Deck the Halls: Affordable holiday decorating ideas
Do you feel like you can’t afford to decorate for the holidays? It can get out of control unless you buy everything on clearance the year before and plan ahead, which I have to admit, I don’t. So if you’re like me, here are some ideas that will help you look at how you decorate in a whole new light.
The cheapest “wow” factor you can get involves cutting tree branches right off of your trees or picking up ones that fell off. Then spray primer and spray paint gold, silver or whatever color goes with your color palette. Uplight the trees with a spotlight and then you have a beautiful fairy land. Or if you like the natural color of the tree branches, use those in a vase and then add glittered branches to the arrangement. The key is to go large and add height … and don’t be scared. Once you’ve done this and you see the difference a few branches can make, this will be your new go-to design. Imagine using beautiful fall branches or spring blossoms. But most important, be sure to cut the branch at the joint so you don’t harm your tree.
Use a string of lights and spell out a word that sums up the season–“merry,” “joy,” etc. Use a tacky material used to hold picture frames in place (available at craft stores for 99 cents) or a staple gun and then just patch the marks later.
Find an old brass chandelier, spray it a color if you’d like or leave it brass and use it as an ornament chandelier. I often find these old fixtures on Craigslist. If it’s one of those 1980s chandeliers that has acrylic pieces hanging on it, remove the acrylic pieces and replace them with ornaments. You can even remove the wiring and use it purely as a hanger.
Don’t forget to decorate right outside of your glass doors. That is an extension of your home, so layer a lighted decoration to add depth to your décor.
Buy a canvas and paint it. Use a coupon for Michael’s or Hobby Lobby and have fun with your kids by letting each child paint their favorite winter moments. Even the adults can paint, play and have fun. We have to remember to color outside of the lines in life!
Remember, a basic design principle is repetition and that can be applied to your holiday décor. Don’t be afraid to do a massive grouping of nutcrackers lining the tops of your kitchen cabinets. And less is more–it could be a line of them without any garland.
Creating a collection of glass vases, jars, candle holders, you name it, is another cheap design idea. They are beautiful on their own, as long as you clean them well. Place them all in front of a window and use food coloring and water to create a grouping of colorful water. One of my favorite things to do is to put strings of lights in glass vases. Plugged in, and with a grouping of them, it’s a beautiful holiday moment.
Find a screen and use it as a base to hang holiday decor from. It’s a great way to think outside of the box if you live in a place where you can’t nail into the walls. Or even if you live in your own house and you can nail into walls, it’s a great way to anchor the corner of a room in a creative way. Hang garland, lights or a massive grouping of glittered flowers.
Switch out your framed photos and put holiday cards in them. They can be old cards you received or new ones you bought and like the look of. Either way, they are fun and full of color.
Fabric is a cost-efficient way to add a punch of color. You can use it under your table-scapes to add a burst of color. Or you can ball it up and put it in a basket and lay some ornaments on top of it. Or use tacks and create a fast window treatment in a fun, festive color or pattern.
Children’s toys can be fun holiday accessories. From drums to figurines to stuffed animals, most of us have toys scattered throughout our houses and they never seem to lack for color. You can use the small figurines in groupings of baskets, on bookshelves or in table centerpieces.
Just remember to look around your house with “fresh eyes” and rather than looking at the function of various items, look at their color and shape. And most importantly, have fun decorating your home for the holidays.