Since we are now in December, it's time to decorate. I know many people start before hand, but I always dread the decorating part. I love how it is afterwards; it's just the time consuming part. So this year, I am doing just a part at a time. Today I am putting up all of my nativity sets.
I love nativity sets and would love to have this beautiful one that I have seen down at the Vesey's store, I just can't justify $120 on it. Maybe when it gets marked down 75% off or something.
Anyway, enough ranting. How do you decorate frugally? I got to thinking about this as I put up one of my sets today. I happened to buy it after Christmas one year at Christmas Discounters. It ended up being marked down from $50 to $11 because there was a piece missing. I still haven't figured out which one, but all the key characters are there. Must have been an extra sheep or something.
That's the first way to think for decorating. Buy the decorations after the season for next year. You can find a tonne of deals out there then. Regular stores have big sales on at the beginning of the season and then again as it draws closer to the holiday.
Another way would be to go to the dollar stores, thrift stores and yard sales. But hey, that's my answer a lot of times isn't it? It's true though, you never know what you can find there to start you off with.
Then there are the homemade decorations. Our first Christmas together, my husband and I painted a bunch of ceramic ornaments that were 25 cents each. They and some wooden soldiers were the only thing on our tree that year.
There are a lot of patterns available online and classes at stores, churches, schools and what not to be able to teach you how to make certain ornaments. Most classes are free except for your supplies that you have to purchase. We try to do one Christmas ornament craft together each year. It's a nice tradition and fun to see how talents and tastes change over the years.
Another way is reusing ornaments for different purposes. You have several ball ornaments that don't have hooks anymore? Well, place them in a nice dish and you have a wonderful centrepiece. By grouping them, you change their purpose and you have a wonderful new display.
My grandmother once was going to throw out all of these wonderful decorations because of whatever reason. I rescued them. Which is another way of getting decorations, from those that are purging. With my grandmother's they were peeling and what not, so I cleaned off everything and then repainted them with some tole painting. I gave them to her for her present that year and she didn't even recognize them. Some of them now hang on my tree and I think of her every year when I hang them.
There are always the garlands or popcorn, cranberries, cinnamon sticks and painted pasta that can be done for wonderful decorations as well. Candles in glass jars from your applesauce, pasta sauce etc. All different sizes and in the middle of the table is beautiful.
Wrap up your pictures that are on your wall in Christmas paper as if they were gifts and rehang them to be presents on your wall, or do the doors to your rooms. Everyone loves a really big present! Hang old Christmas cards around or even frame some of them that have wonderful poems or pictures. You can also make these into lovely little gift boxes and stagger those for a centrepiece as well. You can also make Christmas Card trees out of them buy cutting them on an angle and stringing them together.
Old burnt out lightbulbs and can be repainted and used for crafts as well. I have made a reindeer and a penguin out of some of my old ones.
Instead of paying for your pine boughs at the store, go for a lovely walk in your local woods and gather some to bring home along with seasonal berries and pinecones and whatnot. Makes a nice entrance when they are placed in containers at your door. Put some lights in and you are all set.
Homemade potpourri brewing in a pot adds a wonderful scent throughout your home as well. There are many recipes online that you can get to make your own.
Garlands of paper snowflakes strung on ribbon or twine is a wonderful window display. Or it could go around your door frames. We always joked that it wouldn't snow and stay until the snowflakes were up and about and it didn't melt until they were put away.
There are many origami patterns out there besides cranes as well. Check them out and make ornaments out of origami.
One post stated about saving your bread tags throughout the year (if you buy bread) and then painting them green. They can then be used to hold your lights in place on your tree.
So these are just some ideas that I wanted to share with you on this rainy, so not December feeling, day. What frugal Christmas decorating do you do?
Enjoy your day!