Build a Bangin’ Tree on a Budget

posted in: Family | 3

It’s that time of the year again! Time to deck the halls for the Christmas season! I must admit, there’s nothing I love more than the fun of filling the house with lights and festive music as we celebrate the Savior! Love it.

The truth is though, so much of the decor for the season is just down-right expensive! Because our family is operating on a budget, I won’t be dropping hundreds of dollars to decorate for Christmas. I’ve got better, more beneficial areas to put my money. I’ve never had money to waste at Christmas time, so I’ve figured out some ways to decorate that cost next to nothing, if not free. Follow along as I share three tips for decorating your home and tree on a budget…and YES! It can look super, too!

1) PICK A THEME YOU CAN BUILD ON EACH YEAR.

I have friends who don’t do the themed tree, thing. They have a family tree with sentimental ornaments and that’s all they do. Hey! Nothing wrong with that. But most of us still don’t have any ornaments or garlands when we start out as a couple. Find creative ways to fill in the gaps in a tree while you build up a collection over time. The best way to do that is by waiting and buying ornaments when some are on sale. Sometimes that’s after Christmas.

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This is our “family” tree. It’s our uber gaudy candy tree and the kids adore it. The first year we started on this tree, we had mainly ribbon that I found on sale, and then I took some red cellophane and wrapped some foam circles, making large candy pieces. That was close to all that was on the tree. I filled in by spraying some dried flowers red. Each year we’ve bought a few new candy ornaments after Christmas when they’re on sale. It’s my favorite tree!

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2) GET CREATIVE!

Just about any collection you’ve already got going around your house can be used in a Christmas display! Anybody can go to Hobby Lobby and pick out some pre-made decor (sounds fun!). But truthfully, real style and design come from being innovative and creative. If you want more than a pre-packaged look, start looking outside your home and even through what you already have to decorate!

I’ve used magnolia leaves to decorate many years. You might have a neighbor with a magnolia tree who wouldn’t mind you cutting off some of the smaller lower branches. Magnolia leaves make great wreaths as well! The leaves turn a beautiful gold as they dry. I’ve been using fresh cedar branches for several years for garland all over my house. It stays green the entire season. I would recommend spraying it once a week with water to keep it from getting too dry. Also, if you use Christmas lights with any dried leaf or flower, never leave the lights plugged in over-night or while you’re away from your home. I’ve never had any trouble with my fresh garlands, but just apply some common sense there.

imageDried hydrangeas are a yearly go-to for me. They are the perfect filler in any tree, and you can spray them any color. The blooms are still found on bushes in the southern US in late November/ early December. Even if the blooms have turned brown and are dry, they’re still perfect for spraying and using. Experiment with what other dried flowers will work!

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The above garland is a fresh cedar garland. The tree is one I started with dried hydrangeas, feathers I collected throughout the year, and pine cones. Each year I add a few bird themed ornaments.

3) USE WHAT YOU’VE GOT

As I said before, find a way to use what you already have around the house!

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I wasn’t sure how to decorate the old fireplace in our kitchen, so I started thinking on what I already had going on. I decided to use the cedar, hydrangeas, pine cones, and some other kitchen collections I have. Butter molds, a piece of decorative iron that came off of an antebellum home (I found in the woods years ago!), and some antique mason jar lids bring it all together.

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In my son Salem’s room, I decided to use the vintage toys we already had.

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My daughter Camila has an old walnut mantle for a headboard. We found it on the side of the road! Seriously! I used the same hydrangea and cedar mix in her room, along with a little pearl garland,

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The below tree was decorated for $10! I wanted a tree in my bedroom, and is is how I did it for 10 bucks.

For starters, I went out in the woods and chopped down a tree:

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BAHAHAHA! Not really. The previous owners of our home left several artificial trees. Yay!  But if you’re looking for an artificial tree, I saw two last week at a thrift store. Check at Salvation Army and other thrift shops! You’ll be amazed. One of the trees I saw at a thrift shop was $20! The other was a huge cedar artificial tree (12 ft I think) for around $50.

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I spent $5 on a strand of lights, and found some old fabric and tulle which I cut into strips and added to the tree.

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This was stuff I already had, but if you check the clearance tables at Wal Mart or Hancocks, you’ll likely only spend around $5 for some strips of fabric that would work. Break all the color rules! I’m wanting to build a plaid tree for my boys upstairs…that won’t be hard since I found various plaid fabrics for about $1 a yd. Find something you like, any color or texture, and wrap, tuck, or tie until it looks cool. It’s not really complicated.

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LOL…getting goofy is alright too.

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I then went out and sprayed some hydrangeas white and some pine cones gold.

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I plugged all that into my tree…

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I added some ting ting (the sparkly silver, curly sticks) for about $5. Yes, silver and gold! Living on the edge, I tell you what.

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And there you have it! My $10 tree. Good times.

 

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I had some ornaments in a box from years back, and I added those to the same mix of greenery on the mantle in our bedroom.

 

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Christmas is supposed to be fun! Don’t put yourself in debt to decorate! Be creative and come up with something cool. It’ll be more sentimental, and world’s more unique! Link me below to photos of your trees! I’d love to see them!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS, Y’ALL!

3 Responses

  1. Hey! From California….homeschooling here in the city is much different, but we will try the octopus hotdogs, and thanks for your fun decorating ideas!

  2. Calley Reed

    Pretty! Thanks for sharing Jo Ann!