Holiday Decorating for Pennypinchers
by Kathleen Wilson
Holiday Decor on the Tightest Budget
Frugal Holiday Decorating Ideas
Lat Minute Holiday Touches on the Cheap
Let me say this is my favorite reason to decorate! Here you will find the reason this issue is so special, great ideas for the holidays, all of them easy on the pocketbook, and some of them are free! Have a wonderful holiday, and remember to stop every day to "smell the roses"!
For a beautiful outdoor wreath(or indoor) without spending a fortune on craft supplies, try to remember you need not cover the wreath with decoration to make it special. Try just a few craft store "picks" in one corner, with a big bow. Or get some wire star garland (.69 cents at my store)and just wrap it loosely around the wreath. Hot glue some found pinecones to a corner, or try some old wooden ornaments. You also don't necessarily need to buy an expensive evergreen wreath to decorate, and inexpensive grapevine or straw wreath can be dressed up as well.
Spray paint clay pots and saucers a metallic gold for sparkling coasters and utensil or candle holders for the season.
If you have extra lights after stringing the tree, wind some through your potted plants for a special way to bring the sparkle throughout the room.
For a simple but beautiful centerpiece, set three or five candles of different heights in the middle of the table on a tray, then surround the bases of the candles with seasonal items. Low cost ideas? Cuttings from your Christmas tree, or from evergreen trimmings in your yard are a great first layer. Then how about shiny apples, glass ornaments turned hanger side down, found pinecones, nuts, wire star garland, leftover ribbon... By the way, the same idea can be used for Thanksgiving, just substitute fall leaves, squashes, mini pumpkins, etc...
Buy those bags of cranberries when they go on sale for $1, and fill bowls that hold pillar candles, or fill a simple glass of water with them to just a few inches below the top, and put a floating candle in. Nuts can work the same way, but they tend to be more expensive. However, if you have a nut tree in your yard...
Hollow out the center of an apple as a candleholder, and tuck a few tiny greens in between the candle and the apple. Just be sure the flame never comes near the twigs. A little lemon juice sprinkled on the cut part of the apple will help keep it from browning as much.
Have a lot of scrap Christmas fabric from years past? Use it to make a simple square patchwork quilt as a throw for the couch, and add a lot of holiday spirit to the room! (Hint: use old blankets as batting- if you don't have any, check your thrift stores. Just be sure to wash in hot water, and dry at least 20 minutes in your dryer. White flat twin sheets on sale make great backing fabric.)
Cut two of a simple holiday shape from felt, then sew or fuse them together, decorate with permanent markers or fabric paint (if you wish), and hang all over the house! Some very simple shapes could include stars, packages(glue or paint on some ribbon), mittens, snowmen, boots, Christmas trees, stockings, candy canes, gingerbread men (trace them from your cookie cutters) and the list goes on! If you have a rustic theme this year, it's not necessary to embellish them at all!
Place a few inexpensive glass balls in a bowl and embellish with a few sprigs of greenery or some leftover ribbon. If you don't have an extra bowl (it is the holidays, after all!) try decoupaging a box with leftover Christmas wrap, or cover with a little fabric and glue.
Take down your pictures and wrap them like a gift, then hang them back on the wall for great holiday cheer! You don't have to do this all around the house, how about just in the entry, or maybe the dining room?
Place votive or pillar candles on a small mirror used as a tray. Tie sprigs of greens or cinnamon sticks on the candles with ribbon or raffia. Be sure the flame is far enough away from the embellishments!
Make paper trees out of a square of pretty paper, preferably use a paper that is a little stiff. Simply roll the paper into a cone, and glue the edge with a hot glue gun. Perhaps some gold glitter or squiggles of paint to dress them up, and they will be beautiful on your mantel or as a centerpiece with greens. Try experimenting with different colors and textures...this would be a great place to use leftover cardstock or handmade paper! You could also do this with a piece of stiffened fabric.
Tie greens or ornaments to the chandelier with a little Christmas ribbon, just make sure they don't hang low enough for any candles on the table to catch them on fire.
Above all, be creative, and have a wonderful holiday with those you care about!
Take the Next Step:
- Check out our Christmas Countdown Calendar. A 5-week to-do list to help you prepare for Christmas.
- Visit our Pinterest boards for Preparing for a Frugal Holiday Season and DIY Holiday Gift Ideas.
- For inexpensive Christmas gift ideas, please visit The Dollar Stretcher Holiday Page
- For all your Holiday shopping, don't forget to use the ebates cash back site and receive cash back on your purchases.
Discuss "Frugal Decorations" in The Dollar Stretcher Community
Share your thoughts about this article with the editor.
More Tips & Tools to Help You
Live Better...For Less
- 6 cheap, effective home security solutions
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- Top 10 DIY mistakes made by home 'handymen'
- 15 mistakes to avoid when selling your home
- 9 ways to buy furniture for less
- Need a bigger home? How to maximize the space you already have
- Find the best mortgage rates in your area
- 3 ways to use a mortgage calculator
- Mortgage calculator: Calculate your payment and more
- Home equity calculator: HELOC vs. line of credit
- Should I borrow from my home equity?
- How much can additional payments save me on my mortgage?
- Who offers the most home insurance discounts?