Festive Holiday Decorations for a Few Bucks
By Lucia Rossi
Sleigh bells ring although we may not want to listen. As you may already notice, Christmas is not just a day, it’s an entire season.
For the whole month of December, people surround themselves in everything festive, like classic holiday music, gifts, hot cocoa, lights on trees, red and green clothing, and the smells of peppermint and cinnamon. Everyone takes the opportunity to showcase their love for this time of year just from the look of their homes.
As great as having such a strong holiday spirit is, this is also the most expensive time of the year. People work twice as hard and try to save twice as much. Why does having the good ole’ Christmas spirit need to lighten our wallets?
Here’s how to get your home in holiday shape for a price that won’t make you say bah-humbug.
First, think about and list what kind of decorations you’re interested in, where they would be placed, and how many would you need. This will give yourself a general idea of how much materials you need. This will give yourself a general idea of how much materials you need, you shouldn’t buy more than what’s necessary.
Most things you will need to do your projects you can either get at the 99 cent store and a craft store like, ribbons, bows, jars, candles, fake greenery, cheap ornaments, candy canes, paper, glue, etc.
Bows, can literally go with anything and they’re super cheap. You can put them on frames, doors, windows, garlands, centerpieces, tables, corners, and can even make a wreath out of them with some hot glue and a Styrofoam wreath. Try getting all different sizes and colors, make it interesting.
The same goes for ornaments, candy canes, ribbon, and cinnamon sticks. These are your staple items for decorating that are especially budget pleasing.
Pinecones are a super frugal way to decorate, especially if you can get them for free naturally outside your home. Make your house smell like the holidays with DIY scented pinecones. They can be used for decorations with ribbon, centerpieces in bowls, or even as a part of cute gift wrap. This is a must-do DIY. If you find natural pine cones from outside, wash them in the sink to get rid of dirt, sap and insects. Then, place them on a cookie sheet and place them in the oven for 1 hour at 200 degrees. This will open them up if they are closed and will kill bacteria or any bugs. The fastest way to make scented pine cones would be to brush on glue or use spray adhesive with spices instead of just essential oils.
You could mix a bit of essential oils like patchouli, orange, sandalwood, cinnamon, pickling spice and nutmeg. Lay your pinecones down in a single layer in a large bag, spray them with the glue (or brush on glue), turn them over and do the other side. Then, place in your spices in the bag and shake it up. Add glitter to the mix to make it extra festive. If you used essential oils as well, seal the pinecones in the bag for an hour so it absorbs the smell. Then, remove the excess spice with the mesh bag. You can hot glue on some ribbon to hang them up.
Another great smelling ornament or decoration would be cinnamon applesauce dough cutouts. You know, those decorative cookies that look good enough to eat but aren’t edible? All this recipe needs is two equal parts of cinnamon and applesauce, like 2 cups of each. If it’s too sticky, add more cinnamon. Then roll it out and use holiday themed cookie cutters to create cool shapes like trees, stars, and gingerbread men. Bake them in the oven at 200 degrees for two hours. Don’t forget to punch holes in the cookies for where you want to put twine or ribbon through for hanging. After baking, let them dry completely on a rack for 24 hours, then you can use sandpaper to smooth out the edges. Hanging up your cookie cutters also make for a sweet and easy decoration!
Jazz up your kitchen with a hot cocoa station. Have festive mugs, stirrers, and toppings ready on display in festive containers to make the space inviting. All you need is hot water.
Try to find ways to fix up the kitchen table too. Buy or make some mini stockings and use them as utensil holders. Create fun and delicious centerpieces by placing a pillar candle with a holder inside a tall vase and decorate the surrounding area with fruits and nuts like walnuts, cranberries and kumquats.
There is actually a lot more you can do with wine glasses besides drinking. They’re great votive holders when turned upside down and you could put anything festive inside like, fake snow, mistletoe, and ornaments. They’re seriously perfect for all occasions and tables.
There are many ways to decorate empty walls in any room. You can make a card tree. Display your greeting cards in the shape of a Christmas tree using 2 strips of ribbon, hot glue, and 5 sticks cut from wooden dowels. Hang the ribbon vertically and attach each piece of wood about 2 inches apart ordering the size of the sticks from longest to shortest. Then clip your cards on with binder clips!
You could also make your own photo wreath. Print out or have copies made of your favorite photos (get them in black and white for some extra classiness) and then glue them together along a write wreath using hot glue.
Make your own signs for your walls by painting your favorite holiday lyrics on a canvas or piece of wood, then hang up for a cheerful display.
Advent Calendars are great for counting down the days. Pin mini envelopes, to a corkboard and fill each one with little surprises for each day. You can also apply this same idea with tags and ornaments. If you would like to go bigger, try decorating a table with small stackable decorated containers with fun treats inside that are labeled for each day.
If you can’t have a tree, or at least a large or real one because of animals, there are decorative ways to make up for it. You could:
-Draw a tree on a chalkboard wall or tapestry
-Create a tree on your wall using washi tape
-Build a tree by stacking all the books you own
-If you love to party, stack up all empty green beer bottles into a tree
-Hang a bunch of knickknacks on your wall in the shape of a tree
-Create a tower tree with decorative boxes or gifts
-Make a Post It Note tree on a wall
-Put up string lights on your wall in the shape of a tree
-Create a hanging ornament structure that makes the ornaments look like they’re floating in mid-air in a tree shape
It a wonder what something as simple as paper can become. There are some really cool origami shapes and cut out snowflakes you can make with just a little patience.
Don’t forget the mistletoe!