6 Easy DIY Christmas Decor Projects From 'White House Christmas'

Deck your home's halls with White House-worthy DIY holiday decorations from our favorite bloggers — as seen on White House Christmas 2022. Get ready to get inspired.

December 14, 2022

HGTV's White House Christmas hosts, Jonathan Scott (Property Brothers: Forever Home) and actress Zooey Deschanel, weren't the only ones DIY-ing holiday décor this year. Annually, White House staffers, an HGTV host (or two) and 150 volunteers from across the United States get together to decorate the People's House. This year, six special home bloggers joined the mix armed with super-cool DIY projects we're now very tempted to try out at home.

If you're in the mood for a festive weekend project, look no further: White House-worthy decorations (complete with how-tos) lie ahead.

Photo by: Brian David

Brian David

1. Recipe-Card Garlands

Designed to evoke memories of family traditions — overflowing kitchens, familiar recipes and crowded dining tables — the China Room was the obvious spot for Texas-based home blogger Ramona Cruz-Peter's (@fabeveryday) sweet DIY idea. Inside this historic room, the Christmas trees and mantels are swathed in Ramona's recipe-card garlands, which feature beloved family recipes from Americans across the country, including Ramona's father's tembleque (Puerto Rican Coconut Pudding) and First Lady Biden's grandmother's favorite pizzelles and apple crisp.

How to DIY Them:

  • 1. Using a paint brush, give new recipe cards an aged and well-used look by brushing, blotting and splattering them with furniture polish.
  • 2. Attach the cards to metal chicken wire ribbon with hot glue.
  • 3. Add the garlands to your mantle or tree by shaping or bending the ribbon into place.

2. DIY-Style White House Birch Trees

Charlotte Smith, Connecticut-based @atcharlotteshouse home blogger, marveled at all the creative coolness going on inside the White House. The East Colonnade — complete with glittering, handmade paper birch trees — was her favorite display. Inspired, the DIY-guru set out to recreate the birch trees at home using cardboard, masking tape, paint, hot glue and a few other simple craft supplies. Unsurprisingly, she was sparklingly successful. Below, she details exactly how she did it.

3. Book Trees

"This will be the hack people do at home,” Jonathan predicted while working on the decorations. “They’re going to make themselves an old book tree!” Luckily, Oregon-based blogger Racheal Jackson (@banyanbridges) explains exactly how she created the tree books displayed in the White House library.

How-to DIY Them:

  • 1. Thrift some books and remove the covers; then press the pages open so the books fan out a bit.
  • 2. Add hot glue onto the spine of your book; then press it onto the bottom part of your cardboard tube until the glue cools.
  • 3. Use a paper divider to support each level of books. (See the video for instructions.)
  • 4. Repeat until you get the look you're going for. Rachael topped hers with faux greenery.

4. Portrait Ornaments

Self-portraits of more than 400 students of all ages from across the United States decorate the Christmas trees in the State Dining Room this year, thanks to Indiana-based blogger Vanessa Bahena (@firstgenhouse) and her sentimental ornaments. She used holiday confetti, clear ornaments and hot glue to create decor way cooler than a plain old picture frame. Below, Vanessa takes you through her process, step by step. And, if you want to mix it up, she suggests filling your ornaments with other sentimental tidbits: doodles from kids, ultrasounds, a screenshot of a sweet text, pictures of loved ones who have passed and pictures of pups. Pick your fave and get crafting.

5. Hanging Bells

Marite Sanchez (@maritedoesit) from Texas arrived in the Green Room with plastic cups and planters in hand, ready to create gold bells. (Yes, creating gold bells with plastic cups isn't just possible, it's fairly simple.) Marite and her husband got to work with paint, ribbon and wire to create a sparkling display meant to represent the unifying power of music. Find her full how-to in the video below.

6. Painted Book Tree Skirt

California-based home blogger Monica Chavez (@house.of.esperanza) loves books so much she used them to create tree skirts in the We the Children-themed State Dining Room. To recreate her tree skirt, you'll need lots of hard-cover books. Get them comfortable — jackets off! Paint the books to match your decor (Monica used a gold, red and green color scheme at the White House.) or use them as is; it's up to you. Once the paint dries, stack your books around your tree. "What we're looking for is a messy, basket-weave pattern," says Monica. Her pro tip: Make sure the books per layer are the same thickness on every side. "Lay them however feels right," Monica adds.

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