This is a post about frugal decorating for the holidays. Staying out of the stores and making do with what you have at home.

You don’t have to go broke at this time of year or max out your credit cards.

Don’t Spend. Donate Instead:

You can always donate to your favorite charity or volunteer to help feed the poor. That is so much more rewarding than buying or receiving presents.

If you’re on a strict budget, my advice is to stay out of the stores altogether.

I tend to get overloaded with all the tinsel and glitz everywhere I look anyway.

Frugal Holiday Decorating:

You could place candles in a vintage sewing machine drawer. Take scraps of paper or images downloaded off the internet to dress them up.

For mine, I just applied clear tape to the paper and added some ribbon.

Make Your Own Ornaments:

I have been making ornaments for years. And each year I go about the house and find something else to use that I haven’t thought of before.

I added some large keys to the tree this year. They give the tree a vintage vibe.

If you have a sewing or craft area and craft supplies, start crafting for Christmas. I promise you there are ornaments “just waiting to happen” to decorate your holiday home.

Put small candles into teacups.

This happens to be one with a poinsettia on it. But it could be any teacup. You have to admit that votive candles just look better in a teacup!

Create A Christmas Vignette Under Glass:

Everything seems to look prettier under glass.

Find something pretty to use under a cloche as a centerpiece for your table. Add a sprig or two of holiday picks to it.

Decorate The Coffee Bar:

Add a vintage Santa mug with a small tree inside. It adds just a bit of holiday cheer to ordinary objects on your coffee bar.

Christmas In A Suitcase:

This is my vintage suitcase full of various trees.

I actually store these trees all year long in this suitcase. So I know right where to look come December!

Christmas Decor In A Colander:

If you have a red colander put a candle inside. I layered strands of gold beads around the candle to give it a little glam.

Add a strand of gold stars to a lampshade, and you’ve given it a touch of holiday spirit.

Cocoa Station On A Cake Stand:

Create a little cocoa station on a cake stand. By adding candy canes, it suddenly looks Christmas-y.

You just have to look at what you have available and then get creative. Scour Pinterest.

By doing this and staying out of the stores where you are tempted to buy, you can enjoy a frugal holiday on a budget. And you’ll still have a home filled with color and cheer.

Put away the credit cards. Save your cash and make do.

Then pat yourself on the back for not spending too much money during the holiday season.

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28 Comments

  1. The red and white gingham touches are particularly charming. I realize that if I just pull out a checked cloth and put it on the table, my dining area will be ever so much more festive. Thanks for the lovely photos.

  2. Brenda your home is just perfect for Christmas decorations! Touches to your regular great red and white decor. I have bought only one thing new for my Christmas decorations and a couple of new ornaments which I do each year especially for my Grandson. A few gifts and no debt! I've made a couple of donations also. I am so blessed this year I am trying to share where I can. Wishing you a good week! Hugs!!! Linda

  3. I actually got rid of a lot of my Christmas décor this year. Gave much to charity. It was great to pair down to just a couple of plastic boxes. Most that I used this year are things I can keep up until spring, except for the tree.

  4. I love the way you take ordinary things and turn them into Christmas decor such as the colander filled with beads around a candle. Beautiful! And I love the cloches. I could use a few of those to keep things safe from the furbabies, but can't find them now. Enjoy your pretty house and stay warm!

  5. Great "free" decor ideas! Red is such a happy color!

    By the way, I have your blog on my sidebar (under blogs I read) and it hasn't updated in two weeks. I didn't know you had posted for a few days until I checked to see if you had posted in the comments about the beeping noise that was bothering your poor baby so much. Any ideas why it hasn't updated in two weeks?

  6. Great post! I love how you make bright and festive arrangements using some of your everyday pieces. And these are great tips. There is so much temptation in the stores. I did know I wanted some gold for my mantel this year and I was pretty good about just picking up some candles and garland. I also find it hard to avoid shopping on the internet when I get the sales in my email box. I've learned to just delete them without looking. It's not easy though, the advertisers and media are very savvy.

    XO,
    Jane

  7. These are great ideas for decorating. I agree that you don't need to break the bank in setting up for Christmas … it all starts to miss the point then doesn't it. I like to decorate with greenery more and more … some bought, some snipped from the trees (sparingly!) from my backyard. It makes it feel woodsy & cozy inside. And who wants to store all that strictly Christmas decorating stuff?! Best to change what you have with a little imagination. Great post! I'm following the Tis the Season tour a bit late, but I've been a bit busy 😉 Wendy x

  8. Brenda, I find this post and your advice to be so encouraging! Thank you!! My husband and I are down to one income so that I can stay home with our baby girl. I so want to try and do fabulous things to decorate but it's just not a good idea now that we're so budget minded. I'm trying to look around and find things to decorate with. Have a great weekend! ~ Jamie

  9. Amen! No wasting money and time buying more valueless decorations! And gifts, goodness! I Totally dislike buying gifts for people because it's
    the season and one feels pressured
    to do so. And I even more dislike
    receiving gifts given in such a
    fashion. Then there is always the
    one upmanship factor. You know,
    the person who says "no gifts", but
    then gives you something and then
    acts all smug. Ugh.
    Food to animal shelters is the only
    gifts I give. People always tend to
    forget the animals with the big push
    to give toys to kids. Shelters really
    need any type of donation this time
    of year.

  10. Beautifully done Brenda. I love to use what I have to decorate. It's just part of the challenge. Less is so much more!! Your home is true to your blog name!!
    Have a great weekend. Hugs

  11. More sexism and misoginy from the infamous Return of Kings site

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    If you haven't signed the petition to remove that site from the internet yet, then please do so now:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/www-returnofkings-com-remove-the-article-5-reasons-to-date-a-girl-with-an-eating-disorder

    Good news- we got over 12,000 signatures now.

  12. Great advice Brenda, and so true. I love your collection of cloches…they are getting so hard to find around here now.

    Jen

  13. Great advice, Brenda. I've used items I already had, (or that the kids and I made!) for all our decor this year. We have plenty of everything we need (except money- haha) No need to stress about what we can't have, we just make do and have fun with it. Love all your cute things!

  14. Every year I just start putting things out and it never goes in the same place twice, so it's always different! A great idea is to take a wreathe, whether you want to use a white Styrofoam or a faux green one is up to you, but take your old and beloved broken Christmas ornaments, you know the ones the kids made or that are missing a leg, feathers have fallen off, a crack in it and you're afraid to use it, just start putting them into the wreathe, either with pins or ties, hot glue, add a bow if you want, and you'll have the cutest wreathe when you are done.

  15. I totally agree with you! A friend of mine who has a PT job at Michaels, told me today that all their Christmas stuff was 70% off. I said, "That's nice. I wouldn't want any of it even if it were free!" She just laughed. I explained to her that I already have enough. Even with giving away lots of Christmas decor last year. Don't need or even want anymore.

  16. You've done such a creative take on Christmas…there are so many things to love, like the trees in the suitcase, cloche-covered greenery, and, one of my favorites…the candle in the colander! This is a great lesson not only for Christmas, but for everyday decorating. I was wandering around Home Goods earlier today, looking for new things, but left empty-handed, and decided to "shop" my house to use old things in new ways. Thanks for the reminder, Brenda!

  17. At work we decided on a potluck and said that was our gift to each other. Suddenly everybody is buying a small gift for each employee. We're all at the age where we don't need any more ornaments, etc. so I find it's a waste of money and adds more stress trying to come up with a small gift for 8 or 9 people. I enjoy the potluck, the gift exchange not so much. I'd rather we each donate a food item or two to the food shelter and I think I'll suggest that…again. Good post, Brenda. It's easy to buy way more than what's on your list at this time of year.

  18. I was about to panic. I hadn't seen a post from you and went to your blog. Your last post was 2 weeks ago. I knew that wasn't right, but then I found this one. I signed up my email address hoping that I won't miss posts now. Your house looks nice and cozy. You are so right. I do stay out of stores. I do buy Christmas but I buy things that are wanted and I shop for good prices. Happy Holidays.

  19. Your house is beautifully decorated for the holidays! You always have a special touch, making things look perfect. I'm not buying anything new. I'm using what I have or thrift finds. Enjoy your weekend!

  20. Brenda, Your decorations are very pretty . I like that you make do with what you have on hand…we need to do more of that. Blessings to you dear Brenda. I think of you often. xoxo,Susie

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