Decorations on the Cheap--What Works for Me

I love how decorations make a house feel more like a home.  A place you love coming back to, a place that feels cozy and comfortable.  But it can be pricey!   

And since it is Christmas time, I thought I'd pass along a few tips I've learned for decorating on the cheap.

Since it's Christmas, I thought I'd share on wreaths, tree skirts, and ornaments.

Have you looked at how much wreaths cost?  Even the cheapy-looking wreaths at Wal-Mart can be $20.

Or tree-skirts can be crazy expensive! 

Ornaments can eat up your whole budget!

And if you are like me, trends can capture my heart for a season, but when the next year rolls around, I might not be in love with it anymore.  It's easier to justify spending a little and having a few options, than spending a lot and being stuck with it for years. 

My biggest tip for decorating on the cheap is knowing what things cost.  If you like a certain style/size of wreath, how much does a plain one cost at Michael's, JoAnn's, and Hobby Lobby?  How much are wreath picks worth?  I've found some great picks at the dollar store before, in the floral section.  Don't forget that most of the craft stores have decent coupons too! 

Then, go to thrift stores.  Go to Goodwill, D.I., Lutheran Thrift, and any others you know of.  You may have to go a few times and don't be too particular.  If you find something that you think might work, look at the quality and the price.  Remember back to the prices of the new things you researched.  Is it worth buying this?  If it is super inexpensive, but not exactly what you want, can you spray paint?  Or add something?  Sometimes I find that I'd rather spend $2 more to get something new, than to buy it at Goodwill in mediocre quality. 

Don't be too daunted by the "ugly" little things on the wreaths you find.  If you are going to add things to it, usually you can pull the old ugly stuff off and no one would ever know. 

Here's a wreath I found at Goodwill to use for my indoor shutters in my kitchen.

This is mild compared to some of the ugly wreaths I've boughten.  But it worked great!  I didn't want to put much on this wreath, so it was nice that there wasn't any dried old glue.  I liked the quality and color of pine, and it was $ I got it. 

I bought 2 big bags of great quality cranberry picks at Goodwill for $1.50 each and have used those to spice up my decor.  That's all I used on the wreath, and I didn't even glue them in, so I'm not even committed to keeping this the same next year!

Here's the end result:
The perfect spot to keep all of our Christmas cards!

One other thing I've done this year, that I think is worth sharing, is my tree skirt. 
I used two sheets from the thrift store for the bulk of my fabric, and then added a few yards of lace to give it a polished look.  But it still would have looked great with just the sheets. 
I used two tutorials I found on pinterest--here and here

The pile of sheets I started out with:

The finished product! 
It ended up being slightly square-ish, but you can't tell when it's draped around the tree.  I used a fitted sheet for my "base" to glue the ruffles on and a regular sheet to cut up and ruffle.  If you want the ruffles to go all the way up to the center, get two large sheets instead of one. 

And now to ornaments.  I love those metal-looking stars, so I went to Hobby Lobby's paper mache section and bought a few (they were also 50% off, so score!).

I used an exact-o knife to cut them in half, because I only needed one side--doubled my ornaments, which was great, too.  Spray painted them gold.  I used a little ink to do the pointed edges, so it looked more three-dimensional.  Added a little twine and/or lace to make a hook to hang it on the tree!

Now they are happily hanging on my tree!

Hope that helped someone, it is so fun to have a little festivity in the home during the holidays.

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