New Ways to Reuse Old Holiday Decorations

As you dust off your boxes and bins of holiday decorations this season, you may be feeling excited for the holidays — but uninspired for your decor. Rather than replenishing your stock of seasonal decor items, consider giving those “leftovers” a new lot in life by repurposing them in new ways. Try these seasonal decor ideas from interior designer Virginia Burney.

Have a Re-Ball

Have some old ball ornaments that you no longer use on your tree? Burney suggests spray-painting them a favorite color or covering them in a thin coat of glue and rolling them in glitter. Then tie them to gifts as part of your gift wrap, or group a selection in a bowl and display as a centerpiece on a table or mantel. You can also purchase a circular wire mold at a craft store (in your desired wreath shape and size), then use fishing wire or clear elastic cord to tie the balls around the mold for a modern DIY wreath. Another option? Take them outside! Tie them to trees or bushes in your yard for some added seasonal curb appeal.

Go with Garlands

If you have strands of garlands gathering dust, try weaving them into your favorite wreath to give it some new flare. Is your garland outdoor friendly? Consider a new place for it outside, such as around your mailbox or above your entry steps. Does the garland itself need a refresher? Paint it with spray paint and add embellishments such as glitter and tied-on beads or accents.

Grow Up and Out

Just because you’ve grown up doesn’t mean your favorite childhood ornaments need to gather dust. Opt to display a second, smaller tree in a less formal space (such as the kitchen, family room, kid’s room or office) and pay tribute to holidays past. To display the ornaments in another way, Burney suggests hanging a selection of favorites from a garland above your mantel. Place a grouping of framed family portraits throughout the years along the mantel to create a nostalgic display.

Prevent the Hum-Drum Next Year

To prevent your style from feeling tired or stagnant, Burney recommends taking photos of your holiday decor after you’ve finished decorating each season. File those images with the ornaments. Next year, refer to the photos and aim for a new look. Having the previous seasons’ photos will help inspire you as well as remind you of unique ways you’ve used your seasonal decorations before.

Pare Down

If your seasonal decor collection continues growing each year, but you (like most of us) neglect to discard or donate old pieces, heed Burney’s advice: “My counting system for ornaments (and all collectibles): One is a find, two is a pair, three is a set, four is a collection and five or more is an obsession.”

And sometimes, of course, it’s just time to say goodbye. “When you haven’t used an ornament in any way for two years, it’s time,” Burney says. “Date your leftovers after decorating, and then delete necessary items to make room for new memories.” Find a new home for your unused decorations at a resale shop or with a deserving friend or neighbor.

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