How to decorate your home for Christmas without breaking the bank
BY MIRANDA SPRAGUE
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! There are parties to host, marshmallows to toast, and caroling out in the snow (well, maybe not snow for us Southern Californians). However, it is the season to bring loved ones together in the comfort of our homes to celebrate the Christmas season, and we all have this to be thankful for.
As the season approaches, I recall a period in my life when Christmas didn’t feel so warm. In the midst of my college years, I worked on campus through winter break all the way up to Christmas Eve. I was far from home and too preoccupied with schoolwork to participate in any seasonal festivities. Most disheartening was the fact that neither my dorm nor campus had a hint of decoration. It just did not feel like Christmas to me.
It wasn’t until I came home on Christmas day to my mother’s home thoroughly decorated—fire burning, Christmas music filling the house and a decorated tree—that I actually felt like it was Christmas. This is not to say that it can only be celebrated with these things present, but we are sensory human beings and atmospheres undoubtedly affect the way we experience a moment. So in my current humble abode, I prioritize decorating as much as possible during the holidays. Creating an environment with physical reminders of the Christmas season help me to be mindful of what this time of the year means to me. But for a young adult like me, it seems that it will take a lifetime to accumulate the same amount of decorations for my own home that makes Grandma’s so magical (Not to mention a small fortune!) during the holidays.
Over the last few years, I’ve resorted to many DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Christmas decoration projects to help fill my home with Christmas spirit without breaking the bank. As the season commences once again, I figure I’m not the only one with a budget and a passion for the holidays. Therefore, I would like to share some of the projects I have completed to adorn my home with you all!
Perhaps you are in the same boat as me and want to create some decorations on a small budget. Maybe you are looking for something crafty to do with family as we enter the Christmas season. Or, you might simply be looking for a gift idea to give to someone who appreciates holiday home décor. Whatever the circumstance, I have provided my favorite DIY Christmas projects below to help you make your home feel like a home for the holidays.
From my home to yours with love,
PAPER MISTLETOE GARLAND
– Old book paper
– Red paper
- Cut out multiple pieces of old book paper.
- Draw the shape of a mistletoe leaf on the top piece of the old book paper (the leaf should be about 3” long from point to point).
- Cut out the leaves from the stack of old book paper, according to your leaf outline.
- Draw circles on your red paper and cut them out.
- Do this as many times needed until you have enough of each to make your garland. Each mistletoe requires 3 red circles and 2 leaves.
- Glue two leaves together at their points. Then glue 3 red circles on the bottom where the leaves meet.
- Cut out small rectangles from the leftover book paper. You’ll need one per mistletoe.
- Fold the small rectangle in half and put glue on the end of each side. Glue it onto the BACK of the mistletoe toward the top, by the berries. Leave a small gap of open space in the middle of the paper rectangle.
- Thread twine through the small rectangle on the backs of each mistletoe.
- Hang garland wherever you think looks best!
MERRY GREENERY GARLAND
– Greenery (Can be fresh or fake; I used fake so I can use it again each year)
– Wire cutters
- Bend the vine-wrapped wire to make each letter. They should be 8-12 inches long and 5-6 inches wide. Make them as straight as possible.
- Once you’ve bent all the letters, cut small pieces of floral wire (about 1 inch). Lay a piece of greenery on one length of the letter and cut it so it fits the vine-wrapped wire length. Use your floral wire and wrap it around the greenery and vine-wrapped wire to keep it firm in place. Do this as many times as needed until it is secure. Make sure to secure it at the top and bottom.
- Repeat step 2 for each section of the letter and for each letter until you complete all of them.
- Take your twine and leave a good portion on each end to hang the garland (at least 2 feet). Using small pieces of floral wire, secure the tops of each letter to the twine. You will need to secure it in more than one place at the top of each letter.
- Once you’ve attached the twine to each letter, hang the garland wherever you think it looks best!
PLACEMAT HANGING BANNER
– Holiday-themed or color placemat
– ½-inch wooden dowel cut in half
– Hot glue gun
– Optional: paint, stencils, buttons, etc.
- Fold both corners of the placemat into each other to make sure they are even and centered. If your placemat has a proper back, make sure your folding into the back of the placemat and not the front.
- Apply hot glue all over the corners you now see because of the crease from folding.
- Firmly press the corners down so that the glue can stick.
- On the other end, lay the wooden dowel about 1-2 inches from the top. Apply hot glue on the top seam then fold it over the wooden dowel. Press firmly along the seam to ensure the glue adheres.
- On each end of the wooden dowel, wrap the twine around a couple times. Make sure to knot it so that it can hang on a wall.
- Find a desired open space on your wall and hang your Christmas banner!
Optional: To add a little more to your banner, you can use paint and stencils to add any Christmas saying or image. You can also embroider or sew on buttons and other decals. Get creative!
Ribbon Christmas Tree Ornament:
Whether you do a themed tree every year or fill it with memorable keepsakes, ornaments are a great DIY craft to help save money or to give as gifts! Here is one of my favorites I did last year! I used them as my gift tags on presents to family and friends with our last name on the back of them so they can put it on their tree for years to come! Because I did it last year, I don’t have how-to pictures, but please follow the steps below.
– A long twig (about 4 inches)
– Different shades of green ribbon (or any color you choose).
– Twine or ribbon
– Small jingle bells with string
– Hot glue gun
- Cut multiple 3-inch long pieces of ribbon and twine.
- Starting at the bottom (leave room from the tree trunk), begin tying the ribbon around the twig. You’ll want all the knots to face the same way.
- Once you’ve tied ribbon all the way to the top, take your scissors and begin to cut the ribbon diagonally to make the shape of a Christmas tree. Leave the bottom ribbon the largest and the top ribbon the smallest.
- Using other ribbon, tie a small bow.
- Take your jingle bells and string and wrap some of the top of the string around the top of the Christmas tree twig.
- With your hot glue gun, take the small bow and glue it on top of the jungle bell string and top of the Christmas tree twig.
- Test the string after the glue dries to make sure its sturdy and able to be used to hang the ornament.
- Hang it on your tree or give it as a gift!
Optional: Using a thin and light-colored piece of ribbon, glue it to the back of the ornament up the “tree trunk”. Using a sharpie or marker, write your family’s name and this year’s date.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Miranda Sprague is a woman of many trades and talents. She has a love for the outdoors and anything connected to it—whether it be hiking, backpacking or camping with her husband and friends. She is not only a wife of four years to her dreamy husband, Joey, but also a newly pregnant mother to a precious baby arriving in May. Also a businesswoman, Miranda is the owner of her own event coordinating business that creates, plans and coordinates weddings/parties. Being a dancer for ten years, she now teaches studio dance and is currently working toward becoming a yoga instructor. She serves readily as a minister at The Father’s House taking on many different staff roles over the course of six years.
Aside from these hobbies, she and Joey share a passion for working on and decorating their home. Whether it be constantly finding new, unique ways to reinvent their space or crafting handmade things to adorn their space, the duo knows how to DIY. With a continued desire to be involved in church ministry, Miranda and Joey dream to one day own their own property and use it as a wedding and special event venue.