Just between us? December always sneaks up on me. I think it’s lightyears away. I think I have all the time in the world to get ready for the holidays. I think that there’s tons of time before Santa slides down my chimney.

Like now.

It’s July.

December isn’t even a blip on the horizon yet.

But then?

I blink.

And December 25 knocks at the door.

So this whole week I’ve been sharing Christmas in July. So we have time to prepare. So we have time to get ready. So we have time to be mindful. This week we’ve already shared 17 ideas for decorating Christmas trees and 7 ideas for Christmas wreaths.

And today?

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

Here are 9 simple ideas to repurpose last year’s decor.

1. Repurpose 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?

Here are just a few ways to repurpose and reuse them:

  • Glue them to a canvas or board and make a tree
  • 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

2. Repurpose ribbon and ornaments

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. Repurpose 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.

4. Repurpose 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. Repurpose 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. Repurpose 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. Repurpose 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. Repurpose pine cones

Depending on where you live? Pinecones are free.

Around here we have to save them from year to year. 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.

9. Repurpose a garland

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.

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.

Good thing you are prepared.

Christmas is 158 days away.

But who’s counting? 🙂

Happy Christmas in July To You

(come back tomorrow for tons of ideas on different Christmas color schemes)

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


  1. Image for Patricia Patricia

    Now what you really need to show us (please!) is how you store all your trees and Christmas decor. I'm trying to imagine finding sheet music at the bottom of a tub. Mostly I find broken ornaments and fluffy lint. I'm really curious about your storage. Is it in the house? A barn? Or in a tiny closet with Hermione Granger's Extension Charm? I could really use that last one. You can't keep showing us stuff you magically pull from somewhere without teaching us how to store it too. Please. It could be the first post AFTER all the Christmas decorations. PS I find pinecones almost every walk. After a windstorm, I could supply an entire craft class. I may not have magnolia leaves, but I've got pinecones up the ying-yang.

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Patricia, LOL! I have an entire post on how I store my stuff! You can see it here: https://thistlewoodfarms.com/christmas-organization-ideas-and-how-i-store-all-my-stuff/#/ I've got it down to a process! happy day! KariAnne

      1. Image for Patricia Patricia

        So you pack it up in pretty boxes and then store it in your Hermione Granger closet with the Extension charm? I gotta get me one of those!

  2. Image for Nicole Nicole

    You're so creative and I enjoy your blog. I do have a question though - am I the only one who uses the same ornaments on my (only) tree year after year?

    1. Image for KariAnne KariAnne

      Nicole, Of course! Before I was a blogger I totally used the same ornaments every year! I just mix it up to give people ideas! happy day! KariAnne

  3. Image for Lori H Lori H

    It is early for Christmas thinking but boy if you don't start early and know what you plan for the winter season it will be so hard to find before they sell out! It happens to me every year! This year I'm having to find a potted faux 5' pine tree that won't cost me one of my arms...toss in that leg too:0)...and those cascading twinkle lights..that's the plan. I just love the ornaments with the ribbon KariAnne! I want to do that for my indoor windows. You have the best ideas...I'm ready to come in from the flower garden and plan a cozy winter! Christmas in July is the best thing ever!!

  4. Image for Karen Kleinberg Karen Kleinberg

    I love all your ideas, some I have done before. I am not sure about using duct tape on the window frames to hang the ornaments. Perhaps the frog tape would be better to save the paint from being pulled off with the duct tape.

  5. Image for Jodena Beale Jodena Beale

    all such cute ideas and I used a few before except the ornaments in windows. But I have decided I am in this year. I just love your post. Even though Im not ready to give up my lemons. Lol.

  6. Image for Katy Katy

    Three fantastic posts KariAnne on prepping for Christmas! Sooooo many great ideas from you. Can you repost the storage link you mentioned above for Patricia? I’m interested as well.I look forward to shifting from wedding planning to Christmas planning in a few weeks and your shares were inspirational. Thanks tons!

  7. Image for Jen Jen

    I LOVE each of these ideas, KariAnne. So smart! I'm going to share your post with my readers tomorrow for my week in rewind recap. I know they'll love it too!

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