Don’t let a tight decorating budget make you feel like a Grinch. It’s easy to make your home look like a Christmas wonderland even if you don’t have a lot of cash to spare or don’t consider yourself super crafty. With a little creative shopping, a glue stick and a pair of scissors you can spread Christmas cheer all through your home and still have enough money to buy everyone on your list something special.
In the old days fake Christmas trees looked exactly that. But many of today’s artificial trees are full and lush with a natural shape that even the pickiest elf would be proud to display their ornaments on. Besides being easy to clean up and store – no dragging a dead tree to the street or vacuuming up needles for the next 6 months – investing in an artificial Christmas tree is far more economical than a string of fresh trees that have to be purchased every year. Buy one that comes pre-lit and you’ll also save on the cost of extra lights.
Dollars and Cents
Get to know your local dollar stores and thrifts stores. Shop for packages of ball ornaments, ribbon, clear glass vases and glass bowls, bagged Christmas candy, candles, paper plates and basic craft supplies. What do you do with all that cheap bounty? Fill glass containers with ornaments or peppermints for trendy centerpieces or table decorations. Remember to go big when displaying simple items like these. A tiny bowl of mints is an invitation to have a piece of candy, but a fishbowl filled with them is Christmas art. Make angels from paper plates to hang on the tree or use as place settings and light up the room with dollar-store candles.
Garland is one of the most versatile decorations; it can dress up a mantle, a stair rail, a doorway and, of course, the tree. But yards of premade garland can be costly. String day-old popcorn (easier to skewer than fresh made) to add a sweet old-fashioned touch to your décor. Turn craft paper into a colorful Christmas chain with nothing but scissors and a glue stick. And for those with just a bit more crafting ambition and access to sewing scraps you can make a garland by tying strips of fabric onto a piece of twine. Use the same technique on a string of lights for an extra impressive DIY decoration.
Take a walk outside and you’re likely to find a bundle of Christmas decorations for free. Cover a handful of slender branches with silver glitter and place them in a vase for a stunning centerpiece. Paint pinecones gold and hang them on the tree or sprinkle them with cinnamon oil for a basket full of seasonal aroma.
Your small decorating budget will have a big impact if you keep the color scheme simple and use repetition in the décor. Don’t just have one bowl full of red ornaments; put one on the coffee table, one on the kitchen island and line three of them up on the dining room table. Repeating the same theme throughout the space will add a flair of sophistication to your Christmas decorations. Your space will look cheerful and no one will ever guess you bought a giant bag of red bulbs for a buck!