Have a Holly, Jolly (and Thrifty) Christmas

Nothing blows my budget like Christmas! I love decorating and even handmade decorations can get expensive. Here are a few thrifty alternatives I made this year — almost for free!

Decoupage Christmas ornaments. I bought plain glass ornaments from a craft store for $2.99 and decoupaged them with paper from old books I got at the library’s booksale (they have a cart of books they give away FOR FREE!). Instead of name brand decoupage glue, I used a half-and-half mixture of Elmer’s white glue and water and added some glitter at the end for some sparkle. Cost per ornament: 65 cents.

Ruched tree skirt. Pretty tree skirts can cost $50 or more. I made my own tree skirt using this tutorial and a tablecloth I bought at a thrift store. Total cost: $3.99 + tax.

Shabby chic gift wrap. The idea of spending money on paper that’s just going to get torn up and thrown away is crazy! I’ve been wrapping my gifts in brown grocery bags and scrap ribbon from old craft projects. When the ribbon runs out, I’ll switch to leftover embroidery thread. Cost: free.

Yarn-wrapped letters. I bought papier-mache letters at the craft store for 99 cents apiece and wrapped them in some extra yarn I had from an old crochet project. I spelled the word “peace” and hung it on my kitchen wall from some ribbon I found languishing in my craft bin. Cost: $4.95 + tax.

Advent wreath. I admit, I have a TON of extra yarn (I always buy too much for crochet projects). I made my own Advent wreath by carving holes for candles in a foam wreath form ($4.99), then wrapping it in yarn. I made a few crochet flowers for decoration. After Christmas, I can replace the purple and rose candles ($3.99) with white ones for a neutral tabletop decoration. Cost: $8.98 + tax.

How do YOU live within your means at Christmastime? Share your ideas with me and I’ll post them for everyone!