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Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Tree Decorating on the Cheap! - Alternative Christmas Trees - Lots of DIY ideas

I am blaming yesterday's lack of a post on the fact that it was the 13th. I had a plan for what I was posting and it just never ended up happening. Anyway... Here is my make up post!

We are trying to save as much money as we can (we want a house!), therefore Christmas is a time of homemade gifts and paper chain decorations. I thought I would share a little bit of my Christmas tree decorating cutting-corners ideas.

I love these ideas! I really hope you try some of them and that they help you save some money this holiday season!

Christmas Trees:
Last year we got a mini tree from Whole Foods (about $25), added a string of lights, a bit of silver rick-rack, and I made ornaments from paint chips. I used a paper punch (a medium-sized circle), then punched holes in the circles and added ornament hooks. The whole thing cost me about $30-$35 dollars. I think its so cute! Very home-made chic.

This year, I didn't spend any money at all on a tree! I used the lights from last year and a picture frame I found on the side of the road (I used it for Jude's birthday party, that's when it got spray painted silver). I nailed in some nails in the shape of a tree, one at the top and seven across the bottom, and just strung the lights from nail to nail. I love the way it turned out, very modern and streamlined.


Here are some other ideas I have seen around the interwebs.

On The Wall
These doesn't take up any extra floor space, perfect for an apartment!

Hang up small paintings and pictures, empty frames, and other little nick-knack in a tree shape. This one doesn't take up any extra floor space, perfect for an apartment!
From Home Spun Threads - link
Just paint an outline of a Christmas tree on a piece of plywood or even on cardboard and then stick all those holiday cards on the tree.
From Materialicious - link
These trees can me made from leftover boxes. Talk about inexpensive!

This one is kind of crazy awesome! It would take a good bit of time, and honestly I don't think I would ever put that much time into a Christmas tree, but it is an amazing piece of art that would last you years (and would earn lots of complements)! Its stacked layers of cardboard that have been carved into a swirly tree shape.

From Inspiration Green - link
I love this! you could paint it or just leave it that lovely cardboard brown. Instructables has all the directions so its not a guessing game. Add some lights to this baby and you've sold me!

From Instructables - link
These are just cut and mini, perfect for a tablescape, or to have a tree in every room of the house! Just cut out various sized squares and rectangles, paint them and glue to a foam tree base. Add a stick and a pot and you are done!
From Shelterness - link

Trimming The Tree
Spending $10 or less to decorate your whole tree!

Garland - 
  • Popcorn and Cranberry Chains - use waxed dental floss to string plain (no butter) popcorn and fresh cranberries. This is a classic! I loved watching White Christmas while stringing these up with my mom and sister.
  • Snow - string different sized cotton balls on clear fishing line. Make sure to space the cotton balls a different intervals so it looks like snow falling naturally. 
  • Paper Chains - cut strips of colorful paper and loop them together using glue or staples to secure. 
  • Mini Pinecones - use clear fishing line to string up mini pinecones. Just wrap the fishing line around the pinecone to secure, add a dot of hot glue to make sure the fishing line stays in place.
  • Paint Chips - cut circles out of colorful paint chips and sew them together, one right next to the other. 

Ornaments -
  • Paint Chips - cut paint chips into ornament shapes (Google it) or just circles and decorate with glitter glue. Poke a hole in  the top and add a hook. Its nice to glue two paint chips together so that there is color on both sides.
  • Christmas Card Recycle - save your holiday cards and make ornaments out of them. Cut out the pictures (simple shapes, such as squares and circles, look best) and add a hook. You can also add felt to the back so you don't have just a plain back.
  • Snowflakes - Cut snowflakes out of white paper and hang everywhere! Check out Google and Pinterest for patterns.
  • Mini Tree Party Hats - get cheap party hats from the dollar store. Spray paint them green and add glitter glue to look like lights and ornaments. Glue a circle of green felt to the hat to cover the opening. Add a ribbon to the top and hang on your tree.

I love these ideas! I really hope you try some of them and that they help you save some money this holiday season! Let me know how you save money during Christmas.

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