas breezy.

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).

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.

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.

6. Add pom poms to stockings

These stockings are just simple, basic dollar store stockings.

I think they were actually a dollar each.

I used them for another project and then they just sat in the Christmas tubs.


Until I had the brilliant idea to add pom poms to them.

You can see the entire stocking how-to here.

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 them look like new?

New bows.

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

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 an ornament display

Here are just a few ways to decorate with ornaments:

  • Tuck them into a bookcase or hutch
  • Fill a bowl with them and set them on the counter (you could also add little fairy lights to the bowl of ornaments, too)
  • Add them to a yard sale sleigh that you painted white
  • Tie them to a wreath with 1/4″ ribbon of different colors

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.

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.

Christmas is only 52 days away.

Good thing we are all getting ready.

And now for even MORE ideas for last year’s Christmas decor stop by Leslie’s.

She has the cutest ideas just waiting for you here.

12 Days of Getting Ready for Christmas

(what you might have missed)

Here’s what Leslie has been sharing

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


  1. Image for Lyn Lyn

    No sweetie ---- You are amazing in every way! You continue to put a smile on our faces. have to try to keep ahead of our granddaughters in the craft department. So when they come to spend the weekend with us, we have a lot of things to work on together, and I am always on the lookout for something new. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Image for Tracey Tracey

    Oh Kari Anne, you always have such amazing ideas!! I really appreciate this post. I’m seeing so many “here are my top 50 Christmas things you need to buy before they sell out - order now” type of posts I see on social media. I think now is the time (for me anyway), to reuse, reduce, and celebrate what I am so fortunate to have right now, and stop wishing for the next new thing. It just takes a little bit of imagination and your tips to make a little refresh on what we already have. Thank you!! Xoxox

  3. Image for Teresa Gonzales Teresa Gonzales

    Love this and the timing. Early enough to really do a good job planning and getting going on Christmas. Thank you!

  4. Image for Lynn Mosher Lynn Mosher

    I'm so behind in commenting. I love all you do. You are the bestest! And the photos of you smiling always bring me joy and make me smile. 😃❤

  5. Image for Anna Penton Anna Penton

    This is by far one of the best and most practical Christmas DIY decor suggestions I have ever seen! I’ll be doing several of these this year. Thank you for sharing!!!

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