Last Updated on November 27, 2023 by lindseymahoney
Looking to expand your Christmas decorations without spending a fortune?! You are in the right place! Along with creating a beautiful and uniquely decorated home every Christmas, you will save tons of money purchasing these items secondhand. Let’s check out my tips and ideas for collecting thrifted Christmas decor!
How can I decorate for Christmas on a budget?
I absolutely love this question!
Shopping for Christmas decor at second-hand stores and estate sales is a great way to find quality items at a fraction of the price. I also enjoy shopping in my own house to find creative Christmas decorations to use throughout the house.
Another way to save money when decorating for Christmas is to reuse your decorations year after year. It can be really easy to see the hot new trend when decorating for the holidays and want to switch it up every few years, but I personally think it is a waste of money and resources.
Reusing Christmas decor year after year creates that sense of nostalgia through the years. Each piece holds a memory of time spent with family.
*Looking for more budget-friendly Christmas decorating ideas? Check out these cheap or free ideas for the holidays!
Thrifted Christmas Decor Items to Shop For All Year
Here are my favorite thrifted Christmas decor ideas and items to search for when visiting secondhand stores and estate sales near you.
Vintage Christmas Village
Setting up a vintage Christmas village at Christmastime feels so nostalgic. There are many places to find secondhand village accessories either online or at estate sales. Adding to your collection year after year is a fun activity and it is amazing how much kids love them too!
The two most popular brands that make the Christmas villages are Lemax and Department 56.
Christmas garland can be expensive when bought brand-new! I purchased old Christmas garland at an estate sale but was able to spruce it up with faux flowers and ribbons. I saved a good chunk of money by purchasing the garland strands secondhand.
Ornate Frames for Seasonal Prints
This is one of my favorite Christmas DIY projects because it makes such a statement and was pretty inexpensive to create! The natural elements used in the mantel design perfectly complement the vintage print.
Estate sales are a great place to find vintage picture frames that are perfect for displaying Christmas scenes. I downloaded a digital print from Etsy, added a faux oil painting technique and popped it into the frame.
While some people may not feel comfortable buying used pillows, I think an exception can be made for decorative pillows. Christmas pillows are generally set out for 1-2 months a year and are more decorative than functional.
Estate sales are a great place to find decorative pillows at deep discount prices. I found an adorable Christmas pillow by the Frontgate brand at a local sale and purchased it for $18. The retail price is $99!
Christmas Tree Ornaments
Thrifted Christmas tree ornaments are a great way to fill in your tree without breaking the bank. I like to keep an eye out for ornaments that have special meaning for my family or beautifully made ornaments.
If you don’t love the look of the original ornament, you can also bring it home and alter it to better fit your Christmas decor aesthetic.
For example, I took plain, white ornaments and applied gold rub n’ buff to fit with our red and gold Christmas decor. I added a pretty bow to the top of some ornaments as well.
Ribbons and Wrapping Paper
I love a beautifully wrapped gift, but I have a hard time justifying the cost of creating a beautifully wrapped gift.
Buying wrapping paper and decorative ribbons secondhand definitely makes me feel better and saves me money! I have a drawer full of ribbons found at estate sales that can be added to wrapped presents.
Seasonal China for Formal Tablescapes
I recently picked up plaid plates and mugs at an estate sale that I can’t wait to use this holiday season.
Christmas Table Linens
Table linens are pricey when bought brand new. Estate sales are a fantastic place to find beautiful linens to set your holiday table.
Recently I found a brand-new red, Ralph Lauren tablecloth and William’s Sonoma napkins for the holiday season.
Lanterns with battery-operated candles in them look so beautiful when incorporated into Christmas decor.
Whether the lanterns are displayed on a side table or incorporated into exterior Christmas decor, a flickering candle inside of a lantern is a classic holiday look.
I have found brass candleholders at local estate sales and thrift stores that look great with my red and gold Christmas decor.
Glass candleholders are also a great option if you want to add some greenery around the candle.
Depending on your holiday decor style, there are endless possibilities with candleholders you can find at great prices from secondhand stores.
I can typically find candlesticks at estate sales for as low as $0.50 a pair. You can’t beat that price!
If there are fun colors or shapes, I like to purchase and use them for dinner parties (or just dinner with the family).
If you want the ambiance of lit candlesticks without the hazard of a lit flame, consider battery-operated candlesticks that can be used year after year.
Faux Christmas Trees
Fake Christmas trees can be costly, so a thrifted Christmas tree is a great option to save money. Facebook Marketplace is a great spot to find secondhand trees as well as local estate sales.
We personalized a secondhand Christmas tree by adding flocking material to the branches to create the appearance of snow. Once the tree was decorated and lit, it looked like a million bucks!
Sometimes you can find beautiful Christmas wreaths while thrift shopping, but I would encourage you to look for simpler wreaths as well.
A plain wreath can easily be dressed up for the holidays with a Christmas bow and even some faux flowers.
Keep an eye out for Christmas-themed artwork to display during the holidays.
I struggle to buy brand-new artwork that will be stored in my basement for 10 months out of the year, so thrifting these items makes it much easier to justify when purchasing Christmas decorations!
Displaying Christmas items that serve no purpose other than bringing you joy throughout the holiday season can often be found while thrifting.
Whether it is a cute nutcracker, a decorative Santa figurine, or even a holiday music box, you can always find something unique at estate sales!
Decorating your home using books you already own is such a great way to add Christmas spirit without spending a fortune.
Books are really easy to find while thrift shopping and are typically $1-$2. Look for book covers with festive colors to use throughout your home.
Gather any books with red, green, and gold spines and display them together for a subtle seasonal look.
Set out Christmas-themed books for guests and family to peruse.
More Christmas Items to Thrift for Your Home
Keep a list of items you want to find saved on your phone. Whenever you visit a thrift store throughout the year, review your saved list and buy the items you find at deep discount prices!
- Vintage glass Christmas trees
- Vintage ornaments to display in bowls
- Tree skirts
- Glass cloches to use as decoration
- French horns
Shopping at thrift stores and estates is one of my favorite pastimes and I feel such a thrill when I find a great deal. I hope these thrifted Christmas decor ideas have energized you to find some fun items this holiday season!