I am going to start this post on affordable holiday decor by saying that it DOES NOT include the Christmas tree, stockings or gifts. When I say you can decorate your entire home for around $25, I mean it is possible to decorate your walls, tables, windows, light fixtures, counter tops, and pretty much every area of your home aside from the tree…all for around $25, which in my frugal living book is still amazing!
To help out on the tree & stocking front I’ve included links to some very lovely and affordable trees (artificial) and stockings. If you are looking for cool & budget-friendly gift ideas check out my holiday gift guides for men, women, and tweens/teens.
So how it is possible to decorate almost every area of your home with festive Christmas splendor for around $25? My first stop is always the dollar store! My local dollar store is called The Dollar Tree, but there are several dollar stores nationwide including the Dollar General, Family Dollar, and the 99 cents only stores.
Top Dollar Store Holiday Items
The following items offer the most bang for your buck (literally).
- Pine tree garland: Nothing says Holiday like pine tree garland! My Dollar Store had 15ft of pine garland for $1. The cheapest I have seen garland anywhere else was $3 for 9ft at Michaels. I bought eight pieces and wrapped it around my front door frame, balcony, fireplace mantel, living room mirror and window, and stair railing. Cost: $8 (Note: I could not find this product online, but it is located in the Holiday section of the store.)
- Holiday ribbon: By “holiday” I mean anything in the colors that match your particular holiday decor color scheme. Gold and silver, red and green, blue and silver… It doesn’t have to be labeled “Holiday” to be festive! I wrapped the 2 yards of ribbon I bought through the garland on my fireplace mantel and balcony to brighten it up. Cost: $2
- Holiday bows and assorted decor: I picked up some metallic leaf and berry picks during my latest Dollar Store visit and stuck them in the garland on my staircase railing. It really glams up my staircase, which isn’t easy to do as it is covered in a hideous, short gray, speckled berber carpet. Cost: $5
- Signs and banners: I bought this “Merry Christmas” paper banner below a couple of years ago at a dollar store. I wasn’t sure if it would look cheap (it was $1!) once it was hung up, but it looks so pretty with the garland! Cost: $1
- Candy canes: While you can often find boxes of candy canes for around a dollar, I figure I’d pick some up while I was there. I tied them to the garland framing my living room window. I’ve also seen people hang them around window frames, like Christina at The Frugal Homemaker did. So pretty! Cost: $1
Paint it baby!
I am constantly amazed at the sort of
crappy interesting items people spray paint into something Fancy! From plastic, dollar store storage buckets to tacky, thrift shop porcelain figurines. Check out these incredible decor transformations using cheap trinkets and spray paint!
Re-purpose with pride
I found some pretty gold place mats at Goodwill the other day, but I wanted decor I could keep out all season long (and not just one meal where they would be stained by teens with sloppy table habits). The solution? I draped the place mats over my dining table chairs and tied some metallic gold tulle around them… et voila, glitzy chair covers! Cost $4
Because of the fantastic after-Christmas sales every year, I always end up with WAY more ornaments than I can possibly fit on our one tree. Instead of stuffing them back into the storage box to languish for another year, I thought why not use them for decorating things other than the tree?
Last year I made an Easter wreath with pastel-colored peeps. While it was adorable last Spring, the peeps are now chipped and faded, so I pulled those little chickies right out of their toothpick perches in the foam wreath and, along with some of the gold and silver leftover ornaments, created the beautiful door wreath above. I had to buy some more glue sticks for this project which made the total cost of the wreath $2.00, but I have seen similar wreaths like this one and this one for waaaay more (sometimes $100 more) than what I spent. Cost: $2
Hang Em High
I took the rest of the ornaments, some leftover metallic ribbon and a couple of strands of tinsel garland to create this gorgeous and festive lighting display on my dining room chandelier. Cost: free.
Being Felt Up
I created this vintage-looking Christmas tree art from a picture frame I wasn’t using and some leftover felt from a puppet craft we did earlier this year. I put the frame glass behind the felt to keep the vintage feel and let the texture of the felt come through. Cost: free.
Mad for Plaid
I also had some plaid Christmas wrapping paper and art canvas leftover from crafts last year, along with some black construction paper. I had seen some cute plaid wall art on Etsy and tried my best to recreate it using the canvas and wrapping paper (and lots of tape). They turned out extremely homemade looking up close, but my husband says that only adds to their charm. Cost: free.
Speaking of wrapping paper- I have seen other people wrap their current wall art and hanging photos with Christmas wrapping paper and it seemed like a super easy way to update my wall decor for the holidays, so I tried it. It IS pretty much the easiest and (if you have extra holiday gift wrap) the cheapest way to create holiday-themed wall decor. Just wrap it in the front of the frame and slap a bow on. Cost: free.
I’m thinking of purchasing cheap wrapping paper with other holiday themes (like Valentines and Easter) so I can transform my wall art into easy holiday decor year-round!
My grand total was about $25, but even if you don’t have any leftover felt, unused picture frames or spare wrapping paper like I did, you can purchase those items for about $5, which means you can still decorate your entire home for less than what most people spend on one holiday wreath!
Want more detailed “how to’s” on any of these affordable holiday decor projects? I would love to share the exact steps for each project and answer any other questions related to this post! Simply comment below and I will respond within 48 hours.
Side note: This post will be featured in the Reviews, Chews and How-tos blog on December 17. If you are interested in more tips and resources for living a great life on a budget- check out this fantastic site!