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From Holiday to Everyday: Upcycling Christmas Items Into Year-Round Decor

How long do you leave your decorations up after the holidays wrap up?

For many households, the social stigma of being one of those people (the ones who leave their tree and all the trimmings up long past Christmas) creates pressure to take things down as soon as the new year begins. Sometimes it can feel like you're pulling stuff down almost as soon as you get it put up.

With just a little bit of editing and some simple DIY, however, you can get more out of the time and money spent on decor by upcycling Christmas decorations to bring a bit of festivity into your home during the otherwise dreary winter months.

A few things to keep in mind

Avoid overly-literal items. You might be able to get away with a plush snowman or reindeer statuette. But be sure to pack up your Santa's and nativity scenes if you want house guests to understand your decor is intentional and innovative, not inattentive and indifferent. Similarly, separate red and green items. Most minds automatically connect this color scheme with Christmas.

Overhaul your ornaments

Ornaments are one of the easiest items to transition into year-round use. Select those with the most sparkle and shine to add an eye-catching element to tabletops, mantles and other central surfaces.

  • The fastest way to work baubles into your daily decor is simply to display them in a glass vase. Try grouping ornaments by color to play up the hues already in your home. Add additional vases, mirrors and candles for a more dramatic composition.
  • Another great way to reuse bulb ornaments? Turn them into a collection of mini vases by removing wire hangers, then filling with water and single stems of your favorite flowers. Set ornaments in small pots or bowls to keep upright.
  • Have a more mismatch set? Dress up a boring chandelier with a colorful garland, or carefully string ornaments together to create a delightful mobile for your child's room.

Transform your twinkly lights

Why not add a little sparkle to your home throughout the year? Strands of Christmas lights are another item that's easy to use in everyday decor. Choose single-colored strands for the most elegant effect.

  • Add romantic lighting to an outdoor setting by stringing lights along banisters or wrapping them around fence posts. During the dreary winter months, you can enjoy the dramatic glow in your dark yard from a nearby window!
  • Dress up dinner by draping strands down the table's center, creating magical mood lighting for all your meals.
  • Lighten up drab spaces. Wrap lights around indoor plants, hang them behind sheer curtains or bundle up them together to create a bright bouquet. The subtle glow will dress up any room with minimal effort.

Convert your Christmas tree

Have a real tree to get rid of? Before dragging it out to the curb, cut off its fullest branches to fashion into a lush decoration for your front door. You'll get more out of your tree purchase and score a free wreath. Soak branches in water overnight to help preserve their freshness and make them easier to manipulate. Then, use floral wire to attach the branches to a metal wreath form.

Once you've made your wreath form, it's time to decorate. Embrace seasonal staples to dress up your creation without it coming off too Christmas-y. Check out this wreath for inspiration.

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