With product shortages threatening to derail many holiday traditions, including gift-giving and holiday decorating, you might need to consider Christmas decorating on a budget this year. From crocheting and knitting to origami and paper snowflakes, options abound for homemade gifts and inexpensive holiday decor.
If you’re one of many who picked up a new creative skill during quarantine, use it! Now’s the time to show off your ceramics painted with corny “Twilight” quotes or your embroidered beanies. Gift your friends your gouache paintings with notes written on the back or make your dad a bookmark for his new crime novel. Dangle your winter arrangements from your door or harvest holly from your garden as a table centerpiece.
Whether you already have something in mind for a DIY holiday project or you need inspiration for Christmas decorating on a budget, keep scrolling for a few ideas on how to make your holidays handmade.
Disclaimer: if you end up needing to go shopping for a DIY project or inexpensive holiday décor, think beyond your individual needs and remember the global supply chain disruption.
Crochet or paper snowflakes
An undeniable classic, snowflakes bring seasonal fun to your home. The perfect inexpensive holiday décor, you can stick them to your windows or hang them from your ceiling. Just make sure your furry friends can’t reach them, or you may come home to a mess all over the floor. Check out Crochet For You’s free 5-minute crochet snowflake pattern to get started. With a minimal yarn requirement and easy stitches, you’ll have a mountain of these little guys in no time.
To make paper snowflakes, simply grab some paper and a pair of scissors. Begin with a piece of square paper and fold it in half diagonally to form a right-angled triangle. Fold it in half again to make an equilateral triangle. Next, fold this smaller triangle in thirds by bringing the right point to the left by one-third and the left point to the right by one-third. Cut off the pointed ends so that you have a final little triangle. Lastly, get creative by snipping a pattern into the sides of the triangle. Unfold for the big reveal.
Pro tip: arrange fairy lights to hang among your snowflakes for an additional dose of winter magic.
White flowers, evergreens, twigs, red berries and pine cones all make for a festive arrangement to hang from your door, place at the dinner table or decorate your mantle. Contrary to what some might think, arrangements take time and thought to execute well. Explore your local park, garden, flower shops and more to make Christmas Eve a romantic sight.
You can’t leave your Christmas tree naked. So if you can’t find satisfactory ornaments for your annual ornament exchange, why not try making one? From wood burning a small panel to folding an origami swan, you can make an ornament out of most anything as long as it’s small enough. Just make the hanging element and thread a ribbon through it.
Candy cane décor
Christmas demands a dash of this striped peppermint-flavored candy. So create a candy land greeting for guests by putting together a candy cane wreath. Plus, nothing beats inexpensive holiday décor that also provides a snack while you’re crafting.
To make a wreath, you’ll need candy cane sticks and circular peppermint candies. Arrange your candy canes in a circle with the hooks all facing outward and the ends facing inward. Stick them together with hot glue. Overlap your peppermint candies in the center and fix them together with hot glue. Thread a red or white ribbon through one or two of the hooks to hang. The result will be a vaguely floral-shaped wreath.
If that’s going a bit far for you, simply place a few candy canes together like a small bouquet and tie it off with a red ribbon. Then, affix it to your banister, your mailbox or anything another convenient spot.
Book décor may be the perfect holiday project for the bibliophile with one (or hundreds) too many books. Books with red, white, green, silver and gold coloring make the most obvious themed décor, though some projects only involve the pages. So check out these projects and put your home library to good use.
Cotton Stem’s tutorial on how to create a vintage wall of books will dazzle you, but rest assured, it isn’t as daunting as it looks. For a simpler idea, arrange your selection of green books in a triangle or tree-shaped format, whether stacked on top of each other or spaced out on shelves. You can even put together a row of red, green and white books adorned with a ribbon or a flash of gold.
Repurpose old gear
Remember your old pair of ice skates from when you were little? What about those pointe shoes from your ballet phase? Antique snowshoes? Absurdly large stash of unused mittens? You don’t need to throw them out. Instead, repurpose them as inexpensive holiday décor.
Make a nutcracker-themed centerpiece with a stash of walnuts, holly and your pointe shoes. Hang those ice skates from your door among evergreens as a wreath. Mount your snowshoes on the wall or make a hanging tree made of mittens.
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