Simple and Festive Christmas Decorating Tips

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…SUMMER! Well, this summer might just be a bit too hot for many of us and thoughts of cooler, frosty December mornings seem like a welcome relief! If you are dreaming of cooler days or if you just love Christmas 365 days of year and want to get a head start on holiday preparations, you’ve come to the right place! *This post contains affiliate links.


Oh what fun it is to be joining my friend Rachel of The Ponds Farmhouse and an outstanding line up of  bloggers for an inspirational ”Christmas in July” Blog Hop. If you are stopping by from Design Morsels  or if you just happen to be visiting, welcome! I am so happy to celebrate Christmas in July with you!  Today I am sharing simple Christmas decorating tips that I use to make our 101 year-old Kentucky home extra special for the holidays!





Simple Christmas Decorating Tips

At our home, decorating for Christmas is all about creating a welcoming, homey feel with a mix of traditional, vintage, cottage-farmhouse, French or elegant-European, Victorian, and even a fun dose of whimsical Christmas kitsch…(Gimme all the Christmas!) You don’t have to stick to one particular style when it comes to Christmas decorating. To really make things special, I find that the beauty and magic is all in the little details. 


1.  “Tie It up” with Pretty Ribbons and Bows

“Brown paper packages tied up with string…” or books, candlesticks, wreaths, garlands, topiaries and much more…these are a few of my favorite things!


Christmas greenery hemlock garland with dried fruits orange slices vintage Christmas mantel

Ribbons and bows in a variety of styles and colors make everything seem extra festive, and using them to add a little extra Christmas here and there could not be easier. Common spots for big draping bows are at the ends of mantel garlands and staircase banisters and handrails and wreaths/door decor. Of course ribbon makes a beautiful Christmas tree garland or topper too.


Tip: Stock up on my velvet ribbon at craft stores during their holiday door buster sales or after Christmas when it is up to 70% off. I find all my pretty velvet ribbon at Joann.







Beautiful Christmas kitchen with herringbone brick floors

Traditional and Festive Christmas Kitchen

Ribbon is also a beautiful way to display wreaths and greenery on cabinet doors or mirrors. 






Christmas banister plaid bow ribbon and gold bells

Traditional colors and fabrics like rich red or emerald green velvet, silk or satin are my go to ribbon choices along with traditional plaids.






I also love olive green satin ribbon!


Christmas paperwhites



Ordinary items like books or candles, topiaries, or even door knobs are easily elevated by tying them up with pretty ribbons and bows.




Decorating with vintage books with green, red, or ivory spines is another easy way to add a vintage look to a Christmas vignette. 


Old books look so pretty tied up with a beautiful Christmas bow! Tuck a vintage Christmas postcard in the front for another special touch.



Christmas greenery hemlock garland with dried fruits orange slices vintage Christmas mantel




A Vintage-Traditional Christmas Tour of Our 100 Year-Old Kentucky Home

Style Tip: Looking for Christmas unique artwork? There are plenty of free printables online. Here I printed the copy of the cover of Good Housekeeping Christmas 1921 issue to celebrate our home’s Centennial Christmas last year. I simply stuck the paper copy in a beautiful frame. Of course this tip works when looking for artwork throughout the year.



Beautiful Christmas Staircase Garland Balsam Hill Wintry Woods Garland #balsamhill

Ivory and gold are also beautiful color choices for ribbons and bows if you like a more subtle, neutral or French Country Christmas aesthetic.





French Country Christmas Staircase Landing

Another little tip is to use presents as decorative accessories as I have done here on this shabby little table. This present is actually an empty box. My family never appreciates this as they always think there are still presents to open and then they discover the boxes are empty!



Here I used both green and gold ribbons on my tree and presents.





Pretty Christmas tablescape traditional Christmas

In addition to the typical places like mantel and staircase garland or door wreaths, I tie bows and ribbons around just about anything during the holidays!  A simple oversized bow  tied around flatware is a lovely way to dress up a Christmas tablescape.


Beautiful Traditional Christmas tablescape pretty satin ribbon bows as napkin rings


Even a grouping of beautiful holiday wrapping paper can become “decoration” when tied up with pretty velvet ribbon and displayed in basket in a corner.



Here I also wrapped an old porch post with red and white striped ribbon to create a giant oversized  DIY Salvaged Porch Post “Peppermint Stick.”


Loosely tied long ribbons around candles or simply on the tips of branches look beautiful and very old-fashioned on any style of Christmas tree!






Christmas ribbon just makes everything look elegant and festive!


2. Keep it Cozy by Piling on the Pillows and Throws

    Cute Christmas pillows on an antique church pew cute farmhouse Christmas decorating ideas

Need I say “The more, the merrier!” when it come to Christmas pillows?






Cute Christmas pillows on antique church pew

The only problem with all the pillows is storage! It can be easy to get carried away when shopping for Christmas pillows, so I have found that using pillow covers is a great solution. It makes it super easy to change up look inexpensively each holiday season.




By the way, the awesome plaid flannel pillows on my windows seat are actually…




My Christmas Gift Sack Pillow Hack!



3. And by all means when Christmas decorating…go mad for plaid!




Christmas decorating with a music theme French Script Christmas Carol Burlap pillow cover






4. Use Vintage Postcards as Vignette Inspiration and to Evoke Nostalgia 




German Santas German Belsnickels Collection Belsnickel Santas


Vintage or reproduction postcards or holiday greeting cards can be used as the starting point for any vignette. Use the images on the cards to inspire what other items or colors to use.






In this vignette I  imagined the sledders sliding down the hill in front of  the snowy Christmas cottage pictured on the postcard.




Christmas Advent  Mini-Wreath











mini advent wreath with birthday candles juniper and grapevine wreath advent wreath



5. Become a kid at heart and enjoy some vintage Christmas kitsch!


Cute gumball machine Christmas Chloche




Adorable Mrs. Clause vintage collectibles vignette



Christmas Knee Hugger Elves Rae Dunn Christmas





It’s especially fun to get creative with treasures under the tree!







6. Mix Fresh and Faux Greenery       

Invest in a few basic highly realistic ever green garlands or sprays that can be used for many years. Use them as the main fillers for bowls, garlands or flower arrangements, then tuck real greenery, fruits or other natural elements such as cloved orange pomanders or dried orange and apple slices in among the faux greenery. In this dough bowl display I have used a mix of faux and fresh, and it’s hard to tell which is which!



Drape greenery and garlands over anything and everything!







Well friends, there’s a lot more Christmas where that came from! I am going to stop here with these simple tips or we might actually be here until Christmas!

It’s never too early to start planning for the holidays and I am sure this hop has given you tons of amazing holiday inspo. If you missed any of the inspiring posts simply visit them via the links below.

Happy Christmas In July!













Christmas In July Blog Hop

The Ponds Farmhouse / Cottage on Bunker Hill / Midwest Life & Style / Cottage in the Mitten / Down Shiloh Road / Bricks N Blooms

Simply 2 Moms / Shiplap & Shells / Peacock Ridge Farm / WM Design House / Thistle Key Lane / White Arrows Home

Pasha is Home / Tater Tots and Jello / Robyn’s French Nest / Chas Crazy Creations / DIY Beautify / Cloches & Lavender

The Crowned Goat / Common Ground / Life At Bella Terra / The Tattered Pew / Design Morsels / Follow the Yellow Brick Home

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  • Reply Andrea

    So much gorgeous inspiration but your piano bench with the vintage mannequin in stunning. I love all if your velvet ribbon everywhere.

    July 25, 2022 at 8:39 am
  • Reply Debbie- Dabble

    You have definitely knocked it out of the park with this charming and inspirational post!!!! I was pinning away!! I LOVE everything you shared and your vignettes are truly amazing!!! You know how I adore your use of vintage pieces!!! So many great ideas!! Thanks so much for sharing them all with us, my friend!!

    July 25, 2022 at 9:48 am
  • Reply Robyn Huff

    Gorgeous ideas! I love all of your ribbon!

    July 25, 2022 at 9:58 am
  • Reply Rachel Harper

    I just love your home and all the lovely details just shine when you add your creative Christmas touches. Thanks for sharing your talents with us today.

    July 25, 2022 at 11:15 am
  • Reply CoCo

    You always have such a beautiful home, Amber! I love all the vintage touches you added throughout and the elegant way you used pops of plaid and red velvet. It’s stunning! Loving and pinning as always, CoCo

    July 25, 2022 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply Chas - Chas' Crazy Creations

    Wow, such great decorating tips! Thanks for sharing and lovely hopping with you!

    July 25, 2022 at 1:13 pm
  • Reply stacy

    Amber I adore your beautiful vintage home all decked out for the holidays. I love all of your vignettes and can’t wait to see how you decorate for 2022! So many great ideas here that I’m going to use as inspo for the new house as I decorate. Merry Christmas in July! Pinned!

    July 25, 2022 at 3:12 pm
  • Reply Jennifer Hadfield

    Hi Amber!

    Wow! Your home looks amazing. I love your velvet and satin ribbons and they way you used them. Your home is so warm and I love all of the vintage items you used that reflect the age of your home. I am restoring an 1891 home and I;m so inspired by yours. Your kitchen banquette is so warm and cozy! I pinned so many ideas to my holiday board. Happy Christmas in July!


    July 25, 2022 at 6:18 pm
  • Reply Jenn

    I love all of the creative ways you used ribbon! Thanks for sharing!!

    July 25, 2022 at 7:30 pm
  • Reply debra@commonground

    Gorgeous as always my friend. You know I adore all the plaid and velvet ribbon and pillows! Pinned and more. I always have to go back again and again to see it all!

    July 25, 2022 at 11:25 pm
  • Reply Beth

    Amber, you have a special way about decorating that always makes you my go to and my favorite always!! You never disappoint, friend!

    July 25, 2022 at 11:28 pm
    • Reply Amber Lyon Ferguson

      Thank you so much for this sweet comment Beth! It means so much!

      July 26, 2022 at 9:55 am
  • Reply Wendy McMonigle

    Thank you for all of the great tips. It is amazing what you can do with ribbon.

    July 26, 2022 at 1:24 am
  • Reply Kelly

    Amber your Christmas decor is always top notch and so well done! I love how you tie in vintage accents and decor so seamlessly! Pinning this beautiful inspiration.

    July 26, 2022 at 11:48 am
  • Reply Jen

    I love it all, Amber. Your home is so beautiful and you have the best curated collection of unique vintage decor. So happy to be hopping with you this week. Pinned!

    July 26, 2022 at 1:46 pm
  • Reply Cindy

    Amber I love every sigle thing you do especislly for the holidays. I look forward to seeing your home this year! Pinned!

    July 26, 2022 at 1:51 pm
  • Reply Michelle | Thistle Key Lane

    This is an amazing round up of Christmas cheer Amber! I think I’m going to order more velvet ribbon. I love how it looks holding the books together with the vintage card, and tying rolls of wrapping paper together is so simple and elegant!

    July 27, 2022 at 6:13 am
  • Reply Kim | Shiplap and Shells

    I just adore your beautiful home and your creativity Amber. I was inspired by all the ways you use ribbon for Christmas. And of course, all your vintage including the Christmas cards is always so pretty. Love how you tied the wrapping paper up. Such a great idea. Stunning as always my friend,

    July 28, 2022 at 2:52 pm
  • Reply Cecilia

    So many pretty ideas! We could definitely use some cooler temps here in Texas where we’re on our third week of 100+ temps! Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm!

    July 31, 2022 at 4:46 pm
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