The festive season is upon us! And I for one couldn’t be happier about it. I love Christmas; dark nights, Christmas films, putting up the Christmas tree, wandering around Christmas markets, copious amounts of mulled wine, buying presents…and then of course, a dwindling bank account. It’s inevitable!
Being on a budget at Christmas is something the majority of people can relate to, and buying people nice, thoughtful gifts is probably a priority when it comes to what we are spending our pennies on. Christmas decorations are an important element of the season too, because let’s face it, we are hardly going to be feeling festive and cheerful whilst wrapping presents in a living room full of sad looking décor.
So if you’re worried about spending too much on decorations that will be up for three or four weeks at the most, but you still want your house to look grotto-like, then let me help you get creative and give you some wallet friendly tips.
Plain Christmas baubles, a little glue mixed with water and some holiday coloured glitters, and you have yourself some pretty new tree decorations!
You may have some baubles in the attic that could do with sprucing up, or you can buy a pack of new ones for £1 (4 pack) from shops like Poundland. Simply dip them in the glue/water mix, then into the glitter, covering the whole bauble, half the bauble, or sprinkle the glitter with your fingers for a less ‘saturated’ look. Alternatively, use sequins to decorate them, or break up an old CD into small pieces and glue the on to the bauble for a shiny, mirror effect.
Big, fancy, detailed tree ornaments can be expensive to buy from department stores and often have to be bought separately. This way, you pay a couple of pound for some baubles if you need to, and you spend a small amount on the glitter and sequins.
Lightbulbs are pretty rounded in shape. A snowman is round…
Why not buy some materials from a crafts shop and create your very own miniature snowmen? You only need to purchase small amounts of fabric such as felt, loose buttons, ribbon etc, and you can make a bunch of boring old lightbulbs look like jolly old snow people in a couple of hours. You could hang them as ornaments on your tree, or use feature them in a fireplace garland.
If snowmen don’t appeal to you, you could make some Christmas penguins. Obviously anything that can live in arctic, snowy conditions can be interpreted as Christmassy (it seems) so why not?
Either way, a lightbulb can make a pretty ideal base shape for you to create your own Christmas ornaments around, and you’re not limited to snowmen and penguins! Be adventurous and experiment.
Okay, so not particularly original, but still a very good money saver, and possibly an enjoyable way to get yourself out of your cosy pyjamas and off the sofa to enjoy some crisp winter air.
When you think about, it seems silly to buy decorative pinecones from shops, when you could just as easily go outside and pick them up for free, doesn’t it?
Use the glitter you’ve already bought for your homemade baubles to decorate them, or buy a can of gold/silver/white spray paint from a bargain store and you are good to go. Again these would look nice on your tree, or you could fill a glass bowl with the finished cones and have it as a feature on your coffee table.
Wonder of a Glass Jar
A glass jar such a jam jar has many more uses than just storing food or preservatives you know. A glass jar can become anything you like with a bit of imagination; a candle holder, a festive vase, a decorative table ornament? They come in all shapes and size so it’s really up to you. So once you’ve used up whatever was in the jar to start with, keep it, rinse it and use it to show off your crafty skills.
Decorate the outside of the jar with glitter pens, ribbons, Christmas stickers or fancy lettering, use white spray paint or ‘snow’ spray to make it appear wintery and frosted, and turn it into a fancy candle holder by placing a tea light inside. You could also fill the jar half way with water and having a floating tea light inside.
Wrapping paper is not just for wrapping presents.
Remember the paper chains you used to make in school at Christmas? This idea for decorations is the same, but I’m telling you to use wrapping paper (so it looks more sophisticated and it’s not copying school children).
It’s cheap enough to buy good quality wrapping paper with beautiful, festive patterns or writing on, even on a budget. Then it’s simple enough to use that wrapping paper to make decorative paper chains out of.
This may sound like you’re being a little on the cheap side, but it’s different, it’s a little old school, and it’s so, so easy to do. Using a small strip of paper, make a loop and glue the sides down, then thread another strip through the loop and do the same. And so on.
These ideas are just a small few of the many, many crafty ways to go easy on your bank balance when it comes to decorating your house this Christmas.
Hopefully they have encouraged you to get your creative juices flowing and explore your artsy (budget savvy) self this season.
Get yourself down to your nearest arts and crafts shop and get busy!
Written by Katy James