How to decorate for Christmas on a budget – money saving tips!

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Need to decorate for Christmas on a budget? Well the good news is that there are lots of ways to create a special, festive atmosphere without spending a fortune. Here are my money-saving tips…

Decorate your own ornaments

Personalise the tree by painting your own baubles and tree decorations; it’s such great fun and the perfect way to keep the kiddies busy on a wintery day. My two have made decorations every year since they were old enough to hold a paintbrush, and I love all of the different homemade decorations we have on our tree, they’re so special.

They also make them as gifts for the grandparents, and they’re always well received. Hobbycraft and The Range sell all sorts of wonderful paint-your-own decorations starting from just £1, and you can get them sent quickly online from Amazon too.

paint your own tree decorations, ornaments, christmas, childrens craft


Buy preloved

Second-hand shopping has never been so easy.  Gone are the days of trawling through charity shops (although I do enjoy a good charity shop wander too!) because everything can be so quickly located online – Preloved, Shpock, Ebay, Gumtree, Vinted or Facebook Marketplace are a few great places to start. You’ll be able to buy what you need for a fraction of the cost that they would have been new.

baubles and christmas lights in a box


Hunt out freebies

It’s amazing how many things people give away for free too; so you may even be able to freshen up your decor without spending a penny by searching selling sites, Olio and local Facebook Groups.  Let’s keep our unwanted items from reaching the landfill for as long as possible – reduce, re-use, recycle!  One person’s trash is another one’s treasure.


Make your own Christmas decorations

If you want to make your own ornaments from scratch, then use salt dough and cookie cutters to make decorations to paint. Salt dough is so cheap and easy – you’ll have the ingredients in your pantry cupboard already and there’s very little prep time needed. They make brilliant gifts from the kids too – have a look at my easy 3 ingredient salt dough post to get started.

salt dough ornaments, childrens hands, bauble, craft, decoration


Re-purpose old decorations

Don’t be afraid to revamp old decorations that could do with a new lease of life. A bit of imagination and a can of spray paint can completely transform anything tired and it’s a much cheaper way of introducing a new colour theme if you want something new this year. Have a go, it’s great fun and you’ve got nothing to lose by trying!

baubles on christmas tree


Get crafty

Get the kids on board to decorate the windows with paper snowflakes – they can be as simple or as intricate as you like, there are loads of tutorials online! We also print Christmas colouring pages onto tracing paper and colour them in with permanent markers – they look so effective, as the sun shines through them once they’re stuck onto the windows.


Make it cosy with lights

Fairy lights and candles can be picked up for next to nothing, but they create such a warm, cosy, festive atmosphere. Lights can usually be found for a few pounds in the supermarkets, bargain shops or on Amazon, and they’ll look great year after year. Buy LED for cheaper running costs, a longer life span and to be more environmentally friendly.

christmas tree lights, fairy lights


Use printable decorations

Use my FREE printable colour-in paper chain or colour-in Christmas bunting to keep the kids busy and make the whole house feel festive. It’ll only cost you a few bits of paper but they look so effective – print as many times as you like and watch it grow longer and longer!

free, printable christmas craft, childrens decorations, frugal mum, paper chain, colour in

My article 10 cheap and easy children’s Christmas craft activities has some more ideas too, for decorating the house on a budget and getting the kids involved!


Set up a swap

If your decorations are in good condition but you’re just bored of the same old thing, why not see if friends and family want to trade? You’d be able to have a change of decor and a fresh look this Christmas without spending a penny just by rotating what you have with others.


Forage in nature

Why not create a nature based wreath, fireplace garland or centrepiece from bits and bobs you can forage from your garden or the woods? Free, beautiful and eco-friendly – win, win, win! Pine cones, leaves and foliage look brilliant as they are or spray painted. For more ideas and inspiration read my post on how to make your own wreath.

christmas natural wreath on door


Shop the January sales

If your decorations have seen better days, and they’re in need of an update, put a little money aside and head out just after Christmas and into the beginning of January.  After Christmas, everything is sold off so cheaply; I particularly love The Range – they have a brilliant selection of Christmas bits which will be discounted by 70% in the new year.

The supermarkets can be a great place to shop too. I popped into Sainsbury’s on boxing day, to pick up some last minute bits before heading to family, and came out with beautiful 7ft artificial tree for just £12.50. Shopping after the big day is well worth the wait.

shopping mall at christmas


Keep it simple

You don’t need to spend a fortune to make the house feel festive, and most of the time less is more – a few sentimental bits that you love can be plenty. For me, the homemade decorations that the kids have made are the most special of them all. Don’t get caught up overspending or worrying too much about appearances. Tis the season to be jolly so make the most of what you have and focus on having fun. For more info, read my post on a how to have a minimalist Christmas. Merry Christmas!

christmas tree with child and family

Trying to have an inexpensive Christmas?

Check out my article: Christmas without money – 30 tips for a DIY family Christmas on a small budget.


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