Ah, Christmas. The most wonderful hectic time of the year. Time and budget seem to run in shorter supply. That's why I really tried this year to go easy on my pocketbook and my pocket watch with FREE & EASY Christmas decorations.
It was my first year decorating a full house for Christmas, and I was able to get away with only buying 2 mini silver Christmas trees, $6 worth of ornaments, a few strands of lights, two fraser fir wreaths, and a few simple craft supplies.
So, I'm here to talk to you about using what you have and what you can get for free to make your house Christmas ready. For more Christmas house pictures, see the tour.
1. Shop your yard
Winter is time to prune the bushes, and why not take advantage of that opportunity to use some of those plants for your Christmas decor. I trimmed rosemary, lavender, boxwood, and holly from our flower beds and used it all around the house. I also collected pine cones from a local park and made ornaments and extra decorations (see pine cone ornament tutorial here.) If you don't have a yard, you can always visit a park to pick up clippings or ask a friend if you can help do their gardening :-)
Mini boxwood wreaths and rosemary on the table settings.
Holly & Rosemary as accents.
Pine cones everywhere.
Fresh greenery really adds a touch of natural cheer, and your bushes will thank you for lightening their load.
2. Beg for scraps
Someone recommended to me this year that I visit a Christmas tree lot and ask for their leftover tree clippings. I went to the Home Depot tree lot, and they had a bin FULL of leftovers from the bottoms of Christmas trees. I came away with a trunk full, and that fraser fir is all over my house!
I made a wreath. I added it to my table centerpiece. I filled vases. I made arrangements for above the kitchen windows. If it needed green, it got it. It automatically made everything look more decorated, and I didn't spend a penny.
3. Use the unexpected
Sometimes things laying around your house that aren't even necessarily Christmas items can be festive when put in the right context. It doesn't have to be frosted or have Santa's face on it to say "Merry Christmas." I pulled some scrabble letters out of the dusty game in the basement. I used books in Christmas colors to add height to my Christmas village houses. I pulled out some old candlesticks and replaced the candle with a pinecone. I put greenery in a gold vase that usually holds warm weather blooms.
4. Repurpose ornaments
If you're like me, you have a few extra ball ornaments laying in the bottom of your storage bin that don't make it onto the tree every year. Use them in centerpieces, on table displays, or nestled in garland.
5. Wrap with what you have This year, rather than buying holiday specific wrapping paper, I decided to use simple craft paper and twine I already had (twine is my solution for everything), and do some creative things with the wrapping.
I treated it like a chalkboard.
I added super cheap red snowflake ornaments ($2.50 for a 40 pack from Walmart) to the packaging.
6. (BONUS TIP) Kittens If a neighborhood cat has kittens in your front yard and then abandons them the week before Thanksgiving, you can raise the kittens during the holiday until they are old enough to be adopted and take pictures of them in all of your Christmas decor. They are a (not) free and (not) easy but completely adorable addition to any holiday home.
Just saying...from experience.