How to Decorate for Christmas on a Budget

How to Decorate for Christmas on a Budget

Christmas decorations don’t come cheap — and with all the gifts you’re expected to buy for family and friends, you might not have a whole lot left over to spend on inflatable Santas and string lights. Christmas isn’t about how much money you spend. It’s about celebrating the birth of Christ and spending quality time with those you love most. Here’s how to decorate for Christmas on a budget.

Get Some Greens

If you live in a rural area or a small town, you can probably harvest some Christmas greenery from nearby evergreen trees and shrubs. Pines and firs, as well as holly bushes, are good sources of festive greenery. Or, if you buy a live Christmas tree, buy one that’s just a tad too tall and then cut off some of the bottom branches to use for decorating outside and around the house. Commandeer some mason jars, highball glasses, wine glasses, tumblers, and mugs from the kitchen cupboard to serve as vases for your greenery arrangements.

Decorate with Wood

Wood is a cheap and plentiful resource for Christmas decorating — even if you live in the city, you should still be able to snag some twigs from a local park or nature preserve. Spritz some bouquets of twigs with a can of fake snow, tie them together with a pretty Christmas ribbon, and display them in a mason jar or vase. Stack some pieces of cordwood next to your fireplace, even if you don’t burn wood in it. Fill a bowl or flowerpot with epsom salts (to mimic snow and ice) and poke some twigs and candles into it. Add an ornament to the bowl for extra flair.

Christmas Decorations

Thrift and Upcycle

Plenty of perfectly good Christmas decorations get donated to thrift stores. You might also be able to snag some good deals on vintage Christmas decorations and pre-lit artificial Christmas trees from Ebay or Facebook Marketplace. 

Hit up your local thrift store for gently used Christmas ornaments, garlands, and decorations. Don’t forget to look for festive bed sheets and tablecloths — these can be easily repurposed into Christmas tree skirts. With a little creativity, you can repurpose thrifted Christmas ornaments into stylish decor elements that look brand new. Add a coat of glossy white spray paint to that tacky plastic holly wreath, and you’ll get something that looks delicate and tasteful. Look for vases, spray nativity scenes and nutcrackers, old skis and snowshoes, glass domes and cloches, plastic wreaths, Christmas-themed linens, frames, trays, and vintage Christmas storybooks.

String Your Own Garlands

Making your own Christmas garlands out of popcorn, cranberries, paper chains, or other materials is a time-honored Christmas tradition. Popcorn is cheap — pop up a bag (in an air popper so you don’t get your Christmas tree all oily) and use a needle and thread to string it up. If you can pick up some pinecones, use yarn to string them together into a garland, use florists wire to attach colorful ornaments, and then spritz the whole thing with some fake snow.

How to fit everyone around the Christmas table
How to fit everyone around the Christmas table

Make Your Own Ornaments

It’s surprisingly easy to make your own ornaments from scratch. Wrap a ring of cardboard with Christmas ribbon or aluminum foil, then tape a family picture into the “frame” and hang it on the tree. Use your thrifted Christmas cookie cutters to make some gingerbread ornaments for the tree. Use some festive yarn or ribbon to make a cross-shaped ornament out of two twigs. Get crafty with whatever supplies you have lying around — you’re limited only by your own imagination.

Repurpose Your Garden Equipment

You’ve probably put away your planters and tomato cages for the season, but it’s time to drag them back out. Fill your planters with lengths of wood, tree branches, twigs, and greenery offset with some Christmas ornaments or ribbons (fill the bottom of the planter with scrap paper or cardboard, so you don’t have to fill up the whole thing with scrap wood). Spritz it with some fake snow and put them on either side of your front door, or use them in those awkward empty spots that tend to pop up on decks, balconies, and porches at this time of year. For budget-friendly outdoor Christmas trees, turn your old tomato cages upside down, cover them with tinsel garlands, string them with lights, and hang some ornaments.

Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank. You can put together a stunning display with stuff you already have on hand, so you’ll have more money to spend on gifts, travel, and all your other expenses this holiday season. Hope you all liked our perspective on how to decorate for Christmas on a budget.

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