10 Cheap, Easy and Gorgeous DIY Holiday Decorations

posted: 04/14/15
by: Sarah Fernandez
10 Cheap DIY Holiday Decorations
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'Tis the season to be frugal and festive.

It's time to deck the halls, but between the tree, the wreaths, the presents, and the parties, who has a lot of extra cash to splurge on holiday decor? Don't worry, we've got you covered with ten simple inexpensive holiday decorating ideas that will put the fa la la la la in your holiday and keep the Grinch away.

Cranberry Tea Lights

Candlelight really sets the mood for parties, and you can make basic tea lights much more festive by simply nestling them in cranberries. Here, we've taken a basic green rectangular plate and spread out a single layer of cranberries, and then put three tea lights lengthwise on the tray. Try to stick to basic colors such as red, green, white, gold or silver plates or platters, but you can use whatever size you already have in the cupboard and just adjust the number of tea lights to fit the size of the plate. This is the perfect accent to a mantle or even a powder room.

Christmas Card Shutter Display

Pretty Handy Girl, Brittany, created this cool holiday card display using a pair of shutters that she otherwise had no use for. A little paint to match the season and some hinges gives her a display that stands on its own and offers ample surface area to feature all those adorable holiday cards that arrive on a daily basis throughout the season. Consider using objects you already have around the house in unusual ways to create unique holiday decor.

O' Tinsel Tree

You could make this tinsel tree using just about any garland you want, but the size of the Yrnso Garland from IKEA worked just perfectly in my opinion. Any garland, ribbon, or beading could work quite well wrapped around a Styrofoam cone to make a festive holiday tree, however what makes this one so easy to make is that the tinsel was light enough that it didn't need to be glued to the styrofoam. I simply used sewing pins to fasten the garland, and the colorful heads on the pins look like tiny ornaments. To top it off, I hot glued a gold pine cone. Keeping the tree monotone ups its chic factor, and the whole project cost less than $8. A series of them in various sizes on a mantle, buffet, or entry table would be simply stunning.

Twine & Raffia Wreath

I love having holiday items that I can pull out year after year, and this twine and raffia wreath is sure to see many holiday seasons to come. I used a 12" metal wreath frame and about 40 yards of twine. Yes, because twine is so narrow, you really need quite a bit of it! But this DIY craft requires little more than wrapping twine around a metal frame and tying a bow at the end. Even the most novice crafter can achieve a beautiful end product.

Ornamental Display

One of the simplest ways to create a beautiful and elegant display is to take like objects and gather them together. Here, I've taken a collection of silver pieces in varying shapes and sizes and filled them with similar objects -- in this case, three different colors of ornaments. This look can also be easily achieved using various shapes and sizes of glass vases and bowls in place of the silver; limit the color scheme to two to three colors for maximum impact.

Snowball Garland

All you need is a needle and thread and a little imagination to create your own snowball garland. Thread a needle with a double length of about 36" of thread (if you've got clear, that's preferable), and tie off the end with a double knot. Poke the needle through 1" Styrofoam balls spreading them apart at about 6" intervals. Once you've reached the end of length, tie off the other end of the thread, and you've got a garland that looks like mini snowballs. Repeat to create as many lengths as necessary to complete your project. This is a great way to decorate a smaller tree or interweave a little interest in a mantle garland.

Holidays on Ice

This cranberry and evergreen ice bowl is simple to make and will have your guests in awe of your entertaining skills. Using two nesting bowls, some greenery from the yard, half a bag of cranberries, and water, you can create a custom ice bucket for your holiday party. If you don't want to try something this large even though it's simple, you could also pop a cranberry or two into your ice cube trays to add a little holiday flair to your cocktails. Use this bowl as either an ice bucket or to keep your wine chilled in style, but be sure to keep it away from candles or bright lights as it will slowly melt (but should make it through the party). Place it on a tray or plate to catch any drippings.

Holiday Swag

Sure, you could head to your local garden store and spend a fortune on holiday greens -- or you could take a walk around your own yard and find your own. Chances are you have many options to choose from to make your own holiday swag for your door. Look for bushes and trees that are evergreen or have interesting leaves, such as boxwood, eucalyptus, bay leaves, and balsam.

If there is anything with beautiful berries or twigs that have an interesting shape, pull them all together with floral wire or twine, and, if you have some extra ribbon lying around, add a decorative bow. I made this one with greenery in my yard that I didn't even realize would work until this year. Expand your options by having a holiday workshop with your friends in which everyone brings cuttings from their yard, and next spring when you're ready to plant new shrubs, consider what would be useful during the holidays.

Personalized Ornaments

Just because you're on a tight budget doesn't mean that you can't have personalized decor. You don't have to be an amazing artist to create a simple personalized ornament. I picked up these clear plastic ornaments at Michaels for 50 cents (regularly 99 cents) and used acrylic paint to decorate them. If you aren't an artiste, so to speak, stick to simple ideas like stripes and polka dots in the colors that suit your holiday style. Add an initial to make it personal or paint a letter on each one to spell out your favorite holiday greetings and string them together across a mantle or around the tree.

Hanging Holiday Card Display

I always struggle to find a way to display my holiday cards or favorite photos from this time of year. The old tape on the pantry door just isn't cutting it anymore. But for just a few bucks, I created this hanging holiday card display. I found a natural wood plaque at my local craft store, painted it green, and stenciled a holiday phrase on it. Then I attached a beautiful felt ribbon (although a standard grosgrain or satin one would work just fine too) with a stapler and attached my favorite holiday photos using miniature clothespins. Each step doesn't take much time, but this is a project that can't all be done at once because you've got to let the paint dry.