Decorating your home for Christmas doesn’t have to break to bank. Follow our purse-friendly designs this year for easy updates that are on budget (but look far from it!).
With just a few key accessories in scarlet red, snow white and natural materials you can achieve a seasonal Scandi look without breaking the bank. Browse flea markets and car boot fairs for old type-setting blocks so you can spell out a festive greeting. Buy red and white woolly jumpers or blankets from local charity shops and upycycle them into festive cushions or home-made Christmas stockings.
Treat your loved ones to a fun advent calendar and let the countdown begin. To create your own, simply cut 24 loo rolls and fold each one to form a conical shape, then fix them in place with tape. Cut off the uneven tops. Next, wrap a 14cm x 16cm piece of gift wrap around each cone, and again secure each one with tape. Snip into the top at 1cm intervals and tape the flaps inside the cone. Finish with a number sticker on the front. Glue wooden stars to 24 mini pegs and clip one to each cone.
Finally, stick on the wall in a tree shape and fill with mini treats and sweets. If you’re worried about damaging the paint, why not affix them to a wooden board and hang them on a peg instead?
A woodland-inspired theme is magical and will last year after year. What’s more, with a natural look you can dress your home with ‘free’ foliage from your own garden and use inexpensive materials for rustic charm. Dress the mantel with a homemade garland, using pinecones, greenery, nuts and berries from outdoors. Buy inexpensive paper stars to hang from the ceiling, or even make your own from sheets of newspaper.
You can still make your dining room table the centrepiece with your everyday white china and glassware – just add a rustic touch by dressing up each place setting with fir and berry napkin holders, then tie together with twine and mini brown paper packages for each of your guests.
Dobbies Garden Centres
Go back to basics with a fun little garland made from string and old-fashioned luggage tags – you can hang it across the mantel, along some shelving or at the end of the bed so Santa will know where to stop. Using a new tag for each letter, write out a family member’s name, a Christmas message or a personalised greeting, then string the tags on a length of twine with mini pine cones in between to separate each one.
Pre-strung luggage tags
If you prefer an understated scheme, achieve simple style by supplementing what you already have to create a festive atmosphere that is simple and heartfelt. Give a neutral living room a Nordic twist with wooden decorations in red, white and warm wood. Swap the bauble-laden Christmas fir for a small-scale twig tree strung with fairy lights and wooden shapes. Decorate the mantel with a pared-back wooden garland and lights with mini twig wreaths suspended above.
Similar twig wreath
Upcycle simple tin cans and turn them into twinkling lanterns. To create your own, start by peeling the labels off your cans and running them through the dishwasher for a shiny finish. Next, fill them with water and pop them in the freezer. Once frozen, draw a heart or star on paper and tape the sketch onto each tin. With a hammer and a nail, pierce the tin following the pattern (the ice inside will stop the tin denting). After thawing the tins, wash out them out and add a handle using aluminium wire. Finally, light a nightlight inside and line up two or three in a row for a homemade Christmas decoration with plenty of natural charm.
Decorate the dining room with a simple red and white Scandi theme. You don’t need to spend a fortune on new decorations, just bring out kitchenware you already have in a red, white or natural wood colour theme.
Decorate shelves with glass jars filled with red and white treats, such as candy canes, sweets and foil-wrapped biscuits. Tie lengths of red ribbon onto metal cookie-cutters and hang them up as decorations on the branches of a mini tree. Dress dining chairs with red and white tea towels used as simple cushion covers, and tie pine cone decorations to each chair back with lengths of stripy baker’s twine.
This simple idea will show your candles off beautifully, whilst a collection of berries will fill your home with a Christmassy aroma. To create your own, start by putting short candles in a couple of mini metal pastry cases. Next, wash and dry the fruit, then fill the remaining space with individual red berries. Display on a mantel or along a dining table.
Simple to make, this lovely alternative advent calendar can be used each year. To make your own, buy 24 plain brown envelopes and emboss or print each one with a number, from one to 24. Then, fill each envelope with a sweet treat or a simple written clue to where a small present is hidden. Peg the envelopes onto four short lengths of cord and fix onto your wall. Use red ribbon and stripy string for an extra festive touch.
When the big day arrives, whip out your camera and create a photo display for your guests to enjoy. Encourage friends and family to snap away on their smartphones during the festivities, then print the pictures out immediately on a compact, portable printer. Alternatively, use a polaroid camera for an even more instant result. Pin the photos to lengths of ribbon with mini wooden pegs for an ever-growing gallery that tells the story of the day.
For pure Scandi style in your dining room, leave your wooden table bare for Christmas dinner and lay a red and white woven runner along its length. Add little pots of winter berries and a centrepiece that consists of a crystal-glass footed bowl (or cakestand) and two or three silvery-white baubles. Simple!
Go all out and use your favourite colour in your Christmas dining room scheme, adding a dash of extra festive sparkle – as little or as much as you like! Green is the favourite here – the centrepiece is a vintage-style jug filled with fragrant eucalyptus as an alternative to traditional fir, ivy and holly. Trails of silvery foliage decoration complete the look, along with sparkling napkin rings and co-ordinating coloured glass.
Gisela Graham at Mundos
Think bunting is just for summer? Make a cute banner for your hallway using red and white check or polka dot fabric to greet Christmas guests and conjure up relaxed, homespun style. Print out the letters for NOEL (around H10cm) from your computer, cut out and use as templates on white felt. Sew to a variety of fabrics cut into rectangles and sew your finished flags to a length of bias binding.
Turn your dining room into a winter wonderland with a sparkling ice-white tree and foliage decorations attached to the back of your dining chairs. This looks wonderful with white-painted Scandi-style furniture but could work with many other designs, from traditional to modern. Keep the arrangement loose and tie with white ribbon, adding a homespun decoration or two for extra style points.
Use cute coloured-glass jars to create tealights for your festive table, reserving some to make mini foliage arrangements. Cut noble fir, tree fern foliage and winter berry stems to lengths of 18cm to 20cm and pop them in your jar. Top up with water and add a white carnation. Tie a bow in matching ribbon for the perfect finishing touch. Why not make your Christmas visitors feel extra welcome by putting them in your guest bedroom?
Similar Linear Lime tea light holders
House of Fraser
Channel a dual-colour scheme for your dining room table, linking it with your wallpaper for a striking effect. Red and white is a classic Christmas combination but here is given a modern twist with smart ruby-red wine glasses, cut-out place mats and a contemporary white candelabra. A wreath of red roses form an arresting centrepiece for the candle.
Sometimes,simplicity is key and this effortless display is as easy as it is charming. Take your favourite ceramic dish, add a handful of pinecones and one or two choice baubles to fit in with your colour scheme. Trail over some co-ordinating ribbon and your work is done. Place on a coffee table in your living room or a console table in your hall for relaxed and elegant festive style.
Similar green baubles
Keep it simple at Christmas and add one or two rustic decorations to your existing accessories display. This star wreath works well alongside framed photographs on a contemporary living room sideboard. A string of lanterns close by add a cosy, relaxed feel. Use battery operated lights for a neater look – remember to switch off when you leave the house.
Lights 4 Fun
Natural fir will bring the scent of Christmas into your home. If you don’t have enough room for a full-sized tree in your dining room,
why not display small clippings instead. Pot them up in galvanised
metal or stainless steel containers for smart, understated style and
place on a mirrored mat for optimum shimmer. The beauty of these
decorations is that they will last for the full festive period – just
top up with a little water.