The weather is getting colder. The days are getting shorter. Before you know it, Christmas will be here.
While you are in the hunt for gifts, it can be very tempting to add a number of Christmas decorations to your shopping cart to make your home look cheerful and bright. But the cost of Christmas decorations is often overlooked when creating your vacation budget – and you end up spending a lot more than you thought.
To avoid those post-vacation regrets, consider these low-budget suggestions for decorating for Christmas.
23 ideas for cheap Christmas decorations
Decorate the halls without ruining your finances. Here are 23 festive ideas for inexpensive Christmas decorations.
1. Christmas trees on the wall
A flat Christmas tree on the wall is a great space and money saver. You can make wall Christmas trees out of a string of lights, a garland, a large piece of felt, or even washi tape. Read this article from Apartment Therapy for ideas. With or without a tree top it looks festive!
2. Get an artificial Christmas tree
Packing up on a snowy day to go to the Christmas tree farm and cut the perfect tree might be a sweet vacation getaway, but you will get more bang for your buck by opting for an artificial Christmas tree. Now, artificial trees themselves can get expensive depending on the size and type you choose. However, you can reuse the tree for years to come instead of having to put it on the curb at the start of the new year.
3. Get a small tree
Instead of buying an expensive 7 foot tree, you can save money by buying a much smaller tree that will fit on your tabletop. Not only do you save less for the tree, but you also save the amount of lights and ornaments you need for decoration.
Garland is an inexpensive Christmas decoration that instantly adds the Christmas cheer to a room. In addition to threading garlands around your Christmas tree, you can hang string of garlands over your coat, over your doors, around your window frames, or around the railing of your stairs. Instead of buying your garland, you can make your own using natural elements like dried citrus and pine cones, construction paper, popcorn, or cheap ball ornaments.
5. DIY ornaments
Forget the store-bought ornaments and grab your hot glue gun. Create wonderful holiday memories while making ornaments to hang on your tree or use as decorations around the house. Check out this post on Good Housekeeping for over 75 DIY Christmas decorations ideas.
6. Sparkling lights
A string of lights can really spread the holiday mood. To save money, opt for shorter strings of lights to cover smaller areas – like a window or piece of mantle, rather than along your gutters or around a 7 foot tree. You can also use a string of lights on a blank strip of wall in the shape of a star or spell “Merry Christmas” in italics.
7. Window sticker
Beautify your windows with seasonal stickers. You can find window stickers with snowflakes, ornaments, gingerbread men, and more in the Dollar Store, craft stores, and major retailers like Walmart or Amazon. If stored properly, you can even use them again for the next year.
Candles are an easy and inexpensive way to add a little Christmas cheer to a room. Create a table landscape with red, green, white or gold candles – or place them on the mantelpiece or a wide window sill. Put battery-powered votive candles in mason jars painted in holiday colors for a flame-free decorating option.
9. Decorate your doors
Turn your doors into the greatest gifts ever by covering them with wrapping paper. You can decorate your interior doors as well as your front door with wrapping paper. Add a ribbon or large bow for extra ornament.
10. Bells around door handles
In addition to making your home look festive, make your home sound festive by tying jingle bells on a red or green ribbon and then wrapping them around your doorknobs. Whenever someone opens a door, the children in the house look over their shoulders to see if Santa Claus is coming.
11. Decorate with ribbon
You can’t just use ribbons for gift wrapping. Take a thick ribbon in Christmas colors such as red, green or gold and use it to make bows to hang on your Christmas tree, coat and even on doorknobs or drawer handles. Tie them around a glass vase with a candle inside for an easy Christmas centerpiece.
12. Wrap empty boxes
Talk about simple Christmas decorations that will make your home happy. You can also stack your wrapped gift items in an empty corner, at the foot of your stairs, or on your porch.
13. Christmas Card Advertisement
A cheap and easy way to add a little Christmas cheer to your home is to create a pretty presentation with the Christmas cards you get from family and friends. You can shape your cards in the shape of a wreath or Christmas tree, or attach them to a ribbon to hang on your banister along with lights or garlands. You can fill out your ad by purchasing some dollar business cards.
14. Design your own advent calendar
Instead of buying an advent calendar this year, make your own. This post from Country Living has several ideas. Every day, come up with a small treat, token, or message that you want to open.
15. Gingerbread house
Whether you’re using a kit or making your own gingerbread cookie from scratch, a gingerbread house is a fun holiday project that can serve as a Christmas decoration. Just know, it probably won’t be long – so consider this a temporary decoration!
16. Display your children’s holiday graphics
If you have young children – or grandchildren, nieces, or nephews – use the holiday art pieces they make at school, daycare, or at home to hang on the refrigerator or display on your shelves, fireplaces, or countertops.
17. Create a holiday table landscape
Decorate your dining table to highlight the joy of the holiday season. Cover your table with a red, green or white tablecloth and fill a vase or tray with seasonal elements such as pine cones, holly leaves, cranberries, pine needle branches, jingle bells, candy canes or candles.
18. Sock Snowmen
These winter crafts also doubles as cheap Christmas decorations. You may be able to do it with things you already have at home: white tube socks, rice, buttons, pins, and a piece of cloth. This post from Darkroom and Dearly will tell you exactly how to create them.
19. Candy canes
You can buy boxes of candy canes cheaply at grocery stores or dollar stores this time of year. Fill candy bowls with these red and white striped treats for your table landscape, your coffee table or your side table. Or, instead of buying more expensive ornaments, hang a candy cane or two on your Christmas tree.
21. Fake Snow in Windows
If you dream of a white Christmas but live in a snow-free area, spray snow is a great way to make your winter wonderland dreams come true. You can spray your windows with fake snow for a matte look or spray your front door wreath to make it appear covered in snowflakes. A can of spray snow costs less than $ 10 on Amazon.
22. Flower pot decorations
Add some color to empty flower pots and transform them into an outdoor Christmas decoration. You will need at least three pots of different sizes. Paint them white if you want to make a snowman out of your flower pots or green if you want to make a flower pot Christmas tree. After drying, stack the pots upside down and paint additional decorations, like a face and buttons on your snowman or ornaments and tinsel on your Christmas tree.
23. Light projector
An easy way to illuminate the outside of your home without needing meters of string lights and a ladder is to use a light projector. You can buy one from Amazon, Home Depot, Walmart, and similar retailers for under $ 40.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.