Decorations

Frugal Christmas Decorating

Gathering Your Ideas

You know that you want to decorate your house for Christmas, but you have no idea where to start. Well, I always start by gathering ideas. Since I am a visual person, the internet has been simply amazing in helping me figure out my style.

Pinterest 

Pinterest is always where I start. I have been working on a pin board of Christmas Decorating Ideas and Fun that you definitely won’t want to miss. The ideas I have been gathering are all simple and use relatively easy to find resources for.

Etsy

Etsy always inspires my creativity. If you are looking for ideas to decorate your home, don’t forget to stop there. Have some fun with your search and try adding upcycled, vintage, or retro to your search.

Tutorials 

Printables (just type Christmas printables into the search box on Pinterest or Google)

  • subway art
  • coloring pages
  • scrapbooking paper
  • bunting
  • vintage music
  • bits and pieces to make amazing decorations

Gathering Your Resources

Pretty much anything can be turned into a beautiful ornament these days. I suggest you have some idea of the materials you want to work with and the end product you have in mind before you begin gathering your resources.

Around Your House 

Don’t forget to take a good look around your house for materials that could be upcycled or repurposed into Christmas decorations. You may be surprised or even amazed at all the resources catching dust already at your house. Check your closets, attics, basements, and all the nooks and crannies in between.

Freecycle

Sometimes people on Freecycle offer up Christmas decorations or things to make them. Sign up with your local Freecycle and keep your eyes open. We got our new tree, a bucket or ornaments, and some Christmas lights from Freecycle this year. (found – fabric, art supplies, yarn, etc)

UsedEverywhere 

I know that UsedEverywhere has sites all across Canada and the UK. I visit our local site fairly frequently and have found wonderful used items and supplies to make things. (found – yarn)

Craigslist

While I have never actually found anything useful on our local Craigslist, I know other people have used it with success to find things they are looking for.

Kijiji 

This site is new and still building momentum, but I have been seeing ads for it everywhere. It is similar to Used Everywhere and Craigslist.

Thrift Stores

Take a visit to your local thrift stores, before and after the holidays, to see what they have to offer. I have often found lovely decorations for cheap. (found – decorations, fabric, yarn, cross stitch fabric and miscellaneous decorations)

Homeschool Families

Are you on a local homeschool support list? We are on a couple of them and people often offer things for free or cheap on the lists. If you keep a close eye on the list, you may be able to snatch up something useful and fun. (found – embroidery hoops)

Friends

Let your friends know that you are looking for Christmas decorations or things to make them. They may be purging their decoration or craft stash and have just the thing that you are looking for. (found – yarn, embroidery thread, plastic canvas, crochet cotton, fabric, picture frames and more)

Family

Don’t forget to ask your family if they have any of the items on your wish list (be they decorations or items to make them), as I am sure they would be glad to help you find what you need.

Did I forget anything? Where do you get your inspiration for your Christmas decorations? Where do you get your materials to make them? 

Check out all the rest of my posts and our Christmas Link Up.

This week I am linking up with some fabulous bloggers to bring you some amazing Christmas posts. Please take a few moments and visit the other mamas on this list and check out what they are writing today.

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts

*special thanks to Angie for making the graphic button for our series.

Top Ten Christmas Decorations From My Childhood

This is what greeted the kids Christmas morning last year. 

When I think about Christmas decorations from my childhood, certain images are recalled almost immediately. Today, I want to take you down memory lane.

1) Pipe Cleaner Candy Canes

We made pipe cleaner candy canes by twisting a red and a while pipe cleaner together. Then we curved a hook in it and hung it on the tree. Sometimes we took one pipe cleaner and made a candy cane using Tri beads in Christmas colors (that would be red, green, and white for us).

2) Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes have more to do with winter than Christmas, but we always ended up making them on our Christmas holidays. These would hang in the windows until the moisture from the windows would make them all soggy and they would start falling apart (Don’t tell me that didn’t happen to your snowflakes.)

3) Paper Chains

Bright and colorful paper chains often wrapped around the whole tree. You know the ones made with construction paper and a stapler? Do you know how much paper (and how many staples) it takes to make a paper chain that goes all the way around a huge Christmas tree? (Neither do I.)

4) Popcorn Chain

What do you get when you mix a giant bowl of popcorn (this time without butter) with a long thread and a sharp needle? A popcorn chain for the Christmas tree and sore fingers. We only did this once and I am pretty sure I know why.

5) Fancy Baubles

When I was little most of the shiny decorations were breakable and our tree was full of them. I love all the Christmas baubles on fancy trees, I just don’t like cleaning up the splinters of glass when the balls fall on the floor and I step on them. I am so thankful for the invention of “shatterproof” baubles made of plastic. In my mind they look just the same and they are safer to have when the kids take the ornaments on and off the tree all day long for the whole month of December.

6) Garland

I can’t tell you if we have had garland on any of our family trees since we started our own family, we might have, I just don’t remember. I do remember always having garland wrap around our family Christmas tree growing up.

7) Tinsel

I also remember hanging tinsel on after the garland (as long as we didn’t have any pets at the time – You do know that tinsel is bad for cats and dogs and other small animals allowed to be loose in the house, right?) because the tinsel always came after the garland. And after the tinsel always came…

8) The Star or The Angel

Growing up we have always had a star or angel adorn the top of our Christmas tree. It was always put on last. There were a few times when it was too heavy for that skinny top branch and it would sag, but most of the time it fit just right. I heard from a reliable source that my sister tied a Ken doll, dressed in a suit, on top of her Christmas tree this year and they are planning to get him some angel wings (it is so hard to find man angels these days!).

9) Stockings

We had a variety of different stockings growing up. I am not sure why we never had the same ones, but my guess is that it was probably because the stockings were packed in a box somewhere and we couldn’t find them. I have made stockings a few times now for my kids, so I understand this crazy phenomenon of losing those “TWO” boxes that you only use once a year. I am guessing that is why they have started making those bright red and green buckets. We have those now and we love them. This year I found 2 complete sets of stockings.

Last, but definitely not least, was the…

10) Nativity

We always had some form of nativity on display at Christmas time. One nativity was ceramic and painstakingly hand painted by my aunt (my dad’s brother’s wife). The other nativity that stands out in my mind was probably purchased at a local department store, but we were allowed to touch it. It had a wooden stable with that funky moss all over it and the little resin nativity characters. I have fond memories of playing out the Christmas story with those characters.

What are your fondest memories of Christmas Decorations from your childhood? 

I am linking up to Top Ten Tuesday and the Hip Homeschool Hop.

Check out all the rest of my posts and our Christmas Link Up.

I am also linking up with some fabulous bloggers to bring you some amazing Christmas posts. Please take a few moments and visit the other mamas on this list and check out what they are writing today.

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts

*special thanks to Angie for making the graphic button for our series.

Tree, Lights, Action

So, we got this huge tree from freecycle. The owner was moving into a nursing home and we received his meticulously cared for Christmas tree. When I say meticulous, I mean, the branches were color coded and it was packed in layers of newspaper.

We got the tree, but we already had the boy. If truth be told, we already have four boys and one girl, but that is another story. That is my Zion in that picture. He looks so tiny, but the tree is really huge.

The tree came with a bucket of lights (indoor and outdoor) and a bucket of decorations. Pardon the mess and the diaper boy, but I am just thankful I was able to catch the wonder and fun of the next few photos.

Daddy decided that we should test each strand of lights, so we did.

The twins had a grand time.

Don’t let the absence of the big boys fool you, they were there, but they were just too quick for the camera.

Jumping rope with the lights. Joy in the simple things. Oh to be 3 again.

Daddy casually glancing in the box to see how many more strands of lights we have to test, while Zion tries on a new necklace.

See how fast they were moving.

No, this was not a rope light. but that would have been fun too.

Untangling the lights and working together.

Almost finished…

If you look very closely, you will see daddy behind the tree and Hosanna standing behind him and both of them admiring their hard work.

This new tree comes close to the ceiling (which isn’t extraordinarily high to begin with) and is significantly higher than the tree we inherited from my Nana.

We call that tree, from my Nana, the chair tree because my grandpa put the entire Christmas tree on a chair leg base. After Christmas they would just move it, fully decorated, to the basement. I will not get rid of it, but it is too small for us now. On Christmas Eve there will be 15 of us sitting around the Christmas tree. We needed a bit more room for presents and I wanted more room for decorations.

Oh yes, I almost forgot about the decorations. (The tree came with a bucket of decorations, remember).

Well, the day we got the tree, we decided to set it up to see if all the pieces were there. No point keeping a tree if it was missing half of its branches. All the branches were there, by the way. We decided, since the tree was already up, that we would just leave it up.

Since it was only the middle of November, we decided to wait until December 1st to put the decorations on the tree considering we have a new kitten (there is a post coming about her soon too) and we didn’t want her completely attacking the tree before Christmas. Oh, that and the three year old twins we have. Those monkeys took every ornament off the tree and rearranged it several times before we even made it to Christmas, last year.

Anyways, I am thrilled to tell you that we received a huge bucket of beautiful decorations spanning someone’s entire life. Every single ornament in the huge bucket was unique and different. I am so excited about putting them on our tree this year. Don’t worry, I will share about those ornaments later in the week.

Just keeping visiting this week (Monday-Friday) for more Christmas decorating fun.

This week I am linking up with some fabulous bloggers to bring you some amazing Christmas posts. Please take a few moments and visit the other mamas on this list and check out what they are writing this week.

A Slob Comes Clean – Getting Your Home Company Ready
Feels Like Home – Christmas Traditions
Somewhat Crunchy – Christmas with Dairy Allergies
Spell Outloud – Children’s Books
Mama’s Learning Corner – Children’s Crafts
Many Little Blessings – Edible Gifts
An Oregon Cottage – Christmas Cookies
Catholic Icing – Wishing Jesus Happy Birthday
The Traveling Praters – Traveling
The Homeschool Classroom – Gifts Kids Can Make
Mama’s Laundry Talk – Laundry Gifts

*special thanks to Angie for making the graphic button for our series.

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