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Free DIY Holiday Decor Ideas for Your Office

Updated on November 7, 2023

Christmas is expensive. Not only is it the holiday of gift-giving, Christmas is celebrated for its excess of festive decoration. While not everyone celebrates the holiday through laborious efforts of stringing Christmas lights along rooftops and inflating giant snowmen in the front lawns, the decoration of Christmas is a welcomed sight during the bitter, cold season. After all, winter would be dismal if not for the Christmas lights, ribbons, and snowmen that create a warm, fantastical atmosphere in our neighborhoods and stores. And the workplace.

Whether you would like to up your coworkers’ décor in friendly competition or just want to join in on the holiday spirit, there are multiple ways to decorate your office or desk this year without hurting your wallet. Here are some creative ideas for decorations that will cost you nothing. Most of these materials can be found in any work building.

As a disclaimer, obviously the materials used in the office are there for a reason. As long as the quantity is reasonable, your employer shouldn’t take issue in this fun. However, if you have any doubts, just ask! Anytime I’ve used materials from our warehouse, it’s almost always items that are on their way to the dumpster. But if not, I’ll ask just to be sure. So keep this in mind before you go crazy with these décor ideas.

Leftover Decorations from Home

Let’s take the most obvious solution out of the way; if you have any leftover decorations from home that you don’t plan to put up this year, bring them to work! Boom! You’ve got yourself a fun, festive work area by adding a mini Christmas tree or garlands around your desk, and it costs you absolutely nothing. Even small things like ornaments or small bows can be added to your work space, perhaps next to your name or on your monitor.

Fake Gift Boxes Made from Wrapping Paper

This is an expanded idea of bringing leftover miscellaneous décor from home, but specifically wrapping paper. If you have leftover wrapping paper, there are all kinds of ways to use the paper for your office. For example, place a different pattern of wrapping paper over each of your drawers; they will look like a stacked assortment of wrapped gifts! Or if you have a cubical, transform your entire workspace into one giant wrapped package! Wrapping paper is perfect for bland, large, flat surfaces of your work area.

Desktop Background

This will cost you nothing. Simply look online for Christmas images (preferably colorful designs made for desktop backgrounds) and place it as your computer’s background. While this isn’t exactly a clever idea, I think a lot of people overlook this simple, free addition, and it does add to the decorum to any work area.

Styrofoam Decorations

Styrofoam is a common material that is almost never repurposed, and they are too expensive to recycle at most facilities, so they naturally wind up in the trash. Whether you nab some from your office warehouse or your wrapped goods at home, you can cut some of that material before it goes into the trash and create some adorable décor. All you need are colorful sharpies and a pair of scissors, and you can make a snowman, candy cane, dreidel, or what have you. Simply use a pin or tape to stick them to the wall. Or you can use paper clips to make hangers on them as added ornaments to your tree. The possibilities are endless.

Paper Snowflakes

This requires a lot of cutting, but paper is limitless in an office. I strongly encourage using paper that has already been used, so it will not be a waste. It won’t be completely white, but I think people would appreciate repurposing used paper. Once you made as many as you want, tape them to anything in your work area. You can hang multiple ones on a fishing line (or thin string) from the ceiling; all you need is either tape or paperclips for behind the ceiling sections. You can make a few; you can make a hundred!

Paperclip Art

Assuming you have enough paperclips, and the right amount of colors, you can create one or two paperclip decorations. All you need is a simple design idea and some pins to hang the art. The simplest by far is a candy cane; just attach red and white paper clips in a straight line, then make it curve using three pins, and gravity does the rest. But you can make a triangular tree, snowflake, or what have you. You’ll need typical cubicle walls or a cork board to pull this off, as tape may not be enough to hold on a flat surface.

Printed Paper Decorations

This is close to the wrapping paper idea, but on a smaller scale. With a color printer, you can print out any holiday illustration or pattern and simply tape it to a wall or object in your work area. Print out a little snowman and bend the paper so it stands up. Or print a candy cane pattern and wrap it around a cylinder object on your desk. Place a pattern over a square item on your desk to make it look like a present. Again, the possibilities are endless, and it won’t cost you a dime.

Dry Erase Board Art

Take advantage of your dry erase board if you have one. If you have colorful markers and have a skill in drawing, you can have a lot of fun with this. If you can’t draw or you can’t find someone else with the talent to help you, you can always write out a holiday message with an assortment of colors. Color is key with most of these décor ideas. After all, it’s color that grabs attention. As long as you put effort into it, people will notice.

Obviously, there is more you could do to your desk area, but at least these are free and moderately simple to create. If you know of a free idea, please share in the comments.


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