Deck the Halls on a Shoestring Budget

Somehow you manage to find ways to save money on gifts, food and travel during the holiday season by taking advantage of coupon offers and Black Friday sales, but what about the exorbitant cost of those holiday decorations? 

These types of expenditures are rarely on sale before and during the holidays, and, unless you took advantage of the after Christmas sales last year, you’ll likely be paying full price to deck your halls this year.

With a little ingenuity, you can decorate your home for the holidays with flair – without breaking your bank account.

Use materials from your back yard. Collect thin branches, spray paint them white or gold, and place them on display in a heavy vase then decorate with ornaments, lights or tinsel. Use other natural materials to decorate your home, such as evergreen branches, berries, dried fruit or pinecones. There is no right or wrong way to decorate using these materials, so allow your imagination to run free.

Decorate old cans, bottles or jugs. Fill an old milk jug with white lights and decorate the jug to look like a snowman using buttons or markers, then place a stocking hat on top of the jug. Old tin cans can be painted and turned into any Christmas character. Paint the can red and glue a length of an old black belt around it to make Santa’s belly, then fill the can with sprigs of greenery and berries. Paint the can brown and glue branches to both sides for antlers to create a reindeer. Paint three cans white, decorate with buttons or markers and stack one on top of the other to make a snowman. Paint empty wine bottles in Christmas colors to be used as vases for flower arrangements. Or, paint each bottle with one letter to spell out the words peace or joy. Place Christmas lights inside the wine bottles to create a beautiful lit display.

Even Ebenezer Scrooge would approve 
of these low-cost decorating ideas.

Repurpose gift wrap. Art around your house or on the walls can be decorated with any extra festive gift wrap you have on hand.  

Reuse holiday bows. Glue small red bows to wire or styrofoam wreaths, add small ornaments and greenery to greet your holiday guests with cheer.

Decorate with leftover ball ornaments. Paint ornaments with Christmas scenes, or, fill a large vase or punch bowl with ornaments, candles or Christmas lights to create a beautiful and easy centerpiece.

Tie a ribbon ‘round it. Everything looks more festive decorated with ribbon. Take an ornament and tie a long piece of ribbon in a bow around the cap where you would normally use a hook. Arrange ornaments of various sizes on your mantle or table, hang them on bushes and branches outdoors or on your Christmas tree.

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