Budget Christmas decorating

Budget Christmas decorating ideas for a high-impact, low-cost Christmas

All the decorating loop holes for your Christmas budgeting needs

If you’re looking for budget Christmas decorating ideas, then you’ve come to the right place.

You may have just moved in to a new pad and not yet got your decorations, you may disagree with spending so much on festive accessories or you may just be plain broke – for all of the above, we have the budget answer.

Decorating your home for Christmas doesn’t have to break the bank. Follow our purse-friendly designs this year for easy updates that are on budget (but look far from it!).

Want more festive inspiration? READ: Christmas decorating ideas to celebrate the season in style

1. Make a twig tree

Budget Christmas ideas

Image credit: Tim Young

These will bring a modern woody touch to a side table. Take two long, sturdy twigs and join with a hot glue gun. Twist with wreath wire to support. Now, cut and lay out the crosswise twigs. Starting at the top, cut two short twigs of equal length and lay side by side. Repeat and cut two more, slightly longer, a finger space below the first two. Continue, with the twigs gradually getting longer, until you have two triangular shapes, but leave enough trunk to push into a pot. Fix the cut twigs on to the trunk, working on one side first with a hot glue gun, according to the original layout. Cool, turn over and repeat. Push oasis into a pot, then push in the cooled tree. Top pot with moss and berries, and decorate the twigs with twine or wreath wire.

Get the look
Buy now: Willow sticks, £3.50 for a bundle, Christmas Wreath

2. Style with red and white


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Christmas decorations, Not On The High Street

3. Keep it sweet


Image credit: Emma Mitchell

For some edible inspiration look no further than our candy cane decorations. See the candy stick like you never have before – spun into festive lettering, stuck onto Christmas wrapping and tied to wreaths – who knew the candy cane was so versatile? Costing next to nothing for large packs, get stuck in to these sticky goodies.

Get the look
Buy now: Christmas candy canes, £1, Wilko 

4. Pick a theme


Image credit: Dominic Blackmore

An icy 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.

Love these budget Christmas ideas? Read more: Rustic Christmas decorating ideas that will create a warm and cosy scheme

5. Do it yourself


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

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.

Get the look
Buy now: Kraft Brown Gift Tags, 30 pack, £2, Hobbycraft

6. Simplify your scheme


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

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 garland and lights with a cardboard wreath suspended above.

Get the look
Buy now: Similar Christmas decorations, Nordic House

7. Get creative by upcycling


Image credit: Polly Eltes

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.

Want more budget Christmas ideas? Read more: Christmas table decoration ideas that will set the scene for your festive feast

8. Work with two colours


Image credit: Simon Whitmore

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.

9. Countdown to Christmas


Image credit: Brent Darby

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.

Read more: Best Christmas advent calendars to make the most of the countdown

Get the look
Buy now: Kraft Card and Envelope, 30 pack, £5, Hobbycraft 

10. Go foraging

Budget christmas decorating ideas pine cones

Image credit: Tim Young

Sometimes, simplicity is key and this effortless display is as easy as it is charming. Take your favourite candles, add a handful of pinecones and one or two choice baubles, or ornaments to fit in with your colour scheme. Place on a mantelpiece in your living room or a console table in your hall for relaxed and elegant festive style.

11. Pick your own

Christmas-wreath outdoor christmas decorating

Image credit: Ben Anders/Homes & Gardens

Trees, wreaths, garlands, sprayed twigs – nature is cool at Christmas, and it’s free. Get your wellington boots on and get foreging for holly, pine cones and twigs before getting home and twisting and turning them into botanical masterpieces. There is no reason why you can’t do Christmas on a budget!

12. Serve up a treat


Image credit: Chris Alack

Christmas is the only time of year that it’s acceptable to eat your decorations (well, Easter too but lets not get ahead of ourselves) so make the most of it. Gingerbread houses on tabletops, candy canes on trees and iced biscuits as place settings are all cheap and easy decorations – how much can you eat this Christmas?

13. Make it miniature

mini-christmas-tree budget christmas

Image credit: David Giles

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 living room, why not display small clippings instead. Pot them up in galvanised metal containers for contemporary, understated style, or wrap them in sisal for a rustic, country appearance. The beauty of these decorations is that they will last for the full festive period – just top up with a little water. Decorate your miniature tree with cinnamon and pine cones for an authentic look.

14. Get the whole family involved in budget Christmas decorating


Image credit: Style at Home

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.

Will you be using any of these budget Christmas decorating ideas this year?

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