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Homemade holiday decorations for those on a budget

Don't go broke trying to recreate your own winter wonderland - get creative and save some extra dollars
Don't go broke trying to recreate your own winter wonderland - get creative and save some extra dollars

Let’s face it – after all the shopping, gift wrapping, tree cutting, wardrobe sprucing, and party favoring, sometimes you don’t have the finances to transform your home into a winter wonderland. But by combining everyday household items and ingenuity, we can create outside-the-box decorations that will fill the trimming void without depleting our pockets.

Orange Cloves Ornaments

An oldie, but a goodie. This easy-to-make decoration will fill your home with the smell of the holidays and add a little color to your blue, silver, red, or green. All you need is an orange, some cloves, a holiday ribbon, and a few minutes to create your own air freshener with all your favorite December scents. It will be the best use of an orange this entire season!

Santa Beards

This season you can turn anything and everything into a miniature Santa. Have a small version of “The Thinker” on your bookcase? Turn him into Santa’s Little Helper. Just use some double sided tape and a cotton ball, and all your statues and pictures can transform into mini-Santas. Make sure you use discretion when taping though. If you don’t want to spend extra money on decorations, you’re certainly not going to want to spend money on replacing anything!

Christmas Ivy in Your Backyard

Some of the best ideas are right under our noses. Or in our backyard. After all, live greenery is the cheapest, and most abundant, form of holiday adornment. Add a few green sprigs to your mantel or to a shelf and watch how it can change from ‘nice’ to ‘wow.’ And here’s an additional tip: using some sprigs of rosemary will create a subtle pine scent in addition to contributing to your green aura.

Cardboard Gingerbread Men

Whether it’s mail, moving, shoe, or pizza, we all have boxes of some kind hanging around our house. Reduce, reuse, and recycle these by creating your own gingerbread men. You can use free hand or a cookie cutter to draw your not-so-edible men, cut them out, and design them using permanent markers. Tape them to a window, place on a mantel, or even use as a place setting – You’re gingerbread men will keep you company for the entire holiday season!

Cotton Ball Snowmen

Cotton balls can be man’s greatest gift during this season. Not only can you use them to create snowy scenery and to transform “The Thinker” into Santa, but you can also get extra crafty and use them to build a snowman – in the warmth of your own home. Simply glue several cotton balls together in three separate parts (ping pong balls can also be used as the base for each section) and then glue them all together going from large, medium, to small. Get creative with the snowman’s features, but know that you can never go wrong with some light twigs and a small scrap of orange construction paper.

Paper Snowflakes

We can often forget how simple it is to create our own snowflakes – probably because we haven’t actually done it since elementary school. But the added touched of a few white flakes can help enhance the winter season in our home. Simply fold a piece of paper several times and start strategically cutting bits of the paper. You might be surprised by some of the designs you create. And if you’re feeling extra creative, try linking the snowflakes together with paper clips to create falling flakes that go from wall to wall or ceiling to floor.

If you think you don’t have the time or patience to handle the fiscally impaired way of decorating, try making it a fun gathering with some good friends. Arts and crafts with friends coupled with some eggnog or wine will put any person in the holiday spirit. So go ahead – be your crafty self and save those extra dollars!


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