Easy DIY Holiday Crafts using Free Things you have around the house or yard

Every holiday, there is the desire to dress up our home for the holidays. But I don't want to spend a bunch of money on decorations - which for all intents and purposes are "nonessential."

So we rotate our decor items, mix and match, re-purpose, and find things from nature to add to our regular decor.

Here are a few ideas for you:
 This is a cookie stand that we fill with different items each season. The pinecones (free) are always present. We spritz them with essential oils to scent the room. For Christmas we add various ornaments, candles, and gold baubles. In the fall, we add little pumpkins and gourds. For spring/summer we add little lemons and limes, cherries, and oranges.
These black candle holders sit on our dining room table all year long. We just swap out the tops. For most of the year, they hold big cream colored candles. At Christmas time, they are topped with hurricane vases from the dollar store filled with salt and a couple inexpensive ornaments. Salt is an essential nutrient and something we store for emergencies. This is just one other way to store that important mineral.
 You can make easy and inexpensive decor by using pie and cake plates to hold all of the fun stuff that falls from trees - like acorns, walnuts, hickory nuts, etc. In this case, our pie stand is holding sweet gums and a few faux acorns.
 Chalkboard paint turns any ordinary frame into an endless supply of decorating ideas. This frame was $3 at goodwill. I change out the phrases regularly and decorate around it accordingly.
 Make a pine cone wreath or centerpiece. These are just pine cones from the forest - heated for a while in the oven to kill any crawlies, then hot glued together. Easy!
 When I trim our birch trees, there are always so many fantastic branches to discard. Some of them head to our burn pile. But many of them find their way inside. This vase is filled with nothing but birch branches. I also have a few of these with red twigged dogwood branches. They make a great statement piece.
 I filled this large vase with clothes pins for decorating in our laundry room. We don't have a clothesline, but I think pins are an essential tool to have "just in case." Why not use them as decor while they are being stored?

Here is  the same vase of pins next to our uber decorative cat food supply. Of course, pet food is not exciting, but it's an essential item. Why not keep it in the house (and away from mice!) by putting it in a nice lidded glass jar. Labeling it makes it seem like it's "supposed to be" out and on the counter. The vase next to the cat food is full of hickory nuts and dried out roses. I save all vases and flowers people give me. Some dry out well and are used for random decor. Some crumble and get composted. Either way - FREE.
 We had a scrap of wood laying around, so we made a maple leaf nail art. I plan to frame this eventually so it doesn't look so rough.
 We made this deer from wood that had fallen in our forest. He is mostly birch wood and the legs are random branches from the forest floor.

 Speaking of birch... When we trim our birch trees, I am left with a lot of branches. I use them to fill vases and add vertical interest to outside planters, but I also found they make other things too. I made this Minnesota out of birch branches cut into approximately 1 inch sections and glued together with hot glue. I like to pair it with my chalk board sign.
There are many things you could make with little bits of birch. My daughter made a few little deer. You can make ornaments, animals, fruit/vegetables, vase fillers, almost anything.
This velvet pumpkin was made with scraps from another project and filled with cotton balls.  I fill all plush things with cotton balls because they are useful and about the same cost as batting. In an emergency, I can cut them open and use the cotton. The stem is from a butternut squash we ate for Thanskgiving.
This pumpkin looked much better "from a distance" and in real life. You can see in the picture it is just a bunch of canning rings tied together with a red string. When I need my rings, I can just cut off the string. Until then, they are sitting in storage and might as well be used. The top is from another butternut squash (I love those.)

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