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DIY Holiday Decor

There’s nothing better during the holiday season than twinkling lights, the smell of fresh pine and loved ones gathered together around the fire sipping hot cocoa or mulled cider. There’s just something about the sights, smells and sounds of the holidays that warms the cockles of the heart and slows down the otherwise hectic pace of life.

But, the holiday season also can be a time when bank accounts are tested. If you’re in need of some new holiday decor but don’t want to break the bank turning your home into a winter wonderland, why not fire up the hot glue gun, sharpen the shears and clear off a crafting space to create your very own DIY holiday decor?

As anyone who fills their Christmas tree with family heirloom ornaments knows, a personalized or handmade touch to your holiday decor really brings home the true sentiment of the season—time well spent with family and friends.

Get a jump on your holiday decorating with these simple (and oh so cute) projects. Then, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your craftiness this holiday season.

Giftwrap Cabinets

Total cost: $7 for two cabinets

Difficulty level: Beginner


  • Holiday ribbon (shown here: 2.5-inch wide to wrap and 1-inch wide for bows)
  • 26-gauge wire or pipe cleaners for bows
  • Hot glue gun or double-sided tape


  1. Starting on the front of the cabinet door, wrap ribbon from top to bottom.
  2. Open the cabinet, and continue to the middle of the door.
  3. Criss-cross the ribbon as you would when wrapping a gift box.
  4. Bring the ribbon back to the middle of the front of the cabinet door.
  5. Hot glue the ends together, being careful not to get any on the face of the cabinet (or use double-sided tape to adhere).
  6. Attach the bow with gauge or small pipe cleaner.

Done! So easy, and so cute!

Christmas Tree Canvas

Total cost: $16

Difficulty level: Beginner


  • 11×14 canvas (you can choose another size)
  • 10 sheets holiday scrapbook paper cut into varying sizes
  • Twine
  • Hot glue
  • Tape
  • Holiday ornament to use as tree topper


  1. Cut strips of scrapbook paper with 1-inch variations (for example, cut first strip 10 inches wide by 3 inches tall and the next strip 9 inches wide by 3 inches tall, and so on)
  2. Roll up the first cut from the 3-inch tall end.
  3. Tape or hot glue the ends together so you have a 10-inch long tube. This is the bottom layer of the tree.
  4. Glue it into place about 5 inches from the bottom of the canvas, leaving room for the twine tree trunk.
  5. Repeat these steps through the last piece of scrapbook paper, which should be 1-inch wide.
  6. Create a tree trunk from twine (or you could use strips of burlap) by hot gluing small cuts to the bottom of the canvas.
  7. Hot glue an ornament to the top of the paper tree to create a topper.

Display in a plate holder, or hang on your wall. Quick, and beautiful!

Peppermint Candleholders

Total cost: $18

Difficulty Level: Intermediate


  • 4×4 wood post cut into 3 pieces (shown here: 10, 8 and 6 inches, but you can choose other sizes; home improvement stores will cut this for you)
  • Red and white spray paint
  • Frog tape
  • Medium grit sandpaper
  • Drill with 1.5-inch spade bit (bit is $6.47 at Home Depot if you don’t have one)
  • Twine
  • Burlap
  • Battery-operated LED tea lights


  1. Lightly sand each post before painting (to avoid splinters).
  2. Using a drill and spade bit, drill holes to create openings for the tea lights (shown here: 1.5-inch bit).
  3. For the solid candleholders, the colors look better when layered. To do this, paint the white post red first and then white.
  4. Repeat the process with the other candleholder,  paint the red post white first and then white.
  5. Paint the entire striped post red.
  6. Add stripes by taping them off with Frog tape, and paint white on top.
  7. Once the paint is dry (about an hour), use the sandpaper to lightly weather and distress each piece.
  8. Decorate them to your liking (shown here: twine and burlap).

These are gorgeous and can be used year after year. They even make great Christmas presents!

Megan Thomas lives in Canton with her husband, Spence, and their three children: Brady (15), Griffin (11) and Addison (7). They also have a son, Cole (18) who is a freshman at Kennesaw State University. Find her at

*Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Cherokee Life Magazine.