10 Budget-Friendly Ways to Decorate for the Holidays
Use these creative decorating ideas to deck out your home for the holidays without breaking the bank.
Holiday Cards & Gifts Display
Bypass costly store-bought decor and work with two things you most likely have on hand already — holiday cards and festively wrapped gifts. This will liven up a dull area in the house while simultaneously keeping your mail spot and Christmas tree base from overflowing. For instance, give your bar cart a new purpose by using it to hold a metal cardholder on top and stacked gifts on the bottom shelf.
Save Those Gift Wrap Scraps
They may seem useless, but put those leftover scraps of holiday gift wrap to work for you. For instance, use them to give everyday items (like basic serving plates) a boost. Simply cut the leftover paper to size, and line serveware with it. To create a display that will last the entire season, fill the festive dishes with ornaments or long-lasting snacks like nuts or candy.
Upcycle Plastic Figurines
Inexpensive plastic figurines — whether your children’s old toys or vintage decorations from your family — can be easily converted into elegant holiday decor. Go through and pull out your kids’ plastic animals, for instance, and all you need is glue and German glass glitter to make them look high-end.
Make Ice Lanterns
This one is as affordable as you can get. All you need is water, empty plastic containers and chilly temperatures. Freeze the water in the plastic containers, pop them out and arrange them on your front porch with a lit candle in the center. Make them as large or small as you’d like. Your front porch will come to life in no time!
Trim Your Tree With On-Hand Items
If you have no ornaments for the Christmas tree, you can still have a beautifully decorated tree by using what you do have. Head to the kitchen and start looking — popcorn, dried citrus slices, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, and inexpensive grocery store greenery are all great options to create a festive tree. String together small objects to create garland and hang the larger items directly on the branches.
Hang Ornaments All Over
If you’re the opposite and have plenty of ornaments and not enough tree, hang those extras throughout the house — a chandelier, mounted antlers, sconces, wherever you find an opportunity. In addition, you can fill empty vases and hurricanes with ornaments and decorate shelves and tabletops.
Create a Pinecone Garland
For this, all you’ll need is yarn or twine and white craft paint, which many of us already have on hand. Simply head out to the backyard and gather up a basket of pine cones, dip them in the white craft paint, and string them on the yarn or twine. When you’re finished you’ll have a festive, rustic garland for your mantel, Christmas tree or dining table.
Fold Festive Paper Trees
You can dress up any tabletop or shelf without spending a lot by creating a handmade forest. To make some fabulous little fir trees, locate some green card stock and scissors. Cut the card stock into circles of various sizes. Then, accordion-fold the paper to mimic the look of evergreen boughs. Stack the folded rings — going from large on the bottom to small on top — and attach them to a log slice or small piece of wood. You can display the trees in a group directly on a tabletop or shelf, or place them inside glass domes for higher impact.
Jazz Up Backyard Finds
If sparkly glitter is more your style, this one’s for you. Once again, venture out into your yard and forage for some seasonal finds like pinecones or acorns. Clean them thoroughly under warm water, and roll each in craft glue and then glitter. When dry, attach a ribbon with hot glue and hang them wherever you need a little holiday cheer.
Skip the Christmas Tree
Christmas trees are on the expensive side, so if a tree just isn’t an option this year, try putting together a cute, freshly-cut alternative. Use kitchen shears to snip greenery from the live evergreen trees in your backyard. Arrange them in a vase and add small ornaments — you can even pile small gifts underneath. Just be sure to change the water in the vase every few days to keep the greenery at its best.