Ask Elle--The Holiday Edition

Maybe it's because I'm a people-pleaser & a Libra (when I finally decide on something, I really decide & never regret) but I just love giving out advice. Have a question on anything? I'm up for the challenge. Feel free to leave a comment, Twitter me, or email me @ elleseesyou@gmail.com. I can't wait to help you!

This month's question deals with decorating and comes from Amy who asked, "I liked your post about not using a tree. What's the easiest/fastest/cheapest way to decorate my apartment for the holidays? I don't want to put a tree up but I still want a little holiday sparkle." 

Hmm, tall order Amy, but I think I can help you out. One of the best decorative items I've bought for my home is a glass vase. I consider it to be one of those basics you need in your house, kind of like how an LBD is a basic in any wardrobe. 

There are so many types to choose from such as a tall cylinder or a hurricane lamp. These can be found pretty cheaply (I've even seen these at the dollar store). You want one big enough to put things in and to get them out. By having a vase, the possibilities are endless, and it's usable year-round. PS-- No vase? Use a glass bowl, cake stand, trifle bowl, or even wine or martini glasses. 

Candle: Put a glittery large candle in the vase--again, these can be purchased cheaply. Done and done. Another option is to fill the vase with water and float a candle in it. Want something more festive? Then the next options are for YOU! 

Bulbs: Fill the vase with ornaments from the dollar store or even ornaments you already have. It's easy and classic. The balls can be all one color or you can mix it up. Try different sizes as well.
Bring Nature Indoors: This is usually free (perfect for a budget). Try pine cones, greenery, or flowers. Pine (great smell), acorns, holly berries, or poinsettias (neither are poisonous but I wouldn't suggest eating them as you'd feel yucky afterwards).  

Food: This can be done cheaply as well, and can be combined with the options above. Apples are red and the easiest but let's get a little more in the holiday spirit, shall we? Cranberries look very nice when topped with a candle. Or you can go crazy and layer different fruits. I use fruit when it's not the holidays (think lemons & limes in the summer). A combo of fruits and nuts is another option. 
Lights: This is one of my favorite ideas and in a small way brings in one of the best parts of a tree: the lights! There are battery-powered ones as well.

Extras: Sand, colored stones, marbles, beads, water, candy, or decorate the vase on the outside (email me if you go this route for ideas)
Look at this great Dollar Store Christmas decorating! Find out how she did it here:

I hope these tips helped and I can't wait to see what you've come up with!
Disclaimer: Use caution when dealing with open flames, lights, and chokeable items. Safety first!
PS--Have you entered my GIVEAWAY?


  1. Those are such a wonderful ideas:) I love putting fairy lights into jars and vases:)
    Kisses and hugs

  2. cute pics!"
    it's so nice to open my blog and see your sweet comment! if you don't want to lose track of my blog, well- it's easy with k come karolina on bloglovin, facebook and twitter :) and in the last post - you can ask me anything

    xoxo from rome

  3. cute elle! i especially love the cranberries with the candle. :) in my apartment this year i hung some sparkly ornaments on a bookcase and put a big bowl of clementines on a side table. happy holidays everyone!

  4. wonderful ideas! My mum does a lot of these things so of course I have copied off of her. Its simple touches but they make a world of difference in the home.


  5. i love the idea of cranberries with a candle in a jar and the ornaments in a jar/vase are pretty too!! xoxo jcd

    ps i got your message about your layout and i was SOO flattered that you would want my advice. shoot me an email and we can brainstorm some re-design ideas: cornflakedreams@gmail.com

  6. Good ideas girl!!! I absolutely LOVE the ornaments in a vase!! I went to a party last week and she had 2 huge glass vases full of red and gold ornaments and it looked soooo good! I want to do that now!

  7. Fantastic ideas Elle (as always!!)


  8. hey elle, me again! i saw this on the kitchn and i thought of your decorating ideas! isn't it so cute to use the cookies cutters as a garland?
    xoxo, marissa

  9. I love ornaments or mini lights in a glass hurricane - such an easy and very effective way to decorate.

    P.S. Have you stopped my blog - I am hosting an amazing EmersonMade Giveaway, just in time for the holidays.

  10. These are AWESOME ideas! Amy certainly got a great response to her question, and I am going to whip out some of my glass vases!


  11. Great ideas! I don't have a tree this year, either. I'm decorating with vintage vases for a holiday feel... filling them with cranberries, white hydrangea (left over from a bridesmaid bouquet!) and red berries. It's plenty festive!

  12. I love this idea! We have a large clear vase in our apt and it's empty on top of a cabinet. I'm always looking for some easy, cheap and flexible ways to decorate the place, I love all the options you've given.

    xoxo, Ashley

  13. I love all the ideas, especially the ones with ornaments - it's a great way to showcase a few of them if they're not going to be in a tree!
    I think that any of these would make for a lovely centerpiece for a holiday party! Such a great post.

  14. Meg did a vlog of quick and easy holiday centerpieces using ornaments and a large jar!

  15. great tips!! i just might use a few of these :)

  16. So pretty and so inspiring, I'm no good on decorating, I dont know why :-(

  17. I think vases filled with bulbs is a great idea!!

  18. Love using candles! The really add something to any space... And i recently stared doing the whole "fill a glass bowl" thing. It is really chic...
    Also you can cut out a picture that you like (something festive) and buy a pretty picture frames and decorate that way too. It adds a subtle yet nice element.

    Btw, please check out my blog, i am doing my FIRST giveaway ever! Anyone can enter:-)

    Check out my Giveaway!
    Confessions Of A City Girl

  19. I've been compiling these lately.

    I can't wait to decorate with vases next year. The thing is that I live in a condo with limited storage space, and stocking vases for only one time in the year seems excessive for us.

    I love the idea of it, though.

    Mae Lu, @ thereafterish.

  20. That's a fantastic idea! I really, really want a Christmas tree but it doesn't look like it's happening right now!

    So, I may try these.


    Come say Bonjour at:


  21. gorgeous...this is giving me ideas for a table setting for Christmas.


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