Last Updated on May 1, 2023 by lindseymahoney
‘Tis the season to deck the halls and spread holiday cheer, but there’s no need to break the bank in the process. With a little creativity and some budget-friendly ideas, you can transform your home into a winter wonderland without emptying your wallet. Today I am sharing more than 25 creative and cheap ways to decorate for Christmas on a budget!
From DIY ornaments and wreaths to repurposed materials and clever hacks, these ideas will not only add a touch of holiday magic to your space but also leave your guests amazed at your resourcefulness. As an added bonus, many of these Christmas decor ideas are sustainable and environmentally friendly too!
Let’s dive in and make this Christmas one to remember, without breaking the bank!
Creative Ways to Decorate for Christmas on a Budget
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1 | Decorate with Red and Green Books
Search your collection for books with green, red, and gold spines to use as Christmas decorations. Display these festive books throughout your home for subtle seasonal decor.
2 | Display Christmas and Winter Books
Every year I display the Charles Dickens book, A Christmas Carol, during the holiday season. Not only is it on “theme” for the holidays, but the red and gold cover looks pretty too!
Another cheap and easy way to add Christmas decor to your child’s bedroom is to display holiday books. My daughter has two bookshelves on her wall that we refresh with themed books each season or holiday.
3 | Use Greenery from Christmas Tree Trimmings
This Christmas decor idea is free and really gets me into the holiday spirit!
If you buy a real tree every year, use any tree trimmings to decorate your home. If you have a fake tree, I recommend asking a local Christmas tree seller to see if you can take any of their scraps.
In our bedroom, I added evergreen branches to a vase I already owned and added a small red ribbon to complete the look. Above the mirror, I attached a few branches and concealed the hook with a ribbon.
4 | Create Winter Wonderlands by Flocking Greenery
Create the dreamy look of fresh snow on your faux Christmas tree or decorative garland with this flocking DIY.
5 | Cut Branches from the Yard to Decorate
Another easy way to decorate with natural elements is by clipping greenery from your own yard.
Pine tree branches work great, but I also love boxwood bush clippings. If you use any natural garland, steal a few strands to add dimension to different types of greenery on display.
I like to add natural greenery around candles in lanterns or glass urns.
Look for any branches that have a reddish hue, or even better, a holly bush to add some variety to the mix. Local grocery stores often sell small bundles of greenery and flowers that can be used as festive Christmas decor as well.
6 | Dried Oranges For Christmas Decor
If you need some more color, try out this popular dried oranges DIY idea. This project is super easy and adds a perfect, natural element to your Christmas decorations.
A few years ago, I made a dried orange garland and draped it over a holiday sign. You can see tree trimmings that I used in the candle urn and the book, “A Christmas Carol”, to add to the festive look.
7 | Create a Festive Tablescape
Setting the table for a formal dinner always makes it feel like Christmas, especially when seasonal decor is used!
The holiday season is about spending time with loved ones, and what better way to spend time with family than sharing a meal together?
Red, green, and gold linens immediately evoke the feeling of Christmas. If you have Christmas-themed china or crystal stored away in cabinets, put them on display this holiday season!
8 | Decorate with Kids Christmas Crafts
There are SO many holiday craft ideas on Pinterest that are great to decorate for Christmas on a budget.
A few years ago I cut triangles from scrapwood in our garage and let the kids paint them and display them around the house.
Not only is this a cheap Christmas decoration idea, but it helps to clear out the junk in our garage!
9 | Decorate with Presents
Beautifully wrapped presents double as great Christmas decor for your home! I love to place wrapped presents for family members around the house.
A cluster of presents (3 gifts are great) of varying sizes look great displayed together. Adding a small wrapped gift next to a Santa figurine or placing a few gifts near a fireplace adds lots of holiday cheer.
10 | Holiday Scented Candles & Diffusers
Christmas is not just about the visual decorations – it’s also about creating a festive atmosphere that engages all of your senses. One way to do this is by using scents to evoke the holiday spirit.
A delicious-smelling holiday candle or diffuser with peppermint oil is a simple way to create holiday cheer. Adding a sensory element like seasonal scents quickly creates nostalgic memories and the feeling of Christmas.
11 | Seasonal Simmering Pot
Simmering a pot of water with cinnamon sticks, cloves, and orange peels will fill your home with the warm and comforting scent of Christmas. You can also use scented candles, essential oil diffusers, or even DIY room sprays to infuse your space with festive fragrances.
12 | Festive Music
In addition to scents, music plays a crucial role in setting the mood. Create a playlist of your favorite holiday tunes and let the joyful melodies fill your home. Whether it’s classic carols or modern hits, music has the power to transport you to a winter wonderland.
13 | Decorate with Christmas themed Stuffed Animals
Some may say it’s tacky, but I say it’s fun!
Kids love to decorate for Christmas using their toys and it is great for the budget!
This is a great option to add some holiday spirit in bedrooms or playrooms and you don’t have to worry about your Christmas decorations getting broken.
If you have reindeer, Santas, or even characters from movies like Frozen, don’t be afraid to use them as Christmas decor.
14 | Add Plaid
I don’t know about you, but a touch of plaid always adds a little Christmas spirit to the season. When in doubt, add plaid!
15 | Cozy Mood Lighting
Instead of using your overhead lighting, create a cozy and festive atmosphere by lighting the fireplace and turning on twinkling Christmas lights.
Turning off overhead lights and opting for lamp lights and candles instantly sets the mood to cuddle up with loved ones at home.
16 | Holiday Wreaths
One of my favorite activities to do with friends is to make our own Christmas wreaths.
Because we use natural elements, it is easy to compost after the Christmas season and it smells heavenly.
17 | Display Old Santa Visit Photos
Gather photos from past Santa visits and display them every holiday season.
Ask your parents if they have any old photos of themselves and your family from Santa visits too. This Christmas decor is very nostalgic and my guests always love looking at these fun family memories.
18 | Decorate with Christmas Cards
Hanging Christmas cards from friends and family is a budget-friendly way to decorate for Christmas.
I picked up this inexpensive Christmas card garland from Target and we love looking at the Christmas cards from our loved ones while we eat dinner every night.
This DIY Christmas decor idea is so easy and it’s free!
19 | Battery Operated Candles
I love the look of glowing candles throughout the home, especially during Christmas.
Utilizing battery-operated candles is a budget-friendly Christmas decoration idea that can be reused every year! Look for battery-operated candles that include timers to maximize the use of each candle.
20 | Fill a Bowl with Vintage Ornaments
Ornaments aren’t just for hanging on the Christmas tree! Filling a bowl with Christmas ornaments is an easy and cheap Christmas decoration that can be displayed in any room of your home!
21 | Hang an Advent Calendar for Festive Decor
22 | Display Gingerbread Houses
Along with being a fun activity for the kiddos, decorated gingerbread houses are a great way to decorate for Christmas too!
23 | Add Seasonal Throw Pillows
As soon as Thanksgiving is over, I pull out our Christmas decorations and toss the seasonal throw pillows on couches, pillows, and beds.
Pillows can be used year after year and look great because they are only out for one month of the year!
24 | DIY Christmas Ornaments
One of the best ways to save money during the holidays is by making your own Christmas ornaments.
Not only is this a budget-friendly option, but it also allows you to unleash your creativity and create unique pieces that reflect your personal style.
There are countless DIY tutorials and ideas available online, making it easy for even the most novice crafter to create beautiful decorations.
Some of my favorite ornaments hanging on the Christmas tree are the kid’s DIY artwork gifted to us over the years. DIY ornaments make great gifts for friends and family as well!
25 | Thrift Store Finds for Cheap Christmas Decorations
If you’re looking for cheap and unique Christmas decor, thrift stores, and estate sales should be your go-to destination.
Thrift stores are a treasure trove of hidden gems, where you can find vintage ornaments, festive linens, and unique decorations at a fraction of the cost.
From antique candle holders to vintage Christmas lights, thrift stores offer endless possibilities for creating a festive ambiance without breaking the bank. Plus, shopping at secondhand stores is an eco-friendly choice, as it promotes recycling and reduces waste.
Last year I found a bunch of old garland greenery for $11 that I use to decorate our staircase every year.
26 | Felt Christmas Stockings DIY
Another fun DIY that adds personalization to your Christmas decorations is a homemade felt stocking. You can buy these kits online or at local craft stores and my kids love their one-of-a-kind stockings!
27 | Classic Christmas Lights to Decorate
Christmas lights are an essential part of holiday decor, but they don’t have to be expensive.
There are several budget-friendly options for adding sparkle to your home without breaking the bank. LED lights, for example, are energy-efficient and last longer than traditional incandescent lights, saving you money in the long run.
Additionally, consider using fairy lights or battery-operated candles to create a cozy and magical atmosphere. These smaller lights are typically more affordable and can be used in creative ways, such as adorning wreaths or adding a warm glow to your dining table.
Enjoy a Beautiful Christmas with These Cheap and Easy Ideas
Decorating your home for Christmas doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. By opting for creative and inexpensive decor ideas, you can save money while still creating a festive and magical atmosphere.
From utilizing natural elements to repurposing items and incorporating handmade crafts, there are countless ways to adorn your home without breaking the bank.
Remember, it’s the thought and effort that goes into the decor that truly matters, not the price tag.
Tips to Reduce Waste During the Holidays
- Skip gift tags and use specific wrapping paper for each child
- DIY wrapping paper using items you own or recyclable paper
- Reuse ribbons, gift bags, and boxes each year
- Use Christmas decor that is compostable
- Decorate your home with DIY and personalized Christmas decor collected over the years
Benefits of Creative and Inexpensive Christmas Decor
Decorating for Christmas doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor. In fact, there are several benefits to opting for creative and cheap or DIY’ed holiday decor.
First and foremost, it allows you to save money, which can be particularly important during the holiday season when expenses tend to pile up. By utilizing affordable or cheap decor ideas, you can allocate your budget towards other aspects of the holidays, such as gifts or hosting a memorable dinner.
Additionally, creating your own decorations or repurposing items not only saves money but also adds a personal touch to your home, making it feel warm and inviting.
Finally, choosing budget-friendly decor options allows you to experiment and get creative, leading to unique and one-of-a-kind decorations that will surely impress your friends and family.
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