Wednesday, November 30, 2011

How to Decorate for Christmas on a Budget

I am Dreaming of a Green Christmas....

Face it. Year after year people, intelligent, responsible, creative and mature people, go into loads of debt over Christmas. Special foods, gifts, and decorating take their toll when, in January, the bills start rolling in.
But there are ways around that. Decorating a home with beautiful holiday decor does not have to be expensive. Beauty is a combination of aesthetics and the stirring of people's memories and emotions. Stores intentionally scent the air with cinnamon and spices to make people feel good and recall their past memories. You can do the same thing in your Holiday Home!

Candles Are Inexpensive

Simplicity is elegant. That is why Coco Channel sold so many versions of her "little black dress". A simple pillar candle can be beautiful if it is setting in a bowl of cranberries, or peppermint candies. Some candle ideas are:
1. Fill a mason jar with cranberries, or starlight mints (or even cinnamon candies) and set a votive on top. Make a grouping with several jars of varying sizes.
2. Use a basket to fill with red and green apples. Put a pillar candle on a holder in the middle of the basket. You may need to raise it up some with an overturned jar. If your basket is big enough, use three candles of varying heights.
3. Use a large pillar candle centered in some greenery in the middle of a table.
4. Set pillar candles of various sizes on saucers and surround with potpourri. Arrange across a table or mantle.
5. Put a votive in a antique tea cup and sit it on a saucer atop several vintage holiday books.

Use What You Have

You probably have alot of things around the house that would be happy to get some attention as Christmas decorations. Think about your own memories and what they include.
1. A rag doll or teddy bear seated atop a stack of your favorite holiday books (even cookbooks!)
2. A basket or bowl filled with metal holiday cookie cutters and decorated with a festive bow.
3. Have a toy wagon or sled? put it by the front door filled with wrapped gifts (or even wrapped empty boxes). Add a few wooden or vintage toys and stuffed animals if you like.

4. Use your Christmas cards! Display them in groups, varying the height with books..or display them in a big wooden bowl or basket.
5.Hang ornaments or even cookies on ribbon in the windows
6. Download a Christmas screen saver on your computer
7. Bowls of in shell nuts are great, either with just nuts or with oranges in the bowl as well.
8. Fill a glass or crystal punch bowl with Christmas balls that you don't need for the tree or that have lost their hangers.

Bring the Outside In

Most people have evergreen trees of some sort available to them. Even the twigs and small branches of hardwood trees can look festive with a little care.
1. Gather pine cones and arrange them in a basket or even a Christmas gift bag. For a casual look by the fireplace set the bag on it's side and allow the pine cones to spill out. You can spray paint them bronze, or gold, or you can glue glitter on them for a frosty look, or spray them with fake snow.
2.Cut boughs of evergreen and wire it together to make long swags to go up the banister or around the door. This takes a little practice but the results are beautiful.
3.Make an evergreen wreath in the same way.
4. Mass evergreen boughs on a fireplace mantle, atop kitchen cabinets or on china cabinets and armoires. Run the small twinkling lights through them if you like.
5. Spray paint twigs and small branches gold and gather them in bundles tied with ribbon.

Thrift Shops and Garage Sales

Thrift shops are an absolute treasure chest when it comes to holiday decor. Some people get new things every year and cast off their old. Sometimes the old ornaments and decorations just need a little sprucing up like the poor little tree on Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
1. You can paint old glass ornaments. Clean ornament and use a little fine sandpaper to get the loose paint off if necessary. Spray paint with your color of choice.
2. You can also roll in glue and cover with glitter
3. Spray with fake snow to flock it.
4. Glue ribbon around it.
6. Decoupage Christmas wrap on it
Old fake greenery can be transformed with some fake snow, some ribbon and a hot glue gun. Just spray the snow on the greenery and hot glue bows to it.
Old magazines and books may have just the pictures or ads that you are looking for for decoupage projects or for laminating and turning into ornaments.

Create A Festive Topiary

Random Ideas

1. Cut an orange in thin rounds and dry in oven. Hang slices on the tree or windows or place in bowls.
2. Don't forget scent. Use scented candles in evergreen, orange, or spice scents.
3. Tie or attach bows to chairs, tables, light fixtures and door knobs.
4. Create garlands by stringing popcorn and/or cranberries.
5. Hang several pairs of mittens up on a "clothesline" across the window
6. String buttons on a homespun yarn or twine.
7. One year I made an advent quilt by making a wall hanging with 24 stockings appliqued on it and left open at the top. Each day the children got to have what was in the stockings.
8. Use candy canes in bowls, in vases..where ever.
9. Make a gingerbread house!
10. Let the kids make garlands from pasta shapes. Spray paint them first if you wish.

Use Your Imagination

There are so many things you can do. Use your imagination to create a gorgeous holiday home that welcomes your family and friends.
And that really is the key to a beautiful home. Remember it is not the things that are in it or how they are arranged but the warmth and welcome that emanates from it when you step inside!

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