christmas decor on a budget

Only 15 days left in this wonderful season of Christmas. If your tree isn't up or your lights aren't hung, get to it! 

Sadly, decorating for Christmas can often be just as expensive as giving gifts. Candles, wreaths, ornaments, ribbon... it adds up quickly. Daniel and I have only been married for a little over a year, so much like other newly married couples, we have yet to accumulate a collection of Christmas decorations. I've had to get creative these past 2 Christmases and actually prefer to not have boxes upon boxes to pack and unpack for decorating. 

Here are a few tips for trimming your budget and lightening your decoration load!

1. Use what you find outside. Magnolia leaves and pine cones are some of my favorites. Daniel and I found a great curved branch while on a walk so I decided to hang it above a door way. We picked up some pinecones from the neighborhood and I used them to make this garland to hang across the branch. 

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2. Fabric is your friend. Instead of buying a tree skirt, table runners, and more, you can get away with some neutral remnant fabric and your imagination. Our tree skirt is a white faux fur that I just draped around the tree on top of a string of lights. Last year, the same fabric was used to disguise a cardboard box I used as a riser. Find something neutral that will withstand changing themes and get creative!

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3. Don't be afraid to paint. I bought one can of Krylon gold spray paint, some spray adhesive and extra fine gold glitter and have used them on so many things! I sprayed the pinecones I used to create my garland and the magnolia leaves in my wreath. Not enough ornaments, how about using painted leaves and pinecones to fill in some holes?

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4. Lights are always a good idea. They're cheap and they contribute to the most important aspect of decorating--ambience! Stash a strand under your tree skirt for extra glow, throw some on a buffet or dresser, bunch them up into an apothecary jar. White lights are like glitter--you can never have too much ;)

Grab a couple yards of white tulle (extra points if you find some with sparkle!) and a string of white lights. Cut the tulle into strips and tie around the string of lights. Repeat hundreds of times. I did this last year and love the way that the garland looks hung over our tall windows. 

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Notice that 12 foot tall branch on the right? Stay tuned to see what I have in store for that beauty...