As my thrifty family put out the Christmas decorations, I realized that even in decorating for Christmas, we apply thrifty principles. Here is how we save big bucks on Christmas decor.
10 Ways Thrifty People Decorate For Christmas
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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 on 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.). We then keep an eye out for those items at after Christmas sales.
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 present. I immediately un-wrinkle the ribbon so I can use it in next year’s 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).
These glass balls were two dollars 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 a 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 of gifts.
4. Thrift Stores
Red and gold beaded garlands found in our Christmas decor both came from thrift stores. However, you can find a lot more things to decorate for Christmas at your local thrift store than garland. I have seen all sorts of Christmas decorations at thrift stores.
If you have a creative eye, you can change thrift store found everyday decor into Christmas decor too! Red, green, and white spray paint and an artistic eye can make Christmas decor out of just about anything. Did you know they even sell glitter spray paint in Christmas colors?
I made two dozen of these the year we were first married. We still hang them on the tree today, 20 plus Christmases 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 make depends on what supplies I have around the home or can find for less. I don’t spend a lot on 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.
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. You can still get a set similar to mine on the Dollar Tree website.
7. Children’s Toys
For years our children’s wooden train set would make a loop around the Christmas tree. On it, we placed a small battery-operated train that went around and around all Christmas season.
One year my daughter used our family collection of Duplo to build a large display of Duplo Christmas creations that filled my dining room pop-out window.
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 items like Christmas lights that might stop working before Christmas arrives.
9. Give Everyday Items A New Life
My trifle bowl is holding a huge bunch of red glass Christmas ornaments. My breadbasket is holding a display of gold and silver. My cake platter is filled with a mini nativity scene.
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
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 overtime he could and I started selling things on eBay to try and raise the cash we needed.
We put out the little tabletop artificial tree we owned and decorated it. We 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 whatever one he wanted for free.
Waiting until you can afford something really can pay off.
3 More Posts That Will Help You Keep Christmas Affordable
- 25 Christmas Traditions For Families On A Tight Budget
- 100 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Christmas
- Inexpensive Christmas Gift Ideas That Mom Will Love
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For a list of 52 different websites, apps, and stores our thrifty family uses to help us keep our expenses low, click here to visit our Thrifty Tools Resource Page.