Decorating your home for Christmas is a great way to get into the festive spirit of the season. Beautiful twinkling lights, nativity scenes and decorated trees can make your home feel magical around the holiday season. These decorations can also be quite expensive. Decorating your home for Christmas on a budget is possible if you know how to cut costs.
Indoor Christmas Decorating
Create Mantle Decorations
If you have a large living room with a prominent mantle, decorating it can make your entire room look more festive and dramatic. The good news is because mantles are small, you don’t have to do too much to them to make an impact. You can find all of these materials at your local craft store. Decorate the perimeter of the mirror with stick on snowflakes. Line the shelf of the mantle with a string of white lights, allowing them to trail off both sides. Intertwine a garland of greenery with the lights. Find white wooden letters to spell out the word “Noel,” or “Christmas,” for an even more beautiful touch.
You can customize this look by hanging Christmas stockings or icicles from the mantle as well.
Make Door and Wall Decorations
Decorating your doors welcomes your guests with the holiday spirit before they even enter your home. It is also an easy, inexpensive way to bring real holiday cheer to your home. All you need is a few rolls of holiday gift wrap and long, thick ribbon. You will also need large felt bows. While any wrap design will work, metallic papers look the most dramatic. Wrap your door in beautiful gift wrap, using the ribbon and bow to finish the look. You can also wrap empty picture frames and hang them on the wall so it looks as though you have gifts hanging on the wall.
Create Your Own Winter Village
Everyone loves the little train villages that feature miniature houses, town buildings and tiny people. While most people don’t have the space in their homes to create an entire train set-up and village, you can create your own miniature version at home. For this project you will need cotton fluff, wooden crates or shallow boxes, a string of white lights, wooden houses for painting and wood paint. You will also need little accessories like trees, people and dogs. Line the crate with the cotton fluff to mimic the look of snow. Paint the small houses and position trees, buildings and other accessories inside of the crate. Line the crate with white lights for a festive look.
You can also use the same materials to create a nativity scene.
Make Decorative Centerpieces
Centerpieces can be quite dramatic and beautiful without breaking the bank. Gather glass jars, large bowls and Mason™ jars, round Christmas ornaments, battery operated lights, strings of beads and pine cones. Use tall jars and fill them with a mix of the ornaments, pine cones and beads. For a dramatic look, go for ornaments and beads in the same color, or in complimentary colors like red and white or blue and silver.
Use a shallow bowl and add in ornaments, pine cones and beads. Use these on dining tables, in the kitchen and in the front hallway. You can even fill the bowls with holiday scented potpourri or cinnamon for the real smell of the holidays.
Spell Out Holiday Messages in Giant Letters
Every craft store has giant wooden letters that you can use to make your home really pop. Simply get a few letters to spell out your message, then spray paint or wood paint. Spell out the word “JOY” on the wall in your hallway, or the word “NOEL” in the dining room. Some people like to use wreaths in place of the letter “O,” for even more dramatic effect.
Use or Make Decorative Pillows
Pillows are a great, low-cost way to decorate your home on a budget. You can buy pre-made pillows with images of reindeer, snowmen and snowflakes, or you can make your own. Even just buying pillows in holiday colors is enough to make your home go from ordinary to extraordinary. You can even decorate your own holiday pillows by taking pillows in plain colors and adorning them with felt snowflakes, icicles or bears. To create your own pillows, you will need felt, cotton inserts, a plain pillow cover and a sewing machine. You can also use a hot glue gun to attach your appliques to the pillows.
Dress Up the Kitchen
One of the easiest places to decorate for the holidays is the kitchen. Replace your regular dish towels with ones in festive red and green. Switch to a red table cloth, and decorate your napkins with rings in sparkly silver. Add a bell for an even sweeter touch. Place one of your decorate centerpiece bowls on the table or make your own special tablescape for the season.
Choose a Beautiful Tree and Accessorize
If you are going to feature an artificial tree, try a flocked tree. Flocked trees are beautiful as they appear to have snow resting on the branches. You can get inexpensive, pre-lit flocked trees at most discount retailers. Flocked trees can also help you to save money on decorations, as they are already decorative. Use a white tree skirt to mimic the look of fresh fallen snow. Reuse items you already have around the house like old ice skates, an old wooden sled or a red wagon for a classic look.
Involve the Kids
If you have kids in your home, put them to work on creating the decor. They can make garlands from paper, beautiful snowflakes for the windows or cut out Santas for the door. Give them a bucket of silver bells and have them tie them on to banisters, door knobs and window sills. Kids can be quite creative when it comes to decorating, so save money on your decor by enlisting them to help out.
Use Lights and Candles
Lights and candles can give your home a soft glow and an ethereal look. Use candle lanterns and battery operated candles and position them at the base of your couch, near the stairs and on the mantle. String lights around the tops of windows or bunch them in clusters and stuff them into clear jars. You can also use battery operated candles in your outdoor decor to welcome guests to your festive home. Lights really bring all of your holiday decor together, so use them to make even the most basic decor look like a million bucks.
Decorate With Holiday Treats
If you are hosting a holiday party, create a cheese and cracker tray in the shape of a Christmas tree, or use plates of gingerbread cookies as home decor. Make mugs of hot chocolate and top them with jumbo marshmallows. Yule logs, horns of plenty and fruit displays look beautiful on your decorated table. For a more sophisticated look, make a cheese board complete with cured meats, hard and soft cheeses, grapes, nuts and pomegranate arils for a colourful and delicious spread. Of course, you can always go with the traditional gingerbread house, which is always a crowd favorite.
Set a Holiday Mood
In addition to simply decorating your home, you can make it a feast for the senses. If you have guests coming over, boil a pot of water and add fresh lemons, vanilla extract and cinnamon. Your house will smell like freshly baked cookies and happiness. Tune to a festive holiday station and enjoy the sounds of the season. If you don’t have a fireplace, you can still enjoy a crackling fire in your living room. Netflix and Hulu have programs called “Yule Log” that feature a realistic-looking fireplace that you can display on your screen.
Decorating the Outside of Your Home on a Budget
Create Beautiful Door Decor
The front door is the first thing that your guests will see when they enter your home, so this is a good place to start with your outdoor decoration. Drape a fresh garland around the doorway to add both a dramatic look and earthy smell to your front door. Create your own wreath from ice skates, bows, spools of thread or citrus fruits for a beautiful, yet inexpensive look.
Use Your Existing Foliage
If you already have bushes, planters or other foliage in your yard, you can use that as a low-cost way to create simple, yet beautiful design. String white lights in your bushes or use galvanized planters for a classy look. Use a stack of hay bales as an impromptu tree and plant a lone star at the top. Trim branches from your pine trees and use them to decorate your window panes.
Create a Winter Wonderland on Your Porch
You don’t have to go all out with expensive lights displays to enjoy a dramatic, festive look. Create a winter wonderland on your porch with re-purposed household goods. Old ice skates, a pair of rubber boots that double as a planter, vintage soda crates and red wagons make your porch look fantastic. Place white rocking chairs on your porch and adorn them with red plaid blankets and pillows. The smallest details can make a big impact, so get creative and save your budget.
Make Your Own Large Ornaments
One of the best ways to make a real holiday statement is with over-sized Christmas ornaments. To make large ornaments, you simply need childrens’ large bouncy balls, metal pie pans, adhesive and thick wire. Simply attach the pie pan to the ball with the adhesive, and create a hole to string the wire through. These ornaments are festive and fun, and are so huge that you can easily see them from a distance.
There are many tutorials online for making your own ornaments, from using old tires to making candy cane ornaments.
How to Save Money on Christmas Decorations
The best time to buy Christmas decorations is right after Christmas, or just before the holiday. Stock up on decorations, wrapping paper and lights when stores start slashing their prices in mid-December.
Buy at Thrift Stores
You can find some great buys at thrift stores when it comes to your Christmas decor. Old pairs of ice skates look amazing in your holiday display, and you can find them for less than $5 a pair in most secondhand stores. Estate sales are also great places to find full sets of silver tableware, artificial trees and other Christmas elements. If you are going for a classy, vintage look, secondhand Christmas decorations are a great buy.
If you are going for a complete decor scheme, complete with outdoor lighting and fully-decorated trees, consider renting your decorations. There are many companies that rent outdoor decor like toy soldiers, lights displays set to music and full sleds complete with life-sized Santa and flying reindeer. Many large cities have companies that specialize in renting holiday decorations.
Shop at the Dollar Store
If you are crafty and have an eye for re-purposing every day items, the dollar store is a goldmine. You can find glass jars, candlesticks, wooden letters, glue, craft sticks and garlands. The dollar store is also a good place to find your storage containers that you will need to pack away all of your supplies after the holidays are over.
Alternate Between Splurging and Saving
Perhaps there is a Christmas tree that you absolutely must have, but it’s a bit pricey. Splurge on the tree while buying the decorations and lights from a discount store or a second-hand shop. Save money by renting lights and outdoor decor while spending a bit more on your indoor decor.
When it comes to saving money on Christmas decorations, there are many ways to create your own decor or simply save money on pre-made decor. Whether you want to create your own tablescapes, build a custom Nativity scene or rent a full-sized sled for your front yard, there are amazing ways to create your Christmas look without breaking the bank.