Art of Chill Holidays

9 Holiday DIYs to Get You Excited for the Most Magical Season

Near-impossible-to-mess-up projects, right this way.

October  8, 2021
Photo by Bobbi Lin

The weather is cooling down, the leaves are changing color, and we’re already thinking ahead to our favorite time of the year: the holidays, of course.

Even if you don’t have a big budget for decor or aren’t the crafty type, there are plenty of ways you can bring holiday wonder into your home. Here are nine of our favorite simple holiday decor ideas—emphasis on "simple"!—that are all impossible to mess up. No, seriously—one is just the simple act of glueing things together. You've got this.

1. Pine Cone and Acorn Garland

Yes, start collecting the acorns and mini pine cones as they fall now, so you can string them up into a transitional garland (perfect for fall and winter). If you can’t find any pine cones in your area, no worries, you can absolutely order them online for this adorable DIY.

2. Pom-Pom Wreath

The fluffiest, puffiest, most-welcoming sight on the front of your door, and rather therapeutic to make. Making the individual pom-poms takes some time and patience, but that’s the perfect opportunity to queue up your favorite holiday movie (Elf, anyone?) and fluff away.

3. A Return to the Classics

Does it get any more Christmas-y than a popcorn and cranberry garland? No, we say. It does not. Not only is this a most affordable DIY, but you can toss it in the yard when the season is over for the lingering birds and furry guys to nibble on.

4. Dried Orange Slices

Forgive us, please. We’re not over the dried orange slice trend of last year. And it doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down, so we’re hopping right back on board and holding on for dear life. We’ve got a full tutorial right here, and yep, it’s as easy as it looks. String them into garlands, make them into ornaments, add them to gifts—the options might just be endless.

5. Wonderfully Wintery Apothecary Jars

These seasonal decorations look so impressive—you’ll barely believe they can be made in just a few minutes. All you need in an apothecary jar, a big box of baking soda, and a few cute toys, ornaments, or pinecones. Put them all together and voilà! A magical winter scene to sit on your mantel.

6. Berry Festive Luminaries

You can bring a pop of seasonal color to your holiday table with these easy luminaries. Place some cedar clippings in a Mason or canning jar, fill it up with water, then float some cranberries and a tea light. Ta-da! Holiday ambience in a near instant.

7. Customizable Wrapping Paper Trees

The customization options for this next decor idea are nearly endless. All you need are a few styrofoam cones and your favorite holiday wrapping paper to create minimalistic “trees” that will look lovely in your entryway or on the table. No crafting skill needed.

8. Magical Indoor Light Garlands

You can make your home feel amazingly cozy and quaint for the holidays with the help of fairy lights. Get a long strand of tree branch-style garland, intertwine it with the lights, then use the strand to outline doorways in your home. It will look oh-so-welcoming during these shorter days, and is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.

9. Tasseled Tree Decor

Quite similar in process to making pom-poms (but actually easier) this tasseled tree comes together in an evening or less, promise. If you’ve got an old frame or canvas kicking around, all the better to make this with.

What are your favorite, nearly effortless ways to decorate for the holidays? Share your tips with us below!

This article was updated in October 2021 to add even more holiday DIYs.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Freelance writer, product tester & baking enthusiast.


M November 27, 2018
Guys... "The One Thing You Need to Know to Make Impressive Holiday Decorations"
What is this "one thing"? "Simple"? I don't understand why Food52 often puts headlines that have little or nothing to do with the article.
BerryBaby November 27, 2018
When we landscaped the yard, I made sure to include pine trees that produced pine cones and beautiful greens. It's so fun collecting pine cones and cutting greens that enhance and add a beautiful and simple touch!