Happy December everyone
Hope you all enjoy this repost from last year. This week will be some of my favorite post from last year. Posts that I had a ton of fun writing and sharing with you all. Hope you are all out having a ton of fun decorating, cooking and fun with family and friends. I will have a new post this Saturday. We had quite the adventure of a beautiful hike and ended the day visiting some ancient ruins all lit up with thousands of luminaries everywhere. Until then, enjoy these old posts on decorating and one yummy cookie recipe.
Decorating for the holidays drives me nuts because it can be so expensive. Then on top of that I have gifts and the normal household expenses to take care of too. No wonder everyone goes into debt this time of year. I always ask myself “ Do I really need all this stuff?” I know it’s good for the economy but is it good for the planet and us. I am no angel when it comes to shopping, I occasionally buy something I don’t really need, but I do try to live as frugal as possible. I can still spend money; I just need to be careful that I don’t spend it foolishly. I like to share with all of you some of the ways I decorate the frugal way.
Pick your colors and theme you will be decorating with, that way when you go to yard sales, second hand shops or other places you will know what your decorating theme is and you won’t be distracted by all the wonderful items out there calling towards you and buy everything just because you have fallen in love with it. I am a sucker for pretty things to. This year I am sticking with red and white, like a candy cane.
I loved the new pillows at the department store I visited (remember that $10 coupon?) but they were crazy expensive from $30-$70 dollars.
Instead I bought these cloth napkins second hand, which were 5 for a dollar.
I decorated one side and sewed the two pieces together and stuffed them. You can use the stuffing from old pillows or to save time just cover one of your regular pillows with the first napkin by tacking it on or safety pin it in. Decorating my own pillows with recycled and vintage material ended up costing me under a dollar per pillow. I used bowls as templates for this snowman pillow.
The Christmas tree pillow was a triangle puzzle I drew out on poster board then used that as a template. There are also all kinds of free coloring pages and templates online that you can use as well. Have the kids design their own pillows with their names and add winter scenes. Decorate their beds with their personalized pillows and put a tiny tree in their rooms. I have always done this with my kids for the holidays. Who says the living room and kitchen should be the only rooms we decorate…wrap your whole house in Christmas cheer.
Not all ornaments are expensive. You can find a bunch at the dollar stores that are pretty cute but then some can run pretty high in other stores. I picked up a variety of little mismatched items in a bin second hand shopping that were 5 for a dollar. I also picked up a couple little packages of toothpicks from the dollar store and designed away.
Using old Christmas cards, decoupage, glitter, paint and our handy little drill, I was able to make quite a selection of ornaments. The little red truck I saw on YouTube by someone called beeisforbeauty, based off of her pottery barn inspired ornaments.
I love holiday table runners but they are another item that can be expensive. This printed table runner was $54, which was shocking to me. I had to get my glasses out to reread the tag because I couldn’t believe it.
To make your own, use an old sheet and sew the length and width you like for your table, then get out some stencils or paint free hand little vines and berries. Add glitter for extra sparkle.
Wreaths can run anywhere from $30 and up. Collect your own pinecones and make a wreath yourself. You will need a glue gun and some pretty ribbon or accessories like this bow I made and the little white deer I added, which all came from the dollar store.
We try to do live plants when decorating inside, that way we can plant it later instead of throwing it away. Live trees can be expensive though so sometimes we wait until after Christmas to purchase a little forest tree. We bought one a couple of years ago for $2, but had to transplant to a bigger pot last year, so it won’t be inside the house now. Even though it had little skinny branches and not a lot at that, it still put a smile on our faces when we saw it all lit up and decorated, plus it lasted us three Christmas seasons. Not bad for $2.
I have noticed that little red country truck everywhere this Christmas. It is adorable though, so I don’t blame the buyers for purchasing this for the trend this year. I do not however have $70 to spend on one below.
I found this truck instead, second hand of course for $2 dollars and took it home to turn it into my own little version of the red country truck.
The little bottle top tree was purchased at the dollar store and the little picket fence I got in one of those thrift store grab bags. The whole truck ended up costing me under $5 after I added everything and painted it red, beats spending $70.
Christmas paper purchased from the dollar store makes great wallpaper.
I used tape to hold in place because I want to remove it after the holidays. I redid my bookshelves with this paper and put out some old toys and other sentimental items in place of books. My books are put away until after Christmas. Empty your house a little, putting some furniture away in another room to make room for the tree and decorating. After the holidays, bring it all back out.
Don’t forget the little ones when decorating. Paper is everywhere and inexpensive. Have those tiny fingers work in some fine motor skills by having them make paper chains. They will Love filling the house up with their very own Christmas decorations they made.
When you live in the desert you make yarn pompoms in place of snowballs.
Yarn is another cheap item you can find second hand just about anywhere.
I picked up baskets full at a church sale over the summer that turned out costing me .25 cents a roll.
If you can’t find white, then stick to other colors. Who says all snowmen have to be white, wouldn’t it be cool if they came in multicolor like this one I made to hang on the wall.
Remember this bowl?
I really wanted it but it cost over ten dollars…for one bowl, and we aren’t talking salad bowl either, this was a cereal bowl. So instead of going into debt I bought this little white bowl at the dollar store and using permanent markers drew in my own designs. Bake in the oven for 30 min. at 350F to set. In place of baskets, make these bowls and fill with candy and treats to give out as gifts. I wouldn’t eat out of it though if you were decorating the inside of the bowl. You can personalize the outside instead and eat from it.
And last but not least is the photo Christmas tree. This twig tree is in a lot of Scandinavian holiday decorations. This year Target has one available, and not too expensive (I think $12), but you can make your own adding old and new Christmas photos. Collecting my own twigs up north and adding this green twine that was at the dollar store (3 for a dollar) I just tied different sizes of twigs together to form a tree. Instead of spending $12, this cost me less then .25cents.
Have a great holiday season and have a ton of fun decorating…Christmas is almost here and remember (this is so important) it doesn’t have to be perfect, simple is also beautiful.
One simple little tree with a string of lights puts smiles on everyone’s faces. So no matter what you do for the holidays, or how you celebrate this time of year…don’t overwhelm yourselves, love and treat yourselves. For more DIY projects click here
Coming soon- this year’s gifts from the heart