Is it just me, or is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas? To be honest though, I’ve been playing Christmas songs since early November, and I’m not ashamed to admit that.
I love Christmas, and I love decorating for Christmas. However, if you don’t know what you want, Christmas decorations can end up being really expensive, especially if you are staring from scratch.
Something that didn’t make it to Italy when we moved were our decorations from our London flat, I donated them to the school where I was working before we moved. That means however, that we have to start all over again this year and get a new tree, lights, baubles and more. While I’m not complaining, I love the idea of going Christmas decoration shopping, it does mean it’s an extra expense during an already expensive time of the year.
So, today I am sharing eight budget friendly and DIY Christmas decor ideas from my favourite place for inspiration: Pinterest.
Fairy-lights are the essence of Christmas decorations if you ask me, you can’t have a Christmas tree without lights so really you can’t have Christmas without lights, it just wouldn’t be the same. Fairy-lights are easy to come by now-a-days and available all year round, which means you can get your hands on some really gorgeous ones at really reasonable prices. You don’t just have to keep the lights on the tree either, you can use them to decorate just about anything from mantles to stair banisters. Use them to light up your table setting, or thread them into jars to create DIY nightlights; the possibilities are endless.
With oranges being in season in the winter there is literally no more affordable a decoration than this fruit. You don’t have to buy them already dried (that will probably cost you more anyway), it’s easy enough to dry them yourself at home. All you need is a bag of oranges, a sharp knife and an oven. Slice the oranges into pieces no more than 1cm thick and lay them out on kitchen towel or a clean tea towel. Place more kitchen towel or another tea towel over the top of the slices and press down to absorb as much juice as possible. Place them directly onto the wire racks in a preheated oven at 120°C and bake for 3-4 hours.
Baubles are ridiculously inexpensive decorations that can look really effective, and not just on your Christmas tree. The trick to making them look chic and more than they are worth is sticking to a colour theme, I like to go with golds. You can use them to make garlands or festive bunting by threading them onto stringing and hanging them up. If you own a hot glue gun you can use them to turn a pool noodle into a Christmas wreath; simply glue both ends of the pool noodle together to make a ring, then glue your baubles onto the ring until it is completely covered.
Garlands are a great way to add a Christmas touch to doorways, stair banisters, mantles and shelves. You can of course buy them in shops, and depending on where you go they tend to be pretty reasonably priced, but if you need a lot, it can add up quickly. Alternatively you can make your own using fresh holly, pine branches and mistletoe. Another option is to go to a florist and purchase individual pieces of false leaves and pine branches, which will be much cheaper than directly buying something being marketed as a Christmas decoration.
Repurpose empty vases
Winter time isn’t the best time for buying fresh flowers, so more than likely you’ll have a few empty vase sitting around your house doing nothing at this time of year. Why not repurpose them to hold Christmas decorations to create table centrepieces, or just whole new decorations in themselves. You could fill them with pine cones, fairy-lights, baubles, holly branches and pine branches, candles or all of the above.
The fruit and spices in season at this time of year can be used to make decorations that will also make you home smell gorgeous. Make your own potpourri with cinnamon sticks, dried orange slices and star-anise. Fill jars with red berries, oranges, rosemary and cloves then top up with water and place a tea light candle on top for a homemade scented candle of sorts. Or create your own room fragrance by simmering winter fruits and spices in a pan.
Go to the park or take a walk in the woods and you are bound to come across a pine cone or two that can be used as a Christmas decoration. String them up as they are to hang on your tree or dip them in white paint to create a snow dusted effect. Spray them with adhesive and then sprinkle them with glitter for a little more sparkle. Add them to your garlands or scatter across your table setting. You can even use them to create festive placeholders by attaching labels with your guest’s names.
Finally you can’t go wrong at Christmas with some peppermint candy canes, they are so easy to get your hands on and really cheap too. They look gorgeous used as tree decorations, or you can string them up to make candy cane bunting. Again, by attaching labels to them with your guest’s names, you can make keepsake festive placeholders for Christmas dinner. Decorate your table or coffee table by standing them into glasses and jars with ribbons tied round them as an extra touch.