Written by Charlotte Luxford

12 Christmas hacks to make this season extra special

Make up for last year’s missed opportunities with these DIY Christmas hacks to ensure this festive season is the most magical yet. From decorating tips to thoughtful ways to make it extra special for your guests, Good Homes has got you sorted.

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1. Personalise the place settings

Make guests feel extra special on the big day with their very own place cards. And if you don’t have the budget for fancy table settings, simply tie a handwritten label to a small branch of festive foliage or leftover baubles.

2. Add a drinks station

Keep the party going throughout the festive period by serving up a home bar. Whether it’s a dedicated drinks cabinet (check out the Ballatta drinks cabinet in oak, £1,800 from Ercol) or retro bar cart (like the Kayleigh brass drinks trolley, £125 from Habitat), go glam with cocktail accessories for a shimmering self-service option for your guests. 

3. Makeover your mantel

Thanks to trending on Instagram, ‘mantelscaping’ is having a moment, so why not make your fireplace the star of the show with plenty of garlands, tealights, lanterns and paper pom poms. Simply stick to a colour scheme and vary the size of your decorations for a chic, cohesive look. 

4. Get organised

Have a mini clear-out of your kitchen cupboards to make way for your festive fare – reorganise with lazy Susans, tiered shelving and labelled jars to make cooking a breeze over the Christmas period.

5. Door décor

Dazzle your guests before they’ve even stepped inside with a magical outdoor display. Adorn your doorway with festive foliage and plenty of twinkling lights to give a warm winter welcome.

6. Go for a ready-made option

Not got the time to spend making your own centrepieces? Tiny letterbox trees (check out The Creative Crafts tree, £36 from Bloom & Wild) ensure no room is left without a dose of Christmas cheer, and come with a pop-up pot, velvet topper, lights, garland and baubles. They make perfect last-minute gifts, too.

7. Keep the kids busy

Need to get on with some festive prep? Give the children these cute Christmas cakesicles to decorate. A great seasonal baking project for beginners, find the easy-to-follow recipe on Hobbycraft’s Ideas Hub.

8. Be snack savvy

Keep all those half-opened bags of party nibbles fresh in smart snack jars like the Built Tidbit 400ml nibbles jar snack pots (£13.29, KitchenCraft). They also have easy-pour lids, making it a doddle to keep guests topped up and mess-free, too.

9. Recycle the wrap

Choose a more sustainable way to give presents this year and learn a new skill at the same time by trying your hand at ‘Furoshiki’, the art of Japanese fabric wrapping. Use festive tea towels to wrap your gifts, which can be kept by the recipient as a memento, or save them again for next year.

10. Bust the dust

Gently clean artificial trees, tinsel and faux foliage by placing a pair of tights over the nozzle of your vacuum cleaner.

11. Cosy-up your scheme

A quick and affordable way to refresh your interiors for the season is to pile on the festive-themed throws, rugs and cushions to instantly create a warm and welcoming vibe – perfect for those long winter evenings. Simply keep it neutral for a clean, sophisticated look.

Sofa and cushions in cosy Christmas-themed festive room

Cushion covers, from £3.99; soft wool-blend blanket in grey marl, £24.99; tree decorations, from £2.99, H&M Home

12. Deliver a no-hassle dinner 

Take the pressure off the big day by getting your festive feast delivered to your door. The Gousto Turkey Christmas dinner comes with all the trimmings ready to cook, so no supermarket stress or slaving away in the kitchen required; from £30.48 for a two-person box including two recipes.