Deck the Halls… for Free
by Marian Parsons (Miss Mustard Seed)
The holidays can be an expensive time of year. There are gifts to buy, parties to host and higher utility bills to name a few of the things that compete for each paycheck. The good news is that there is no need to spend a lot of money to decorate your home beautifully for the holidays. In fact, you can do most of your decorating for free. Here’s how…
1.) Paper is your friend.
You can make amazing things with paper. Last year, I decorated most of my tree with paper banners, pennants, pinwheels and miniature wreaths. Even my tree topper was made out of cardboard and paper. Beautiful wreaths can simply be made out of paper twisted into a cone and hot glued onto a cardboard form. Wrap presents in old book pages and sheet music with shredded paper bag bows. Don’t discount the humble schoolroom craft of snipping snowflakes out of paper as well. They can look charming hung from the branches of a tree or strung up in front of a window.
2.) Pinecones are your friend.
If you live in an area where pine trees grow, you have a wonderful free resource at your disposal. Take a walk with your family, bring a bag or basket and fill it with pinecones. (Make sure you ask before collecting them from a neighbor’s yard.) Tuck pinecones in wreaths and centerpieces or simply group a bunch in a pretty bowl. Insert a screw eye in the stem of large pinecones and hang each from a pretty satin ribbon. Glitter the edges to add a bit of sparkle. If you can’t find pinecones in your area, look for acorns, seed pods, even sea shells—just something natural to use as an embellishment.
3.) Feathers are your friend.
I collected pretty spotted guinea fowl feathers at my friend’s farm a few years ago and I’ve been hooked on using feathers in my décor ever since. They look so elegant bunched in a small vase, embellishing a wreath or even just tucked into the branches of a Christmas tree. I know feathers aren’t the easiest freebie to find, but they’re worth keeping an eye out for on nature walks. Don’t be afraid to ask a friend or acquaintance who owns a farm or raises birds for feathers as well. If neither of these options is available, you can find real feathers at craft stores or you can make pretty paper feathers instead.
4.) Fresh greenery is your friend.
This is the easiest way to decorate on a very limited budget. Go outside with a pair of pruning shears and clip off some boughs to use for the holidays. I’m fortunate to have evergreen trees in my yard, but if you don’t, you can always ask neighbors, friends and family if you can trim some off of their trees. Remember that you’re not only limited to evergreens! Magnolia, palm fronds and all sort of warm weather plants look beautiful in garlands and wreaths. Use whatever you can find.
I hope I’ve given you some ideas on how nature can be your best friend when trying to decorate for the holidays in a way that won’t break the bank. Try it this year and you may never spend money on holiday décor again!
Marian Parsons (Miss Mustard Seed) is the author of the DIY/Home décor blog www.missmustardseed.com. She currently lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two sons, and a parade of painted furniture.