One aspect of the holidays that you and your family probably look forward to is the decorating. You take strings of lights and use them to adorn the windows, the staircase, the trimming of the house or the Christmas tree. Under the tree are presents wrapped in beautiful patterned paper. Wreaths are placed on the doors, the walls of the dining room or above the fireplace mantle. The unique atmosphere created by your decorations is truly an ode to the most wonderful time of the year.
So once Jan. 2 rolls around, it’s no wonder why it feels like such a shame that the holiday decorations have to be put away. You spent money on new items for this year’s holiday season, and you’re probably wondering if there’s any way you can keep displaying them throughout the year.
As a matter of fact, you can find many uses for these decorations after the holidays are over. Let’s discuss two of the most versatile decorations: wrapping paper and lights.
Keep the paper for New Year’s and beyond
Few decorations are as frustrating as wrapping paper. If you have a large family or a lot of friends, you may be familiar with the satisfaction you get from finding good deals on wrapping paper, selecting the most beautiful patterns, painstakingly and neatly wrapping boxes and presenting them to your loved ones – only for the wrapping to get torn apart, ripped to shreds and tossed out with the trash.
If you’re worried about looking strange for wanting to rescue the paper, don’t be. There are plenty of uses for the wrapping after Christmas, according to the blog That Krazy Coupon Lady. For instance, on New Year’s Eve, you can transform the wrapping into paper hats, confetti or origami decorations. Even after Jan. 1, you can use the paper to make a decorative wreath of origami roses, design shoe boxes, fill other gift boxes with shredded packing material, or create arts and crafts with the children. If you enjoy scrapbooking, put a T-shirt flat on top of the paper, then use an iron set to the lowest setting to smooth out wrinkles.
Light up the house
Decorative lights are beautiful during dark and cold winter nights, but don’t you sort of wish you can use them for other purposes besides the holidays? With some ingenuity, finding new purposes won’t be that hard.
Over at Shelterness, interior design experts suggest making decorative headboards by combining two-by-four planks into a frame with crossbeams. Drill small holes into the bottom of each grid square to allow cords to flow through and connect with each other. While one side of the headboard is drilled against the wall, the side that faces out can be covered with translucent panels from polycarbonate sheeting.
Babble, a lifestyle blog hosted by Disney, has other suggestions for what to do with holiday lights. They can be used to fill Mason jars or wine bottles to create lamps, strung along trees or garden shrubs to light up walkways and patios, or illuminate clear decorative vases. White lights tend to be more versatile than colored ones.