Celebrating holidays doesn’t have to mean breaking the bank. I love to do a different theme or color story every year with our tree and Christmas decor. Those who know me know how thrifty I am when it comes to shopping, and holidays are no different. I don’t go out of my way to spend money, I look for the best discounts and deals, or any way I can refresh and renew the things I already have.
These days, you’d be surprised what fun finds are just waiting to be found at dollar stores, thrift stores and the discount sections of major retailers. Not only that, you can always re-use what you’ve already got by transforming them with some craft supplies and ingenuity.
I’ve always wanted a little Christmas Village, but those ceramic houses and teensy figurines can really add up! Thankfully, this year I found some cute ceramic houses in Target’s Bullseye Playground for $5 each, and a package of 2 for $5, plus had a holiday coupon which brought the price down even further.
These green glass trees were $1 each at Target, and a package of these four mini bottlebrush trees were only $1!
I also found this cute battery powered strand of bulbs with little bottlebrush trees and snow in the same area for $3. I added taller bottlebrush trees in the back I’ve found on clearance previous years. Add some faux snow with quilt stuffing I had lying around, and voila! My grand total for this little Christmas Village display was under $25.
In my previous posts, I’ve talked about how inexpensive and handy paint can be around the holidays in transforming ornaments and decorations you might already have. In many instances, it’s much less expensive to purchase craft paint or discounted “oopsie” paint at hardware stores and put in a little time and effort than it is going out an buying all new things.
Here are some ornaments and pinecones I painted in previous year’s Christmas decorations. A collection of acorns in a recycled jar also gives some free decor.
A little gold craft paint also transformed these large pinecones to give some contrast among the candles and greenery.
I used paint to change things like lighting elements. I wanted these outdoor bulbs to have more of a frosted look for my tree, so a light wash of white acrylic paint is what I went for.
Paint can also transform things you might not necessarily associate with Christmas decor like these empty frames I painted the same color and grouped together on the mantle. Another effective and low-cost DIY is using white spray paint to “flock” greenery like I did here with this Dollar Tree green swag before hot gluing ornaments onto it (also from Dollar Tree) and putting it up on the mantle.
Making ornaments is also a fun, hands-on way of adding some personal elements to your decor without spending a lot of money.
Some craft ribbon I had on hand, cinnamon sticks, repurposed mini pinecones and greenery from broken ornaments transforms with a little hot glue into a fun, lovely scented ornament for our tree.
Some wooden craft beads, string and a little red bow makes a fun little ornament that comes in handy when I want to diffuse some “Christmasy” essential oils. A couple drops on the wood ornament, and the entire tree has a wonderful aroma.
Repurposing a few glass jars with spray adhesive and epsom salts gives them a whole new life.
I’ve seen many people selling or giving away trees, ornaments and decor on local websites and community forums, so always look there first if you are in need of things and don’t want to spend a lot.
My biggest tip is to try to plan ahead. I always have an idea of what I want to do for the next year, so that when seasonal decor goes on clearance, I can try to snag whatever I may need at the best price.