I spend crazy amounts of time pinning ideas, reading other bloggers’ holiday posts, reading specialty magazines, etc. to get new and fresh ideas for decorating for holidays. I am also on a budget. A small budget. Like $0. I once asked Jim what my budget is per month for fun stuff and he said “Your budget? Buy nothing.” HA HA HA! It’s almost like he has never met me before!
All kidding aside, it is tempting to toss out all the decor from the previous year and start fresh. bu I simply cannot do it. I have had to find ways to reuse, re purpose, and stretch my holiday decorating dollars (or dollar if Jim had his way).
1. Invest in classic items
2. Choose colors that can work for more than 1 holiday for your larger ticket items.
3. Trade with friends.
Sometimes you just need a change and maybe your friend, neighbor, sister does too. My sister and I pass decor items back and forth a lot (ok, mostly she passes them to me).
4. Use natural elements (i.e, free!).
Walk around your neighborhood and pick up the natural elements you find. Paint interesting branches or embellish them with glitter. Stick some tall branches in a tall container and hang paper ornaments on it. Gather pine cones, acorns, and interesting stones for vase fillers or to make wreaths or door hangings. I cut tons of boughs from the cedar and pine trees on our property to use at Christmas. It looks lovely and it’s easy to get more when they dry out.
5. Embrace spray paint.
My plain plastic chargers have been 3 different colors. Since you don’t eat on a charger, it’s fine to paint them. In fact, they are sitting outside right now with a new color drying on them! I repaint everything. I needed something black for my Halloween mantel so I grabbed a garage sale brown candelabra and sprayed it a rich black. I am guessing it will probably turn gold soon for Christmas and I bet it may be pink by Valentine’s Day and will stay pink through Spring.
So many talented people share the printables they create. I’m so grateful too because I can’t seem to get the hang of it myself. Creating new decor can sometimes be as easy as clicking and printing!
7. Use what you have.
So you’ve been on that awesome blog and she once again has a gorgeous vignette set out for the holiday. Where can you get a beautiful milk glass pitcher like that so you can fill it with dried hydrangeas too? Well, maybe you can’t. But maybe you have something of equal size or color that can give you a similar look. And you may have to think outside the box (or milk glass pitcher). Can you spray paint a large oatmeal container and use that for your dried flowers? Or maybe you can take the top off a cookie jar or old coffee can? Sometimes I just have to look around in the places I may least expect to find something like in a bedroom or in the garage. You just never know!
8. Decorate for seasons instead of holidays.
I change my mantel for holidays but in general I decorate for each season. As a public school teacher, we don’t teach any religious holidays and therefore I didn’t decorate our room for them. I liked that I could keep my decorations up for 2-3 months. I do this at home now too. I may add one or two holiday specific things to my mantel or vignette but the bulk of my holiday decor will stay the same for an entire season.
9. Move items around.
The gold pears that are clustered in a bowl in my dining room for fall will move to the mantel with some greenery for winter/Christmas. Joining the pears will be some dollar store birds that were perched in my spring china cabinet decor, except this time they will be sprayed gold. I take it even further. The ribbon roses I made for a set of fall pillows became the embellishment on some toilet paper tube napkin rings!
10. Buy good candles but don’t light them.
I don’t burn my candles ever. I buy fancy ones but then they get wrapped and put away in a cabinet for another holiday or for next year. I keep cheap white candles to burn or we use LEDs which I love.
These are just a few of the ways I keep our expenses down while still indulging in my Martha side! I hope you’ll visit me at Days of Chalk and Chocolate.