10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate For Christmas

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10 ways thrifty people decorate for Christmas

As my family put out the decorations Thanksgiving morning  I realized that even in decorating for Christmas  we apply thrifty principles.

10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate For Christmas

1.Start thinking about decorating on December 26th

After Christmas sales are the best time to grab Christmas decor for as much as 90 percent off. Each year the day after Christmas as we are taking down the Christmas decorations my husband and I discuss what we would like to add to our collection for next year and what we need to replace (lights, ribbon, etc).

Glass vase bought at a Christmas clearance sale. Candy Canes bought on sale. Ribbon salvaged from a gift.

Glass vase bought at a Christmas clearance sale. Candy Canes bought on sale. Ribbon salvaged from a gift.

2. Salvaged Materials

I love it when people give me gifts wrapped in fancy ribbon. I am like a toddler who seems more happy with the box than the gift. I immediately un-wrinkle the ribbon so I can use it on in next years Christmas display. It might show up in my wreath, or wrapped around a bowl full of candy canes, and each time I look at it I remember what gift it came from (yes I know I am weird).

bowl full of red

These glass balls. $1 for 6 at a yard sale.

3. Yard Sales

This year I made our Christmas wreath out of 100% yard sale found materials (except for the hanger). We also have yard sale found bells on our tree, and big bowl full of red glass Christmas balls also found at a yard sale.

The silver and gold beads and the golden apple are from Thrift stores. The gold and silver ribbon salvaged off gifts.

The silver and gold beads and the golden apple are from Thrift stores. The gold and silver ribbon salvaged off gifts.

4. Thrift Stores

Red and gold beaded garlands can be found in our Christmas decor both from thrift stores.

Made 2 dozen of these the year we were first married. Still hang them on the tree today 19 Christmas' later.

Made 2 dozen of these the year we were first married. Still hang them on the tree today 19 Christmas’ later.

5. Simple DIY ornaments

I love making up a few new Christmas tree ornaments each year and keep an entire Pinterest board full of ideas of what to make each year. What I makes depends on what supplies I have around the home or can find for less. I don’t spend a lot of craft supplies.

One year I had a tonne of fun figuring out how to knit up a Christmas Tree ornament from yarn scraps.

Oh and if you want to make the ornaments shown in the picture above ,  I found a tutorial over at Ben and Me.

my christmas village

This is just a small section of my Dollar Tree Christmas village

6.  Dollar Tree

My entire Christmas village is made up of pieces from the Dollar Tree. When my kids were little my husband would have them pick out a piece for me each Christmas.

Christmas Duplo Creations (small)

My daughter got really creative this year making our home a Christmas Duplo display.

7. Children’s Toys

For years our children’s wooden train set would make a loop around the Christmas tree. This year my daughter used our family collection of Duplo to build a huge display of Duplo Christmas creations that fill my dining room pop out window.

willow tree nativity

My husband surprised me one year with this Willow Tree advent scene he bought for 50% off at a Christmas sale. He made the backdrop for another Christmas gift the following year.

8. Shop Sales

Before Christmas, holiday decor items can be found on sale for as much as 50% off. I use these sales to buy those items you don’t want to buy too far ahead, like candy canes, as well as those oh my we didn’t get enough…..items like Christmas lights.


9. Give everyday items new life

My trifle bowl is holding a huge bunch of red glass Christmas ornaments. My bread basket is holding a display of gold and silver. My cake platter is filled with a mini nativity scene.

build-a-bear to Christmas ornament in 30 seconds (small)

Think outside the box when it comes to decorating the tree, for example my daughter and I took happy meal toys and made them into tree decorations by simply adding thread.

10. Wait until the last minute to buy

Sometimes waiting until the last minute does pay off. Here is a story from our lives when it did.

One year, some unexpected expenses ate our Christmas fund. So late November we made a list of things we wanted to buy and placed them in priority, the kids gifts were at the top of the list and a live tree was close to the bottom. My husband took whatever over time he could and I started selling things on eBay to try and raise the cash we needed.

We put out the little table top artificial tree we owned and decorated it and told the kids how this year we would be following my family tradition of not putting up a live tree until Christmas Eve and then we would keep it up until January 1st, knowing that we would probably have the money for a small one saved by then.

The day before Christmas we had the money in hand to buy a small tree. My husband went to a local store that sold trees by himself so that we could surprise the kids. He came home with a huge Christmas tree, one way larger than I knew we could afford. He quickly announced that the store owner was in the process of throwing out all the leftover trees and told my hubby to pick out what ever one he wanted for free.

Waiting until you can afford something really can pay off.
Follow Victoria @Snail Pace Transformations’s board Thrifty Christmas Tips on Pinterest.

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  1. I absolutely love the “after Christmas sales” you can be guarantee of a bargain or two! 🙂

  2. Thank you for the great post, Victoria. I love your ideas. I found you via Money Saving Mom.

    Merry Christmas!

    • I am glad you liked what you saw, and I was going to tell you over at Money Saving Mom. I knit during small group bible studies too! It helps me to concentrate better on the lesson.

  3. Great tips! I’m glad you shared this at Fabulously Frugal Thursday. I meant to show the kids your daughter’s Duplo decorations before we give ours away. I know what my kids are doing this weekend; it’s the perfect project for our Kid Crafted Christmas.

    And, I need to spend more time at Money Saving Mom reading her posts. I always loved reading her tips and perspective.

  4. I’m such a baby!!! I couldn’t control the tears running down my face when I read about your hubby’s Christmas tree find! What a wonderful treat for the family! I can only imagine his excitement on the drive home with the tree! My kiddos love giving out Christmas ornaments and cookies for Christmas…I cry about all that stuff too.. For the last couple of years I’ve been spreading out their good deeds so they know that we should be helping all the time and not just at the holidays!

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