Decorate your home for Kwanzaa

Decorate your home for Kwanzaa

By using your creativity to decorate for a Kwanzaa celebration, you honor both the holiday and traditional African values. Give your celebration a unique twist by creating your own holiday decorations or using traditional décor in new ways.

Understanding the principles of Kwanzaa

To celebrate this holiday accordingly, you'll first have to recognize its seven core principles:

  • purpose
  • creativity
  • unity
  • work and responsibility
  • economics
  • self-determination
  • faith

Know that the symbols of this holiday — crops, ears of corn, place mats, candles, a candleholder, a unity cup and gifts — all combine to support these principles and can inspire your decorative efforts. While you can successfully decorate your home with these items, using your imagination to create new interpretations of them can give you a personal spin on old values and traditions.

Colors and textiles

Incorporate traditional colors (black, red and green) into your home decorations any way that you can.

Hang up the official flag, the Bendera Ya Taifa, either inside or outside of your home for an easy way to showcase all the colors and draw a connection to the holiday.

For a temporary way to participate in festivities, arrange colored pieces of glossy paper in interesting patterns on your wall. You can visit party supply stores for eating utensils that perfectly match the holiday's color scheme, as well.

When buying items to use as décor, try to purchase those made out of straw and leather or fabrics such as kente, cotton and silk.

Find curtains and other accents, like rugs and throw pillows, made out of these textures and materials for a big impact.


The traditional candleholder, the kinara, acts as the most recognizable symbol of this holiday, making it a natural centerpiece during festivities.

Turn your kinara into a conversational piece by creating your own from a block of wood. Paint it and then drill a small hole in it so that it can securely hold the holiday's traditional seven candles. Then, place the kinara on a table or mantle to instantly draw visitors to it. Make sure that the candles feature the colors of black, red and green.


Because this holiday celebrates new harvest, find opportunities to strategically display fruits and vegetables around your home. Place ears of corn in woven baskets in communal locations.

Try to emphasize fruits and vegetables that originated from Africa. If you are celebrating Kwanzza for many years to come, invest in some artificial fruit.

Ceramics and artifacts

Search for inexpensive ceramics and pottery, and paint their exteriors to show African symbols and patterns. Since children enjoy special honoring during this holiday, consider enlisting them to help create masks out of papier-mâché.

For a more pricey decorating option, visit stores that specialize in importing African sculptures, and purchase a few to place around your home.

Hiring a professional

Remember that Kwanzaa reveres creativity and that you can honor the holiday and African customs simply by making your own decorations. If you prefer to express your creativity through unique crafts, consider finding pictures of traditional African sculptures and textiles and replicating them with your own materials.

Should you prefer to leave unique décor choices up to professionals, search Angie's List for interior designers who can give your home the perfect Kwanzaa makeover.

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Save your money for Christmas presents instead of spending cash on decor. What natural elements or easily-obtained materials can you decorate with for holidays?

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