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$1 Holiday Decor: Make a Simple Typographic Folded Paper Banner

by Holly Wade


DIY Paper Holiday Accordion Banner

Even though holiday decorations are fun to shop for, the prices can add up quickly! Rather than purchase a sign or banner this year, I decided to make a simple accordion banner out of paper to display on my shelf for the Christmas season. Not only is it simple, but it’s very inexpensive to make and folds up for easy storage if you want to reuse it next year.

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How to decorate a fireplace without a mantel for Christmas

by Lidy Dipert

Fireplace Garland Christmas Mantel Makeover: No Mantle, No Worries.

Whenever I look at Christmas fireplace décor ideas, I always see mantels adorned with beautiful fireplace garlands and a few oversized stockings. They look amazing!

But what if — like me — you don’t have a mantel to work with?

A fireplace is the focal point of any room. Knowing how to decorate a fireplace without a mantel for Christmas will help you create the perfect festive design for the heart of your home!

Looking for mantel-less Christmas décor ideas? Here’s our take on fireplace decoration. We went with a natural, simple and Scandi feel. And focused on creating the warmth and comfort that Christmas is all about.

Follow these steps and adapt them to your own Christmas décor style for your own unique fireplace design.



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The Final Countdown: Make a Hanging Ornament Advent Calendar

by Holly Wade
DIY Advent calendar
Photo by Holly Wade

Are you ready to start the countdown?! Come December 1st, it's time to break out the advent calendars and find a little surprise every day as you count town toward Christmas. Advent calendars were a staple of my childhood, so I still try to make a DIY advent calendar every year to make the countdown more fun! This time, I used plastic fill-able ornaments to make a hanging ornament advent calendar that's easy to open and reveal a candy or small trinket inside (my parents often used to use give my pennies). With a variety of sizes and colors, you can use materials that fit your style and hang it anywhere in your home for a Christmas decoration that's functional and FUN!    

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How to Make a Sweet Modern Advent Calendar Village

by Alicia Lacy
Wood Block & Test Tube DIY Advent Calendar Village
Photo: Bruno Bornsztein

It's advent calendar time! As I write this post, the Midwest is being walloped by a snow storm. Nothing inspires holiday decorating like many inches of snow, and to stave off decking all the halls, I created a little diy advent calendar village for our children. Read on for the full tutorial.

Using blocks of wood and test tubes, I assembled a village full of tiny treasures to help our family celebrate the season...

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Upcycled Christmas Decorations: How to Create Your Own Glass-Bottle Centerpiece

by Faith Provencher
Upcycled Christmas decorations: Glass Bottle Holiday Centerpiece | Curbly #holiday #upcycled #centerpiece
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

The holiday season is well and truly upon us! If you’re hosting a party this December — or just want to make the home feel extra special for your family — it’s time to pick out a festive centerpiece.

Upcycled Christmas decorations are my favorite. And this one is up there with the best!

A glass-bottle centerpiece, filled with seasonal greenery and berries, makes for a stylish and colorful addition to your holiday table. And it’s really easy to make! Just follow the steps below…


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16 Gift Wrap Ideas that Prove the Wrapping is the Best Part

by Holly Wade

At this point in the month, you might be finished with the shopping and have moved on to the gift wrapping (which is actually my favorite part). Make your gift wrap stand out under the tree with these gift wrap ideas that will make the wrapping just as fun as the buying! Whether you want to DIY or just wrap up a fun wrapping paper, there's an idea to fit your style and aesthetic. From gift toppers to tags to paper patterns, these cute gift wrap ideas are as fun to wrap as they are to open!

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How to Decorate Your Tree in the Scandinavian Style with DIY Minimal Ornaments

by Marlene Sauer


DIY Scandinavian Ornaments
Images by Marlene Sauer

Finding minimal holiday decorations isn't always the easiest. Let's face it, this is not a season known for restraint! 

As my own decorating tastes are turning ever more minimal, I decided to take a cue from my favorite design style and make a few DIY Scandinavian-inspired ornaments. I just love how simple and natural this look is, while still being festive.

Keep reading to see how to make all three decorations so you can style your own minimal holiday tree!       

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How to Decorate Your Apartment for the Holidays

by M.E. Gray
Apartment Christmas Decorations
Shutterstock / Halfpoint

Decorating an apartment for the holidays differs from trimming a home you own and have free reign over. In a rental, you can't haphazardly nail stuff to the wall. You're probably dealing with a smaller space or odd physical obstacles (like no mantel, or too many mantels!). And your landlord might even have restrictions on real trees or lighting candles. All these hurdles just means that the earned end result is far more satisfying. Personally, I think apartment Christmas decorations are the coziest of all, because you can really play into the quirkiness of a smaller space and the coziness of the season. So grab a hot drink, take notes, and get ready to transform your rental into a holiday wonderland.         


Apartment Christmas Decorations that Won't Break Budget

If you're renting, you need to think about budget. You probably don't want to invest in expensive decor that may or may not vibe with the next property you move to. Fortunately, living in a small space means your hard-earned dollars can go towards smaller (and thus more affordable) apartment Christmas decorations. Here are a few ideas for affordable and simple Christmas decorations that you can feel good about.

Turn your bar cart into a holiday spirit command station

Apartment Christmas decorations: Bar cart styling

More and more bar carts are being used as a platform for holiday decor. And why not? They're affordable, stylish, and they hold alcohol - talk about the holiday spirit(s)! Hone in on a color scheme or theme, and use objects of varying heights to style the top of your bar cart. Try candles, bottles of spiced booze, and small knick-knacks. Drape a garland or a festive banner over the railing, and style some mule mugs underneath.

Make use of verticals

The best simple Christmas decorations make your eyes travel upwards. Up the tall evergreen, up the chimney, up to the roof of a colorfully lit home. Small spaces also benefit from the use of vertical visuals, as they can make a space appear taller. Look to walls, windows, arches, and door frames with your decor. 

To the windows, to the wall

Wreath hanging in window
Source: Bouqs Blog

Speaking of walls and windows... 

One of the biggest problems with apartment Christmas decorations is that there isn't enough space for them. There's no designated spot for a bushy tree without relocating the couch. Or, you don't have enough tabletop space for jolly salt-and-pepper shakers. If you want to pack in more holiday cheer without risking square footage, focus your decor on windows and walls. Hang a wreath in an open window, or make your own window decals. Hang felt banners on the wall, try your hand at a DIY Advent calendar, or use tape to create festive, temporary imagery.

Replace smaller everyday objects with festive ones

If you have the extra storage space in your rental place, you might consider swapping out some of your decor. Pillows, throw blankets, napkins, placemats, and hand towels can all be replaced with more festive versions of themselves for instant holiday cheer.

Make use of the available space you have

Swedish Christmas
Source:  My Paradissi

Maybe your apartment lacks the spaces traditionally decorated during the holidays (i.e. a mantel or banister railing), but that doesn't exclude you from getting festive. There are plenty of other areas in your home that can be decorated with holiday cheer. Your dining table, breakfast table, or coffee table is a fantastic surface for bringing in a wide variety of decor (like these DIY minimal cone trees, or a small tabletop tree). Bookshelves, ledges, and media cabinets are great for  hanging garlands and greenery from. And if you're really short on space, you could always start hanging decorations from the ceiling.

Group smaller items for big impact

Large decor is hard to store, and storage space is hard to come by in your traditional apartment. Keep it simple by investing in smaller pieces that you group together for big impact. This can be a collection of vintage ceramics, a candle centerpiece, or even a bowl full of pinecones.  

Hit up the dollar store

The great thing about temporary living spaces is that the decor doesn't have to stand the test of time. Head to the dollar bin section of Target, the thrift store, or the Dollar Store if you need lots of affordable apartment Christmas decorations, pronto. Ornaments are where you'll save the most cash, since these can tend to be pricey and add up quick.

How to Decorate and Still Keep Your Security Deposit

If you live in a rental, you're probably familiar with the usual lineup of non-damaging hanging hardware i.e., Command hooks and strips. While these are great for hanging apartment Christmas decorations, they might not work in every scenario. Let's meet some of the other players in the nail-free game:

How to hang a stocking in a rental

Scandinavian painted stockings
Source: Curbly

If you're lucky enough to have a mantel over a fireplace in your apartment, then you're all set for Santa. Avoid adding nail holes by adding a sturdy stocking holder (like this one) to the top of your mantel. You can also "nail" your stockings in a way that leaves only a small pinprick behind. Hang stockings from a single dressmaker pin by lightly hammering them in place - this will only work with empty stockings, as the pin can't hold weight!

No mantel? No problem. There are lots of great ways to hang stockings without leaving any lasting damage behind. Consider hanging your stocking from an existing peg rack. Or off a ladder. Or from a dressing rack. If it's got a hook, you can hang it. Head over to our article on 16 mantel-free stocking ideas for inspiration!

The magic of tape

Carols hung with tape
Source:  My Cosy Retreat

Hey renters - if you haven't experimented with washi tape yet, you're missing out! The adhesive on this tape is so light that it pulls up easier than masking tape, and doesn't leave any residue behind.* Washi tape can be used to hang holiday cards, make unique festive graphics, or frame and highlight existing apartment Christmas decorations.

*While I've never had any problems with washi tape leaving residue, be safe and test on a small section of your wall before you move forward in your washi tape endeavors.

The paper clip trick 

Hang lightweight apartment Christmas decorations with a paper clip, a small magnet, and a piece of masking tape. No holes, no joke. Click here for the visual instructions.

What kind of Christmas tree should I get for my apartment?

Francois et Moi Home Christmas Tour
Source: Francois et Moi

The type of Christmas tree you get will be dependent on the conditions of your lease. Some places won't allow for a real tree. Others don't care. Check your paperwork before you decide. If you live in a large apartment building several stories up, consider how far you'll have to carry your dead, dry tree at the end of the season. If you live in an apartment with limited closet space, consider where a faux tree can be stored afterwards. 

Don't have room for a full tree? There are endless solutions to this problem, such as mini tabletop trees (you can even get a Charlie Brown version!), tree-alternatives, and half and quarter trees.

How to decorate an apartment door for Christmas

Festive wreath
Source: Poppytalk

While you may not have your own rafters from which to hang lights, you do have something that homeowners do not: a front door completely protected from the elements. And this, my renter friends, is a fabulous opportunity to spread some holiday cheer. You can decorate an apartment door for Christmas in so many ways! Dress it up like a big present. Use temporary contact chalkboard and draw a festive scene or saying (like this festive door here). Buy or make your own holiday-inspired doormat. Or go traditional with a handmade wreath (using a Command hook to hang, of course!).

One Final Tip: Keep It Cozy

Cozy Christmas
Source: Kelly Brown Photographer

Small spaces work well with homey elements, and fortunately for us renters, so do holiday decorations. Try and aim for really simple Christmas decorations by honing in on hygge. Lighting is key. Twinkle lights in a door frame or on a shelf can instantly add charm. So do glowing candles in windows or on ledges. Also, focus on natural elements, like evergreen branches and cranberries. Bring in texture, like furs and flannel. And don't discount how effectively a Christmas aroma can quickly transform a space! In short, you don't have to fill your home with brand new decorations for it to feel festive. Focus on making it a warm, inviting, and cozy space you can enjoy.

Apartment Christmas decorations
Share these simple Christmas decoration ideas on Pinterest!

Trying to save money this holiday season? Here's how to have a wonderful Christmas for under $100.

Shoestring budget Christmas

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Curbly Original
Decorate with "Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal" Bunting

by Holly Wade
Decorate with "Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal" Bunting
Photo: Holly Wade

Home Alone will forever be one of my favorite Christmas movies because it was an important piece of my childhood! Of course, we can't forget the iconic line from the fictional movie Kevin watches in the sequel when the character says "Merry Christmas ya filthy animal" after shooting someone. If you're looking for a quirky addition to your Christmas decor this year that will fulfill your 90s nostalgia, this colorful "Merry Christmas Ya Filthy Animal" bunting printable is for you! Cut out each flag and arrange them on string to decorate your walls, a bar cart, a door or a food table for a holiday party!

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How To Decorate A Christmas Tree With Ribbon

by Faith Provencher
How To Decorate A Christmas Tree With Ribbon | Curbly #christmas #holiday #ribbon #nontraditional #unique
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

I love a unique Christmas tree. Don't get me wrong, a classic evergreen tree with white lights and red ornaments is great too... but there's something so exciting about a non-traditional tree with interesting colors and unusual decorations. So today I'm going to teach you how to decorate a Christmas tree with ribbon! Read on to check out my tips and tricks for creating a stunning, colorful ribbon tree.     

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Try this Christmas Tree Alternative! Wooden Dowel Tree Decor

by Holly Wade

Try this Christmas Tree Alternative! Wooden Dowel Tree Decor

Although I love having a traditional Christmas tree in my home, that's not the case for everyone. Whether a traditional tree it doesn't fit your Christmas style or you don't have the space for one, this simple wooden dowel tree is a great Christmas decor alternative that still allows you to hang ornaments. This minimalist-style DIY will still brighten up a space of your home and fit perfectly in a corner or even on a tabletop!

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How to: 3 Elegant Tree Decorations You Can Make from Recycled Paper

Three DIY Recycled Paper Tree Decorations
Photo: Faith Towers Provencher

December is one of my favorite times of the year, but there is something about all of the spending and consequent waste (shipping boxes, gift wrap, etc.) that rubs me the wrong way. So I thought it would be fun to decorate a tree using recycled paper and cardboard, and I'm sharing three mini tutorials with you today. Click through to check it out.      

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