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5 Ways to Decorate for the Holidays on a Budget

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Deck out your home for the holidays without breaking the bank with these creative ideas, crafts and upcycling projects.

By: Allie Holcomb King, HGTV 

Display Holiday Cards + Gifts

Holiday cards and gfts under tree

Instead of spending money on store-bought decor, work with two things you probably already have on hand — holiday cards and wrapped gifts. Not only will this help cheer up a dull spot in your home, but it will also keep your mail pile from overflowing and your Christmas tree base from overcrowding. Here, a tree-shaped cardholder is stacked on a gift-filled bar cart, adding holiday cheer to an otherwise basic foyer.

Get Creative With Gift Wrap Scraps

Holiday cookies and plates

Don’t throw away those seemingly useless scraps of gift wrap! Put them to work to give everyday items, like basic serving plates, a holiday makeover. Cut the leftover paper to size, and use it to line serveware. For a display that will last all season long, fill the festive dishes with holiday knickknacks or long-lasting snacks, like whole nuts or individually wrapped candies.

Craft a Pinecone Garland

Fireplace decorations

If you already have yarn or twine and white craft paint on hand, this DIY decoration only requires a quick trip to your backyard. Dip pinecones in white craft paint to create a dreamy, rustic garland perfect for your mantel, Christmas tree or dining table.

Bedazzle Backyard Finds

Decorative Holiday Chandelier

If glitter is more your style, try this pretty pinecone upgrade instead. Collect several pinecones, and clean them well under warm water. Roll each one in craft glue then glitter, and let them dry. Attach ribbon using hot glue or just tie them on and hang them from a chandelier or on your Christmas tree.

Make a Wood Slice Banner

Wood Slice Banner

If your decor leans more toward a rustic aesthetic, try this take instead. Cut your own wood slices to save some money. Customize them using permanent markers and transfer paper. Permanent markers and transfer paper make it easy to add a customized holiday greeting.

First, drill holes in wood slices by using a drill equipped with a 1/8” drill bit. Drill a hole at the top, center of each wood slice.

Next, transfer text and images to wood slices by printing them from a computer, sized to fit. Cut out each letter and image with scissors. Cut a piece of transfer paper to size as well. Note: One piece of transfer paper can be used for all wood slices. Place transfer paper directly on wood slice and top with printed letter or image (Images 1 and 2 below). Trace with a dull pencil or closed pen/pen cap. Repeat with other wood slices.


Color and Tie on Twine. Using fine-tipped permanent markers, color in traced lines. Tie each wood slice onto a piece of twine approximately 2-3” in length. Then, tie each wood slice onto a piece of twine 3-4’ in length to make a banner. 

Tip: These can be used as ornaments and gift tags as well.


Happy Holidays!  En-JOY!



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