New Year's Eve

How to Make Anything a New Year's Eve Decoration, Pronto

December 28, 2016

There is something to be said for a little razzle dazzle to close out the year. Because... well, because you made it! No matter how demure your palette typically is, no matter if you wish to treat New Year's Eve like any other day in the year. Shine, sparkle, glinting opalescence—these are the hallmark of any celebratory wintry affair. I like to think that snow, with its faceted twinkle, inspired the look a very long time ago.

The quickest way to give your decorations a hit of optimistic shine this time of year is, of course, spray paint. Specifically, metallic spray paint: the one-step way to turn any odd or end into a bit of festive NYE decor.

Photo by Mark Weinberg

You can get metallic spray paint in bronze, rose gold, copper, antique gold, silver, and so many other shades. Try art stores, then floral supply, and hardware stores. Each can will yield a slightly different end result—sparkly, flat, super-shiny, or deeply patina-ed—but they all seem to play well with others. Last end-of-the-year, I spray painted the above branches (which were very much dead, leftover from holiday arrangements) gold so that our Books Editor Ali could use them in her guide to making a Champagne tower.

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Like I said, razzle dazzle. It took about two minutes to accomplish, and ten more to dry them.

Here are some other ideas of bits and bobs to spray paint gold (or silver, or even a mix) for instant NYE decorations:

  • branches, smooth and bark-less or rough around all the edges
  • river stones of all shapes and sizes; spill 'em across a table, or fill your hurricanes to the brim
  • greenery (magnolia leaves, pine, even tree trimmings)
  • coffee filters, to use in this lovely garland
  • ornaments you're sick of
  • glassware (from ball jars to Champagne coupes)
  • flower arrangements (don't knock it till you try it)
  • cleaned, empty wine and Champagne bottles
  • whole fruit, like pears and apples and grapes
  • wire baskets
  • bows (don't even untie them)
  • honeycomb tissue balls
  • balloons (before you blow them up, for a subtler end effect)

Are you a spray paint fanatic, like me? Tell me which colors you always keep on hand, in the comments.

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Amanda Sims

Written by: Amanda Sims

Professional trespasser.