Kellye Fox | 

57 Genius DIY Christmas Decorating Hacks You'll Love

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‘Tis the season for getting festive and saving money with DIY Christmas decorating hacks. If you’re anxious to get your home into holiday gear, we’ve got inexpensive solutions for you. The holidays should make you jolly, not grumpy.

You should never pay full retail price for Christmas decorations or holiday storage when there are cheaper and easier tips instead. We’re talking about glue gun crafts, Dollar Tree finds, and upcycling items around your house. The last thing you want to do is to blow through your holiday budget before the season starts.

Now, on with the show. Below find our favorite places to get cheap supplies for enhancing your holiday merriment. And browse 50+ Christmas decorating hacks. Download the free KCL app and get notifications on all the best holiday craft ideas and gift deals sent straight to your phone. Before you shop, check out these tips to help you save on Christmas decor and more:


Ways to save money on supplies for Christmas decorating hacks

Here are some quick and dirty tips for saving during the holiday season:

Spend less with DIY Christmas decorations. Pick up cheap materials for any DIY project at Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Amazon. I’ve seen Hobby Lobby Christmas sale prices reach 65% off the week before Christmas, so grab any last-minute decor and materials then.

Stack coupons in store. For example, at Dollar Tree, if an item only costs $1.25, you can still use a $0.50 off coupon to get the item for next to nothing. They accept printable manufacturer coupons from newspapers and inserts (no digital coupons).

Turn to the great outdoors. Paying for pine cones? No thanks! When it comes to Christmas decorating hacks, you can find tons of materials in your own backyard. Scour the grounds for pine cones, pebbles, branches, and greenery. Gather natural (and free) DIY materials.

Never miss a deal on Christmas decor. At the Krazy Coupon Lady, our shopping experts hunt down the latest deals on holiday decorations to bring you the best possible savings. Text DEALS to 57299 and be the first to know about the hottest deals each day. And bookmark these pages to deck your halls for a lot less:

1. Use evergreen pipe cleaners to hang garland or heavy ornaments on your tree.

Garland ties are the Christmas decorating hacks nobody talks about. In short, they’re a festive solution to hanging all your holiday items. Use Artificial Canadian Pine Stem Garland Ties from Amazon ($9 for 20) to embellish home decor pieces like wreaths, trees, baskets, and so much more.


2. Hang Christmas decor with Command hooks to avoid unsightly nail holes.

Instead of poking holes in all your walls, Christmas decorating hacks like this can hang your items just fine. Get a set of 45 Command Clear Mini Light Clips (reg. $11) from Amazon. At this price, each clip is only $0.24 each. These damage-free hooks are a great way to hang lightweight decorations like garland, lights, strings, and more. Use one of these free Command coupons to save more on your purchase.


3. Make DIY Christmas tree garland with tiny ornaments.

Why the heck is Christmas garland so expensive? I’ve seen the price range from $20-$100. Make your garland with a pack of mini ornaments, like Amazon’s 24-count mini Christmas tree ornaments ($8 for 24).


Using baker’s twine ($2), carefully tie on each ornament at even intervals. Drape them over the branches of your mini Christmas tree and enjoy. Boom, garland for about $10.


4. Make flower arrangements more festive with candy canes.

From time to time, you’ll find Christmas decorating hacks that are like lightbulb moments. For this craft, hot glue candy canes ($6 for 12) to a glass vase. Then, tie the vase with a ribbon and fill it with festive flowers. Ta-da! Use your creation as a centerpiece or as a gift for any holiday party. If you don’t have a glass vase, head to Dollar Tree. They have an assortment of sizes, and they’re just $1.25 each.


5. Protect outdoor cords by placing the plugs in a lidded plastic container.

Grab an old plastic Tupperware that can be used outside. Cut holes on opposite sides of the container to make room for the plugs and wires. Pop the lid on top and call it a day. You’ll never lose power to your lights or decorations again.


6. Spray paint glass light bulbs to hang as decor.

Instead of tossing your burnt-out light bulbs, transform them into festive DIY Christmas garland. Use a mirror effect or metallic spray paint, like Krylon Metallic Spray Paint ($7).

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Before you get started, clean your light bulbs by wiping them with a disinfectant spray.
  2. Stand the light bulbs upright and spray them with metallic spray paint.
  3. Immediately after, use a spray bottle mixed with one part vinegar and one part water to lightly mist the freshly painted bulbs. Try not to overspray—let the mixture sit on the surface of the bulbs in droplets rather than run down.
  4. Allow the vinegar-water mixture to sit for a few seconds. Then, use a slightly damp paper towel to gently dab off the droplets.
  5. Afterwards, when the bulbs are completely dry, tie them onto your twine.


7. Hang bells on the bottom of your tree to hear when kids and pets pull on branches.

Since little kids and pets always seem to mess with tree decorations, use loud noises as Christmas decorating hacks for your tree. Just attach bells to the bottom of your tree. Every time they brush against the branches, you’ll hear them.


8. Instead of gift tags, use a different gift wrap for each family member to avoid premature present peeking.

Without gift tags, kids will have trouble guessing which gifts are theirs. This hack keeps any surprises secret and adds a personal touch to your gifts. On Christmas morning, hand each family member a square of their designated gift wrap to let them know which ones belong to them.


9. Transform a Christmas mug into a fun planter—just by adding greenery.

You can find tons of Christmas mugs at World Market or at Dollar Tree to fill with holiday greenery. Artificial plants last forever, but live plants have the real Christmas feel (and smell). Once the plant dies, your recipient still has a fun mug to use, so it’s a win-win.


10. Save on expensive fragrances by simmering a bag of your favorite smelling tea.

A large assortment of holiday potpourri can run $15. Make your own with chai tea. This tip is a great touch for holiday parties or when you just want to make your home smell amazing. The scent lasts until all the water in the pot evaporates. Keep a careful eye on the pot so you don’t miss when the water’s gone.

Here are the slow cooker deals you need this holiday season.

11. Create a hanging DIY Christmas card display using greenery and a tree branch.

Using free items are my favorite Christmas decorating hacks. Head outdoors to find a branch and use baker’s twine ($2) to create a beautiful display. Tie each piece of greenery onto the branch using string or baker’s twine.

As your holiday cards arrive in the mail, hang each card on the display with a colored clothespin or paper clip. When the holidays are over, you can dispose of the tree branch so you don’t have to store it.


12. Brighten up your tree with extra Christmas lights.

Pre-lit trees can be pretty on their own, but to really make a statement, add even more Christmas lights. Plan to add at least one strand of 100 count mini lights per foot on your tree. Walmart has a 100-count box of mini lights for $3.


13. Use floral picks to add color, variety, and texture to your Christmas tree.

Put floral picks from craft stores like Michaels in your Christmas tree. They’re as low as $3 for a small cluster. Place them in the same direction as the branches for a more natural look. Spread them throughout the tree—especially in spots that are less full.


14. Salvage Christmas tree lights with a Light Keeper Pro.

When a strand of Christmas lights stops working, use a Light Keeper Pro from Amazon ($25) to find burnt-out or broken bulbs. It’s a simple tool that will save you tons in the long run—and it works super well. This is great for fixing lights that are challenging to replace, like the ones attached to a pre-lit tree or garland.


15. Make your own gift wrap with a potato stamp and paint.

Occasionally, there are Christmas decorating hacks that take us back to childhood and just work. Make a DIY stamp by cutting into one half of a potato with a cookie cutter. Cut around the cookie cutter to remove the excess potato. Brush paint onto the surface of the potato and stamp away. Rubber Christmas tree stamps are easily $10 at craft stores, but a russet potato is less than $1.


16. Place jingle bells inside gift boxes to mask the sound of the gifts within.

When your loved ones shake their gifts to guess what’s inside, you’ll be prepared to say, “Nice try.” The sound of the jingle bells ($5) will drown out any sounds the present makes.


17. Use yarn pom-poms on packages instead of bows.

Not only are they fun, inexpensive, and easy to make, you won’t have to worry about them getting crushed in Christmas storage like regular bows.

Buy large pom-poms ($0.99 for 4) from your local craft store, or make your own with a Pom-Pom Maker Tool from Amazon ($7) using your favorite color yarn.


18. Store Christmas decorations in matching bins to distinguish them from other boxes.

For extra organization, I like to slap labels on the tops and sides of the bins before I put them in storage, just so I can tell which items are in which bins. Coordinate with the same color or choose clear bins so you can see what’s inside.



19. Use zip-top bags as Christmas decorating hacks to protect tree lights in storage.

Without fail, every year there’s one light in the strand that doesn’t work. Protecting them in a zip-top bag will also make lights easier to find when you need them again next year. Running out of storage bags? These Hefty or Ziploc coupons will help.


20. Store small, fragile ornaments in an egg carton to prevent them from breaking.

This storage method won’t work for larger ornaments, but it’s an easy way to store the smaller ones instead of packing them individually in bubble wrap or paper towels. Shoot for extra large 12- or 18-pack egg cartons for extra space.


21. Skip the expensive outdoor pre-lit trees—make your own from a tomato cage, lights, and garland.

During the holidays, stores like Home Depot carry tomato cages for this very purpose, like a 42-inch plant support tomato cage ($5). You can even find them in green.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Place your tomato cage upside down on the ground.
  2. Using the floral wire (or $2 evergreen pipe cleaners), tie the pointed tips of the cage together to make a cone (aka your tree shape).
  3. Beginning at the top, wrap the garland around the cage to secure it in place. The closer you attach the garland, the more natural your tree will look.
  4. Add strands of Christmas lights to the tree.
  5. Once the tomato cage is fully wrapped, finish it off with pine cones and red berry floral picks.


22. Decorate with disposable items to save storage space.

Grab some paper and use a star hole puncher from Amazon ($13) to cut out dozens of stars. Then attach the stars to string and hang them around your house. Play around with other shapes to find something you like.


23. Hang ball ornaments deep inside the branches of your tree to fill gaps and hide bare spots.

If you have an artificial tree, you’re bound to have some areas that aren’t as full, so add some volume with ball ornaments ($3 for 24 balls). Do this after adding your lights but before adding the bulk of your ornaments. This is especially helpful for hiding the fake-looking center post of an artificial tree.


24. Keep Christmas lights wrapped around a clothes hanger to prevent them from tangling.

What’s more frustrating than untangling a massive knot of Christmas lights? If you’re worried about Christmas lights tangling inside a zip-top bag, try wrapping them around an old clothes hanger instead. It’s the perfect trick. They’ll be so much easier to unravel when you need them again.


25. Or, wrap Christmas lights around the box they came in for easy storage.

No clothes hanger? No problem. Wrap your Christmas lights around the box they came in. This isn’t just a tangle-free solution, it’s an eco-friendly one, too.


26. Cut the bottoms off hanging shoe organizer pockets to store gift-wrapping supplies.

If you’re like me, you have tons of gift wrap supplies, but it all seems to disappear as soon as you need them. That’s why I came up with the idea to store everything in the shoe organizer ($7) hanging on my door. Christmas decorating hacks don’t always need to be something direct. Organization helps get the job done faster. Just cut the middle pockets’ bottoms to slip the wrapping paper through, and use the top pockets for tape, bows, string, and cards.


27. Spray paint Christmas light strands to make them more festive.

I’ve seen colored light strands for nearly $50. If you have extra lights that just need an upgrade, consider spray painting the strand for it to stand out.

First, unscrew the bulbs and stuff the light sockets with paper to avoid getting paint inside the fixture. You’ll also want to use painter’s tape ($4) to cover the prongs on the plug end.

What you’ll need:


What you’ll do:

  1. Place the cord on a drop cloth outside or somewhere well ventilated.
  2. Remove bulbs and stuff insides with paper to avoid messes when you screw the bulbs in again.
  3. Evenly spray the cord and fixtures.
  4. Allow the cord to dry and then put the bulbs back in.


28. Make snowflake window clings with hot glue.

As long as you’re using a glue gun, make snowflake window clings. They’re easier than you think. If you’re having trouble with the snowflake shape, print out a few online snowflake images and use them as templates to create these easy hot-glue snowflakes.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Find snowflake printables to use as stencils.
  2. Place your snowflake stencils under a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Use a hot glue gun to trace the design.
  4. Once it’s dry, peel the glue snowflakes off the parchment paper.
  5. Add dabs of hot glue to the back of the snowflakes and stick them onto your window. The snowflake will easily pop off when it’s time to take the decorations down.

TIP: Don’t touch the hot glue gun directly to the window, especially if your window is cold. The heat can break the glass.


29. For more of a “wow” factor, use two different sizes of Christmas light bulbs on your tree.

As you can tell, using lights you already have (or those you can buy for cheap) are the epitome of Christmas decorating hacks.

Using two different bulb sizes will make your tree pop and give it a unique look with a personal touch. Opt for the same color lights or mix it up with different colors. Also, consider using large bulbs and mini lights.

Break up the tree decorating monotony by using two different sized bulbs to light it. For more variety, use colored and white lights. Alternate them horizontally or vertically — the designs are endless.



30. Use a tension rod for ribbon storage to make wrapping gifts easier.

Grab a tension rod from Amazon ($3) and attach it between the legs of your craft table. Slide your ribbon rolls onto the rod to make gift wrapping a piece of cake. Now you can see all of your ribbon options.


31. Place tiny mirrored ornaments inside your tree to reflect the lights.

You can use reflective paper or mini round mirrors from Amazon ($9 for 50). Hot glue ornament hooks to the back of each piece and hang them throughout your tree. It’ll look like you have twice as many lights.

The miniature mirror ornaments will reflect light and create a stunning “light” display. Hot glue ornament hooks ($2 for 100) to the back of each mirror and let dry briefly. Hang and stand back to admire the light.


32. Use candy canes as Christmas decorating hacks to seal gift bags.

Instead of just eating candy canes, make them part of your gift wrap. Feed the candy cane through the top of the package and attach a gift tag. It’s fun, effective, and delicious. Enough said.


33. Turn a hanging shoe organizer into an Advent calendar.

Turn your hanging shoe organizer into an Advent calendar for the 25-day countdown to Christmas. Label each pocket with numbers, and stuff them with candies and small gifts. You and your family will have a fun treat to look forward to every day leading up to Dec. 25. Head to Dollar Tree or Target’s Dollar Spot for unique gifts.


34. Use hot glue to hang outdoor Christmas lights on bricks and masonry.

Christmas lights should definitely have a home outdoors (as if you couldn’t tell), and it can be accomplished without those unreliable plastic hooks. Add a dab of hot glue directly to the surface, and hold the light for 10-15 seconds.


35. Decorate a big cardboard box and use it as a gift wrap wastebasket on Christmas day.

Around the holidays, there’s always a bunch of shipping boxes at my house. Upcycle them for Christmas Day and make it an attractive wastebasket. Glue on fun shapes, pom-poms, or snowflake cutouts. Alternatively, simply wrap the box with fun wrapping paper. No more unsightly garbage bag hanging out in your Christmas morning photos.


36. Track gift purchases with Santa’s Bag to keep your budget in check.

Santa’s Bag app is a fantastic way to manage your holiday spending. Track everything from gifts and goodies to decorations and gift wrapping supplies. It’s currently only for iPhone users.


37. Use mini red cups to make Santa-themed lights.

You can find a pack of mini red cups for super cheap, like these Houdini Disposable Shot Glasses at Target ($3 for 20-pack).

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Using a craft knife, cut square buckles from an adhesive sheet of gold “rhinestones.”
  2. Next, cut pieces of black glitter ribbon so they wrap completely around each cup.
  3. Secure them in place with hot glue.
  4. With a craft knife, carefully cut a small “X” into the bottom of each cup.
  5. Finally, insert one light into each “X”.

Hang them up for a holiday party, or put them above your kids’ beds for a festive night-light.



38. Create a DIY table runner with paper snowflakes.

Cut out paper snowflakes and either tape or glue them together. Next, drape it over your table and place decorations on top to make your dining room festive and kid-friendly. Use our step-by-step guide on how to make paper snowflakes.


39. Brighten your home with wintry Epsom salt mason jars.

Mod Podge is the focal point of many Christmas decorating hacks. This multi-functional glue and finish makes thousands of projects possible. You can find a 16 oz. bottle of Mod Podge on Amazon for under $8. Check out Dollar Tree stores, too, because it’s sometimes in the craft aisle.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. First, mix the Epsom salt and glitter in a disposable bowl or cup.
  2. Apply an even layer of Mod Podge on the outside of your mason jar. Be careful not to layer it on too thick to avoid dripping.
  3. Next, sprinkle the Epsom salt glitter on the jar until it’s completely covered. For easy cleanup, do this over a paper plate to catch the excess.
  4. Place the jar on wax paper and allow it to dry overnight.
  5. When the glue is completely dry, wrap twine around the mouth of your jar and attach faux greenery with a dab of hot glue.
  6. Then, insert a flameless tea light into the jar.

Use it as a table centerpiece, mantel decor, or festive front porch lighting.


40. Decorate festive holiday cookies by sprinkling powdered sugar over a paper snowflake.

Turn plain cookies into pieces of edible art. Use a sieve or fine strainer ($5) to sprinkle the powdered sugar. For the best results, decorate just before serving. Use our paper snowflake guide to design your own.


41. Turn a Christmas tin into a gift box that hangs as an ornament.

Instead of throwing away your Christmas cookie tins, repurpose them into gift boxes. Wrap a ribbon around the tin, place your gift inside, and hot glue an ornament hook to the box to hang it on your tree.


42. Don’t buy expensive napkin rings—make your own with jingle bells and wire.

I’ve seen napkin rings with bells for $20, but you can make your own for under 410. Start by stringing bells onto stem wire ($4) alternating the pattern by size. For example, one large and two small, repeated until there are 10 large and 20 small bells on the wire.

First, cut the wire. Then, use the pliers to twist the ends tightly together, forming the napkin ring. How easy is that? You can find dozens of different-sized bells at Dollar Tree.


43. Melt chocolate in a slow cooker for easy cookie decorating.

Add enough hot water to your slow cooker to reach halfway up the sides of your mason jars, then turn your cooker on high. Don’t get any water inside the jars—water will cause your melted chocolate to seize and thicken.

Leave your slow cooker uncovered. After about 30 minutes, stir the chocolate. Once the chocolate melts, reduce your cooker’s heat to low. Dip cookies in the chocolate, or use it to drizzle over treats.


44. Use candy as bows on Christmas gift boxes.

This gift wrapping trick is especially great for kids. Skip the ribbon and stick a bag of your kids’ favorite candy on their presents instead.


45. Use paint and glitter to make an expensive-looking, shatterproof miniature village.

Village pieces can be expensive ($5-$55 each) and fragile. Save money and create a classy village your kids won’t break. You can pick up plastic village pieces from Dollar Tree.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Following the directions on your spray paint can, apply several even coats of spray paint to your plastic village pieces.
  2. Once the paint dries completely, apply Mod Podge where you want it. I applied mine only to the areas that were previously white with snow.
  3. Next, sprinkle on a layer of white glitter.
  4. Lastly, place a flameless tea light candle under each building, and display your new village pieces for everyone to enjoy.


46. Make your own star ribbon with Model Magic.

Crayola Model Magic is a non-toxic molding material (like clay) that can be attached to plastic, wood, cardboard, and other materials. You can find Model Magic at Target for $4.

What you’ll need:

  • Crayola Model Magic
  • Wax paper
  • Rolling pin
  • Cookie cutter

What you’ll do:

  1. With a rolling pin, roll out your Model Magic onto freezer or wax paper (don’t use regular paper as the Model Magic will stick).
  2. Use a small cookie cutter of your choice to cut out the modeling clay.
  3. Then, follow the drying instructions on the Model Magic package.
  4. Glue the dried shapes onto ribbon or baker’s twine and wrap it around a gift.

TIP: The more you work and knead the Model Magic, the easier it will be to roll out and cut with cookie cutters.


47. Press cookie cutters into frozen whipped cream for festive holiday hot cocoa.

This food hack is super easy and potentially free if you already have these two items. Spread whipped topping ($2) onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and freeze it. Once the whipped cream is frozen, use holiday cookie cutters to create shapes that add a fun element to your party’s hot cocoa bar.


48. Use toilet paper tubes to prevent wrapping paper from unrolling.

I hate when my gift wrapping role starts to unravel, but there’s a cheap solution to this problem. Take toilet paper tubes and cut them lengthwise. Then place one around a roll of wrapping paper and tape it together. This way, tape won’t damage your wrapping paper again.


49. Decorate gift boxes with double-sided tape and confetti (instead of ribbons).

If you don’t have ribbons, you can use double-sided tape to stick Christmas-themed confetti ($3) to your presents. To avoid a big mess, place a newspaper or a trash bag under your gift before you add the confetti. Make your own confetti by cutting colored construction paper into tiny pieces.


50. Add greenery, water, cranberries, and floating candles to a mason jar for an easy centerpiece.

This is a classy DIY Christmas decoration everyone will enjoy…and it’s easy to do. Fill Mason jars a quarter of the way down with water and add your greenery. Top it with fresh cranberries, then place candles on top. Be sure to keep away from little kids and pets.

First, place greenery (I took mine off a bush from outside) followed by fresh cranberries in a mason jar. Fill the jar with water, allowing the cranberries to float. Then, add a floating candle ($7 for 6-pack) to the top, and voila — you have a simple and inexpensive centerpiece to add color and light to your holiday table.

When I need a couple of canning jars, Dollar Tree is my go-to spot. They come with a lid and they’re only $1.25 each. However, if you need more than two, Target has a 10-pack of wide mouth Mason jars for $10.99, making each jar $1.09.


51. Use candy canes as place card holders.

These tent cards are one of the simplest Christmas decorating hacks that will impress your guests. Get started by hot gluing two candy canes ($6 for 12) together. Then attach the third candy cane to the back.


Add decorative ribbons and slip a place card into two of the candy cane hooks. If kids want to get involved, have them tie a ribbon around the glued candy canes or write names on the cards.


52. Make a snowman out of a dollar store candle.

In case you want to gift something handmade, you can find $1.25 candles from the Dollar Tree for these adorable snowman DIY Christmas decorations.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Start by twisting two pipe cleaners together.
  2. Using hot glue, attach the pipe cleaners to the back of your candle to make the twig arms.
  3. Tie a ribbon just above the pipe cleaners for a scarf.
  4. Then, use paint pens to draw on your snowman’s face.
  5. Finally, hot glue buttons in place.


53. Use chalkboard tape to turn plain dishes into Christmas party dishes.

If you have chalkboard paint, tape, or a pen around from old arts and crafts projects, use it to make custom plates. Adhere chalkboard tape ($6) to plain dishes, then use a chalk pen ($3) to write your merry message or let guests know what you’re serving.

Finally, remove the tape easily when you’re done. Another idea is to affix chalkboard labels. A pack of 12 labels is under $2 at Walmart.


54. Turn a paper towel holder into a ribbon organizer.

Either borrow the one from your kitchen temporarily or buy a cheap paper towel holder ($1.25) from Dollar Tree to make this easy ribbon organizer. When ribbons aren’t being used, just remember to tape them to the roll to prevent unwanted unraveling.


55. Use toilet paper rolls to make DIY gift boxes.

Flatten a clean toilet paper tube by creating two creases, then fold and tuck the ends inward to keep your gift from sliding out. This is a great vessel for gift cards or as a small gift for teachers.


Decorate your DIY gift box with ribbon ($1.25), designer cardstock paper ($4), and twine ($0.98). If the kids are helping, have them apply winter-themed stickers ($6).


Want more Christmas DIY projects? We got you covered.


56. Use upside down command hooks to create a wreath hanger.

For a clean presentation of your holiday wreath on your front door, attach a Command hook upside down on the inside of your door. Metal wreath hangers can range anywhere from $5-$10, but Command hooks are only $4 for a 2-pack from Walmart. Now that you have that solved, just tie a ribbon around the hook and lay it over the top of your door.


57. When you’re finished decorating, take photos of your work to remember it for next year!

Take a photo (it lasts longer) of all of your Christmas decorating hacks! Snap pictures of your mantel, tree, and other DIY projects in your home. Store the photos in a folder on your phone or computer to easily find them when the holidays roll back around.