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Put Some Ornaments in it: Tips for easy, simple Christmas vignettes

I don’t know why, but this year I just could NOT get it together when it comes to the elaborate Christmas decor. We had our Christmas tree in the living room for THREE WHOLE WEEKS before we put a single ornament on it.

This year I wanted to keep the decor super simple and easy. You could call this year’s Christmas decorating scheme:

Put Some Ornaments In It

Inspired by the hilarious “Put a Bird on it” video that makes fun of the bird-as-decor trend (see it here – SO funny), my method this year was to put ornaments in various containers throughout the house and call it a day.

Got a birdcage?
white birdcage with flowers, birdcage decor
Put some ornaments in it!
Birdcage filled with Christmas Ornaments, Bird cage full of Christmas ornaments, Birdcage as christmas decor

Birdcage as Christmas Decor: bird cage filled with Christmas ornaments

Oh look! A random white dish!
Put some ornaments in it!
Christmas decor: bowl with ornaments in it

On top of the mantel: apothecary jars and bowls! With ornaments in them!

A mirrored tray. Put some ornaments in it!
Easy Christmas Decor: Mirrored tray with ornaments

See? Works like magic!

When you want a quick and easy vignette, follow this super-fast, totally-not-groundbreaking, looks-like-you-tried formula:

1. Start with a pretty vessel. Extra points if it’s sparkly, but not necessary. Don’t have anything fancy on hand? Just use a simple glass mixing bowl from the kitchen. That’s what I did in this mantle vignette:

2. Add greenery if possible. (Imagine all these photos with fresh greens added. It’s rainy today and I didn’t think my socks-and-PJ-pants greenery-gathering-uniform could withstand the weather. YOU will probably plan this in advance, unlike me.) Ornaments laid on a bed of greens = perfection.

3. Add a variety of ornaments with different textures. A grouping of all shiny balls or all sparkly balls – Pfft. Anyone else snicker like a 6th grade boy when talking about this? – doesn’t have the same interest as a grouping of baubles with different textures.

4. Add candlelight when possible. (Because, really, what is more Christmasy than candlelight?)
Candlelit Christmas Vignette: Mirrored tray with pillar candles and Christmas ornaments

How to create an easy, beautiful Christmas vignette, easy Christmas decorating

I realize this is not some groundbreaking new idea, but for anyone who wants a little Christmas sparkle with minimal effort, it gets the job done! Did you go all out with the decorating this year or hold back? Any tips for SUPER easy holiday decorating to share?

P.S.: Check out these other holiday decorating ideas!

Let's connect


  1. Not groundbreaking….but my kinda decorating! Simple yet fancy looking!!

  2. ornaments plus containers equals hap, hap, happy!

  3. I did the same thing this year. Major scale back and my kids are all raised. Personally I like it better. Lots of candles and mercury glass and a couple of pre-lit four foot trees on each side of our patio door in the great room. Much easier to pull together and it will be easier to dismantle. Smile.

  4. Well if you hadn’t told us I wouldn’t have said you didn’t do a lot of decorating. Your place looks great!!

  5. I hear ya! I’m all about the quick and easy this year! I hate taking them down so that’s a main motivator for me too- haha. I had such big plans for the year but sadly, most are sitting still in the “gather supplies” phase. I do still need to get my outdoor planter together… I bought all those supplies and they are sitting in the planter in my garage ready to assemble… I guess with one week to go I should really get on that!!

  6. You are speaking TRUTH girl! Sometimes the simplest ideas are the BEST! 😉

  7. So true! It’s the quick and easy way to decorate for the holidays! Put ornaments in it!

  8. All such beautiful ideas…I love using ornaments for more than just tree decor!

  9. Haha that is funny! I may or may not be guilty of putting ornaments in random places!

  10. Brilliant! I did the same thing with a big apothecary jar and found some glittery ornaments that match my family room colors. I love looking at them!

  11. We aren’t going to hang ornaments on the tree this year. It is too much work–and we don’t want to do it. It isn’t fun like it was when we were kids, and we don’t have our own kids to put to work on it yet. 😉

    I don’t think our Christmas will be incomplete because of it.

  12. Nice job Kelly, everything looks beautiful at your place! I like the blue and lime green together and I agree with the greenery – must have!

  13. Love your whiteware Kelly – great decorations!! Your home looks so festive and inviting!

  14. Those ornaments jazzed up each and every space! That is my kind of decorating!

  15. I LOVE put an ornament in it! Seriously, I plan on stocking up on same colored ornaments at the end of the season so I can do more put an ornament in it next year! It’s always a good choice!

  16. So pretty Kelly! I love your decorations.
    This year I think my theme was chalkboards! 😉

  17. We had the same Christmas decor approach this year. I have ornaments in vases, apothecary jars, a pedestal container, bowls. . . the list goes on. I mixed it up a little and put some tinsel in the bottom of a container THEN I topped it off with some ornaments.

    P.S. I love the greenery covered ‘M’!

  18. We did this last year when my husband and I ran out of steam decorating the Christmas tree – I just plonked the remaining baubles in jars and I loved it. This has just reminded me to do it again this year! Your home is looking so festive and beautiful Kelly!

  19. Those are wonderful ideas for using ornaments in decorating and your 6th grade boy comment cracked me up 😉 Pinning!

    • LOL with a 22 yr. old and a 17 yr. old son living at home… I hear all the time “That’s what she said…”

      I have a 6th grader sense of humor… still O_o

      I’m also behind in the xmas decor, glad we could make it!!!!!!!!!!

  20. That bird video was hilarious…I am totally guilty of putting birds on things.

    I love your simple decorating idea (and your colors!). I have a hard time spending time on Christmas decor, cause it feels like as soon as I take the time to put it all up, I have to take the time to take it all down. So fast and simple is great. I had a few ball ornaments out but my boys kept using them as baseballs so I just bagged them up and decided not to fight that battle. We’ll try again next year, lol.

  21. Love putting ornaments in things – it’s my holiday go-to as well. Your house looks great!

  22. Is it terrible that I kept singing “You should’ve put a ring on it?” Love your decor and colors that you chose! Great advice!

    Merry Christmas,

  23. Kelli, your posts always make me smile! Love it all! xo Kristin

  24. I think you and I are on the same page this year, Kelly! I’ve got oodles of ornaments in containers/trays/bowls and I love how simple it was and how pretty it looks… should’ve done that YEARS ago!
    xo Heidi

  25. I did this exact same thing this year…so easy and really makes a statement. Your tips are wonderful!

  26. If only I could blame my lax holiday decorating this year on a new baby and a toddler …

    I think I may have to blame blogging. Or maybe the Etsy shop. My daughter tells me that I should shut it down for the holidays so we can enjoy time together. Imagine if I worked full time?

    Love your “put an ornament on it” decorating advice!

    🙂 Linda

  27. I love showing off my vintage Shiny Brites all over the house – no place is safe! When all else fails, you’ve just got to put an ornament on it! Wishing you a wonderful Christmas.

  28. I love this! I’ve been slogging along these dozen years of marriage with mostly hand-me-down decor from my childhood. My husband gently suggested that it sure would be nice if we could do *more* (no more guidance than that). Your post is the perfect place to start! Many thanks!

  29. I snickered. I guess that makes me a 6-grade boy. Oh well. 🙂

  30. I have read your blog off and on since recently acquiring a home that needs some major love and love your ideas but this post made me laugh profusely, then giggle at myself ALLLLLLL morning as I have decorated for Christmas. Every time I fill a container with ornaments I giggle and then say out loud “put some ornaments in it!” Reminds me of My Big Fat Greek Wedding when the dad thinks Windex clears up any and everything (“Put some windex on it.”), I never realized this has been my answer all these years to the age-old “how to decorate *this* space? Put some ornaments in it!” Even my little boys have joined in. I was stumped about our table centerpiece and mumbled, “well that doesn’t work…” and my seven year old without missing a beat said “why not put some ornaments in it.” I died. So funny.

    Anyways, loved it, loved the post, love your blog!

    Merry Christmas!


  31. Ah, now I know where I’m going wrong, I have a lovely little glass cloche/cake cover thingy and I filled it with baubles then put it on a very classsy glass cake stand. I’d thought about doing it back in October, it was going to be very beautiful and modern. Everyone would come in and say “wow how lovely” but something was just not quite right, and to say the family was underwhelmed is an understatement!
    Not enough texture and I’d left the strings on them from where they went on the tree last year – I’m going to give it a quick makeover and watch the complements roll in when they all get in from school! Thanks

  32. Beautiful idea. I have an even simpler one. When I get the tree up and the wreath on the door, then run out of ideas, I go buy a dozen poinsettias in all different sizes and scatter them all over the house. Easy-peasy!

  33. I’ve been putting an ornament in it for several years, but it’s a good point about texture. I’ll have to pay more attention to that detail this year.


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