Low Budget – Last Minute – Christmas Decorations, including a quite long explanation why I do what I do

I grew up in a house that was crammed with Christmas decorations from the first of December until mid-January. The tree went all the way up to the ceiling and was so overloaded that it showed barely any green bits. I never liked it very much (of course, when you ask my mother, I always wanted it that way and I nagged and nagged until she finally bought that ugly looking angel with a Santa hat on, although we already had a set of three…), because no matter how carefully I moved through the flat, I always knocked something over or off a shelf, and replacing it cost me some pocket money over the years. Which is why I take more of a minimalistic approach to this whole decorating thing. The only decoration items the Scotsman and I have in our flat are pictures, most of which have been either painted by his late grandfather or by me; and a fair amount of plants, mostly herbs that we can use for cooking. Around Christmas it gets a bit more. The Scotsman loves tinsel, I love window ornaments. So, that’s mostly what we do.

I don’t like having a bunch of big boxes with all the decorations either, probably also due to the trauma of having to take care of them while I was still living with my mum. (We had one box only for the fairy lights and I had to untangle them every year. Then there was one box only for red, two boxes for gold, one box for blue… I know, I know!) So, to get around A) spending heaps of money on decoration items that we only use once a year and B) having to store them in boxes which then take up space and need to be looked after, I usually make the decorations myself. This year I wanted to share with you what I do.

If you are on a budget and/or don’t have a lot of space to store your decoration items, I might have a solution for you. The only thing is: You shouldn’t mind if you cannot use the exact same decoration twice, because some of the things I make are not made for more than one season.

This year, I present to you 3 low budget/last minute/flat storage Christmas Decorations:

Number One: Papercuts meet liquid chalk. I bought a liquid chalk pen for 4 Dollars in the craft store and simply drew on the windows with it (upper pictures). Then I used some leftover crafting paper and cut out some shapes that I liked. After sticking them to the windows, I added some details with the chalk marker again (lower pictures).

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Number Two: Pimped tinsel. I bought some green tinsel at the Dollar store. Then I rummaged through our one and only(!) box with tree ornaments and found some tiny baubles in red. We have loads of these, so I could spare some (if you don’t have any of these to spare, they are also available at the Dollar store these days). Some pieces of wire and a stick of hot glue later, this one was done and ready to go up. What I did: I took the crown off the baubles and pulled the wire out. I straightened the wire and glued one end into the bauble, then wrapped the other end of the wire into the tinsel. If you want to re-use the baubles some other time, just leave them as they are and hang them into the tinsel like you would hang them into the tree.

Number Three: Paper ornaments. To be perfectly honest, I bought a crafting set for these at our local supermarket for One Dollar. But you can make pretty ones yourself with leftover crafting paper or out of an old cereal box that you paint and draw and stamp on. (That is what I used to do with my grandmother. She kept cereal boxes and the golden foil from around the coffee and then we would do crafty things with them.) Then you glue old buttons on them or tiny leaves – whatever you like. What I love most about these is that they can be stored in an envelope – they take up next to no room but bring Christmas into your home as soon as they are hung up.

I hope you liked my suggestions and try some crafty things yourself. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

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