9 Tips for Holiday Decorating on a Budget

Buying and moving into a new home can be exciting and offers a chance at a fresh start. That includes decorating, and many people decide it’s out with the old and in with the new when they make a move. If you’re stepping into a new home around the holidays, you may want to start decking your halls. Check out these tips for holiday decorating on a budget that let you create a seasonal look in your new (or existing) home without breaking the bank.

1. Shop Dollar Tree and Other Discount Stores

Dollar Tree and other dollar stores offer a wide range of affordable Christmas decor. You can find ornaments, wall hangings, figurines and table decor at these stores for very little, making this a great shopping option for new homeowners without a lot of decorations or anyone looking to add to their existing decoration stash.

One great thing about Dollar Tree decorating is that you’re not even limited to what you see in store. Get 35 ideas from a DIY decor YouTuber for converting inexpensive Dollar Tree finds into dazzling displays with a bit of creativity.

2. Thrift Holiday Decor Items

Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and other thrift stores can be a great place to stumble into budget-friendly holiday decor—especially if your tastes run to vintage. Stop in often to your favorite thrift locations to see what they’ve added to their inventory.

3. Use Other Holiday Items as Decor

Make other holiday items work overtime to add some festive fun to your rooms. For example, if you’ve already invested in gifts along with the wrappings and trappings, start wrapping items early and with extra care. An elegantly arranged stack of a few gifts on an entryway table or bookshelf creates a lovely look. Though, obviously this isn’t always the best option for families with small children.

4. Make It With Paper

Paper along with some basic craft supplies like markers, scissors, ribbon, and a glue gun can create lovely decorations with minimal spending. Turn to Google, Pinterest, or your favorite craft books or magazines for ideas, or start by creating three-dimensional snowflakes you can hang all around the house. Paper trees are another popular choice.

5. Play the Craft-Store Coupon Game

Many craft stores, including Michael’s and JOANN’s, are known for issuing regular coupons. Before you head out to the store, check the website and download or print any coupons you find to save money on decor or supplies for making it. Consider signing up for craft store loyalty programs, as you can often earn premium coupons or discounts.

6. Get Creative With Non-holiday Items

Look around your house for items you can use to decorate for the holidays even if they aren’t technically “holiday-themed.” Add a pretty ribbon to a standard storage or laundry basket and use it to keep gifts organized and looking pretty. Or pull out the microfiber fleece blanket with a robust red plaid print and toss it over your sofa to create an instant cozy, winter vibe.

A red or white mug filled with wrapped candies and set on the shelf or a pretty white bowl overflowing with candy canes are other examples of everyday items given a holiday flair.

7. Up-cycle Old or Inexpensive Toys

Whether they’re forgotten treasures your children have moved on from, items scored at a thrift store, or plastic toys bought at a dollar store, you can do a lot with these fun finds.

Dolls and stuffed animals can be given a holiday makeover with a little bit of yarn or fabric and some needlework or sewing skills. Outfit them in winter hats or Christmas jammies and display them on shelves or tabletops.

Plastic toys can be converted into a magical holiday collection. Use white, gold, or silver spray paint along with German glass glitter to convert plastic toys to sophisticated figurines. This is a great way to show off some whimsy. Sure, you can create a collection of “glass” animals for a winter forest on your mantle. But what about a set of “glass” dinosaurs who can be arranged decorating their own crystal tree? Are you as obsessed as we are with this holiday decorating on a budget hack?

8. Create Ice Lanterns for Holiday Events or Dinners

This decor hack is a dream for your wallet. All you need is water, a couple of containers, a candle, and some time.

Start by choosing the base of your lantern, which should be a midsize container. An old whipped topping container or a cereal bowl both work—just make sure they’re freezer safe.

You’ll also need something to create the depression. A small glass or jar works well, but you may need to add water or other items inside it to keep it from floating.

Fill the larger container with water. Set your item in the center. Place the entire thing in the freezer until it’s frozen. Then, carefully remove the ice from the larger container (and remove the jar, glass or cup from inside it). You should have a ring of ice.

Set the ring on a pretty plate and place a votive candle inside. Light the candle and watch the flames dance and sparkle over the ice.

9. Trim the Tree With DIY Elements

If you just moved into a new home and have the space, you might want to upgrade to a larger tree. But that means more green space to decorate with ornaments. Get holiday decorating on a budget with DIY elements. Make mini versions of those snowflakes linked above to hang all over the tree, or purchase inexpensive candy canes to add some bright color. You can even dry sliced lemons, oranges, and limes in your oven to hang on the tree, or string them with popcorn for a traditional garland. (Did you catch our latest Instagram Reel on how to do this?)

Preparing to Buy a Home in the New Year

Another great reason to do some holiday decorating on a budget and save money with budget-friendly decor is because you may have a New Year’s resolution to buy a home. Home prices are up, and the market is competitive, so it’s always a good idea to save money before you embark on such a journey. Whether you know just what home you want to offer on or are just beginning to look, LemonBrew can help.