Over the years I have swept up enough dead pine needles after Christmas to make a whole new tree. This year, after finding a few of last year’s pine needles under the rug (yes, seriously), I chose to forgo the tree altogether. While this meant saving my sanity and a little money (always a plus!), it also meant I was going to lose my favorite part of Christmas: the ornaments. I knew I was going to have to find another way to put them to good use.
I pulled out some of my favorite ornaments (pickle, fortune cookie, Mr. & Mrs. Claus, etc.) and started surfing my favorite DIY website. After hours and hours of scrolling through ideas (yeah, my eyes are killing me – I can’t stop scrolling!) I came up with 12 simple, unique uses for ornaments, plus a few ideas on how to convert an old pair of chairs into a bench, and a “how-to” on homemade face masks – but I’ll save those for another time.
If you’re anything like me, you can’t stand white walls, so that’s where I started:
#1 Curtain tie. Winter is best when the sky is blue, and the air is crisp. I love to tie my curtains back and let a little sun in, so why not add some holiday cheer while I’m at it? I tied a simple yet elegant ornament on the curtain and, when the sun comes through the window, it gleams just right.
#2 Garland with photos. Photography is a hobby of mine, so I have strings of photos all over my walls already (another idea I got from you know where). I hung a few photos from twine with colorful clothespins, and added a few ornaments in between. Be sure to use strong clothespins—or light ornaments!
#3 Hanging from the fireplace. I like my stockings hung with care, and a few ornaments as well. Spruce up the fireplace with a little holiday cheer, or add a few to the mantel.
To add a subtle holiday touch to a few rooms:
#4 Jar full of ornaments. Fill one of those empty jars in the back of your kitchen cupboard (an idea I adapted from one of our blog posts) with ornaments and stick it on an empty shelf. Even better, take all your fruit and veggie themed ornaments and stick them in a decorative basket or bowl on your holiday table. Just make sure no one eats them.
#5 Shelf décor. My grandma always had a small tree and way too many ornaments to go around. She usually stuck the heavy ornaments on a shelf to display along with her electric train set and ice skating rink. Tuck the string back and no one will even know it’s an ornament!
#6 Drawer pull. I made my own dining table, and it happens to be a little taller than most. This left room for an entire set of drawers for my linens to go under the table. To add some interest to the front of it, I hung a few classic ornaments on each of the drawer pulls. If you want the drawers to remain functional, choose smaller ornaments with shorter strings.
#7 Rear-view mirror. I myself can’t stand the idea of ditching the mini Seahawks boxing gloves hanging from my rearview mirror. If you don’t have the same problem though, the mirror makes a great place for an ornament! This is where I would have hung my fortune cookie ornament, for good luck, but I don’t want to test the Hawks’ luck.
To add some cheer to a holiday event:
#8 Wine topper. Bringing a bottle of wine to your next event? Skip the wine bag and top it with an ornament and ribbon instead! I had this idea after reading one of my colleagues’ posts on unexpected gift ideas. You should read it too. Also, if you’re in the market for a good bottle of wine to give as a gift, I suggest these.
#9 Vase topper. Why buy a vase when you can make one? To add some cheer to my table I turned an old wine bottle into a vase and topped it off with an ornament. Fill it with flowers and your table is set!
#10 Napkin ring décor. Placeholders are so last year. Stick a fun ornament on everyone’s plate, or tie it to their napkin ring, and let your guests choose where they want to sit. At the end of the night, let them take it home as a party favor!
And because I don’t want to be a total Grinch:
#11 Ornament tree. It can be hard to imagine going completely tree-less for the holidays. An ornament tree is a great alternative way to display your decorations, without all the pine needles to sweep up. I wish I had thought of this years ago when my cat developed ninja tree-climbing moves.
#12 Tree in the yard. When it’s time to deck the halls, deck the deck, too! I added a few ornaments to the tree in my backyard and to the planters on the back deck. At night, when the strand of Christmas lights is twinkling, it really feels like the holidays! Warning: on a windy night, this isn’t the best idea.
Now, if I can manage to get these ornaments put away before next Halloween it will be a miracle! Do you have any fun uses for your ornaments besides just putting them on the tree?