Home for the Holidays

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Holiday Decorating on a Budget

As the weather turns colder and the holiday season looms, do you dread pulling out your dusty decorations and worry about stacking up shopping bills like too many snowflakes? Some creativity can go a long way to reviving your holiday spirit without a credit card. If you’ve got a talent for crafts you can use your ingenuity to make your own decorations, but even if your fine motor skills are weak you can find ways to revitalize your home for the season. 

Holiday Decorating Ideas

•    Start with a color scheme. While red and green are traditional holiday colors, you can use any colors you like to create a unified look for your home. The important thing is to carry the same colors throughout your home for a designer look. For example, if you love purple, consider limiting your ornaments to shades of purple, fill a bowl with eggplants to put on your dining room table, tie purple velvet ribbons on your chairs and light fixtures, wrap all your presents with purple paper and fill as many candlesticks and votives as you can find with purple candles. None of these suggestions has to cost a lot of money. You can find extra candlesticks and bowls at thrift stores and estate sales or make a trip to IKEA and you can find inexpensive spools of ribbon at craft and fabric stores.

•    Scavenge in the woods. Fall and winter are great times to gather interesting twigs and branches to bring them indoors. Holly bushes, evergreen shrubs and trees can be used for greenery to complement your other holiday decorations, especially if you can find branches with a few berries. You can use bare twigs and branches to add interest to a few inexpensive flowers, use them as a base for a few twinkling lights or spray paint them silver or another color to blend with your decorations. You can gather pinecones and bring them indoors to display in a bowl with lights, ornaments or greenery or simply on their own.
•    Bring in seasonal scents. The pinecones can be sprinkled with cinnamon for a sweet addition to your home and a live tree or just a few strands of clipped greenery from the tree lot can bring a fresh scent into your home. An inexpensive way to add scent is to purchase a bag of tea light candles at World Market or Target and create an arrangement of candles massed together on your mantel or a table. 

•    Go to the grocery store. While everyone recognizes the attraction of pumpkins in fall, there are plenty of food items all year that can add color to your home, especially if they’re displayed in an attractive bowl or mixed with some of the greens you’ve brought in from your yard. Interesting gourds are one option; others are eggplants, pomegranates, cranberries or even just shiny apples.
•    Repurpose your ornaments. If you’ve grown tired of your ornaments, gather some of them in a clear glass vessel or a bowl and put them in an unexpected place such as a guest room or a bathroom. If you gather your ornaments in groups according to color, shape or texture they’ll have more impact. You can also refresh your ornaments by adding new ribbons or even painting them.
•    Wrap your home in fabric. Fabric stores often have remnants or sale prices. You can use netting, burlap or lace to tie together your color scheme with a bow on your front door, wrapping it around your banisters, using it as a runner on a table or even wrapping it as a tree skirt. You can also cut small pieces of the fabric to tie to greenery for a mantel or for ribbons on your tree. If you can find a small throw or a swath of soft fabric that matches your color scheme you can use this in your living room, family room or even your bedroom.

•    Explore the craft store. An inexpensive round mirror can be used underneath an ornament or decorative object to maximize the impact. Propping a small mirror behind a few candles can heighten the effect of the flickering candlelight. Ribbons and collections of inexpensive solid color ornaments can be purchased inexpensively at craft stores and used to create your color scheme.

•    Rearrange your furniture. Sometimes just moving a few pieces of furniture closer to the fireplace (if you’re lucky enough to have one) can have a big impact on the atmosphere in your home. If you have a Christmas tree, try putting it in a different place this year or even opting for a couple of small trees in different spaces instead of your usual arrangement. You may be able to temporarily switch your dining room and living room for a bigger makeover. 

Using your imagination can make this holiday season memorable without breaking the bank.