When I’m decorating for the holidays, I like to find ways to use things I already own for a different purpose, or to dress them up a little to make them fresh and “new”.
Today I’m going to show you a couple of things I did to repurpose and restyle things I already had as I decorated for Christmas.
Freshening up an old wreath
On a recent trip to HomeGoods, I spent a ridiculous amount of time perusing all the beautiful Christmas wreaths they had for sale. Even thought I thought they were reasonably priced at about $40 each, they all had electric plug-in lights on them, which wouldn’t work for hanging on the front door of my house.
As I stood there trying to figure out if the lights could be removed and replaced with battery-operated lights, it finally occurred to me that if I was going to go to that much trouble, I should just make my own.
I remembered that I had an old, tired-looking wreath from years gone by still packed away in a Christmas box in the basement.
It had a weathered and faded ribbon on it that I promptly ripped off and threw away, and then added a string of battery lights like these.
Armed with pictures of the HomeGoods wreaths on my phone, I started looking for embellishments that would dress up my old, sad wreath.
I began with some pinecones and red berry picks from Michael’s, and of course, more of my favorite buffalo plaid ribbon to coordinate with my other decorations. It was looking so much better already!
Finally, I added a rustic-looking ornament with some bells in the center as the finishing touch.
It looks nice on my front door, it saved a sad old wreath from the trash, and I got to make it exactly how I wanted it. Oh, and it cost a fraction of the price of the new ones at HomeGoods.
A vintage sled as a fun Christmas accent piece
My husband and I love browsing flea markets and antique stores. We came across this vintage sled, very similar to one I had as a child, and I knew it would look so cute as a Christmas decoration. In fact, I’ve seen them around Christmastime at various antique stores and craft sales already decorated, and they sell for a lot.
I bought this one for around $30, and knew I could customize the way I wanted for much less. Plus, when you do it yourself, you have the freedom of making it exactly how you want it, and can coordinate it with the rest of your decor.
I started with some greenery and more buffalo plaid ribbon–no surprise there, huh? 🤣
I added some red berries from Michael’s and a grape vine orb. I just kept trying a few different things until I had it the way I wanted it.
Finally, I wove in a string of my favorite fairy lights. I have these things all over my house, even when it’s not Christmastime. I love how light-weight they are, so you can use them on delicate greenery without weighing it down or mashing it. I also love that are on wire strings, so they are very flexible and moldable, easily wrapping around whatever you want.
Because they are battery operated, you are not limited to being near an outlet. Be sure to get the kind that have a timer built in, though. This makes them come on at the same time each night, stay lit for 6 hours, off for 18, and back on again the next night. Easy peasy, and they add such a warm and comfortable glow without having to go around and turn them on and off again each night. Ain’t nobody got time for that. 😜
I like the warm white lights, but you can get a more bright white, or even colored if you prefer. These are the ones I have now:
- 5 Pack Fairy Lights 7 Feet 20 Led Battery Operated String Lights with Time Function, Waterproof Firefly Lights on Silver Wire for Home Party Wedding Decorations, 6 Hours on/18 Hours Off, Warm
A centerpiece using a vintage brick mold
Above is the table centerpiece I saw at HomeGoods. I have a very long, rectangular dining table at home, and wanted a rectangular centerpiece for it. I loved the rustic appeal of the one from HomeGoods, but not necessarily all the elements. I like plaid, but those weird plaid balls on this one? Nope.
I knew I could buy and arrange the greenery myself, but was thinking about where I might find a long rustic-looking box like the one above when I remembered a find from an antique store a few months back!
This is a brick mold from the early 1900s that I bought at a local antique store last year. It was perfect for this project! It is real rather than “fake old” like so much of the stuff you can buy these days. I love, love, love that this piece had lived a life already before I bought it. Isn’t it cool to imagine workers creating bricks by hand using this mold, and to wonder what buildings those bricks might have been used on? I say yes. Way cool. 🤫
Because it’s an antique, I didn’t want to permanently affix anything to it. Since it has a divider in the middle, I simply inserted a rectangular floral foam into each side, and used that to hold my greenery. When Christmas is over, I can lift the whole thing out, store it away for next year, and still have the brick mold to do something else with, if I want.
I purchased an assortment of greenery, as well as pinecone and berry picks at Michael’s and Hobby Lobby, and just played around with them until I had the shape and size I wanted.
Then I added in a few embellishments, such as these cinnamon sticks tied with twine, which I made myself. You can see that the inspiration piece from HomeGoods had those too, and they were practically free to make them myself. I already had cinnamon sticks in my cupboard, and the twine was left over from the wood slice tree ornaments that I made.
At Hobby Lobby, I found these greenery picks with some rope twists in the middle. I like the little touch farmhouse style they add .
I wove in some ribbon, and added a string of fairy lights, and it was done!
I love all these vignettes around my house. Here’s a little bonus in the window above my kitchen sink.
I had a leftover sprig of greenery from making the table centerpiece. This little vase with the bark pine tree embellishment was one I saved from years ago when a friend sent me flowers after I had a kidney stone removed! It was too cute to toss out, so I saved it, hoping to find another use for it. Here, I just filled the base with stones to prop up the piece of greenery, popped in a red berry pick, and strung some fairy lights on it. I set this hand-carved deer next to it. These are just a hodgepodge of items I already had, but arranged together, it adds a sweet little touch to this corner of my kitchen.
You guys, my home has such a warm glow that really puts me in the holiday mood. As soon as it starts to get dark, all of these little fairy lights, as well as my flameless candles, start coming on automatically. I don’t even have to worry about turning them off before bed at night, they just take care of themselves!
I hope you’ll give this a try, and restyle and repurpose some of the items already into your own house. Not only does it help save money by giving old items a new life, but it allows you to have a cohesive theme that ties everything together. Plus, you’ll end up with one-of-a-kind pieces that reflect your own style and taste.