Instead of battling the holiday crowds and maxing out your credit cards on decorations, this year try a different approach: DIY Christmas windows. When done well they’ll look amazing and expensive, and many elements can be used again in the future.
Hanging Ribbon Decor
Whether your design is elaborate or simple, window decorations make any home look more cheerful and inviting during the holidays. Ribbon DIY decorations are a quick way to dress up your facade.
Use two- or three-inch ribbon of any color and hang a single pine cone, candy cane or large ornament from each length of ribbon. Tie it in a bow around the locking mechanism to dress the bottom half of the window or from the top of the window to fill the whole space. You can use mittens as miniature stockings for Christmas windows. Attach a loop of ribbon to the wrist of the mitten and stuff small toys inside.
You can also make your decorations functional by stringing Christmas cards in the windows. Use clothespins to secure cards to ribbon and hang the garland across the window or drape it down from the top. To make the clothespins look a little fancier, spray paint them gold or silver first. As an alternative to cards, attach stars or snowflakes to the ribbon for yet another take on DIY Christmas windows. Cut out either shape from card stock (which is sturdier than ordinary paper). Plenty of templates can be found online.
Create a window-within-a-window effect using an empty frame. Spray paint the frame in a classic holiday color and tie thin strings of ribbon along the top. Tie small ornaments to the other end of the ribbons and hang the frame in the window to create a room with a holiday view.
Easy Window Displays
Use window sills and tables in front of windows whenever possible. These empty spaces are DIY displays just waiting to happen. Branches from an evergreen tree, laid across the sill, instantly turn ordinary windows into Christmas windows.
A mason jar, turned upside-down, can be transformed into a DIY display quickly. Take the ring and lid off the jar and place the lid inside the ring so the top is face down. Attach white cotton balls to the lid using craft or super glue. Fill a bottle cap halfway with sand and place a small evergreen sprig upright in the sand – voila, a miniature Christmas tree. Glue the bottle cap to the middle of the lid, nestled among the cotton, and screw the glass jar down on top.
Add pillar candles to your windows to beautify the display, but be extra-careful when lighting the wicks. An open flame in a decorated window is a potential hazard. You can also buy battery-operated candles if you want to avoid a real flame altogether.
Wreaths are a classic decorating feature for Christmas windows. Instead of buying them, use coat hangers and real greenery to make your own. Wire coat hangers, bent into circles, are simple but effective wreath forms. Wrap evergreen foliage around the hanger and secure it with bread ties or pipe cleaners.
Want to dress up those wreaths? DIY poinsettias last longer than real blooms. Cut diamond shapes out of three-inch red ribbon or crepe paper — at least three for each flower. Bunch each diamond together at the center and twist to create two petals. Use glue or wire to secure each twist. Lightly pull to stretch out the petals, but don’t loosen the center twist. Stack the pieces together in a staggered design to create a poinsettia bloom and use glue or wire to set each flower. Glue small circles, fake jewels or even little ornaments to the center of each flower before attaching it to the wreath with wire.
The Other Side
Transform window boxes to create Christmas windows that are decorated on the outside, too. Fill the boxes with moss or mulch and top with evergreen branches. Hang jingle bells over the sides of the boxes with red ribbon (hammer short nails inside the box) to make the design festive. Add a few pine cones and you’re done.
Decorate windows inside and out to create a Christmas feeling all through the home. A few easy DIY decorations make great custom window displays and won’t require a lot of expensive trips to the store.