How to Use Christmas Ornaments for Quick and Easy Holiday Decorating

by | Holidays, Home

Looking for some quick and easy holiday decorating ideas? Check out these ways to use leftover ornaments to create beautiful Christmas decor!  It’s all in the details and your unused holiday ornaments can become statement decor pieces in your home for Christmas with these easy tips and ideas!

The season is upon us and if your home is anything like ours, the only decorating that can get done now is the quick, simple, super easy stuff!  The great news is that easy holiday decorating doesn’t have to be blah or boring.  In fact, keep reading in this post to see several simple ways I have used leftover and unused ornaments to create statement centerpieces and finishing details all around our home!

At the same time, these are also great ways to feature a particular collection of ornaments or even display sentimental ornaments.  Actually, some of the ornaments I used were leftover and some are specific groupings I purchased to create quick and easy holiday decorating around our home.  While a couple are new this year, most of these are things I already had and just styled them a bit differently this year.

view of the living room styled for Christmas

What do you decorate with ornaments for Christmas?

Besides your holiday Christmas tree, of course, there are so many opportunities to use ornaments for easy holiday decorating.  I will show you several of these ideas in more detail below, but here is a quick list to get your creativity rolling!

Most of all, think outside the box and look for ways to use what you already have for quick Christmas decorating moments!

  • Make a DIY garland to hang on a mantel, over the top of a bookshelf, over a large mirror, or intertwining around a table top Christmas tree.
  • Thrift for old ornaments that blend with your color scheme.
  • Decorate a favorite bowl, basket, or dish by filling it with Christmas ornaments.
  • Tie pretty ornaments onto gift packages for extra sparkle.
  • Mix and match ornaments for personalized or thoughtful, individual style at each place setting on a holiday tablescape.
  • Tie ornaments around napkins for easy napkin rings.
  • Bonus: Write names on the ornaments to double as place cards.
  • Use hot glue to secure ornaments onto a wreath.  This is a great way to dress up a wreath you already have and repurpose leftover ornaments too!
  • Write numbers on simple ornaments and hang them as an Advent garland.
  • Tuck pretty ornaments into greenery down the center of the table for some sparkle in your centerpiece.
  • Add ornaments around the base of a vessel with a candle in it.
beautiful Christmas table setting with gold flatware and real-touch Christmas greenery

What can you do with ornaments besides trees?

As you can see from the list above, I only scratched the surface of all the fun and creative ways you can use ornaments for easy holiday decorating around your home.  Besides your Christmas tree, there are so many ways to feature your favorite ornaments.  If you have a little time, there are so many great crafts and DIY ideas that you can create with leftover or unused ornaments, not to mention special ones to display.

However, if you are looking for some quick Christmas decorating ideas, ornaments can be great for that too.  In this post, I’m going to show you some specific ways I used ornaments.  Each of these ideas were super quick and easy!

  • How to fill a big bowl with ornaments…without having to use a ton of ornaments
  • How to use an ornament garland or create a DIY ornament garland that can be used for multiple, easy holiday decorating ideas
  • How to create DIY ornament napkin rings and place card holders in under 1 minute
  • How to scatter coordinating ornaments (even cheap ones) for the quickest centerpiece ever
  • How to use ornaments to step up your gift wrapping…without taking extra time
garland with ornaments hanging on a chippy white mantel

How to Use Christmas Ornaments for Quick and Easy Holiday Decorating

How do you decorate for Christmas quickly?

I had fun with these quick and easy ideas for Christmas decorating.  Plus, all of them are pretty inexpensive.  You can use a lot of things that you already have and even supplement with thrifted finds!

Let’s check out some quick decorating I’ve been doing around here…


Easy Holiday Decorating Idea #1: Fill a bowl with leftover or unused ornaments.

If you’re like me, I didn’t really have leftover ornaments.  In fact, our big family tree has ample space to continue adding ornaments from our family adventures and yearly ornaments for the kids.

To create this centerpiece, I purchased ornaments that would all blend together to get the look I wanted.  However, almost all of them were on major clearance or thrifted, so it was still a fairly budget-friendly table centerpiece.  Additionally, my bowl is HUGE, so it required quite a bit more ornaments than a typical decor bowl!

Here’s how I created this centerpiece:

First, I filled the bowl almost to the top with brown Kraft paper.  Tucking in the corners around the top helps it to not be visible at the edges of the ornaments.

Pro Tip: Creating faux bases for centerpiece can save you a lot of time and money, as well as items that have to be stored after the holiday!

Secondly, I created a base layer of ornaments with cheap, plastic ones that were 60% off.  You could also watch for after-Christmas sales to snag some amazing deals for next year’s decorating too!

Next, I mixed in some vintage and thrifted ornaments with great patina.  I love how they add some variation and interest while still blending perfectly.

Lastly, I added a few new ornaments that I loved.  These ornaments have color variations that help pull the vintage white, gold, and mercury colors together.

Pro tip: Use a mixture of sizes for more dimension and interest.

You can create this look with a pretty serving dish, a favorite vintage ironstone bowl, a wooden dough bowl, or even a pretty basket!  Any kind of vessel that holds items can work for this too.  At the same time, you can use any size of bowl that fits your table or vignette.

Remember, it doesn’t have to be large or include a ton of ornaments to be beautiful.  Even a small bowl of pretty ornaments can add an unexpected sparkle and festive look to a simple coffee table vignette!


large gray bowl holding various shaped mercury ornaments

Here are a few favorite bowls that I enjoy using year-round for decorating:

  • This narrow design is perfect for a table centerpiece.  Add a little winter greenery on each side to give it a more finished look.  I love the light color and how you could use it year round for decorating too!
  • This bowl has such a unique shape and gorgeous detail that would be perfect for filling with pretty ornaments.  Quick, easy, and gorgeous!
  • This metal footed bowl is so large and would make such a great statement!  Fill with ornaments and use on a dining room table, console table, entryway table, or even a larger side table.  This would also make a great gift idea too!
  • A beautiful vintage ironstone bowl doesn’t need ornaments to make it look pretty.  However, the ornaments might need this bowl!  I love the crazing and lovely patina of this classic, vintage piece!
  • If you want a HUGE bowl, this is it!  Gorgeous vintage wooden dough bowl that would be amazing filled with your favorite ornaments.  You can also use it year round and it looks pretty just sitting.  After the holidays, you don’t have to put anything in it at all for a simple, minimal style that is still beautiful!


small wooden bell filled with various sizes and colors of bells

Easy Holiday Decorating Idea #2: Use ornaments for a garland.

While I am showing you an ornament garland that I purchased, already made into a garland, I have also used ornaments to create super quick and simple DIY garlands.

How to Make an Ornament Garland:

  1. Measure twine or ribbon to desired length (remember to account for some swag in the middle if you want).
  2. Divide the length by how many ornaments you have and then space the ornaments accordingly.
  3. OR, divide the length by how far apart you want the ornaments to be if you need to know how many ornaments to collect.
  4. Tie or hot glue ornaments at desired intervals.
  5. OR…just eye ball it like I did. Haha!

Whether you purchase your ornament garland or make one, there are so many fun ways to style them!  This season, I used an ornament garland on my mantel, layered with winter greens.  I love how it adds a touch of sparkle, a great vintage look with the mercury glass, but doesn’t take away from the statement I want to make with the French horn collection!

beautiful view of a chippy white mantel styled for Christmas with greenery and an ornament garland

The other way I used my ornament garland this year (I have 3 of them so I use them everywhere!) is to just lay it across winter greenery down the middle of my table!  So easy to do and it took me only about 1 minute to arrange it.

Pro tip: Turn the ornaments different directions…randomly...for a casual, effortless look.

You can’t get an easier centerpiece!  Okay, well, maybe #4 in this post is a little easier.  But not much!

I absolutely love using THIS ornament garland in different places throughout our home!  It has a great vintage look and beautiful colors!

ornament garland on top of real-touch Christmas greenery down the middle of a table

Easy Holiday Decorating Idea #3: Use ornaments for quick napkin rings or place cards.

This tip can be especially helpful if you are hosting a large gathering because it is super budget-friendly!  You can buy a bucket of inexpensive, simple ornaments and use them to make your Christmas table look amazing.

It’s definitely a lot less expensive than regular napkin rings!

Here’s how I do it:

  • Lay napkin flat and pinch at the very center.  Pick it up and let it fall into a natural triangle.
  • Use a piece of twine or narrow ribbon and loosely tie the ornament around the napkin.  I like to tie it about one third of the way down from the top of the napkin triangle.
  • Lay on top of the plate or charger to double as decor and a functional element.
  • For an extra touch, use pretty calligraphy to write guests names on the ornaments.  This doubles as place cards and a little party favor too!

Here’s what I used:

  • These napkins are wonderful!  Inexpensive, don’t require ironing, and fall into an effortless napkin triangle with a little “fluff”.  Best of all, you can use them year round too!  Shop them HERE!
  • I always keep simple, jute twine on hand for year round use.  You could also use a narrow ribbon.  The twine is just so easy!
  • Where else can you get personalized napkin rings for less than 50 cents each?!  These pretty ornaments are great filler on a Christmas tree but also perfect for quick and easy DIY napkin rings and place cards!
shiny silver bell tied with twine around beautiful napkins
small French horn used as a napkin ring at a place setting

Easy Holiday Decorating Idea #4: Scatter ornaments down the middle of the table for a quick and festive centerpiece.

This might seem just too easy, but it actually looks beautiful.  I tend to forget that the easy and quick ideas can be just as pretty as the ones that take a lot of time!

Using a bucket of simple ornaments, scatter them down the center of the table for a casual centerpiece idea.  For this table, I used a bouquet in the middle as my main centerpiece and then ornaments on each side.  They add some sparkle and a festive look but took less than a minute to arrange!

Pro tip: For an effortless-looking style, make the ornaments random and don’t space them too perfectly or alternate the styles too exactly.  Let it be really casual, as if they just “rolled out of the bucket.”

Especially if you have place settings that are more involved, this quick and easy holiday centerpiece idea is a great way to balance the center of the table with the place settings.  It also makes a nice low centerpiece for easy of conversation!

Here are some great ornament options online:

ornaments scattered down the middle of the table runner of a table scape
table scape featuring ornaments down the middle of the table as well as each place setting

Easy Holiday Decorating Idea #5: Use ornaments for some easy sparkle on your Christmas gift wrapping.

You know those trees with the perfectly wrapped presents underneath?  Each one looks like it took an hour to wrap?  Ornaments are a perfect way to quickly create that amazing look under your tree too.  You can easily tie an ornament onto a gift with twine.  For an extra special touch, use pretty calligraphy to write the recipient’s name.  At the same time, the pretty ornament can double as a gift tag too!

Here are a few tips:

  • Coordinate 3 different kinds of wrapping paper that goes with the overall aesthetic of your home’s Christmas decor.
  • Use simple jute twine (it goes through the ornament loop more easily) to tie ornaments onto the packages.
  • Mix and match a few different kinds of ornaments that coordinate with your paper.
  • You can get my favorite gift wrapping ideas for quick, easy, and budget-friendly wrapping over on THIS POST!
image of a Christmas tree with gifts underneath and ornaments tied onto the gifts with twine

How’s that for some easy holiday decorating?

You can shop my favorite Christmas decorations over on my storefront, categorized for your convenience:

So quick and simple, right?  Even though these ideas are all so simple and easy, I think they still add thoughtful detail to your home for Christmas.  The little things do count and hopefully this helps you finish off some of those details around your Christmas home in ways that are budget-friendly, stress-free, and even FUN!

view of a large Christmas tree with gifts underneath and a large white table behind the tree

I’d love for you to follow me on social media!  You can find my home decor inspiration on Instagram, Pinterestand Facebook!  











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