Grocery store holiday decor! Fun and festive DIYs

Event expert Lynzie Kent transforms chestnuts, candy canes, cinnamon sticks and more.

Event expert Lynzie Kent transforms chestnuts, candy canes, cinnamon sticks and more

a triptych of three pieces of DIY holiday decor. left: garland on a fireplace mantel. it's made of marshmallows, cinnamon sticks and cranberries. middle: a vase with candy canes glued around the outside of it and filled with red carnations. right: an overhead shot of a white tray filled with clear Christmas ornaments that have been turned into bud vases for rosemary sprigs and carnations, surrounded by chestnuts and walnuts.
(All photography by Rachel Simpson Photography)

If you're looking to add some last-minute holiday cheer to your home, simply head to the grocery store for supplies to make these simple, decorative DIYs. All three projects below were created with food items found at the supermarket, and supplemented with a few seasonal accents I pull out at this time of year. Read on for how to make a festive centrepiece, garlands, and a candy-cane-clad vase all your own. 

Chestnut holiday garden

This chestnut holiday garden is a festive and fragrant centrepiece for any table. 

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • A tray or large plate, ideally white
  • Christmas ball ornaments with tops that can be removed (ideally clear, but any colour can work)
  • Sticky tack (or double-sided tape, or even scotch tape can work)
  • Watering can with a thin spout (or you can use a funnel)
  • Scissors
  • Carnations, stems trimmed to fit into the balls (red or white)
  • Sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Chestnuts, with the shell on
  • Walnuts, with the shell on
  • Evergreen branches and/or a festive table runner (optional)

First, lay out your ornaments on the tray or plate and play with the arrangement before you settle on one you like. Then secure the ornaments to the tray in your desired formation using small pieces of sticky tack (or tape), aiming to keep the tack out of sight, and the tops of the ornaments pointing up — or at an angle, if you'd like your florals to do the same. 

Remove the tops off of the ornaments, then remove any hooks from the tops, and use your scissors to carefully widen the small hole in the centre of the metal tops. One by one, use a watering can to fill each ball with water (go slowly), then replace the top, and add a sprig of rosemary and a carnation to the hole in the top of each ornament vase. 

Surround the ornaments with chestnuts and walnuts to fill out the tray, and to help support the vases and keep them in place. 

Finally, style as desired. I styled the tray atop a red gingham runner with evergreen branches around it, but you could opt for a subtler palette by using white carnations and a cream-coloured runner instead. 

Food garland, 3 ways

Not only can food bring memories of holidays past to mind, it can create unexpected details full of texture and colour in your home. This year, I decorated our mantel with garland made from three different foods that I associate with this season — fresh cranberries, fluffy marshmallows and cinnamon sticks. Plus, the cranberries offer a bold pop of red, the cinnamon sticks add a warm colour to the mix (and smell delicious), and the marshmallows add a playful feel. 

Here are the supplies you'll need: 

  • Needle 
  • Thread
  • Fresh cranberries
  • Marshmallows in two sizes
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Clear tape
  • "Damage-free", self-adhesive hooks 

Thread the needle and then slowly pass the needle through each food item to create the garlands. Once you've reached your desired length, simply cut the thread, and use tape on each end to prevent the foods from slipping off. 

Note: To string the cinnamon sticks, drop the needle down into the stick and pull it out the other end.

Candy cane vase

There's always room for a little light-hearted kitsch when decorating. Perfect for any coffee, side, or entry table, this project will add instant holiday cheer. 

Here are the supplies you'll need:

  • Regular-sized candy canes (about 3 dozen for a 4-inch diameter vase)
  • Smooth, cylindrical vase 
  • Fresh flowers or greenery
  • Hot glue and glue gun
  • Ribbon, 1-inch wide, in a colour that complements your flowers

This is a super simple DIY — you simply glue candy canes to your vase in an alternating pattern — one up, the next one down. The key is to arrange your candy canes so that the tops and bottoms reach the top and bottom edge of your vase to give the illusion that it's made solely of candy canes. 

To begin, apply a single line of hot glue, roughly the length of the straight portion of the candy cane, vertically on the vase, then apply the candy cane and hold it in place on the glue until dry — it only takes a few seconds. Repeat with the other candy canes, working one at a time, until the vase is encircled. 

Finish off by gluing the red ribbon around the middle. When the glue has dried, fill the vase with water and a large bunch of red carnations or the flower of your choosing. Tip: Cut the flowers in three different lengths, and place the shorter flowers around the outside so they sit above the lip of the candy canes, and place the tallest flowers in the centre.

Grocery store holiday decor! Fun and festive DIYs

5 months ago
Duration 1:42
Event expert Lynzie Kent transforms chestnuts, candy canes, cinnamon sticks and more.

Lynzie Kent is an entrepreneur, event planner, designer, DIYer, and mom. She runs Mad Bash Group and you can find her on IG @lynzie.kent or on TikTok

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