25 DIY Christmas Decorations Anyone Can Make

Get ready to deck your halls with these simple holiday crafts—and get the whole family involved in the Christmas festivities.

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Felt Christmas candy cane ornament, scissors, paper template, thread, needle, red and white felt pieces and scraps, filler, ribbon on old wooden background. Christmas DIY concept. Kids holiday crafts

Make DIY Christmas Decorations From Scratch

There’s nothing like holiday crafting to get you into the Christmas spirit. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time with the family and save money on holiday decor. But what if you’re the least crafty person on the planet? Don’t worry! These DIY Christmas decorations are easy enough for anyone to make. (Yes, even you—we promise.) Many of them are also made from upcycled and natural elements, adding an environmentally friendly spin to the season. So, brew some hot cocoa, turn on the holiday tunes, and discover how to make DIY Christmas decorations from scratch!

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Making garland with Christmas trees from paper forms for muffins. Simple decorations with their own hands. DIY concept. Step-by-step photo instructions. Step 4. Make lot of Christmas trees

Cupcake Wrapper Garland

Holiday cupcake wrappers are adorable and inexpensive. Pick out a sleeve of mixed-pattern liners to create this easy garland. First, flatten the cupcake liners, and fold them in half. Then, stack three folded liners to form a “tree,” and secure with hot glue. Add a paper star at the top, and secure the cupcake liner trees to a length of twine or yarn with staples or hot glue.

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closeup of some handmade christmas balls, mad with ribbon bow, strings and buttons of different colors, and a pile of different haberdashery items on a rustic wooden surface

Christmas Bow Bauble

Use large styrofoam floral balls to create these easy DIY Christmas decorations. Simply stick mini Christmas bows onto the surface of the ball and glue a loop of string at the top for the hanger. Mix and match the bows to coordinate with your existing holiday decor.

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How to make a Christmas tree from raw pasta conchiglie. The process of making Christmas trees from pasta, cardboard plates, hot glue and paint or spray. Guide, step by step on the photo.Handmade, DIY.
Olya Detry/Shutterstock

Pasta Noodle Christmas Trees

This pretty little pasta tree looks a lot more difficult to make than it actually is. Roll a piece of cardboard into a cone, then hot-glue it together. Put a dot of hot glue at the base and stick on a noodle. Glue one noodle at a time concentrically until you reach the top. Once you’re done, spray paint it whatever colour you like. Don’t forget to add a bow-tie noodle for the star!

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Candle decorated with cinnamon sticks, moss, ivy leaves and wooden deers - beautiful natural Christmas arrangement.
Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Cinnamon Stick Candle

There’s nothing like the spicy smell of cinnamon to put you in the holiday spirit. For this easy craft, you’ll need a large pillar candle (at least 9 inches tall), a bundle of large cinnamon sticks (about 8 inches long), ribbon, and a hot-glue gun. To start, put a small dab of hot glue on a cinnamon stick, and place it on the candle. Once you’ve placed the cinnamon sticks all the way around, tie some ribbon around it to help hold everything in place. Tuck in some faux berries, sprigs of evergreen, or mini pinecones to complete the look.

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How to make orange pomander ball with candle - step by step, tutorial
Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Citrus Pomander Candles

Citrus pomanders are classic DIY Christmas decorations. Take this popular craft one step further and transform it into a tea-light holder. To make one, slice a thin piece of skin from the stem end of the orange to create a base. On the opposite end, use a sharp paring knife to cut out a hole that’s just large enough to fit the tea light into. The tea light should fit down in the orange, with the top of the tea light even with the skin of the orange. Decorate the outside with cloves, then insert the tea light.

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Child making decorations of orange peel for Christmas. Children's art project. DIY concept. Step by step photo instruction. Step 7. Final result

Citrus Ornaments

Instead of tossing citrus skins into the compost pile, transform them into ornaments. Use cookie cutters to trace shapes onto the skin, and cut them out with a sharp knife. Let them dry on a tray for a few days, then thread them onto a piece of string for a garland or pierce them with a metal ornament hook to hang on a tree.

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cardboard gingerbread house
courtesy Debbie Wolfe

Cardboard Gingerbread House

Skip the messy pre-fab gingerbread kit and make a gingerbread house out of cardboard boxes instead. It’s easiest to use a square box for this craft. To make the front and back of the roof, cut off the corners of two opposing flaps to form a triangle. Then glue the two remaining uncut sides to the triangles and then to each other. Use chalk markers or paint to decorate your cardboard gingerbread house.

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candy cane reindeer
courtesy Debbie Wolfe

Candy Cane Reindeer

Nothing’s better than a DIY Christmas decoration you can eat. Cut a 3-inch-long piece of brown ribbon. Then, glue two (wrapped) candy canes together, back to back. These are the antlers for your reindeer. Use wiggly eyes and a red mini pom-pom for the face. To hang on a tree, loop a piece of ribbon through the antlers.

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Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Flower Pot Christmas Decoration

Reindeer Pot

Terra-cotta pots are an inexpensive crafting medium that you can do so much with. Create this adorable little reindeer with pipe cleaners, craft paper, wiggly eyes, and a pom-pom. Cut out ears from the craft paper, and adhere them to the pot with hot glue. Twist the pipe cleaners into antlers, and glue them onto the pot, along with the eyes and nose. For a finishing touch, embellish the top with paper twine and some beads.

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Kid is holding a Christmas tree decoration in his hands. Kid is showing a Christmas tree decoration. Merry Christmas tree project for kids. Scissors, green cotton yarn on a wooden table

Cardboard and Yarn Christmas Tree

Sometimes, the simplest DIY Christmas decorations are the best. This little Christmas tree is a cinch to create using yarn, cardboard, and glue. Cut out a simple triangle tree, then paint a layer of glue onto the cardboard. Wrap yarn around the tree, and let it dry. Glue a paper star at the top with a loop of yarn for the hanger.

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cute hand made recycled christmas ornaments on a wooden table

Bottle Cap Snowmen

Make these mini snowmen by gluing bottle caps onto a length of ribbon. Use pre-made mini craft snowflakes, or cut small, white circular pieces of paper that will fit into the caps. Decorate the pieces of paper, then glue them into the caps. Another option: Paint inside the caps to create your snowmen.

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Candle holder made of glass balls. Beautiful table decoration for Christmas and carnival. How to make, step by step, tutorial.
Agnes Kantaruk/Shutterstock

Christmas Ornament Candle Holder

Mini Christmas ball ornaments are inexpensive and come in a variety of colours. Make this festive candle holder by gluing the tiny balls onto a foam wreath form. These pretty little candle holders make perfect hostess gifts as well as a lovely tabletop centrepiece for a party.

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Vintage tray with glass vase filled with red and pearl baubleswith snow and evergreen centerpiece on coffee table by chair with magazine holder saying "home" on the front holding christmas magazine
karen crewe/Shutterstock

Ornament Vase Centrepiece

Another way to create an easy centrepiece is to fill a glass vase with ornaments. You can swap out colours to match your decor. This sophisticated-looking centrepiece is inexpensive, versatile, and super simple—genius!

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Christmas composition. Christmas garland made of tree branches, cones, dried orange slices and thuja branches on white background. Flat lay, top view, copy space.
Ariadna Nevskaya/Shutterstock

Natural Garland

This natural garland is not only an easy-to-assemble DIY Christmas decoration—it’s also a great way to keep the kids busy and feel included. Have them gather sprigs of evergreen branches and pine cones from the yard. Add in slices of dried citrus, if you desire. Then clip them to a length of twine with clothespins. As the pieces dry out and become brittle, simply swap them out with fresh pieces.

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View of a jar with snow and a green Christmas tree decoration and Christmas lights on white snow and a wooden rustic background with copy space. Christmas or winter interior decoration or design

Faux Snow Globe

A snow globe-inspired decoration is the perfect seasonal craft to make with an old canning jar. Place faux snow at the base, and then add a mini tree inside. Finish off the snow globe with battery-operated LED mini string lights to add a warm glow to any room.

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Decorating Christmas table with pine cones

Pine Cone Centrepiece

If you have a yard full of pine cones, use them to create this simple centrepiece. Just place various sizes of pine cones into a wide glass bowl. Then add cinnamon sticks and sprigs of pine for natural fragrance. If you don’t have access to pine cones, you can pick up an inexpensive bag at a craft store.

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ribbon tree
courtesy Crayons & Cravings

Ribbon Tree

Crayons and Cravings has the perfect project to make on a rainy (or snowy) day before Christmas: a ribbon tree. Use up all your bits of leftover ribbon to create this darling rustic decoration that matches your holiday decor.

For more smart ways to upcycle your leftovers, check out 50 things to repurpose all around the house.

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courtesy Crayons & Cravings

Mason Jar Ring Wreath

Do you have mason jar rings piling up in your drawers? Use them to make mini wreaths. These wreaths look adorable tied to gifts or hanging on your tree. Head over to Crayons and Cravings to see how to make this easy DIY mason jar wreath.

Looking for the perfect holiday crafting soundtrack? Here are the 20 best-ever Christmas songs, ranked.

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ginger bread house ornaments
courtesy Angela Hine - Projects with Kids

Gingerbread Pots

If you’re looking for a way to create a gingerbread village without having to bake or purchase a kit, check out Projects with Kids’ terra-cotta gingerbread houses. Using terra-cotta mini-pots and chalk markers, you can create these sweet little houses that look good enough to eat.

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christmas lanterns
courtesy Angela Hine - Projects with Kids

Magical Lanterns

There’s nothing like candlelight during the holidays. Projects with Kids has an easy DIY that transforms glass jars into magical lanterns. The lanterns look stunning lit up with a candle inside and make the perfect handcrafted addition to any holiday decor.

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hand painted Christmas mitten salt dough ornaments on festive wood table
Lynne Ann Mitchell/Shutterstock

Salt Dough Ornaments

No collection of DIY Christmas decorations would be complete without salt dough ornaments. They’re a classic for a reason, after all! Make the salt dough by combining 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 cup salt, and 1 cup water. Mix the ingredients until they form a dough with a plasticine-like consistency. Form the dough into a ball, and knead for approximately 5 minutes. Then roll out the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness, and cut out shapes with cookie cutters. Bake at 200°F until the dough is completely dry and hard. Once the shapes have cooled, decorate them with paint.

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Top down view of florist's worktable. Making of Christmas wreath. Copy space - perfect for a festive card.

Evergreen Wreath

If you adore the look and smell of a fresh evergreen wreath but hate the price, you’re in luck. Creating a wreath is easy with the help of a straw wreath form and u-pins. Simply gather evergreen greenery, and cut the branches into smaller pieces. Form small bundles of sprigs, then pin the bundles to the wreath. As you go around the wreath form, be sure to overlap the bundles slightly to hide the pins. This can also be a great seasonal housewarming gift.

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Christmas season, rustic decoration, Santa hats on pine cones with lights at snow and brown wooden background.

Pine Cone Santas

These darling little Santas are easy to put together with pre-made mini hats that you can pick up at the craft store. Paint the tips of pine cones white, and let them dry. Pop on the mini Santa hats, and these DIY Christmas decorations are ready to go!

For more DIY inspiration, take a look at these holiday decorating ideas from across Canada.

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Little Christmas tree

Evergreen Branch Arrangement

Use those leftover branches that were trimmed off your fresh Christmas tree to make a simple tabletop arrangement. Line a decorative pot with a plastic insert, then add soaked floral foam. Insert the branches into the form at varying heights. The branches will stay fresh and not dry out as long as the floral foam stays moist.

Now that you know how to make DIY Christmas decorations from scratch, tackle the rest of your shopping with our budget-friendly Canadian gift guide.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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