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Some of them are sentimental, or handmade, or family heirlooms that have been passed down through the generations. But let’s be honest - most Christmas ornaments are just cheap pieces of junk made in China. Don’t get me wrong, I love cheap junk made in China. In fact, I’ve come up with 10 great non-Christmas things to do with non-sentimental, non-handmade, non-heirloom ornaments. And these are great whether you celebrate Christmas or not.

I don’t recommend using those round ball ornaments for these ideas – they just scream Christmas. There are so many beautiful, unusual ornaments around these days that you can pick up for a pittance. For these ideas, I’ve used ornaments shaped like leaves, beaded tassels, stars, moons, instruments, people, flowers, insects, birds, animals, buildings, boats, seashells… You get the idea.

Lamp it Up

– Nothing adds elegance to a table lamp like a pull. Plus, it makes it easier to find that switchy thing. Loop a piece of cording through a small ornament and then tie it to the knob, making sure the cord is long enough so the ornament hangs below the lampshade.

Curtains for You

– Sew several of the same ornament onto a top treatment like a valance or swag. That’s an easy way to add a little pizzazz. Even easier, just hang an ornament from the little hook that holds your curtain tiebacks.

Table the Issue

– Any table topper can be tops with a pretty ornament sewn to each corner. Whether it’s a full-sized table cloth or a decorative table square, not only will some ornaments jazz it up, they’ll also weigh down the corners so the cloth lays better on the table. (Just make sure to remove them before you wash the cloth.)

Take this Knob and Pull It

– Sometimes it’s hard to find drawer pulls to match your décor without going the pricey custom route. Just hot glue ornaments to plain flat knobs for an inexpensive custom look. You can use all the same ornaments, or a number of different ones on the same theme. Make sure to use knobs that have a big enough face and to pull from the back when opening your drawers.

Have Your Cake

– And decorate it too! For a kid’s birthday party it’s almost impossible to find decorations that match their kooky themes. I’ve found that I’ve had more luck in the Christmas store than in the bakery. For grown-up parties, there are lots of elegant ornaments that work beautifully, too. Wash the ornaments thoroughly before you place them on the cake, and make sure it isn’t painted with anything that’s going to flake off.

You’re Gifted

– When I bring wine as a hostess gift, I always wrap it in tissue, and tie an ornament around the neck of the bottle with a few strands of raffia. It’s easy, it’s different, and it sure classes up a $7 bottle of wine! You can also use ornaments instead of bows on regular wrapped presents – and not just for Christmas.

It’s a Frame-Up

– Hot glue small ornaments onto a standard picture frame for a custom look. You can use just a few in a corner, or go hog wild and cover the whole darned thing. It’s particularly nice if the ornaments pick up on the theme of the picture. You can give a mirror the same treatment as well.

A Hat Trick

– Add a little flair to your winter wear. Sew an ornament to the tip of your hat or several to the ends of your scarf.

Basket Case

– Decorate that basket you throw your mail in, or keep your kindling in, or whatever, by hot-gluing ornaments around the top edge. You can also embellish any decorative box you might be using by grouping a few ornaments together and hot-gluing them to the center of the lid.

Blowing in the Wind

– There’s almost nothing easier than making a mobile or wind chimes out of a couple of dowels (or sticks) and a few ornaments. I’ve got one in my daughter’s room that I made with butterfly ornaments. And in my son’s room, I hung star ornaments from tiny cup hooks I screwed directly into the ceiling over his bed. At night, it’s like he’s floating in space.

And here’s the best tip of all – wait until December 26th and all the ornaments will be on sale and that’s no humbug.

If you have any home repair questions for Sarit, please e-mail them to To find out more about the wonderful Sarit Catz, visit her website at / Issue 109 - September 9302
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