Email Post to a Friend: Christmas Decorating on a Budget

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While there's nothing more magical than transforming your home into an enchanting and festive holiday wonderland to get you into the Christmas spirit, doing so can often be costly. But the best holiday décor is not always the most expensive, and if you make your own or get a little thrifty, it's cheaper and better for the environment. An added bonus: if you go the DIY route, you can recruit friends and family members to help you make keepsakes while enjoying one another's company, assuring each piece has a special memory tied to it.  

So no matter your style, here are some fun DIY and low-cost Christmas decorating ideas to help you deck the halls while staying on budget. Read on to get inspired! 

DIY Button Garland with Tassels 

Have you seen those farmhouse wooden bead garlands that are so popular in home décor stores? Why not make something similar with items you might already have? These garlands are perfect for wrapping around a Christmas tree, placing on a tablescape, or decorating around your home. Use buttons you have lying around your house, or grab a bag of inexpensive wooden buttons (or beads) from any craft store and let's get started. 


  • 2" x 5" piece of cardboard 
  • butcher's twine 
  • wooden buttons or beads 
  • scissors 


Make the tassels: these will go at both ends of your garland. 

 Take your butcher's twine (don't make any cuts just yet) and hold the loose end against the bottom of the long side of your piece of cardboard. Take the string up and over the top of the cardboard and back down again, and wrap the twine 50 times around the cardboard. 

 Put the scissors through the loop on the bottom where you started the first piece and cut all of the strings across that bottom side. 

 Take a 10' long piece of twine and tie a knot around the bend (middle) of your cut pieces. 

 Next, take a separate piece of twine about 2' long and wrap it around the bundle about 20 times. Knot the end to make sure it's secure. Trim off any excess. 

 Now we're ready to get those buttons on!  

 Thread the long end of the 10' piece of twine through the back of one button and then back through the opposite side of the same button (or beads if you're using those). The twine should start and end on the back of the button. Repeat this process until you're either out of buttons or are 6" from the end of the twine. You can decide how close you want the buttons together. 

 Take the roll of twine and hold the loose end against the bottom of the long side of your piece of cardboard. Repeat step one for tassel #2.  

 Simply attach your garland to the second tassel and voilà:  you have a beautiful farmhouse garland. Paint the wooden beads or leave them raw – but whatever you choose to do, have FUN!  

 Let Nature Be Your Decorator 

Take hints from Mother Nature as the beauty that surrounds us in December includes pinecones, tree boughs, evergreen branches, berries, and if you live near the beach: seashells. Make decorating on a budget fun by planning a walk in the woods or on the beach to collect natural décor to bring inside. Tree boughs are an easy way to make your home look and smell festive, while pinecones and seashells have a wide variety of options for using as décor.  

 Collect some branches and spray-paint them in white, silver, gold, or whatever color you want, then arrange them in a vase for a wintry bouquet. Choose a clear container and fill it with pinecones, seashells, and/or berries for a rustic centerpiece or swag fragrant evergreen boughs across your mantle, a window, or even on top of a dining room hutch or buffet. The cost is practically free while the result is priceless.  

Buy Décor from Thrift Stores or Flea Markets 

Two great places to shop for budget-friendly Christmas decorations are flea markets and thrift stores, but you have to be willing to dig and scour for items. Think of it as a fun-filled treasure-hunt! Great things to search for at flea markets are nativity sets, vintage ornaments, plaid blankets, and old Santa mugs. Carve out a Saturday afternoon and treasure-hunt-away!  

 Make Your Own Wooden Ornaments/Gift-Tags/Wine Bottle Tags 

Most craft stores sell unfinished wooden ornaments and cut-outs in shapes like Christmas trees, stars, snowmen – you name it – for one or two dollars apiece. Pick up some small bottles of acrylic paint and paint your way into a DIY Christmas frenzy. Craft stores also sell clear-coat finishes, some with built-in glitter, for protection and glam – just think of the possibilities!   

 Place the finished ornaments in a bowl for a festive centerpiece, hang them on your tree, tie them to a gift as a keep-sake tag, or around the neck of a hostess bottle of wine for that holiday soiree you're invited to. For a few dollars and some creativity, the sky is the limit on these DIY ornaments! 

 Use Items You Already Have 

Do you have an old Scrabble game lying around that you and your children have outgrown? With just a few simple supplies and a little creativity, make these whimsical and unique ornaments. 


Scrabble Letters 

Super Glue 

Red and Green Ribbon 


Jingle Bells (optional) 

Needle and Thread (optional) 


1.) Start by laying out a piece of ribbon and placing your scrabble tiles to spell out words like "JINGLE," "HOLLY," "MERRY," or whatever holiday words you want. Leave extra space on top for a bow if you wish. 

2.) Fold the ribbon in half, tie a piece of twine in a circle and put it through the top of the ribbon, where you made the fold. This will be for hanging. 

3.) Glue the folded ribbon together. 

4.) Whip-stitch a string of bells to the bottom, tie a small bow to the top, or leave it as-is. 

5.) Hang on your tree by the twine ring! 

 Give New Life to Old Christmas Ornaments 

If you're tired of hanging the same Christmas ornaments on your tree year after year, rather than buying new ones, try revamping your current ones. Take some silver or gold spray paint (or any color you want), give them a coat or two of paint and you have an entirely new look for this year's tree! 

 Create a Christmas Chandelier 

Nothing is more beautiful than a chandelier adorned with beautiful, festive ornaments, don't you agree? Hang some ornaments in whatever colors you like and enjoy the bright sparkles as you sit at your dinner table.  

 The holidays don't have to be a financial burden on you and your family and with a little creativity, your home will look like your very own Winter Wonderland in no time. From all of us at Watson Realty Corp. have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!  

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