20-Minute Holiday Decor

Need holiday decorating ideas that take minutes not hours? You're in the right place! We've gathered our speediest Christmas decorations, including DIY Christmas trees and easy ornament displays. With these cool, quick projects and holiday hacks, decking the halls will take 20 minutes -- or less!

Everything In This Slideshow

  • Glass Jars Photo Display

    Personal touches are always a welcome addition to Christmas decor. Display your favorite winter-theme snapshots in glass bottles along with a few evergreen sprigs.

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

  • Frosted Mirror with a Christmas Tree

    Jazz up a full-length mirror during the holiday season with this dazzling DIY. Coat the looking glass with a can of spray snow, and use your finger to draw a freehand tree shape or to stencil an evergreen design onto the mirror while the product is still wet.

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

  • Red Carnations Wreath

    Craft an inexpensive wreath that looks stunning from any angle using faux carnations and a foam wreath. Simply cut the stems and push them into all sides of the foam until the entire wreath is covered.

    Start to finish: 20 minutes

  • Framed Glittery Santa Claus

    Give Santa Claus a sparkly makeover for the holidays with this jolly wall art idea. Print the Santa pattern (link below). Trace and cut the profile from a piece of glittered cardstock. Mount the outline inside a frame using double-stick adhesive tape. Write "Kris Kringle" on a piece of white cardstock and adhere it to the mat. 

    Start to finish: 20 minutes

  • Holiday Candles with Cranberries

    Watch how to make two super simple and festive candle projects using cranberries.

    Start to finish: 5 minutes for the first craft; 5 minutes for the second craft

  • Branch Countdown Calendar

    Stir up excitement in December with a countdown that offers a small present each day before Christmas. To make, stamp numbers one through 25 onto muslin bags and fill each bag with a treat. Tie the bags' drawstrings to a couple branches and hang the display with red baker's twine.

    Start to finish: 20 minutes

  • Amaryllis in Birch Vases

    Dress up a shelf or mantel with candy cane-inspired flower arrangements made from crimson and white amaryllis. Add stems of varying lengths to birch vases surrounded by small evergreen branches, pinecones, and other trinkets that give the display its rustic appeal.

    Start to finish: 10 minutes

  • Snowman Book

    This DIY project is an easy way to give life to an old book. Simply remove the book's cover and trim the pages into half of a snowman shape, leaving the spine of the book intact. Glue the spine together and fan the pages to create a 3-D decoration. Top off the figure with a mini hat, scarf, and branches for arms.

    Start to finish: 20 minutes

  • Coatrack Ornaments

    Got hooks? Then glam 'em up! Oversize Christmas ornaments and festive wreaths add instant good cheer to any household hanging spots -- think coat racks or mantel hooks. To round out the scene, group extra ornaments and bits of evergreen (gathered from your yard) in a basket to brighten a nearby bench or side table.

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

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    Cranberry-Filled Poinsettia Jars

    Need a quick room-brightener before your holiday party guests arrive? If you have cranberries and poinsettias, you're set. Just grab a couple glass jars and fill them halfway with the bright red orbs, then pop a couple poinsettia bracts on top before you open the door and say "Welcome!"

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

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    Cupcake-Liner Tree

    Create festive 3-D art with items you probably have on hand -- namely cupcake liners and gummy glue dots! Fill a frame with white paper, and attach colorful cupcake liners to the frame's glass surface with glue dots, arranging them so their crimped sides pop outward. Don't want to bother with a frame? Stick 'em directly to your wall!

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

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    Frost Candles with Kosher Salt!

    Ready to give your candles a frosty holiday makeover? Raid your pantry for kosher salt and follow our easy instructions.

    Start to finish: 10 minutes

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    Swagged Chairs

    Add a quick flourish before a holiday meal when you gather sprigs of evergreens (from your backyard, if they grow there!), and secure the evergreen stems together with florists wire. Tie a long-tail bow around the stem ends with red ribbon, concealing the florists wire, and wrap the ribbon securely around the back of a dining room chair.

    Start to finish: 5 minutes per chair

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    Mirror Garland

    Nothing brightens an out-of-the-way nook quicker than a purchased garland and some gathered greenery. We draped a white felted-ball garland across the front of a mirror and swagged its top with evergreen boughs on sticky-back hooks. A festive pillow placed strategically below pulls it all together.

    Start to finish: 10 minutes

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    Twin Window Wreaths

    When you're crunched for time, stick to a classic design concept: symmetry. Hang two matching purchased wreaths from your windows with bright red ribbon, suspending them from the curtain rod. Finish each wreath with a pretty bow -- either store-bought or made by following our instructions below!

    Start to finish: 10 minutes to hang the wreaths; add an extra 5 minutes if you create your own bows.

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    String-Art Tree

    Crunched for decorating space? This funky string tree could be just the solution -- only two dimensions are required! Insert clear pushpins into your wall in a large triangular tree shape. Add more pins inside the large triangle, and wrap green yarn around the pins randomly, unrolling from the yarn skein as you go. Secure the end of the yarn to the wall with a final pin.

    Editor's Tip: Crown your Christmas tree with a star shape, using a different color of yarn if desired.

    Start to finish: 10 minutes

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    Bright Bedroom Decor

    Adding holiday cheer to a bedroom can be as simple as changing the sheets. Showcase cheerful red-and-white comforters and red or green throw pillows, and tie a bright scarf to the bed post for a festive finish. For a look that's both merry and bright, drape a strand of Christmas lights over the bedroom window.

    Start to finish: 10 minutes to change the sheets; an additional 10 to hang Christmas lights.

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    Candy Cane String Tree

    Decorating a tree has never been this sweet -- or quick! To get the look, cut four pieces of twine in successively smaller lengths (our longest piece was 26 inches). Tie the candy cane hooks onto the twine, spacing each about 2 inches apart, and use tacks or tape to secure the twine ends to the wall. Make your tree really pop by varying the candy cane colors!

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

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    Red Carnation Letters

    Joyful, joyful, we adore thee -- and we certainly adore this super-easy "JOY" project! We filled store-bought papier-mache letters with vivid faux carnations, hot-gluing the blooms in place. Buy these cheap, bright red beauties in bulk at crafts stores.

    Start to finish: 15 minutes

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    Doily Tree

    This pretty tree almost looks like it's made of snowflakes! We used a variety of large- and medium-size doilies to create a Christmas-tree shape, attaching each doily to the wall with glue dots or quick-release tape. If you have time to plan ahead, make a few "ornaments" from tiny doilies that you've dyed with food coloring and let dry.

    Start to finish: 10 minutes

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    Candy-Stripe Window

    Does your plain window frame need a little something? Line it with red-and-white ribbon for a quick holiday refresh. Crisscross ribbon over the window frame, tacking or taping the ends to the frame to secure, then hang decorative wooden letters from the ribbon-wrapped frame using double-stick tape to keep them firmly in place. Looking for additional graphic punch? Add a few glass jars of coordinating candy to the windowsill.

    Start to finish: 15 minutes

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    Poinsettia Holiday Tin

    By all means, eat the cookies or popcorn -- and keep the tin that housed them! Pretty holiday tins make perfect containers for brightly colored poinsettias. Just snip the bracts from the poinsettia plant, place them in a low water-filled container, and set the container inside your tin. Easy-peasy!

    Start to finish: 5 minutes

  • Next Slideshow Fun and Festive Christmas Color Schemes

    Fun and Festive Christmas Color Schemes

    Break out of the red and green rut with pretty Christmas color schemes that will wow your guests. From pink and green to silver and gold, we show you how to get your holiday decor looking merry and bright for the season.
    Begin Slideshow »
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