5 easy ways to make everyday household items feel more festive – for a last-minute final flourish

'Making your ordinary household items feel more festive is all about convenience, saving money and creativity'

ways to make everyday household items feel more festive
(Image credit: Future / Furniture And Choice / Future)

'Tis the season to upgrade your ordinary household items into seasonal alternatives. There are so many easy and inexpensive ways to get creative in making your home feel more festive, with small touches seamlessly bringing the holiday spirit to every corner of your home.

We spoke to experts to discover their favorite easy-to-implement yet impactful festive, last-minute touches to decorate for Christmas.

They came up with some inventive ways to make everyday household items feel festive – and they're so easy to replicate. Here's how.

How to make your ordinary household items items feel more festive

'One of the fantastic things about making small changes to ordinary household items to make them more seasonally festive is that it’s typically a more eco and wallet-friendly way to decorate,' says interior designer and founder of The Home Green, Amy Kleppinger.

1. Add a festive touch to linens and fabrics

Christmas bedroom

(Image credit: Furniture And Choice)

Enhance your ordinary linens and fabrics with some DIY projects to add a festive touch. 

'Getting together with the family for a festive Christmas dinner makes buying a Christmas tablecloth a must. However, if you can't find a suitable one in the shops, you can turn an already existing one into a Christmas tablecloth,' says Violeta Stoyanova at Fantastic Services.

'Use fabric paints to draw Christmas motifs such as snowflakes, reindeer, or Christmas trees,' recommends Ira Njoroge, founder of My Space Affair. 'You could also sew on some glittery red and green ribbons to the edges to add that extra festive sparkle.' We recommend this fabric paint set, from Amazon with these Christmas stencils for guidance.

Alternatively, interior designer Rudolph Diesel recommends: 'Add visual interest by stitching on a pom fringe, lace, or frayed ribbons down the sides of the table runner or table cloth.'

london-based interior designer rudolph diesel
Rudolph Diesel

Rudolph Diesel is a top London interior designer with a relentless passion for design and detail who has been featured in top publications such as The Times, Woman & Home, and Ideal Home. Rudolph Diesel has developed a keen eye for aesthetic home design throughout his career; his insights into interior design and space management are invaluable.

Plus, don't forget to complement the tablecloths with holiday-themed table runners, placemats, and napkins for a complete look.

'Sew on Christmas-themed patches on your cushion covers. You could use silhouettes of Christmas trees, snowflakes, or even Santa Claus himself,' says Ira Njoroge. 'This small change can make a big difference in the overall festive feel of your living room.

'Cozy blankets can be made Christmassy by adding some red and green pom-poms along the edges or sewing or ironing on some Christmas-themed patches. You could also consider tying them up with a red ribbon and a sprig of holly when not in use for a festive touch.'

Finally, if you want to update white bedsheets for the holiday season, consider dying them with festive colors, such as red or green. If done properly, this can be a great way to introduce a seasonal selection of linens into your bedroom without spending much money.

Christmas Iron On Patch Embroidered | Was 
$7.99, now $5.59 at Amazon

Christmas Iron On Patch Embroidered | Was
$7.99, now $5.59 at Amazon

KESYOO 10pcs Snowflake Patches | $11.59 from Amazon

KESYOO 10pcs Snowflake Patches | $11.59 from Amazon

2. Decorate storage solutions

Baskets underneath console table in living room

(Image credit: McGee & Co)

Transforming storage boxes into festive holiday decor adds a touch of Christmas charm to different parts of your home while remaining a practical storage solution to store Christmas decorations. You can also use them as gift boxes, or just as a fun way to decorate your pantry. 

'For this, you’ll need wrapping paper with Christmas motifs to cover them. This is a quick and easy way to add a festive look without making permanent changes,' says Violeta Stoyanova. We love this Catherine Martin wrapping paper, from Anthropologie

Ensure the paper is securely taped or glued to ensure this looks sleek and purposeful. You could even use festive peel-and-stick contact paper to make this task easier. Alternatively, if you prefer to use fabric, you can attach these to the boxes with fabric glue or double-sided tape.

When decorating the boxes, choose a specific theme for your storage box for a cohesive look, whether this is choosing a color, pattern, or a whimsical Christmas concept (such as a winter wonderland or Santa's grotto).

'You can attach Christmas ribbons, ornaments, faux snow or bows to your storage boxes,' adds Violeta Stoyanova.

'Additionally, you can create festive labels featuring festive designs for easy identification using stickers or holiday-themed cutouts.'

3. Make your lighting festive

Table laid for dinner with lit candles, Christmas crackers and a large central lamp above.

(Image credit: Future)

Instead of buying new indoor Christmas lights every year, consider adding small touches to your existing lights that can easily be removed when it's time to take down Christmas decorations.

'Ordinary string lights can be made Christmassy by adding some handmade paper lanterns,' says Ira Njoroge. You can also cut snowflakes from white card and add them to the string light bulbs.

If your lights are strong enough you can hang miniature Christmas ornaments to them, such as along string lights, hanging from a chandelier or below sconces. You can secure them in place using clear thread or ribbons. Attach small pinecones to the lights with twine – this rustic Christmas decoration is a charming way to add a woodland feel to your lights.

'Adding evergreen sprigs to a chandelier or other light fixture is a simple and elegant way to create a festive atmosphere,' says Yama Jason, founder of House Customize. 'You can cut branches from your garden or find discarded evergreen sprigs from your local store for an inexpensive alternative.'

For a simpler way to introduce greenery to your lighting, choose artificial options, such as holly leaves and mistletoe.

4. Dress up your plants which Christmas decor

Christmas tree theme with modern tree branches

(Image credit: Future)

'Rather than buy a Christmas tree that only goes up once a year, consider adding some flair to a plant you already have,' recommends interior designer, Amy Kleppinger. 'Adding lights, ornaments, and garlands will add cheer with less fuss.'

Adorn your plants with festive ribbons – this on-trend decoration can be wound through foliage, tied onto branches or around the plant pot for a touch of holiday charm. You could also add some small candy canes to branches.

Tuck small pinecones, sprigs of mistletoe, holly, and festive berries into the plant's foliage. 

You can even add some festive fragrances to this plant by adding a few drops of your favorite seasonally scented essential oil to the pinecones to release a gentle fragrance. We recommend this fragrance oil Christmas set, from Amazon.

5. Decorate your dinnerware for Christmas

Christmas dining room decor ideas

(Image credit: Future)

'Use porcelain or glass paint to add Christmas motifs to your ordinary dinnerware,' recommends  Ira Njoroge. 'This could be as simple as painting a green Christmas tree or a red star on your plates.

'Remember to let the paint dry completely before using.'

For precision, you can use these ZEYAR acrylic paint pens, from Amazon.

For a less permanent way to decorate dinnerware, you can incorporate ribbons to your table setting, for example, wrapping napkins up in bows like a present or adding a ribbon bow to the stem of a wine glass.


How can you decorate for Christmas without spending any money?

'Restricting the colors you use to decorate can automatically create a holiday theme. For example, if you’re setting a Christmas table, use primarily red, green, and neutral-toned plates, glasses, and linens and it will feel like Christmas without the need to purchase anything,' says Amy Kleppinger, interior designer and founder of The Home Green.

Finally, by utilizing ordinary vases, jars, or bowls and filling them with ornaments, pinecones, or festive foliage, you can elevate your Christmas table decor by creating a stunning seasonal centerpiece.

Making your ordinary household items feel more festive is all about convenience, saving money and creativity – this allows you to seamlessly integrate temporary or permanent decorations into your home.

This intentional approach ensures a seamless transition between seasons.

Lola Houlton
News writer

Lola Houlton is a news writer for Homes & Gardens. She has been writing content for Future PLC for the past six years, in particular Homes & Gardens, Real Homes and GardeningEtc. She writes on a broad range of subjects, including practical household advice, recipe articles, and product reviews, working closely with experts in their fields to cover everything from heating to home organization through to house plants. Lola is a graduate, who completed her degree in Psychology at the University of Sussex. She has also spent some time working at the BBC.