DIY Christmas Decorating: Easy Ideas for Small Spaces

Decorating for the holidays comes with a few challenges. How do you keep things festive and fresh for the holidays in a small space without creating clutter and breaking the bank? Since we live in a smaller home - our downstairs is one great room with kitchen, living area, dining room and bar/entertainment area, space for tchotchke is at a premium.

We promised the kids that we'd get out "Christmas" last weekend - trim the tree, get out decorations, and all that good stuff. We have a reasonable amount of holiday items already, including both newer knick knacks and family heirlooms, so I refuse to go out and spend money on more holiday decorations that we don't even have space to display. I prefer instead to use what I already have or can easily craft in new and interesting ways. Here are a few tried and true tips that I try to follow each year to keep holiday decorating fresh, festive, and clutter free.

- Borrow and Steal Ideas Online: Before I even get the Christmas boxes down from the attic, I go online. Etsy, Pottery Barn, Pinterest and other people's blogs are great places to get creative inspiration for holiday decor. I love finding common things used in unexpected ways and creative twists.

- Go Attic Shopping: Once I've been inspired, then I get the usual standbys (tree, wreaths, lights, little garlands) and some other year-round items that I can work into the holiday. Glass pedestals, silver pots, a brass birdcage, candles, and mason jars are just a few items that can be made festive for the holidays.

- Everything Has a Place: In a small space, everything really needs a place less it becomes cluttered. If I am bringing out new knick knacks, old ones need to get put away for the time being. Think about the spaces in your home and where you want to place holiday "vignettes". In the entryway, on end tables, around the TV or mantle and kitchen hutch are a few places that I adorn. Keep a cohesive theme for each little area (common color, all nutcrackers, mini trees, etc.) vs. just plopping down a chubby Santa next to your existing tchochke.

- Go For a Nature Walk: Ok, call me cheap. When I was at Menard's last week, they wanted $9 for a few swags of evergreen wrapped with twine. Forget that. I opt instead to bundle up and take a nature walk with my pruning shears and a few paper garbage bags to collect greenery myself. Not only do I have the added bonus of burning some extra calories, I find a beautiful assortment of various shades of greenery plus more pine cones than I could ever need.

- Display What you Love: It is Christmas after all and your decorations should bring you joy and not stress. If you really want that leg lamp front and center, do it. I have an olive wood Nativity set I purchased over 15 years ago while on a work trip to Israel. It comes out every year - not always in the same place, but it reminds me of my past travels. Plus, my kids love taking baby Jesus for a ride on the camels each year.

So, here are few ideas that I used to adorn our small space this year and change up the traditional wreath, garland and holiday decorations a bit. Happy Decorating!



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