Upcycling Everyday Items Into Christmas Decor

Berry Christmas Bottles

I know that seasonal and holiday decorating is essentially the inherent duty of any home blogger, though as I’ve admitted several times in the past, it’s just not my thing – even when it comes to the mighty crescendo that is Christmas.

It’s not that I don’t adore the look and feel of Christmas decor, or that I don’t appreciate all of the time and effort it must take, it’s more so that I tend to balk at “all of the time and effort it must take”. As many of my regular readers will attest to, I’m satisfied enough when I can stay on top of ordinary decorating!

And it’s not that I don’t love Christmas. On the contrary, it’s my absolute favourite time of year.

Still, a solitary tree, a nice advent calendar, a knitted stocking or two – and marveling in everyone else’s festive prowess – has always been enough for me.

Until now.

This year both of my kids are at that age where Christmas is the undisputed champion of absolutely everything, and their excitement is contagious!

So, I’m feeling extra spirited, though rather than rush out and spend money on a heap of new decor (destined to be stashed in boxes for most of year), I thought I’d have a look around my own home for some everyday items I could easily upcycle.

Of course, as with any Christmas-related activity, the first port of call is to crank some holiday tunes! Not only does Christmas music work to get those festive feels flowing, it’s the perfect way to annoy your grinchy husband who blames nine years working in retail on his aversion to any song with sleigh bell percussion.

I, on the other hand, can’t get enough! This year the kids and I have been rockin’ this epic Christmas playlist from Sony Music. Nothing better than tying pretty baker’s twine bows while belting out some Mariah Carey!

And here are some of the basic items the playlist has helped inspire me to repurpose so far…

1 | BOOKS

Books Before

I have little stacks of vintage books lying around in most of my rooms.

When wrapped like a gift with some red and white baker’s twine and embellished with a few golden bells and sprigs of rosemary they instantly become Christmas-afied.

Wrapped Books for Christmas

Books Dressed for Christmas

I’ve kept things very simple though you could make more of a statement with thick ribbon and bold accessories, like mini pine-cones, clay stars or generous clippings of assorted greenery.

 

2 | GLASS BOTTLES

Glass Bottles Before

Vintage glass bottles are another of my decorating staples.

Again, with just some simple twine and a few sprigs of greenery they suddenly take on a subtle festive feel.

Christmas Glass Bottles

Simple Christmas Bottles

Simple Christmas Bottles

Or, for something different, a variety of ribbon and some faux berries make for a bright, cheery vibe.

Berry Christmas Bottles

Berry Bottles for Christmas

Granted, they may be artificial berries though having some water in the bottles helps with the illusion…shhhh!

Christmas Bottles

 

3 | CERAMICWARE

Plates Before

Most of us have some plain ceramics scattered about. Here I’m using a set of three white plates which usually hang in my kitchen.

Easy DIY Christmas Plates

To dress them up I’ve simply added some easy DIY stickers!

I found the graphics online for free (you might recognise them from my downloadable Christmas Book Page Signs).

DIY Christmas Sticker Plates

I simply printed them onto a sheet of clear sticker paper before trimming around each one then adhering them to the plates – so quick and easy! And the options are endless. Use mugs, vases, jugs, platters, whatever! And you can embellish them with any style of image you like.

The stickers only cost a few cents each to make and can be easily peeled-off when no longer needed.

DIY Christmas Plate

If you’d like to use the same artwork as me, I’ve attached my file for free download HERE.

 

4 | KITCHEN SCALES

Christmas Scales Before

Just like any empty bowl, there are lots of different ways to dress-up scale weighing dishes for Christmas.

For some reason, mini winter wonderlands first came to mind for me!

Vintage Christmas Scale Decorating

Here I’ve simply used inexpensive table salt, some craft store bottle-brush trees and a few old matchbox cars.

DIY Christmas Scale Scene

So quick and easy…and super cute!

Easy DIY Christmas Scale Snow Scene

As an aside, I don’t really advocate tying an over-sized fir tree to the top of a Volkswagon with an open sunroof – though each to their own.

 

5 | PICTURE FRAMES

Frame Before

This one might seem pretty obvious, though if you’re anything like me you probably rarely switch-out the art in your frames.

I’ve kept things super simple by using just one small frame, though you could easily go totally bonkers by re-imagining all of the frames in your entire house!

Christmas Tree Sign

My art is merely a pretty greeting card however the options here are endless! Design your own, use free online printables, download digital art via Etsy or eBay, or purchase prints, calendars, gift wrap or posters.

If you have any frames in 2:3 ratio (for example, 4″ x 6″, 8″ x 12″, 12″ x 18″, 16″ x 24″, 24″ x 36″) you can grab my free printable Christmas Book Page Signs HERE.

Free Printable Christmas Signs

The great thing about switching-out prints is that you can keep the alternate art in the rear of the frame all year long then simply change things around when the time is right.

Each of these projects literally took less than five minutes and now my house is looking decked for the holidays. And the kids are soooooo excited!

Would love for you guys to crank some Christmas tunes, have a wander around your own home and see what regular items the music inspires you to repurpose.

Have fun!

GRAB THE EPIC PLAYLIST HERE

Signature

This post is published in association with Sony Music. All ideas and opinions are my own.

 


33 Comments
  1. Lucy says:

    All so lovely.

  2. Trish says:

    Beautiful and doable ideas. Thanks for the printables!
    Your scales are just adorable. Why can’t I ever think of these things???

    • LOL! Just put on some Christmas music Trish. It wall all fall into place :)

  3. Sherylee says:

    The scales with mini cars and trees are gorgeous! And I really love the vintage bottles – they look great however you do them. Lovely ideas.

  4. Karen Kurti says:

    As usual, some great and inspiring ideas. They look wonderful, and I wish I had thought of them! Enjoy your Christmas.

  5. Julie says:

    Always amazing! I have a large clear vase that I fill with various sized Christmas baubles and beads and that looks very festive. I might just go and wrap a few Christmas ribbons around my own vintage book stacks. Have a wonderful Christmas.

  6. Melissa says:

    Oh bless them and their festive hearts 🥰 nice job mummy it looks gorgeous Santa will be impressed

  7. Felicia says:

    I also worked 6 Christmas seasons in retail and have struggled ever since with Grinchitis. I am slowly getting over it. It’s been more than 20 years. 🤣 Love the ideas. Especially the books and plates. I think I still have sticker paper hiding somewhere in my stash.

  8. Jana says:

    Thanks for a reminder – a beautiful one again – that subtle up-cycling can be so magical! Enjoy your December :)

  9. Jan Fusco says:

    Love the simple but perfect touches. Especially the scales with trees and cars.

  10. Leslie Wood says:

    Love it! Great ideas -as always; really simple, and yet beautiful.
    I spent 15 years in retail, so I feel your husband’s pain with the Christmas music.
    Thank you for sharing! A very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  11. I love all your ideas. I want to incorporate ALL of them in my home. This is my favorite post today. Enjoy your holidays.

  12. slg says:

    Love all of these! Would you mind sharing what kind of sticker paper you use to print the images on? thanks so much

    • Thanks. It was just a generic brand I found on eBay. It was much cheaper than the Avery brand clear sticker paper and I’ve found it to be fine.

  13. Patrycia Center says:

    Love all your ideas! Thanks for sharing! Your designs always quietly remind us of the beauty inherent in what is pure & simple – (although it is ok to also respond to magnificent displays of light, color & music too!) But, (…un-pc as this is to suggest…), a buffer from the visual & auditory noise of retail work during Christmas?? Intentionally ground yourself now & then in the real reason for this season. Just sayen … epitome of pure & simple wrapped into one tiny, yet magnificent, gift.

  14. Julie says:

    Gosh – I love everything, but my favorite are the scale Dioramas !!! So cute “I love them!”
    Thanks for sharing.

  15. This is such a lovely post, Kristine…so many beautiful ideas! Thank you for sharing! Merry Christmas!

  16. Kathryn says:

    These are all such great ideas! Thank you for sharing. I’m trying to cut down on decor that needs to be stored and each of these takes little to no space. Thanks so much for thinking of them – and sharing with all of us. Happy Holidays to everyone!

  17. alberto says:

    Very nice, thanks for sharing.

  18. Ann Finch says:

    Less is more. Just perfect.

  19. Carole says:

    Love this. Have just added bows to anything that I could. Tied little xmas trees to my son’s toy cars and placed them in empty spots!

  20. Pamela Parker says:

    I save Christmas cards I particularly like from year to year and switch them out for pictures at the holidays. Free art and a nice remembrance of those who gave the cards to me. And I just leave them in the back of the frame so they’re ready to go when I am.

  21. Laura Austerberry says:

    This is wonderful

  22. Liz Warner says:

    What a great idea to add a Christmas card into a frame! Thanks for sharing this idea.

  23. Home Arise says:

    I love Christmas, but I never feel like decorating the house. I’d rather snuggle in my blankets, watch movies, and open presents. But your enthusiasm is contagious, and your ideas are so cute that I just can’t help it! I have to try them out. Maybe I should put on some Christmas music so that I can get into the holiday spirit.

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