How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree on a Budget
I have said this before and I’ll probably say it again many times. I LOVE holidays. I love them all. From Halloween to St. Patricks day. But Christmas is something else.
As much as I love planning costumes at Halloween and planning something fun to do with my husband for Valentine’s day, Christmas just tops everything for me.
From the decorations, to the food, to the lights, to everyone’s willingness to find a way to help out their neighbors, Christmas is just magical! Christmas seems to bring out the child in everyone.
As a Christian I try to focus on the true meaning of Christmas and bring Christ into all aspects of the season.
What is more magical than reading the story of our savior’s miraculous birth while sitting next to a beautifully decorating tree sparkling with lights?
I say nothing!
For me, and I believe most of us, the tree is the epitome of Christmas decorations. Outdoor decorations are great and a styled mantle is beautiful, but nothing can top a decked out tree.
But trimming a tree can also trim your wallet!
I have had people flat out ask me how much my tree decorations cost, and while I cannot give an exact answer, I know it is less than they think!
I have found many options and tricks for decorating a tree on a budget.
My first tip is to start with a solid base to build your decorations on. As all tree decorating articles will tell you, lights go on first. Followed by the decorations. Part of a solid base involves a plan.
Think about what style of tree you want. Do you want it to be traditional or trendy? All one color? Only Christmas colors? Are all colors free game?
Have a vision for your tree before you shop for décor so that all your décor goes together. Coordinated decorations have bigger impact!
The first Christmas we were married I bought a set of 60 red and gold ornaments at Walmart for less than 20$! These are just simple round bulbs. Nothing fancy but I use these ornaments as the anchor for the rest of my décor. They make a difference.
Then I add my ribbon layers. Ribbon can be a cheap but bold décor option. Notice I said can. Sometimes ribbon can be quite expensive! Buy on sale and use coupons. Also check out the fall décor clearance for ribbon that can fit in with Christmas. My ribbon fits my red and gold theme.
You can find tutorials for decorating with ribbon like I do all over the internet. I think I would do a terrible job of explaining!
You could stop here and have a full, beautiful tree. I’m sure you have other/family ornaments you could add. Ribbon and a set of color coordinated ornaments is a great way to fill out a tree on a budget.
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If you want more, now is when I add “Accent pieces”. These are things like large decorations like the silver bells and stars in my tree. Flowers that clip onto the branches. Intricately decorated ornaments. Etc. All of these things make your tree unique and give it personality. But with a solid base you do not need many to make a statement.
Where I find my accent pieces:
- Goodwill and other thrift store
- The Dollar Tree and 99 Cents stores
- After Christmas Sales
- Travel- museums, gift shops, etc.
- Outside of the Christmas section
The dollar tree is actually my top choice for accent pieces! They have a surprisingly large selection of big ornaments to add some pizazz to your tree. And you can easily buy multiple.
A general rule of thumb is to have an odd number. I have three poinsettias and three silver bells.
You can also look outside of the Christmas section and think outside of the box for decorations. Anything from the floral department of Hobby Lobby can work in a tree. Anything from stuffed animals to books can be put into a tree if you find the right spot! It does not have to be something with a hook made to be put on a tree!
What else can be made into an ornament? Pictures? Cookie cutters?
Finally, some general decorating tips:
Think about the location of your tree as you decorate it. Which angle will it be viewed from?
Think about the size of ornaments and where on the tree they would fit best.
Look for bare spots that may need to be covered up.
Garland can fill in a sparse looking tree. I use greenery and twig and berry garland with pine cones to fill in my tree before decorating with ornaments.
Do not push the decorations back into the tree. The base ornaments can sit back a little but let the accent pieces stick out a bit. This adds interest.