39 Tips How to Save Money on Homemade Christmas Decorations
Christmas is just around the corner, and it's time to start thinking about how you want this year to go. It's been a pretty shocking year for most people given the pandemic, but that doesn't mean that fun cannot be had at Christmas. Christmas doesn't have to be a money-wasting spectacle in your home, either. You can have a budget Christmas without resorting to buying half the contents of the local Christmas shops. Autumn is the best time of year to start thinking about how you want to save some cash at Christmas, and one area that's more important than gifts and delicious food is the Christmas decorations you fill your house with.
Whether you are a twinkly lights and minimal decorations kind of home, or you love to go all out and adorn the place to look like Santa's Grotto, there are plenty of options for you to have an enjoyable, beautiful Christmas and get that festive feeling all wrapped up. Traditional or not, homemade Christmas decorations are the way to go this year. Gathering the kids together to get crafty and even spending time doing your own creations for your house will bring on that festive feeling you've been waiting for. There is such fun in stepping back and looking at the home after you've covered it in the perfect decorations, but there is a downside. Christmas decorations are not always cheap, and you can end up dropping a LOT of money on decorations that will be shoved away in a box for most of the year.
With this in mind, let's take a look at how you can save money on homemade Christmas decorations, and give you some fun, festive ideas for decorating your home at the same time.
1. Start with what you can reuse. You want to make some homemade Christmas decorations, but that doesn't mean that you won't have a few ornaments that have been passed down year to year. If you have some beautiful heirloom decorations, make these your focus or your decorating and build your homemade Christmas decorations around these.
2. Think back to when you were a child: paper chains should stir some memories! Slice up some coloured paper and grab a glue stick, and you could be on your way to some pretty retro decorations!
3. Do you remember making homemade popcorn as a child? Well, a pretty cheap way to decorate the house is to pop some kernels in a saucepan, let them go cold, and then paint them in metallic colours for your Christmas decorations. You can either string the popcorn on bright wool and drape it around the tree or leave bowls of colourful popcorn out as décor!
4. One of the cheapest things that you can buy from any bargain shop is simple white candles. They don't have to be the church-like fat candles, but you can find the simplest white candles. You can skip all of those fancy centrepieces and decorations and add some candles to a silver or gold plate with holly sprigs. You instantly give your home a festive feel.
5. A completely free way to add homemade Christmas decorations to your house is to take the Christmas cards you are given and create a card display. You can either string the cards with wool and hang them on the wall or tack them to a window in the shape of a Christmas tree! Cards are often bright and decorative at Christmas time, so you get a sparkly home addition that hasn't cost you a penny.
6. If you're stuck for ideas on what to put on your Christmas tree, why not make some Christmas wishes? Get everyone together (including anyone coming to the house) and have them write a Christmas wish on stars cut out from colourful paper. You can use a hole puncher to punch a hole in one star's point and then string a ribbon through it. These can then be hung on the tree as decorations, and you get a smile every time you read someone else's Christmas wish.
7. Christmas lights may look pretty, but people can really spend too much money on these decorations for their homes. It's not just the initial outlay for lights, either, but the electricity bill you are left with due to how long they are on for. So, minimise the number of lights you plan to use this year and keep them just for the tree. Instead, light some tea lights in the windows in the evening. Tea lights can be brought very cheaply, and you can arrange them with some tinsel nearby so that it twinkles without being flammable!
8. Let the kids get as involved as possible with your decorations and make your own ornaments together. If you haven't made handmade ornaments before, then think about mixing flour, salt, and water together to make salt dough. You can make reindeer shapes and stars with it, and bake it in the oven for a couple of hours until it's hard and set. Then, get the kids to add paint and sparkles and use these as tree decorations.
9. Children have fantastic imaginations, so give them licence to decorate large sheets of white paper and then slice them up for colourful paper chains. It's an excellent way to get paper chains ready for the house without spending on coloured paper!
10. You can make some fantastic decorations when you head to Marketplace on Facebook and buy second-hand. You can take those older, possibly broken decorations that others are letting go off for pennies, and up cycle them to make the house look different.
11. There is a lot to be said about red and silver ribbons. You can add ribbons to pretty much anything, and it instantly looks festive! Tie ribbons around the necks of vases, and you'll see what we mean! You can do the same thing to stuffed animals and see how they look like they should be in a Christmas shop display!
12. One of the best places to get inspired for your homemade Christmas decorations is outside! There are so many ways you can turn nature into homemade decorations, from spray painting fallen leaves to decorating pine cones with gold paint. You can arrange these with some berries to create a beautiful centrepiece for the table. Don't forget to use clear nail polish on the berries, though, as it'll stop them from rotting away!
13. Rummage through the recycling box in the kitchen and take out any clean, dry boxes you were planning to throw out. You can create inexpensive homemade Christmas decorations simply by wrapping them in festive paper and having them displayed artfully in the house.
14. Chat to friends and family, and plan a decorations swap! You'll be able to swap the decorations that you no longer use for ones that they don't use and instantly save some money on them. You can also up cycle what you are given to refresh the decorations, and it won't cost you a thing.
15. Get crafty with some old jam jars and tea lights! All you have to do is drop a tea light into a thoroughly cleaned jar and dried. Add a red or gold ribbon - or the colour of your decorations this year - to the neck, and you've instantly got a cosy, festive decoration to enjoy. If you want to really enhance it, add nuts to the jar's bottom before you put in the tea light!
16. Every year, shops go all out with buckets of sweets to convince people that they need them for their Christmas to be complete. If you are given a box of sweets, don't throw out the wrappers! Keep them and use them for the tree. You can staple together the wrappers and create strings of colourful foils.
17. Speaking of decorating with sweets, candy canes can be found in pound shops and used to decorate the house! You can hang them almost anywhere, and you will give the homemade Christmas decorations in the house a boost!
18. Buy plain Christmas baubles and create your own Christmas wreaths. You can add these to more than just the front door and use them to decorate empty stretches of wall in your home.
19. On the subject of baubles, using plain white or silver to create a decoration that twists around the bannisters of the stairs in your home will look excellent, and you can even buy these in the after-Christmas sales each year.
20. Take to Pinterest and other online sites to get the inspiration that you need to make some of the decorations for yourself. It's an easy way to entertain yourself, and you can get some fantastic homemade Christmas decorations ideas that way!
21. YouTube is a free source you can use to find tutorials on homemade Christmas decorations. You can involve the whole family and have a night of crafting to decorate the house by your own hands.
22. Check through your current decorations box and look for things that you can reinvent.. All it takes is a paintbrush and a little glitter, and you can remake wreaths and garlands and breathe some life into older decorations.
23. If you have any leftover plaid materials in your home, you can create some excellent cushion covers. Think about how red and green tartan and plaid make you feel Christmassy, and you can have Christmas cushions without having to spend anything! You just need to be a dab hand at sewing - or know someone who is!
24. If you want to save money on homemade Christmas decorations, why not bake Christmas cookies for hanging? You can cover them in varnish and use them in the same way you would salt-dough decorations!
25. Take some old wrapping paper in blue or silver and make homemade snowflakes. These can be hung in the home and stuck to windows to add some festive cheer, and it won't cost a thing.
26. Cotton wool is relatively cheap in the beauty shops, and you can use it to create a fake snow scene! It's a great way to make some savings on Christmas decorations this year, and with some added glitter, you can make it sparkle!
27. Add edible treats to the tree this year and save money on baubles and other hanging ornaments.
28. Everyone loves a beautifully decorated Christmas table, but these can often cost more money than you think. However, look at the tablecloths in the cheaper stores and get some metallic spray paint. Cut out stencils for snowflakes and bells, and spray paint these designs onto your plain white tablecloth for a pretty addition to the table.
29. Be selective with how many homemade Christmas decorations you have in the home. You can instantly save money by not overloading your house with a million new decorations.
30. It won't be any use for this year, but if you are enjoying making your own decorations use the Christmas sales this year to buy the supplies you need for next time!
31. A pack of four plain Christmas baubles can be bought from the pound shops, and all you need is a little glue and water mixed together with some fitter, and you're good to go to make your own baubles for the tree. You can choose any colour scheme that suits your taste, and you can really get creative with baubles. You can use sequins, glitter, even broken up old CDs to create a mosaic effect!
32. Any broken or old light bulbs shouldn't be thrown away between now and decorating time! You can make your own snowmen from these old light bulbs, and all you need is some ribbon, glitter, and some buttons! They could be the feature decoration in a centrepiece on the mantelpiece - it'll look festive, and you get to reuse old light bulbs! You can even make penguins, robins, and more - if it's round, you're good to go!
33. We talked about going out into nature earlier, but pine cones are still the subject of choice for homemade Christmas decorations. Why would you buy decorative ones from the shops when you can get out with the kids and find the biggest, best ones to paint for your Christmas table? Find an old glass bowl or fishbowl and use this as a filler for pine cones. You can then set it on the sideboard or coffee table as a walking point - for free!
34. Wrapping paper is for so much more than just gifts. If you've already wrapped the presents this year, use the rest of the wrapping paper to create paper chains, decorative squares to string together and hang, or even wrap around the base of lamps and vases to make them more festive!
35. Large strips of colourful material can make door ribbons for the house. You can make your front door look like it's a wrapped gift ready to open, and all you need is some festive materials to do it!
36. String together some trees cut from red or green coloured paper. You can even use glitter, beads, and foil to "decorate" these little trees before you string them together. If you want to go one better, cut triangles out of the card and fold into cone shapes for a 3D version of the trees! You can use gold thread or ribbon through each tree's tops to link them together, and then you can hang these from anywhere in the house! You don't want to make these too heavy with decorations, though. They should hang neatly and delicately from wherever you place them.
37. If your family is particular about the Nativity Story, why not use leftover recycling waste to create your own scene? You can use newspapers and craft your own mini papier mache Christmas family, and then use a box and some straw to make the manger and barn where baby Jesus is said to be born.
38. Gather twigs from the garden and use ribbon to secure your own stars for the house. You can make them as big or small as you like, and you can even spray paint them in any colour to make them decorative. Twigs should be cleaned and cut down from any leaves before you add them to the house!
39. Use tinfoil for the star at the top of the tree this year! You can cut out a star with stiff card and wrap foil around it before you add it to the top of the tree. You can also do something similar to create an angel - all you need is a ping-pong ball and a cone of stiff cards. Cut out angel wings from the gold card and stick them to the cone's back to create your angel outline!
Christmas decorations should be beautiful, but that doesn't mean that homemade Christmas decorations aren't! They have a place in your home, and it's the perfect bonding experience for you and your children to enjoy together. Save money on your homemade Christmas decorations by going as frugal as possible with your crafts, and you'll have the chance to turn your home into a handmade grotto of which Father Christmas would be proud!