How to Decorate for Christmas on a Budget
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Everywhere we go, there’s caroling, garlands, and one of our favorite things: Christmas lights. But between paying for the Thanksgiving feast and spoiling nieces and nephews, sometimes you need to decorate for Christmas on a budget. Here are 7 tips and tricks for making money stretch while holiday decorating.
7. Upcycled Wreath - If your family is like mine, you have a drawer full of bows from boxes opened long ago. We hate to throw away that pretty adornment, but don’t always remember it’s there when it’s time to wrap up birthday gifts during the year. With just a styrofoam wreath and hot glue (I recommend one with a low temp setting), you have a professional looking wreath and empty space for the incoming supply of bows and ribbons.
6. Upcycled Ornaments - Have some light bulbs left over from spring cleaning? Use some sandpaper to give the bulbs a rough finish, then spray paint. After the initial coat is dry, you can turn them into penguins or a family of snowmen. These can double as Christmas presents by personalizing the ornament for friends and family members. Just be sure to put them away carefully so these one-of-a-kind decorations don’t break before next year. The TreeKeeper Pro holds up to 72 ornaments in individual cubbies.
5. Glowing Snowman Centerpiece - This is a great DIY to do with kids. Start with battery operated Christmas lights and an empty gallon of milk. Cut a hole in the back of the jug and insert the mini string lights. Decorate the jugs to create glowing snowmen or have Santa’s beard twinkle. If you don’t want to see the lights from the back, take the piece you cut from the back and tape it just along the top. This will create a flap for easy access to turn the lights on and off.
4. No Tree? No Problem - Not enough room for a Christmas tree? No problem. Grab some green wrapping paper and double sided tape. Have someone hold the wrapping paper up against the fridge while you draw your tree on the backside of the paper. Cut along your drawing and use the double sided tape to stick it to your fridge door. Don’t forget to cut additional lines so you can open the freezer and both doors. Magnetic clips are designed to make hanging string lights on metal roofs and gutters, but work just as well on a fridge and are strong enough to handle the door opening and closing. Weave them back and forth (1 string per door panel) to mimic the look of lights wrapped around a tree. Just make sure there’s room when the door swings open so that the lights don’t bump into anything. You can cut shapes from colored wrapping paper to create ornaments and a tree topper.
3. Small Tree, Big Impact - Real Simple Magazine suggests a small tree in an unusual color when decorating on a budget. The less traditional color makes the tree stand out more, giving you more flexibility on size. A smaller tree also lets you get away with using fewer lights and ornaments while still fully decorating the tree. This also allows you more flexibility on placement. By using a single strand of battery operated Christmas lights, you can use the tree on a coffee table or using it as a centerpiece without restricting placement based on the nearest outlet.
2. Make “Mistakes” Look Intentional - If you’re already on the last of the gingerbread and graham crackers but you still don’t have a completed house, raid the kid’s toy chest or pull out the old Elf on a Shelf. With some strategic positioning, you can make your previously ruined construction attempt look like you meant to do it that way the whole time.
1. Ditto Christmas Lights - If you live next to someone who gives the North Pole a run for its money with LED Christmas lights and 6 ft. nutcrackers, don’t feel discouraged. If you can’t beat them, join them. Use Christmas string lights or LED rope light to spell “Ditto” across your roof or fence. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, add an arrow in lights as well, just to “drive the point home”.
Looking for even more ideas? Other readers loved our blog post DIY Christmas Decorations on a Budget including upcycling burnt out string lights and a DIY Christmas tree using tomato cages. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for DIY decorations, answers to frequently asked questions, and more.