ChristmasDecorating Your RVRV LifeWinter

Small Space Holiday Decor to Cheer You Up All Winter

Lighted greenery hung across an RV slide as Christmas decor
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If you're camping or living in a travel trailer or motorhome this Christmas season, here are some ideas for decor that won't take up too much storage space.

This blog post is part of a holiday RV blog post series called “Christmas in the Camper.”  Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this page for links to the rest of the articles in the series!

Some people really love winter and cold weather, but I am not one of those people.  Maybe it’s because I grew up in Missouri where we got one or two big snows each year and the rest of the season was just damp and gray and cold with dark evenings, and not in Colorado or some place where winter means skiing and snowboarding, but I often find feelings of gloominess creeping up on me during the winter – especially after Christmas and New Year’s and my birthday (January 2nd) are all over.

That is exactly why, since I am a grown-up and can do whatever I want, I leave up my Christmas decorations throughout all of January and February.  Since we have to stay in the Midwest for work right now and I can’t spend winter parked next to a warm, sunny beach, having cheerful lights and candles and pretty things that celebrate winter helps me to feel more cheerful during the coldest, darkest time of the year, and more appreciative of the season as a needed time of rest and contemplation.

Admittedly it takes away some of the “specialness” of Christmas to have Santa or Nativity decor sitting around for months, so I like to decorate for the holiday season with things that are, or can be transitioned to, more of a “winter” theme rather than specific to Christmas.

I thought I would share some of my Christmas/winter decor from my RV, since tiny living has forced me to be more creative in my use of space, in case some of these ideas might inspire others who don’t have much room for storing seasonal decorative items or who also want to decorate in a way that looks nice all winter.

Ribbon as decor

I really like using ribbon as holiday decor, because it doesn’t take up much space and allows a single item to be used year round by just changing the ribbon to match the season.  I wove some cheery plaid ribbon through this metal wall basket I have hanging on the wall above my espresso machine, and I like how it looks with ribbon so much better that I definitely plan on getting some other kind of ribbon to replace it with when spring arrives.  Or I may use fabric instead.

Gold spray paint and a cheerful ribbon transformed this metal wall basket.

Natural garland

I love to incorporate nature into my decor because it helps me appreciate the beauty specific to that season.  To make this garland, I dipped some pine cones in white acrylic paint and tied them to a length of red ribbon cord. Then I added some LED “fairy lights” that look pretty in the evening when the lights are low.

I will probably keep this to reuse next year, but if space was a concern it would be easy to remove and toss the pine cones (or perhaps burn them in a campfire – especially if they were the cinnamon scented ones!) and replace them next year.

White tipped pine cone garland with LED fairy lights winter RV decor perfect for Christmas

White tipped pine cone garland with LED fairy lights winter RV decor perfect for Christmas

Other items from nature that could be strung on a piece of ribbon, yarn, or twine to make a garland include evergreen sprigs, nuts (you might need a power drill for those), cinnamon sticks, dried orange and apple slices, dried eucalyptus or bay leaves, and the old standby, dried cranberries.

Lamp shade cover

Last summer I came up with the idea of making a removable cover for the shade of my wall sconce as a way to add a little bit of color to my RV decor (I have a hard time forcing myself not to choose all neutral colors).  In addition to a geometric print cover, I also made this one out of a Nordic snowflake print.  You can read about how I made it here.

DIY lampshade cover made from Nordic Christmas snowflake print fabric

Throw pillow covers

Throw pillows are one of my favorite ways to decorate because the covers can be easily changed for a new look and seasonal pillow covers don’t take up much room to store.  For Christmas this year I decided to go with a soft red pillow cover, a red and white plaid one, and a white one made from cable knit sweater fabric.

Throw pillow covers are an easy and space saving way to create a fresh look and decorate a camper or motorhome for any holiday or season

I decided to make the cable knit pillow cover myself out of a secondhand sweater.  I made it as an “envelope” style cover, meaning on one side the fabric overlaps to allow the pillow to be inserted without requiring a zipper or buttons:

Because the sweater I used ended up being rather short, I wasn’t able to overlap the fabric as much as I would have liked, and as a result, the cover often kind of gapes open after use, so I’m planning to add some Velcro to help it stay closed.  I’m not the first person to come up with this technique, and others have done a great job of explaining how to do it; if you know how to sew and are interested in making your own, this video does a pretty good job of explaining the basic idea.

Spray snow

I decided to try something new this year and use a snowflake stencil and aerosol spray snow to create snowflakes on this window.  I was a bit hesitant at first because I had just recently finished making a storm window out of plexiglass and the window was all clean and clear so I hated to spray something on it, and I thought about using paper snowflakes or vinyl decals instead, but after testing it I found that the spray snow washes off pretty easily with a damp rag or paper towel (which is good because this was kind of a messy project).  I like how it turned out.

Snowflakes stenciled on my RV window using spray snow

The silhouettes look nice when I draw the curtains to keep the sun from glaring on my laptop screen. 🙂

Silhouette of snowflakes on my RV window curtains

Cutesy campers

Since taking the photo above, I replaced the elephants on my corner tension shower shelf with a little camper ornament I couldn’t resist at Target and an LED flameless candle.  The candle is special to me because my sister-in-law, who is studying graphic design, designed the image for it, and I had it printed on a candle.

Flameless LED candle and vintage camper ornament on corner tension shower caddy as living room shelf

I also made this ornament the same way, but decided it made a good ceiling fan pull.

Customizable vintage camper Christmas ornament

And, I made this mug, even though I did NOT need another mug, lol!

Vintage camper Christmas mug

Lighted greenery

The top of a slideout makes the perfect place for hanging an evergreen garland.  One of these days I may spring for some fresh cut greenery, but for now I am content with this kind.  It makes a great place to hang Christmas ornaments, and then after Christmas I will remove the ornaments and enjoy the lights all winter.

Lighted greenery hung across an RV slide as Christmas decor

I had another length of lighted greenery, but the lights stopped working, so I removed them and used it to make this wreath for the front door by wrapping around a bent coat hanger and adding some more LED fairy lights (they’re battery powered) and the rest of my plaid ribbon.

DIY wreath made by wrapping a lighted garland around a coat hanger.

Christmas tree

Last of all, I have a little tabletop Christmas tree.  While I did leave it set up all winter last year, this year I am planning to take it down after Christmas.  I actually haven’t fetched it from its storage spot in the back of my closet yet; I am planning to wait until mid-December to set it up.  This is a photo of it from last year:

Table top Christmas tree - perfectly sized for RV holiday decor.

Altogether my Christmas/winter decorations don’t take up very much space, but they help me feel festive during the winter months! 🙂

For more RV holiday decorating inspiration, be sure to check out articles linked below!

If you're camping or living in a travel trailer or motorhome this Christmas season, here are some ideas for decor that won't take up too much storage space.

#ChristmasInTheCamper2017 RV Christmas decor series featuring photos of 15 campers and motorhomes all decked out for the holidays.#ChristmasInTheCamper2017 RV Christmas decor series featuring photos of 15 campers and motorhomes all decked out for the holidays.


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12 comments

  1. Katie 4 December, 2017 at 10:51 Reply

    These are some really great tips! I especially love your idea for adding the lamp shade covers and I bet that creates a nice, soft glow too. And I did read that putting up Christmas decorations early can improve your mood, so I imagine the same applying for leaving them out later. 🙂

  2. Liz from The Virtual Campground 6 December, 2017 at 20:15 Reply

    Ashley, you’re a decorating genius and you have the most defined RV website aside from Winnebago. I just love you. (That sweater pillow!!!!)

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