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holiday decorating on a budget

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I pretty much purchased everything that I needed (or wanted ) last year on sale (thrift, hobby lobby w/ coupons, kohl's w/ coupons), but may need a couple of new things this year like garland, bows, etc.,

So, where do you shop? How much do you normally spend? Do you make a lot of stuff homemade? I plan on doing some homemade ornaments with DS1 this year and our gift to the grandparents, uncle and family friend will possibly be homemade or we'll have a family picture taken and the frame could be decorated by DS1.....
post #2 of 19
I don't have a lot, I'm slowly picking up stuff each year when it goes on clearance. To be honest I don't even know what I have boxes up to put out! It'll be a surprise December 1 when me and dd decorate
post #3 of 19
subbing
post #4 of 19
I have a lot of stuff that I just reuse in different ways every year. As far as bows are concerned, I buy ribbon on clearance and make my own. I use the same ones year after year but in different places or ways. I also like to decorate with found nature objects and trimmings from trees/bushes in the backyard. We live in the NE so there is pine/holly etc. all around. I also get pine boughs from the local nursery that sells x-mas trees. Usually any place that sells trees trims the bottom branches off for customers and I just ask if I can take some of the branches. I've also found that tying some red ribbon around anything immediately makes it seem like I decorated for the holidays
post #5 of 19
I don't have a lot of stuff...most of my decorations are ornaments for the Christmas tree, or something that was a gift (like snow globes and a nativity set). Last year, though, I was too stressed-out and tired to dig out all of the ornaments, so I decorated the tree in what I call "kid-style" with simple, colorful paper chains (from leftover scrapbook and construction paper), real candy canes, paper snowflakes, popcorn and gumdrop garlands, a few other homemade ornaments, and a star tree topper made from nice scrapbook paper and aluminum foil. It was THE BEST tree ever. And cheap, too. The only things I bought were the candy canes and gumdrops.

I also love to have amaryllis, paperwhites, poinsettias, and lots of greenery and white lights around.

I do love hobby lobby, though. I have to really watch myself around all the cute Christmas stuff, though just thinking about having to find a place to store all of that *stuff* usually keeps me in check.
post #6 of 19
My rule is unless its 90% off I dont buy it for Holiday stuff. Really any basic type thing can be made holiday for alot less then what is charged for a 'holiday' item. Once you take stock of what you have, I doubt you will 'need' to buy anything.
post #7 of 19
We do a lot of homemade - paper chains, ornaments, pictures the kids drew in holiday colors, etc. I don't buy live decorations except we do buy a tree. We save our ornaments/decor every year and reuse it. You could make stars from pie plates, etc.

We save bows and paper each year, when possible. I have a bin in the garage where they go, and I haven't had to buy bows in longer than I can remember. Are you near anyplace where you can scrounge nature? Like, pinecones and evergreen sprigs? Those are lovely and also can be used to decorate presents if they are not too sap-sticky. Or sparkly scraps (like old ratty garland) can be used to make puffs that look nice on gifts. A teensy paper chain would be very cute. There are lots of ways to decorate a present without bows.

To my mind, if it's holiday colors (red/green/white and possibly gold/silver) and feels tasteful to me, it's fair game. I have my kids make our Christmas cards (just drawings in these colors) and they decorate wrapping paper sometimes, too. People love it.

Just me, but new decorations are not something I'd spend money on if money was tight. If I felt I really "needed" something new, I would scour thrift shops closer to Christmas, put something on Freecycle (lots of people have extra holiday stuff stored away and seem to be happy to pass it on...)

But maybe you have some extra $ and can find a deal. Dollar store? The Christmas Tree Shops? Good luck.
post #8 of 19
What types of things are you looking for?

I concur that the best time to shop is after Christmas OR Black Friday.

Last year we bought a real tree, real garland, and a wreath from Lowes the day after Thanksgiving...I think I spent $50 total.

The tree was SO fresh...we leave the week before Xmas, so it's nice to enjoy our decorated home until then although the day after Thanksgiving may be too early for some to get a tree. With that said, we left all of the stuff up for the two weeks we were gone, so the tree lasted 5 weeks...it still looked good and was not totally losing needles.

Cracker Barrell has FANTASTIC sales after Christmas and I bought a lot of ornaments there one year... I think I spent like $20 and I have ornaments for an entire tree!

Ikea has beautiful things in more natural colors. I bought three lanterns there that are black and put white candles in them...they are going to be used year round, but I can quickly put them with some other holiday decor and they are no Christmas. Ikea also has really nice taper candles and holders...I bought a bunch of little glass holders for the taper candles for $.50 each!
post #9 of 19
All holiday decorations are purchased when they're on sale. I love to shop right after the holidays and take advantage or those deals. If I need something and I can't get it on sale, I check to see if Michaels or AC Moore has it and use a 40 or 50% off coupon or I figure out how to make it myself.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by holidaymama View Post
What types of things are you looking for?

I concur that the best time to shop is after Christmas OR Black Friday.

Last year we bought a real tree, real garland, and a wreath from Lowes the day after Thanksgiving...I think I spent $50 total.

The tree was SO fresh...we leave the week before Xmas, so it's nice to enjoy our decorated home until then although the day after Thanksgiving may be too early for some to get a tree. With that said, we left all of the stuff up for the two weeks we were gone, so the tree lasted 5 weeks...it still looked good and was not totally losing needles.

Cracker Barrell has FANTASTIC sales after Christmas and I bought a lot of ornaments there one year... I think I spent like $20 and I have ornaments for an entire tree!

Ikea has beautiful things in more natural colors. I bought three lanterns there that are black and put white candles in them...they are going to be used year round, but I can quickly put them with some other holiday decor and they are no Christmas. Ikea also has really nice taper candles and holders...I bought a bunch of little glass holders for the taper candles for $.50 each!
I'm looking for some nice garland that I can put on the banister, around the front door (inside and out) and on top of the mantel. I got some last year from Home Depot, but it's then and just looks stringy. I want something with luster and something that I can add bows or pinecones to or whatever else I can find. Also, something that I can use over and over every year.

I have the decorations that I want. I would also like to start collecting different types of Christmas trees - but that's not on top of my list right now. If I find them cheap, then great.

I really tried looking at garage sales over the summer and Fall and only found a few candle holders - nothing much more. Everything else was out dated.
post #11 of 19
I shop at Michael's when they have their things on sale and have a 10 or 20% off your total purchase coupon too. I do garland down my bannister and swags over the door too, I pair the mid-range garland with lots and lots of different picks, tin ornaments, homespun fabric strips, all sorts of things. I am kind of eclectic when it comes to decorating. I like to get lots of mileage out of a few key signature pieces, like my black candlesticks. From September-October they have little mini-pumpkins instead of candles. For December-February they have red and white pillars, the rest of the year I stick with white. Sometimes I put a little cuff of scrapbook paper around the bottom 1/4 for 4th of July, St. Patrick's Day, etc.

I also like to wrap our framed photos and wall art in Christmas wrapping paper. It's just a little added color and people always comment on how festive my house is.
post #12 of 19
This isn't what you asked about, but one of my favorite holiday decorations is a pack of glass ornaments (balls, in shiny reds, greens, silver & gold) in a glass bowl. It looks so pretty, and is really inexpensive. During the fall, I fill the same bowl with little gourds, acorns and other fallish items.

I still get a fair number of Holiday cards from friends and family members, and I tape them to a wall (using blue painters tape, so as not to hurt the wall) to make a card wall.
post #13 of 19
This year I've discovered felt, and have made all sorts of garlands and stuff out of different shapes cut and sewn out of felt. It doesn't take that long, and looks rustic (the look I'm going for). I've also found tutorials for felt trees. Clear glass balls can be made for your house with just the addtion of a few drops of acrylic paint.

http://naturalsuburbia.blogspot.com/...-tutorial.html

Christmas isn't about the money you spend anyway, but the time with your family!
post #14 of 19
Totally love those felt trees! I think even with my sub-par sewing skills, I could handle those.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by coyotemist View Post
This year I've discovered felt, and have made all sorts of garlands and stuff out of different shapes cut and sewn out of felt. It doesn't take that long, and looks rustic (the look I'm going for). I've also found tutorials for felt trees. Clear glass balls can be made for your house with just the addtion of a few drops of acrylic paint.

http://naturalsuburbia.blogspot.com/...-tutorial.html

Christmas isn't about the money you spend anyway, but the time with your family!
LOVE THE TREES!! Thank you for sharing. Such a neat and easy idea, I could totally handle this! Thanks again!
post #16 of 19
I will fess up and admit I don't really like holiday decorations. We do a real tree, with our ornaments we've collected over the years, an advent calendar and one other hanging mobile type thing. Thats about it. The lights on the tree with candles lite is all I need.
post #17 of 19
I don't have a tree this year (no point with a spirited two year old, and since I'm hugely pregnant I don't have the energy to rearrange furniture for one either) but my decorations are already up and I've spent very little. I had stockings (dh's and mine bought at walmart years ago after Christmas, dd's at a yard sales, and ds's at a consignment store), a handful of ornaments, a couple ornament hangers from the dollar tree, a wreath, an angel, and a few odds and ends.

I made a centerpiece on my console table with a huge pillar candle I already had and my wreath sitting around it. I put my tree skirt under that as a tablecloth. I put my angel and some other decor on my desk hutch, and used our Christmas movies and books as decor. I put a handful of ornaments in a margarita glass I already had and placed some pretty candleholders on the shelves as well. I hung my stockings in the hallway above a narrow table that holds family photos. I also placed the ornament holders in front of the photos.

Then I went to the store this weekend and bought some Christmas themed paper plates, a couple bows, and some wall decals. I made a Christmas tree with the plates on my wall so we'll have a festive place for "Santa" to leave gifts. I hung the decals on a big wall that just needed a little something and I used one bow as a tree topper and another as door decoration (I hung it on the wreath's hanger).

I happened to find some paper ornaments for my "tree" and since I had to tack them on there I am going to get some more tiny bows this weekend and tie them to the tacks to hide them. Going for that bows tied on the end of branches look.

I spent ten dollars out of pocket so far. I'll probably spend another five on more bows. The only thing I MIGHT not be able to use next year is the paper plates, but everything else will get recycled one way or another. Even if I had bought everything new, decorwise, it probably wouldn't cost more than fifty bucks or so. It's simpler than in years past, but nothing is breakable, nothing is too cluttered, and everything is merry and bright.

You'd be suprised how far some simple red and green ribbon, bows, etc will go with your everyday items and decor.
post #18 of 19
I already have my christmas tree up - I put it up on halloween night ..

One of my favorite christmas decor tips is DH goes out and cuts vines and greenery and berries -- and I do it up in 2 big bouquets (so all free) and then I buy 2 huge red bows from the dollar store and tie to them and we have them hanging from lanterns out front of our house.. we always get compliments as they look so striking... total cost $2
post #19 of 19

I was really surprised to find that Dollar General store had a lot of beautiful ornaments/decorations for very cheap prices! We went  last night for something else and couldn't believe the prices. We don't have ANY decorations right now since we just threw everything away when we moved so this will definitely help us to get a start. Also I've started seeing posts for christmas stuff on craigslist and on freecycle. I loove the ideas on this thread and can't wait to try them out!
 

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