Deck the halls, the tree -- your whole house -- with these creative ways to use ornaments, new and old.
Decorating with ornaments -- whether they're brand-new or family heirlooms -- is one of Motherboard Moms' favorite holiday traditions, according to our research. And it's not just the tree that gets the ornamental touch. These 20 ideas will help you deck the whole house with your favorite festive baubles.
Create an elegant ornament display for your holiday mantel with a few footed glass containers and an array of colorful ornaments in different shapes and sizes. Stick with a color theme for cohesiveness, picking an accent color to make the display stand out. Place the ornament-filled dishes on your mantel amidst a garland for a classic look.
Gather your favorite Christmas ornaments and trim the boughs of a whimsical art piece. You can easily shape the tree, boughs, and ornament hooks from crafts wire. Hung inside a frame topped with a bow, glittery star, and computer-printed sentiment, the ornaments become the center of attention.
Add sparkle to your holiday table with this clever centerpiece. Decorate Christmas balls with stars, stripes, or circles using crafts glue and color-coordinated glitter. Glue the finished pieces to mirrored discs, available at crafts supply stores. Remove the hangers from the tops, add water, and insert buds and berries. Arrange on a pretty tray or scatter them along the center of your table.
Use a variety of new and vintage items to create a small Christmas vignette that sings with pretty personality and spreads an infectious holiday spirit. All dressed up for the holidays, a foam bird perches atop a nest of vintage and new ornaments arranged in a silver bowl. Create the bejeweled bird by coating it with crafts glue and rolling it in fine silver glitter, or buy one readymade.
A colorful mix of vintage and new glass ornaments in various sizes cover foam balls. Supported by ribbon-wrapped dowels, they form festive topiaries. Milk-glass vases add vintage charm, and a layer of decorative marbles hides the clay that anchors the dowels.
Sparkling clear candlesticks and vintage ornaments gather together to make a simple yet dazzling display. Choose candlesticks of different heights and ornaments of varying sizes to make the display shine at all levels. Use window cleaner to bring the candlesticks to a crystal-clear gleam before topping them with the ornaments.
Show off your most precious and fragile vintage ornaments without putting them in jeopardy. Turn a glass cloche upside down and fill it carefully with ornaments of different sizes to get the most completely packed look. When you're satisfied with the arrangement, place a plate or silver saucer over the open end of the cloche, turn it over, and place on a mantel or sideboard for a sparkly focal point.
Here's a smart idea for those less-than-perfect ornaments that rarely make it onto your tree: give them a job as decorative Christmas mulch. Stand your tree in an old half-barrel (if a fresh tree, place it before filling the interior tree stand with water) and use your overflow ornaments as shimmering filler.
Dining chairs become pretty as a package wrapped with ribbons and adorned with ornaments. Pull a wide velvet ribbon layered with narrow ribbons around each wooden chair, hold it in place with repositionable adhesive dots, and tie it into a bow. Embellish the bow with a trio of vintage ornaments tied to narrow ribbons and hot-glued to a star-shape ornament.
For a splash of color that packs a visual punch, create an ornament extravaganza from vintage or new Christmas baubles. Spray-paint a faux evergreen wreath white as your base; when dry, lay it flat and attach ornaments with a glue gun. Position the largest ornaments first, then fill in with smaller ones until the wreath is covered.
Layered frames are a unique way to give impact to a small item such as a keepsake ornament. When the frames match the wall color, the ornament comes into sharp focus. Simply hang a large frame on the wall, then suspend a smaller one in the center using wide ribbon. Tuck a swag of greens under the ribbon along the edge of the top frame and tie the ornament to the bow that holds the small frame.
Add a pretty Christmas swag to your window treatments using large beaded garland. Drape a couple of garland strings over the curtain rod, securing them with tape on the back side of the rod. For a finishing touch—like the tassel on a drapery tieback—wire elegant glass ornaments to the garland ends and top them with greenery.
Ornament-adorned napkin rings keep a holiday table merry and bright. Tie a narrow ribbon around each ornament cap, then attach them to a wider ribbon tied around a cloth napkin. Velvet ribbon adds lushness and contrast to the shiny glass. Use a larger ornament as a place card by tying a printed nametag to the hanging ribbon. Place a rubber washer underneath the ball to keep it steady.