Hello loves! I’m back today with more Christmas talk, how to have a beautifully decorated home for Christmas on a budget. Going out to a store and buying every decoration you see to decorate with is easy if you have that luxury. What’s hard is finding frugal ways and still creating a gorgeous home. I know there have been times I’ve purchased things then the credit card bill comes in January and I’m like “you spent $68 on seasonal napkin rings??” We did replace two Christmas trees this year, which was unavoidable for us, but those purchases made me determined to keep everything else on a strict tight budget. I’d rather drop the dough on the gifts than the decor, but that doesn’t mean I’ll accept anything less than a perfect Christmas home.
So here are some of my favorite budget friendly Christmas decorating secrets and tips. Most of these photos are from the Christmas 2018 home tour, but I did find a few photos I took last year that never made it to the blog.
RIBBON IS YOUR BEST FRIEND
Ribbon is your best friend! It’s usually on sale at craft stores this time of year, you may even have some great ribbon on hand already, or pick some up from the dollar store. The possibilities are endless with ribbon, you can create a simple ribbon garland like I did over my bed by cutting small strips and tying them into a bow on twine.
I was able to take a $2 roll of gold ribbon and tie it to some ornaments from last year to create my beautiful festive chandelier! You can use ribbon to decorate your tree, add a bow to a boring wreath, and use leftover ribbon to wrap presents.
STALK YOUR LOCAL DOLLAR STORE
I love the Dollar Tree for seasonal, party, and craft items. Some visits can be hit or miss, during busy seasons like Christmas you almost need to stop by every few days, and when you find a great items that have potential you better buy plenty. Sometimes I’ll go back the next day to buy more and they’re gone. I made these cute mini budget Christmas trees from $1 trees, at the Dollar Tree, if they’re gone hopefully they’ll restock them. A Dollar Tree staple this time of year is white tissue paper and red Christmas ornament balls, it’s insane how much I go through those!
USE WHAT YOU HAVE
Use what you have, really let that sink in. The possibilities are endless! Our outdoor wooden glass recycling bin was brought inside and filled with tissue paper and little presents and it’s so cute.
If you have pretty crystal or china, pull it out and set the table for a gorgeous look. You have more items in your home that can be used than you really know. Do you have pretty martini glasses? Fill them up with candy, pull out that gorgeous crystal cake stand you never use and stack it with little Christmas trinkets.
I was able to clear out a few empty baskets we had on hand and filled them with old ornaments and draped some old lights around them. Tip: that’s not all ornaments, most of the baskets are filled with tissue paper, and the ornaments are on the top.
FRAME OLD CHRISTMAS CARDS
A simple and easy way to add Christmas decor is to frame cards. You can frame your own cards, or others. This card my Mother in Law sent out years ago was just so funny I made sure to hang on to it. The next year it was still making me laugh so I decided to frame it and suddenly a new idea was born! I save all old christmas cards and I’ll pick new ones to frame from the previous years. Sometimes I frame our old photo cards too.
Here in our bedroom I’m doing it all, free pinecones, old framed cards, and I pulled out the ol’ trifle bowl to hold ornaments.
FORGET EXPENSIVE TREE SKIRTS AND USE SCRAP FABRIC
I couldn’t get a tree collar to work on any tree we had this year, the stand of each tree was too wide. One day while up in the attic – seriously, when I’m decorating I’m there all the time – I found some old white fur fabric. It was from my old vanity stool I had re-covered, so I used the leftover fabric to make a tree skirt. It’s cut straight, but I cut a slit in the back and slipped it around the tree base. Then I tucked the edges under to make a circle. I found a ton of old tulle too and did the same thing with our dining room tree. So use what you have, old scrap fabric or a small blanket.
DECORATE WITH BOXES
I’ve been saving large boxes for a while now, I knew this year I wasn’t going to do an upstairs tree, but I wanted to do something fun for the kids. I needed a way to fill a large area cheaply without buying much and wrapping up big boxes came to mind. I also like to wrap up little boxes, you can wrap up jello, pudding, or raisin boxes and group them together in a bowl for some festive cheer, and just unwrap everything afterwards. Another trick is boxes of bar soap, I used those to decorate some shelves and stockings. I removed the soap and just wrapped up the empty boxes. Bonus is we have a ton of soap to use now, haha.
Why not decorate with real wrapped gifts, who said they need to be under the Christmas tree?
USE WHAT NATURE GIVES YOU FOR FREE
Collect pinecones, acorns, and tree branches for endless possibilities. You can create natural rustic decorations, or add some glam with paint and ribbion. We had a lot of fun collecting pinecones, and large burr oak acorns! I’ve listed some of my pinecone projects, such as this snowy pinecone berry wreath, but I have a few more I’m in the process of making!
When we came home from Europe our holly tree had died in the front yard. I was so upset, but that’s Texas in the summer for ya. The landscapers thought I was a little nuts when I insisted they remove the tree in 1 piece. I think they wanted to hack it up into pieces to make it easier, but I stood my ground. I decided it would be a Christmas tree in our bedroom. It took a long time to prune it into the shape I wanted, then I flocked the tree with my leftover SnoFlock (the bag has lasted years) then I wrapped the root ball in burlap and tied with twine. It’s a simple winter tree and I’m going to use it every year.
If you have a small dead tree or bush don’t throw it away, it has so much potential from Halloween to Christmas, save it for yourself or pass it along to another!!
I saved some of the branches I cut off the holly tree and made this snowy little tree for the kitchen. No, our kitchen window isn’t filthy. It must be something with your computer monitor… you should probably get that checked out!
GRAB SOME SPRAY PAINT
I freakin love spray paint any time of the year but this is the time of year it really shines! Gold spray paint is the perfect way to take your decor up a notch, and a can will last you quite a while. I didn’t like my nativity set and last year I was finding myself not wanting to put it out. I wanted a more modern sparkly one and never found one and one day after too much coffee I spray painted the entire set gold and I now LOVE IT!! Do you have any cheap candlesticks or old blah Christmas decorations that need a spray paint makeover?
MAKE YOUR OWN ORNAMENTS
I love making cinnamon salt dough ornaments, they’re inexpensive to make and once you get the hang of it it’s pretty easy. I did gingerbread but the sky’s the limit with what you could create, adding a little glitter and a ribbon to pinecone would be simple and pretty. Years ago when we first moved into this house we decorated the upstairs kids tree with small stuffed animals and it was so cute. So get creative!
A bag of snow fluff can be $4-7 depending on where you live and the sizes. It’s like pillow fluff and it can be used for everything. I used it to fill in some bare spots in my dining room Christmas tree, I used it to top off the gold potted trees in my office, these dollar store trees, and we used a ton of it around the wrapped up presents upstairs in the loft. I think you could even use it to cover up your Christmas tree stand. You can use old pillow fluff if you want, but actual snow fluff in the Christmas aisle will be a bit softer and whiter.
FILL BOWLS AND CONTAINERS
I love filling bowls, baskets, and boxes with little Christmas items. We all end up with a few leftover items we aren’t sure what to do with. A few ornaments, little bells, some leftover ribbon, or even a bow from a gift, throw them all in a bowl! Maybe add a tiny little present too, like a wrapped up jello box. It’s a nice was to use up everything, and it’s a bowl of Christmas cheer.
I hope these have given you some good ideas! Now I’m off to make taco soup, and do another pinecone project with Ashley. Yep… haha you read that right. I also want to do another fashion post with a look I love, but I have that post Thanksgiving puff so I’ll just go play with pinecones for now.