35 Inexpensive Christmas Decorating Ideas on a Budget

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inexpensive-christmas-decorating-ideasDecorating for Christmas does not need to mean spending a lot to get the look you want. Here we’ll share 35 ideas for inexpensive Christmas Decorations on a budget that are sure to make you – and your wallet – happy for the holidays.

Trimming the Tree

Decorating your Christmas tree doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Here’s some simple and elegant ideas for decorating your Christmas tree on a budget.

  • Candy Canes & Lights: One very busy year, my mom didn’t feel like dragging out all the Christmas ornaments and didn’t have a lot of time to decorate the tree. She strung 5-6 strands of lights around the tree and then just decorated with a single box of candy canes she bought from the store (which are cheap – I think they only cost around $2) – making it a very budget-friendly Christmas tree that not only looked elegant but also offered a treat for all who came by that year.
  • Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments: If you’ve been saving Christmas cards for many years, chances are you have a nice stash of cards that would look great on your tree! You can also hang new cards as they come in the mail onto the tree. There are also some nifty tutorials on different things to make with them out there all over the web!
  • Paper Feathers: Do you have some pretty card stock or colored paper or even an old book you could cut feathers out of? Making paper feathers is a very easy craft to do and will give your tree a really nice elegant look.
  • Recycled Toy Ornaments: If you know some kiddos with a ton of small toys that don’t get played with or games that are missing pieces, you can make ornaments out of them! You could also consider buying some small toys or games at the Thrift Shop.
  • Paper Loop Chain Garland: Tried and true, you could do different colored or patterned scrapbook papers and make quite the pretty chain to go on your tree!
  • Homemade Christmas Ornaments from Recycled Items: Not only is this eco-friendly and budget-friendly, but you’ll definitely have a unique tree full of holiday cheer! Think cardboard tubes, cereal boxes, old books you can cut up, plastic pop bottles and lids…the possibilities are endless! You’ll never look at your recycling container the same way again!
  • Old Keys: Keys are so neat when hung on the tree and make for a great ornament idea. You could also use key chains.
  • Be Creative in Choosing Your Tree: Who said you need to buy an expensive Christmas tree? I’ve seen some adorable ones using branches, stacks of books, driftwood, and other materials that are easily found or made.

Check out our Pinterest Board of Homemade Ornaments for More Ideas!

Inexpensive Homemade Wreath Ideas

You can also make your own wreaths rather inexpensively. Simply use craft foam, cheap wreath forms at the craft store (look for sales and coupons!) – or even using the foam that Plumbers use for weatherproofing available at most home improvement stores for under a $1 will work when you bend it into a wreath shape and duct tape!

  • Pinecone Wreath:
    Always elegant and simple, this is a great option if you want a rustic look and feel to your door, mirror, or wall. Simply attach pinecones to the wreath and hang!
  • Ornament Wreath: Last year I bought I gigantic box of plastic bulb ornaments in assorted colors for about $15 – there were over 100 ornaments in the box! Simply attach these ornaments to the wreath using hot glue or by tying them on and you’ll have a wreath that retails at $100 or more!
  • Ribbon Wreath: You can get 2-3 spools of a fat wide ribbon in coordinating colors/patterns and then wrap around the wreath or tie around in bows. Most spools of ribbon cost about $2.50!
  • Small Toy Wreath: Have a bunch of small toys or game pieces? (If not – check your local thrift store) – these make for great items to affix to a wreath.
  • Paper Handprint Wreath: You can make a wreath out of paper handprints. Simply trace handprints onto red and green paper, then staple or glue together in a wreath shape.
  • 3d Paper Star Wreath: Little Birdie Secrets has an excellent wreath tutorial made out of 3d paper stars that would be easy to make and is inexpensive and unique! 

More Frugal Holiday Decorating Ideas

  • Mason jars are inexpensive (or you may have a nice collection of them already) – and so are small candles. Simply fill them with a tea light or small votive candle and you have an instant candle that’s beautiful to use as a centerpiece, in bathrooms, on your mantel and more! 
  • Misfit Toys Theme: Go to the thrift store or yard sales or ask friends and relatives for some “Misfit Toys” – toys that might be discarded or defective. You could decorate your whole house in an island of misfit toys theme!
  • Cover large sheets of posterboard or cardboard or empty boxes or use existing wall art with wrapping paper and a pretty bow – instant Christmas decor! 
  • Christmas lights look good everywhere: Make sure you get the LED lights – while slightly more expensive they will keep your utility bills down. String those strands anywhere you can think of! 
  • Hardcover Books can be found inexpensively at most thrift stores or the dollar store. Turn them into book ornaments, or arrange from largest to smallest and top with a star to make your own “Book Tree”.
  • Wrapped Candies look great in a vase, jar, or other clear glass container.
  • Blocks of wood can be used to paint and make into snowmen with scrap fabric hats and scarves – or paint them red or green to make a Christmas tree!
  • Use old cereal, milk cartons, and other misc. food boxes, cover with paper or paint to make your very own Christmas village!
  • Free Printable Christmas Art abounds all over the internet, or you can make your own designs and decorations on your computer.
  • Pine cones can be bought inexpensively or even found in your own backyard and look great in vases, jars, wooden boxes, and scattered across a mantel. You could also paint them or decorate them for making mini-Christmas trees.
  • Epsom Salt is very cheap and makes for a great snow covering for your Christmas village or in mason jars.
  • Legos can be used to make Christmas ornaments or a playful Christmas village underneath the tree.
  • Candles always look great. Choose classic white, or find ones in your favorite Christmas colors. Candles are generally inexpensive, or you may even have some already.
  • Ornaments can be arranged with some garland or greenery on a platter for a festive centerpiece or side table decoration. You can also hang them from your mantel.
  • Yarn can be wrapped around cardboard cut-outs to make letters that spell out holiday words or candy cane shapes.
  • You can make large paper ornaments such as these by Lisa Storms by cutting out long strips of paper and stapling them at the bottom and top – then hang around your home.
  • Branches from the backyard can be painted white or red or green or made sparkly with some spray adhesive and glitter. They can then be put in a tall vase or used on a Christmas mantel or as a table centerpiece.
  • Handprints and fingerprints can be used to make a wide variety of Christmas themed crafts.
  • Paper Doilies (usually found inexpensively in the baking supplies aisle of most stores) – can be used to make a nice decorative banner for your home.
  • Christmas Bows can be bought inexpensively at most discount retailers and can be arranged as a wreath or placed on a platter or mantel for a decorative look. For fabric bows, you can use fabric scraps or cheap ribbon to make your own.
  • Make a Mobile using paper snowflakes or pom poms or other inexpensive craft supplies or leftover holiday ornaments.

Follow our Pinterest Board for more creative Christmas decorating ideas!

We hope you enjoyed this list of 35 ideas for cheap and inexpensive holiday and Christmas decorations for your home. If you make anything from this list and blog about it, please do share a link to it in the comments below so we can check it out! 

And if you have any ideas for great DIY and inexpensive decorations we didn’t include – please share your ideas in the comments below! We’d love to hear what your thoughts are!

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