Christmas decorating ideas on a budget – DIY inspiration for holiday decor for cheap or free!
Cheap Christmas Decor Ideas
The Christmas season is here and although I start early, I was a little slower dusting off the tree and trimmings this year. As I have been decorating our living room for the season, I am realizing that I am not as into the lavish and extravagant displays of holiday decor – A return to Simplicity is the theme of the season, but don’t mistake that for plain. There is something so exquisite about simplicity when you have just the right touches of decor. I get to enjoy each piece a little more. And I can get creative stretching my decor year round to get the most value for my money.
I love a good bargain, so I’ve put a list together of quick ways to plus up your home this season while stretching your budget. You don’t need to be super crafty with these ideas either!
Pillows and Throws
Creating a cozy home is always the goal. Nothing says cozy like a warm throw and some pillows. I love using soft neutrals because it works with any color palette and can stay hanging out on your sofa long after the Christmas season.
For pillows, mix in no more than 1 seasonal pillow with a few year round favorites. Then you don’t have to worry about storing a bunch of pillows you can only use for 2 months.
Tip: Keep sizes consistent so you only need pillow covers and switch them out. Save storage space and money!
Every time I bring home a fuzzy blanket, it somehow ends up my son’s new favorite blanket for snuggling and watching television. Which, yeah, I totally get that. So snuggly!
Candles and Vases
There is just something about a house that smells like the holidays, especially Christmas. As you probably know, I keep a collection of white candles like this flameless set in all sizes and incorporate them around the house. To change it up for the season, I sprinkle in a few smell-good candles that give all the vibes. Plus, they are easy to scatter on mantles, shelves, and tables for a sophisticated look.
Christmas Specific decorations
I like to incorporate a couple of small Christmas specific decorations for a hint of the holidays. No need to buy every cute thing in the aisle, but a few special touches can really pop. Here are some cheap Christmas decorating ideas I have used in the past:
- Use an old sheet as a Christmas tree skirt (once you put wrapped presents on it, you can’t see it anyhow)
- Decorate with wrapped presents themselves. I often use them in unexpected places to add touches around the room until I gift them.
- I got some small nesting boxes (3 for $4.50) with Christmas patterns on them that were perfect to fill with Holiday cookies for friends and neighbors.
- Make your own Merry Christmas Sign out of Scrap Wood. Here is our Merry and Bright Christmas Sign.
- Use candy as decoration – hang candy canes in a large jar, tie a bunch together with ribbon, hang from the Christmas tree. Or fill a tall candy jar with Christmas candy like m&ms, peppermints, and Hershey’s kisses.
- Make Washi Tape Christmas Tree Cones.
These nutcrackers are my favorite find this season! At $8 each from Dollar General, they are a steal and it allows me to indulge my Christmas decorating habit without breaking the bank!
Clip Natural Elements from Your Yard
Pine trees, boxwoods, branches, and holly are usually easy to find if you have a yard. It’s great because they are free and last longer than store bought because they are fresher. Here are some free christmas decorating ideas with yard clippings:
- Put clippings in a vase for a soft arrangement.
- Fluff up worn out garland with clippings from the yard.
- A small setup of logs exudes cozy, even if you don’t have a wood burning fireplace.
- Make an advent calendar out of wood slices, or hang the wood slices on treat bags for each day. A hanging shoe organizer also works great. If you can’t make your own, they are pretty inexpensive here.
Ornaments and Lights
I have been saying all season that Christmas lights are the best background for everything. And there are so many more ways to use lights and ornaments than just on the Christmas tree.
- Put some ornaments in a bowl on the coffee table for bargain decor.
- Tuck them into greenery around the house and on the mantle.
- Make ornament topiaries. (I made these for our mantle a few years ago with stryofoam balls and hot glue).
- Tuck them into lanterns (I use these lanterns year round).
I know I will be so thankful for keeping the decor simple and fun this year, especially when the new year rolls around and it is time to store it until next year.