Today we wanted to share a little frugal inspiration for some fun holiday decor!
To me, Christmas time is all about cozy memories together with loved ones, holiday parties, and focusing on the gifts we have and can give. As moms, we want to make the season as magical and memorable as we can. However, we all have a limit to our resources in time and budget. One of the things that I love most about Christmas time is the cozy ambiance that comes with decorating for the holidays! It can cost next to nothing, or you can spend a whole paycheck on holiday decorating. Today we are talking about what we did this season to work with what we owned.
We have a couple easy and free DIY projects to share, and then we’ll all share our thoughts about decorating for Christmas on a budget. Enjoy!
DIY Pine Cone Banner:
- Bakers twine (red yarn is really cute, or whatever string you have on hand!)
- White paint
All I did was:
- Collect pine-cones from my neighbor’s yard 😉
- Dip pine-cones in paint- let them dry for a few days.
- Tie string around them. Done!!!
DIY Fresh Rosemary Wreath
- Yard clippers
- Fresh yard trimmings from your bushes (I have a rosemary bush, but experiment with what you have!)
- A metal hanger
- Green floral wire
- Ribbon (I used a command hook to hang it on my kitchen hood)
- Trim your bushes with the yard clippers. Bring the trimmings (branches) inside.
- Untwist the metal hanger with the pliers.
- Bend the hanger to make a circle. One hanger can make a small wreath about the size of your face 😉
- Arrange a few branches onto the hanger and secure to the hanger using floral wire. Add more branches ’til you think it looks cute!
- Tie a ribbon to the top and hang on a mirror, on a seldom-used cabinet, or where-ever you have in mind!
*I made this about 3 weeks ago, and the rosemary looks about the same! It’s color has dried nicely and it’s held it’s shape! Rosemary is known to help improve memory- which is an added bonus for this hectic season!
I’m excited to use this manger with my kids this year. It’s just a little cardboard treat box and some raphia that our neighbor gave us and each time we intentionally do something kind like Christ would do, we help make his “manger bed” softer with the “hay”.
Lindsey from @tonyhastesmydiying, spurred us onto the idea for the topic last year. She posted on her Instagram:
This year I’m wishing for simplicity.
I’m striving to not go overboard, which is very hard for me. I wanted a different themed tree and was ready to run out the door to buy new stuff when, my main budget man, Tony reeled me back in. I “chose” to decorate with what I had. Besides the basin at the bottom, this tree decor cost me nothing. My December = Simplicity, I hope. Wish me luck.
Lindsey has the cutest Instagram account full of fresh, nature-inspired decor she often makes herself. She is good friend to Mommy Convo ladies, and many of the ideas I post about probably began with her in one way or another! Thanks Lindsey @tonyhatesmydiying for sharing!
I’m sharing a pic of my mantle for a few reasons:
- I love this handmade PEACE banner I bought from a neighbors’ fundraiser… only problem is that my kids somehow took off the “E” and I haven’t located it yet. I am still a little hopeful that it turns up, but I’m settling into the idea that the little leaf branch might have to be a permanent sub. I still like it, and so let’s be honest- who else cares?
- The top of my mantle did not look right- I had some bright decor I was trying to work with… and it just bugged me every time I saw it!!! Fortunately, sister-in-law has great taste, and while at her house for a family party, I asked her if she had any holiday decor she wasn’t using that she wouldn’t mind if I borrowed. I know I have a few things every year that I don’t put out… and SCORE- she did too! I borrowed just a few items and it made the mantle work great!
Moral of the story-
If you like what you have- great! Just enjoy and don’t worry about what anyone else might think. If you feel like you need a little something different: Don’t be afraid to ask a neighbor, friend, or family member to borrow. Almost all of my house decor is hand-me-downs, yard-sale finds, or an occasional clearance item at the store. Oh, and Dollar Tree sometimes blows me away with cute finds too– The red reindeer on the wreath is from there!
I had a vision pop in my head earlier this year of having Christmas lights in our master bedroom. On a quick whim last week I draped them on our head board, and even though it is the simplest thing ever… It brings an element of fun into the bedroom… Hubby likes that FUN element too. Wink-wink lol, TMI, right?! But this is important stuff, so I have to urge you guys- take five minutes and put up some Christmas lights in the master! You won’t be sorry!
If you do need to spend a little $ to achieve a look you’re going for, here are some darling battery-operated Restoration Hardware style lights on Amazon Prime: click here for 80%off!
Here is our ledge that usually sits empty! This year however, is the first year I had the energy to put something up there, and I think it is pretty cute! One of those “windows” is actually just a frame (with no glass), but I wrapped some fishing wire around it so that the wreath could still hang on it like the two old windows I’ve slowly collected. Glad to have this ledge for this season, especially as we’ve had house-guests. There is just something about chatting by the Christmas lights that makes me happy. 🙂
Now, onto the rest of us here at Mommy Convos:
This hand-me-down board gets used as display for whatever kid art projects we have for the season. The books at the top are from the post: best bedtime trick ever!!! And the chart on the bottom right corner is “a-post-in-the-making”- hope to share the details on the blog sometime! My kids are earning stickers so that they can be excited to buy Christmas presents they can GIVE (to their siblings)! It’s turned out just as I’d hoped, and they’ve been excited!
Honestly, I am not the best decorator….I have all the good intentions, but it usually doesn’t happen, or it doesn’t turn out the way I thought it would- arg. I still try to embrace Christmas decorating even with little ones. Last year we had a tiny four foot tree that we made due with. Our little ones would grab at our tree (it’s really no different this year, as you can tell from the picture above)… So we would put the tree up on a small table to eliminate the temptation.
The kids were so excited to have a “big tree” this year! The problem with the big tree is that we previously didn’t need many ornaments or decorations for our little tree because it was so little, this year it is a little bare, but I’m embracing it. We bought a tree that is pre-lit…aka the lights are already attached (minimal effort people…that’s my slogan) and I let the kids decorate it. I honestly let them decorate how they wanted. Therefore, all the ornaments ended up in one bunch, but I love it!!! I had to move a few ornaments from the bottom of the tree so our littler roller couldn’t grab them but other than that, I pretty much left it how they did it. Someday I may have a beautiful extravagant tree, but I am legitimately loving looking out our kid-decorated tree this year!
A tradition I started was taking her photo and placing it in a photo picture frame ornament. So every year we add more pictures with Santa on the tree and it is so fun to see their faces. My two year old kept saying, “That’s me.” It’s also fun for me to look back on how much my children have grown!
Morgan’s Christmas Tree:
The entire Dewey boy clan went Christmas tree hunting over the weekend. My husband and son (who watched like an expert) chopped down a gorgeous ten foot tree. So, we had to rearrange our entire front room and remove a couch to accommodate this massive tree. The sight of our tree is enchanting even with the imperfect decorations that abruptly stop before the baby can reach them. Our homes smells like Christmas – it truly is the best time of the year!
Due to our youngest now able to crawl and stand on his own, we do not have any ornaments lower than three feet. We did however place two non-breakable ornaments low enough for him to touch. To see the wonder in his eyes and hear him “oohing” over the twinkling tree lights is the sweetest.
Christmas at our house, like many others, is a pretty crazy yet fun and special time. Since we have been married, we have had the privilege of creating our own Christmas traditions to make the season special for our girls with the time we have together as a family. My hubby travels a lot, as pilots do, and we have had to spend many holidays away from each other as a result. Christmas this year is no different. When it comes to decorations for the season, our house is pretty simple and understated.
My hubby doesn’t like a lot of fluff, and I’ve grown to just roll with it because there are so many more fun and exciting things we can be doing as a family than fussing over “Pinterest perfect” decorations. We try to focus on the things that matter instead of the trending commercialism and we love it that way. This simple Willow Tree nativity sits on top our TV armoire. I love the size (these figures stand about 15 inches tall) and that it’s explicitly focused on the holy family. To add to the space, I found these cute burlap and jute trees at our local Target a few years ago. They were a perfect find in their dollar section and I was pretty pleased with the result. I mean, how can you go wrong with a dollar?!
Now for the kitchen…
I LOVE this snow globe. Doesn’t it make a cute center piece? I thought so too. I received this tree snow globe as a Christmas gift from my parents many years ago. Decorating the tree is one of my favorite family traditions for as long as I can remember. Decorating the tree at our house growing up was always complete with Christmas music (or a holiday movie), hot cocoa, and a sleepover in the living room so the kids could watch the Christmas lights as they fell asleep. It was so fun! We feel our girls are a little young and would probably terrorize some area of the house during the night. But, I can’t wait till we can continue this tradition with our kids.
The girls also love the fact that the snow globe lights up and blows the snow around when they push the little button on the base. They could watch that thing all day! The little wreath here is something we had on the tables at our rehearsal dinner for our wedding. (With a winter wedding you can’t go wrong with greenery since it is EVERYWHERE and dirt cheap haha.) Seven years later it gets transformed through the holidays and is still going strong… add a couple holiday floral picks and you’re good to go!
Like I mentioned above, decorating the tree is my favorite part of our holiday traditions. Each year we collect one new family ornament that reflects on an event or theme of the year. We decide together as a family and find a special place on the tree for it. As far as decorating hacks go, our tree skirt this year is a blanket. I was tired of our old one that didn’t really go with anything and nothing screams at my OCD more during the holidays than a coordinating tree with a non-coordinating tree skirt. (Though don’t get me started on our uncoordinated stockings… haha.) So I took a look around the house and pulled out one of our lap blankets and viola! Instant tree skirt.
Thanks for reading!
Do you have anything you re-purposed for the holidays this year? Share your ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear how you do holiday decorations in your family.
The Mommy Convos team