Decking the Halls Without Breaking the Bank

Tight funds and small space leave you a little lacking in the Christmas spirit department?  Understandable. And while most of us don't deny that a well decorated home goes a long way toward injecting a little Fa La La La La in your Rum Pa Pum Pum, the retail industry has put a rather high price tag on Christmas cheer. 

But a festive home doesn't need to be expensive.  Whether it's a Christmas wreath for your door, some brightly wrapped packages or one of these other ideas for making your season bright, I've listed ideas for even the smallest of budgets.  So pour some hot chocolate, turn up the Bing Crosby and discover plenty of ways to deck the halls and celebrate the season! 
  • Take Stock of the items you already have ($0, your house or apartment)
    • Group items in red and green for impact. 
    • Stack books, frame Christmas cards from years past, and bring out candlesticks.  
    • Dig out old teddy bears, wagons and toys to use in vignettes.  
    • Use brightly colored mittens, gloves and scarves to hang on hooks or tuck in bookshelves.  
    • Pile red and green apples or oranges stuck with cloves in a bowl on a table. 
  • Christmas Balls ($1-$3, dollar stores, second-hand stores, "big box" chain retailers)
    • One of the most inexpensive ways to add some flair is with the iconic Christmas ornament.  Packages can be picked up at retailers like Target, Walmart and Dollar Tree for between $1 and $3.  Often Goodwill and Salvation Army stores will have more unique styles for even less. 
    • No room for a tree? Not a problem.  Pile the ornaments in bowls, jars or baskets and place near entryways, on tables and bookshelves or even in a bathroom.  Add greenery or lights for brilliance and texture. 
    • Tie ornaments to ribbons of varying lengths and hang from a chandelier or curtain rod. 
  • Greenery ($0, forests, parks, neighborhoods, Christmas tree lots)
    • Nothing says Christmas like fresh wintergreen and boughs of holly.  But greens can be expensive if you buy them pre-fashioned.  Try asking a local Christmas tree seller if you can collect and keep the broken branches at the end of the night.  Or, if you're in an area where trees are prevalent, take a walk in the woods and collect branches and snippings there.
    • Pile in metal buckets, baskets wagons or birdbaths for a rustic look.  Baskets, bowls and buckets full of pine cones give the same effect. 
    • Buy an inexpensive wreath or swag form at a craft store (check for printable coupons online first!) and make your own.  It's far easier than you might think, and oh-so-satisfying when you're finished. 
    • Place along window sills, in vases, atop TV cabinets, bookshelves and mantles, or scatter down the center of tables as a natural runner. 
      • Pretty additions: Ornaments, berries, pine cones, feathers, real or fake flowers (roses look spectacular against Evergreen!), small toys, apples, oranges and pineapples
      • Add strings of lights for sparkle
    • Not from a Winter Wonderland? No worries. No one said greens had to be of the "Ever" variety. :)  Take clues from your location.  Lucky enough to live somewhere tropical? Use palms for a whimsical feel.  In the south? Take advantage of the gorgeous Magnolia trees that abound.  Crepe Myrtle, ferns, ivy - anything goes!
  • Spray Paint! ($1-$5, home improvement stores, craft stores) 
    • Look outdoors for branches, pine cones, or dried flowers, or use inexpensive vases and candlesticks (second hand stores are great for these!) and then cover with a layer of spray paint.  Gold and silver are instant attention grabbers!
  • Gift Wrap and Fabric Ribbon ($1-$5, dollar stores, second hand stores, "big box" chain retail stores)

    • While presents certainly are not "the reason for the season," it's hard to deny their connection to it.  A merrily wrapped package brings back memories of childhood, and the thrill of possibilities.  
    • Wrap boxes and pile in corners, on mantles , side tables and bookshelves.  No presents? No problem.  Use empty shoe boxes, ornament boxes, or boxes picked up from drug stores.  The bigger the box or pile of boxes, the bigger the impact.  Small packages look lovely tucked into small spaces, as place-card markers, or grouped with toys.  
    • Use coordinating (not necessarily matching) paper and fabric ribbons for to up the class factor. 
    • Use scraps of wrapping paper to matte photographs, or, frame only the paper and display as art. 
    • Cover a few books with wrapping paper and place throughout the shelves in a room to create a theme. 
    • Wrap ribbon of varying width around pillar candles for embellishment. 
    • Use ribbons as curtain tie backs.  Attach Christmas ornaments, jingle bells, or pine cones to the ends.
  • Christmas Wreaths ($7-$25, craft stores, dollar stores, nature)
    • Wreaths are one of the easiest ways to convey holiday cheer.  As previously mentioned, they're extremely easy to make, using an inexpensive wreath form, a hot glue gun, branches, ornaments and picks. Work slowly and carefully, and allow the glue to dry before attempting to move your creation.  
    • Personalize with feathers, lights, teacups, jewelry, pictures, flowers or ribbons. 
    • Wreaths needn't be relegated to doors.  Hang over windows, in hallways or layered over picture frames or mirrors.  (Bonus: hanging a wreath over a mirror doubles the sparkle).  
    • Use as a centerpiece.  Set wreath in the middle of your table and place a hurricane lamp and candle in the center. Tuck sparkly accents around. 
  • Smells and Sounds ($0 - $5, craft stores, the Internet)
    • Did you know that sense most closely related to our memory is our sense of smell?  Sometimes all that is needed to conjure up the happy memories and feelings of a warm cozy Christmas is a scented candle flickering int eh house.  Try cinnamon, pine, apple or vanilla.  
    • You may roll your eyes at the shopping mall, but it's inevitable that eventually you'll wind up humming along to Nat and Natalie or (I promise not to tell) the Chipmunks.  Whatever your Christmas music tastes tend toward - classic, pop, instrumental, jazz - make a playlist for your Ipod, or take advantage of sites like for some instant cheer!

You may also like

No comments:

Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

Powered by Blogger.