Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 frugal ways to decorate for the holidays

The holidays are approaching and it's time that we deck the halls to celebrate. Sometimes that stuff is expensive or the decorating ideas that we have cannot be realized with the budget. But, no fear! Here are 10 ideas of how to decorate on a tiny budget.
  1. Pine cones: take a trip to the local park or an area that has lots of pine trees with a few garbage bags or boxes and collect the nice pine cones. Really look them over for bugs, mold or any imperfections before bagging them. Bring them home and wash them in a sink of hot water (when I did this, they closed up but reopened as they dried a day later). Then, use them in leftover planters, vases or jars tied with ribbon.
  2. Cookies: make a few batches of sugar cookies and decorate them with icing done in your Christmas colors. Before baking them though, put a hole in the top with a wooden skewer. Do designs like snowmen, reindeer, snowflakes, ornaments, or words. Once the icing is dry, string them up with leftover yarn, ribbon or twine and decorate the tree with them. Or, just display them on nice cake stands on the table.
  3. Food: create nice displays around the house with clementines, apples, or other seasonal fruit and vegetables. Use vases, jars or cake plates and place them carefully. If you really want to get into this, cover the items with powdered sugar or salt to create the glittery effect.
  4. Stockings: make this year's stockings out of old sweaters, t-shirts or button-up shirts. If they aren't the right color, you can buy fabric dye and follow the package instructions to dye the fabric. Sew up with a sewing machine and decorate with ribbon or felt accents.
  5. Centrepieces: take some mixing bowls and fill them with Christmas ball ornaments, pine cones, greenery or other items. Or, pack them with a mix of Christmas ball ornaments, apples and other items. Place in the centre of the table. Also, add bowls or planters of ornaments to end tables, magazine tables and other places around the house.
  6. Wrappings: try some of the tips in my post about green wrappings along with embellishments like yarn pompoms, Christmas ribbon made from old shirts and other festive touches.
  7. Tree: get an artificial tree with lights so that you buy it once and use it for at least 10-15 years. Decorate with ornaments, cookies, gingerbread men, pine cones or (if you want to be really traditional) strings of popcorn or cranberries. You could also decorate with paper snowflakes made out of white paper, dolls, clocks, etc. The options are endless, but start with your favorite colors and a theme.
  8. Table: use a clean white tablecloth and use your best dishes but have little touches here and there like candles, decorated paper tags for guests, napkin rings, etc. The food should speak for itself, you don't have to have the table fully decked to the nines.
  9. Rooms: add a little touch of the holidays to every room like a special cup towel in the kitchen, or towels in the bathroom. As long as everything is clean and organized, it looks fabulous and doesn't cost hardly anything. You could even do this with well-placed Christmas cards that you received.
  10. Outside: depending on your location, try LED lights and topiaries. Or, you could make a wreath out of leftover strips of fabric in your color theme wrapped around a Styrofoam wreath form. You can also put out bowls of ornaments by the entrance.

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