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Decorating with Leftovers.

Everybody knows the saying, Waste not, want not. (Does anyone else hear that in Anjelica Huston’s voice?) Like just about everything else, this saying also applies to Christmas decorating. Today we’re talking about using leftovers to decorate, and no I don’t mean the food variety. I have a few ideas how to incorporate everything from Wrapping Paper to Tree Ornaments in your Christmas decorations.

Wrapping Paper

Have you ever been wrapping a present and there’s just a sliver of too much paper so you cut it off? What about the paper on the end of the roll you don’t need? Neither one of those have to head straight for the trash pile!

Make a Bow

The first choice for using leftover wrapping paper? Make a bow of course! It doesn’t have to be one of those fancy bows, either. Other options include flowers, origami shapes, or stars.

If you’re using different wrapping paper prints, add the leftover to a present with a different print.

Use it as a Tag

Another obvious choice is to use the remains as a tag. If it’s a wrapping paper with print, just flip it over and use the blank side to write your To and From.

Edge Your Calendar

If you have a calendar, a dry erase board, or something similar, add the leftover wrappings to the edge! This is something I did a few years ago with our whiteboard, along with a Christmas Countdown. It’s a simple way to add some Holiday cheer to any room, and it uses those leftovers!

Paper Christmas Trees

One last option is to make paper Christmas trees. Paper Christmas trees can be a cute addition to any shelf or table in any room.


A single tree, no matter how big, can only hold so many ornaments. Right? Or maybe you switched up your tree theme this year and now you have a box full of unused ornaments.

Ornament Bowl

One idea is to arrange the ornaments in a glass bowl then use it as a conversation piece. (That’s what they’re called, right?) Place that bowl in the center of your dining table or on a side table in any room. Just don’t forget to remove the metal hooks so nothing gets scratched or poked.

Add it to a Garland

Another idea is to hang those ornaments on a garland. If it’s not possible to hang them, allow them to nestle within the garland, using the hooks to attach them so they don’t move or fall.

Place Them on a Shelf

There are some ornaments that I have from my childhood. I absolutely love them but I don’t always place them on our tree. Instead I’ll place them on top of shelves, the very top of my bookcases, or on our entryway table.

Ribbons and Bows

Depending on how crafty you are, you might have some ribbon or bows leftover. Ribbon is some of the most versatile leftovers to decorate with and Bows are the quickest.

Deck the Doors

A cute idea I’ve done is turning our bedroom doors into presents. Simply tape the ribbon on the door like you would a present and add a bow or some other decoration at the intersection. You do not have to cover the entire door, either. The year I did this, Ade was a toddler and I didn’t want him pulling it off of his door so I only covered them halfway. It was out of his reach and still cute.

Add it to Your Ornament Bowl

Ribbons and Bows can also be added to ornament bowls. Use the Ribbon as filler between your ornaments and place the Bow at the very top, as long as it isn’t too big to hide the ornaments underneath.

Or use the Bow as a “lid” for the ornament bowl by taping it to the edges.

Replace Metal Hooks

Leftover Ribbon can also be used to hang ornaments on the tree. Simply take the metal hooks out and thread the ribbon through the eye of the ornament, tie it in a cute bow, and hang it on a branch.

Wrap Your Candles

This one might also be obvious, but I’m going to add it anyway. If you love candles, tape some ribbon around the jar. Same for Bows.

If you don’t have candles, you can still add the ribbon to other jars or diffusers.

One Craft for All

Make a Wreath

Combine all of these leftovers and make a Christmas wreath to hang inside. If you have kids, help them make their own wreaths to hang in their room!

If you don’t have enough for a big wreath, make miniature wreaths. They don’t have to be very large and can go anywhere from around doorknobs to being filler in Christmas displays.

Homemade Ornament

Print a picture of your family or your child then either attach it to a piece of cardboard covered in wrapping paper or place the picture in a clear keepsake ornament ball. Thread a ribbon through the ornament and hang it on your tree. Don’t forget to add the date somewhere so you’ll always remember it!

How do You use your Christmas Leftovers?

Do you have any additional ideas?

Do you want to incorporate any of my ideas?

Let me know in the comments!

Happy Monday!


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