These 12 inexpensive Christmas decorating ideas show you how to stretch your decorating dollars around the holidays. Who doesn’t want to spend less and enjoy the holidays more?
All it takes is a little creativity and these 12 easy ideas.
So here’s the story.
Over the years, I’ve enjoyed shopping for Christmas decor at some of my favorite decor stores, only to walk out empty-handed because I just couldn’t justify the cost of a $60 plaid pillow, $45 tree skirt, or over $100 on a pair of metal reindeer.
I love keeping Christmas decor simple and easy so that I can focus my time on faith and family. I’m also am very budget minded around the holidays. I love to deck the halls, but I get a bad case of “price tag gag” when I shop.
I really didn’t want to spend my Christmas budget on decor that I’d enjoy just a few weeks of the year.
Over the years, I’ve collected some creative ways to refresh my decor, spend less money, and lower my stress around decorating for the holidays.
Here is the countdown to my 12 inexpensive Christmas decorating ideas.
Mad for Plaid
12. Decorate with ribbon instead of more expensive traditional greenery.
I always enjoyed draping garland up the staircase, but ours had seen better days and the lights were out in several places. Replacing the greenery would have cost a small fortune, which would have blown the decorating budget in to smithereens. Sad face!
When I saw this gorgeous wired ribbon, I knew I had found a great alternative. For $30, I wrapped the entire staircase in ribbons and bows.
I got five spools of wide ribbon for $5.99 a piece. You could probably find it for less using coupons at craft stores.
I attached groups of three gold ornaments to each bow using floral wire that I already had on hand. A box of 30 ornaments only cost $15 dollars at the dollar store.
This staircase makeover cost $45, and I saved over $100 by nixing the garland.
Oh, Christmas Tree!
11. DIY topiary trees are easy and inexpensive.
There are wonderful tutorials for these tomato cage trees all over Pinterest, and they are super affordable. I picked my tomato cages up at Home Depot, grabbed a few strands of lights at Target, and started wrapping the wire cage with lighted garland. I could have spent hundreds of dollars on topiary trees, but these cost only about $10 a piece.
The tomato cages extend deep into the potting soil, and that keep the trees stable during strong winds.
10. Use paper mache craft figures in your decor.
I love all the gorgeous metal and porcelain animal sculptures in the stores. I had my eye on some reindeer figures, but they were very expensive.
However, paper mache craft items are much less expensive. I bought two brown paper mache reindeer on sale for $4 each and sprayed them white. After adding gold ribbon scarves, these two reindeer figures cost $5 each and only took 3o minutes to make.
You can find paper mache decor at Michael’s, including ornaments, gift boxes, letters, and stars.
It’s a big bang for small bucks, don’t you think? Get it? Bucks? Reindeer? Yeah….I crack myself up
All Wrapped Up in Ribbons and Bows
9. Add Presents and bows in Unexpected Places
Instead of replacing your decor with Christmas items, consider adding a bow or wrapped gift box to your existing decor. If you have wreaths already displayed, such as burlap or boxwood, simply add Christmas items to match your existing color scheme.
I simply tucked little blue presents into the center of the burlap wreaths that hang in the family room. The small boxes were part of a candy gift set, so they cost absolutely nothing and took about 10 seconds to hang.
You can find adorable gift boxes at dollar stores, or wrap little boxes yourself. Add them in unexpected places, such as on shelves, porch benches, or trays.
The Ghost of Christmas Past
8. Frame and display keepsakes, handmade ornaments, and old photos.
Slip old Christmas photos or kids’ drawings into existing photo frames.
The pencil drawing of “Jesus of Nazareth” below was actually found in my son’s 6th grade science notebook. This teacher mom was not amused to find he’d been doodling during class time! However, this masterpiece got hung on the tree as a joke, and it has a been part of our family tradition ever since. This year I placed it in a frame to keep it preserved.
My daughter made the wreath ornament below in preschool. It used to hang on the tree, but after it lost a few pine cones and started to fade, I mounted it on a frame.
So frame those glitter snowman drawings, reindeer hand prints, etc. for zero cost, meaningful Christmas decorating.
7. Buy undecorated wreaths and add details with dollar store items.
Wreaths are terribly expensive, but you can put them together for just a few dollars.
Look for undecorated wreaths on sale at craft stores and add dollar store ornaments. I got these plain wreaths for $4 each at Michael’s.
I purchased dollar store ornaments and wired them together in groups of 3, then tied them to the wreath. After buying a half price roll of ribbon for bows, each wreath cost about $5.00.
Ornaments: They Aren’t Just for Trees Anymore
6. Scatter ornaments anywhere! Shelves and mantels are easy to decorate by simply adding a few ornaments.
I used to go to a lot of trouble to pack up my home accessories and replace them with seasonal decor. But who has time for that? Not moi.
By simply scattering about some Christmas ornaments and ribbon, the room gets a lot of sparkle, and I don’t feel like I’m packing up my house to move to Bethlehem.
It’s a Wrap
5. Wrap Christmas trees with fabric instead of buying a traditional tree skirt.
There’s no need to buy expensive Christmas tree skirts. Get creative with bolt fabric, burlap, drop cloths, or unused curtains.
This is a curtain that I used many years ago. I love how it drapes around the bottom of the tree.
You only need about two or three yards of fabric to drape around a tree. I’ve seen pretty plaid throw blankets for $5 and Big Lots and you can use those for snuggling long after the tree gets packed away.
Everything Old is New Again
4. Update old decor with glossy white spray paint.
My kids loved to play with the ceramic manger figures when they were little. Baby Jesus got dragged around the house a lot, and the animals sometimes ended up in Fischer Price toy barn. Needless to say, this manger was showing its age, but I couldn’t part with this sentimental piece.
With a couple of coats of glossy white spray paint, all those cracks and chips are a thing of the past.
Do you have older, sentimental pieces that need repairs or a refresh?
Grab a can of glossy white spray paint and bring them back to life.
I added a runner of fleece (a couple of dollars at a fabric store) to this side table to display the “new” white manger scene.
Wire Cutters are a Girl’s Best Friend
3. Take apart an old wreath or a thrift store find, and use the individual pieces in your decor.
These pine cones and berries came from an old, faded wreath. I used wire cutters to deconstruct the wreath and then reused the pine cones and berries on the mantel and table tops.
Before you throw away faded wreaths or old garland, look carefully for any individual pieces to save and reuse. I enhanced the garland on the sofa table below with some of the berry stems from an old wreath, and I still have more to use for future projects.
If you are shopping for bargains, consider using that 40% off coupon on a single wreath instead of buying 20 or more individual stems or picks. You’d be amazed at the amount of decor that comes from one wreath, including bows, and greenery. Grab some wire cutters and get snipping!
All the Stockings Were Hung
2. Check out the grocery store for unexpected finds.
I was looking everywhere for new stockings, and I swooned over $30-$40 ones from my favorite decor stores. But $160 for stockings??? (price tag gag) I think not!
I considered making them myself, but I didn’t have the time. I ended up finding these at the grocery store for $4.99 each. Who knew??? The grocery store, people! Stockings in aisle 7.
Reuse What You Have in Different Ways
1. Finally, the number one spot on my countdown to 12 inexpensive Christmas decorating ideas (add little drummer roll here), just shuffle up what you already own and try it out in a different room or vignette.
Over the years I’ve collected a bunch of tall wooden nutcrackers. I like finding new ways to display them each year. I’ve use them on the foyer table, sofa table, the dining room buffet, on the stairs, and on shelves and trays.
They are the “Where’s Waldo” of my Christmas decor.
Give your Christmas decor new life by simply moving them to a new place.
You don’t have to be crafty or creative to use these 12 inexpensive Christmas decorating ideas. Use what you have to tell the story of your home in new and different ways, and use a few DIY tricks to decorate for less.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. – Luke 2:4-14 KJV