Looking to deck the halls on a budget? If you’re tired of the same old tinsel but don’t want to spend a fortune on new decorations, get in touch with your crafty side and try out our frugal but fun ideas.
Craft doesn’t have to be just for the kids. Check out your local craft shop and stock up on glitter, sequins and fabric to help you create a Christmas wonderland for less. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
DIY Christmas wreath
Making a wreath to hang on your door is easier than you think, and can be done for a fraction of the price of something ready-made. Here's how to do it.
- Loose Christmas tree and holly branches. Try sweet-talking your local seller or florist.
- 2m length of metal wire from your local DIY shop and some florist’s or picture wire.
- Alternatively you can buy ready-made natural twig wreaths from hobbycraft.co.uk.
- Decorative papers, ceramic shapes, ribbon, baubles, pine cones, buttons or berries - the choice is yours!
- Wrap the long length of wire around a bucket a couple of times to create a circle. Twist the ends together (using pliers if you need to) and remove carefully.
- Trim your tree branches and holly into 10 to 15cm lengths.
- Tie your branches to your wire circle with florist’s wire all the way around, nice and generously, then carefully tie on your holly here and there.
- Finish with a red or silver fabric bow fastened at the top or bottom of your wreath and it’s ready to hang.
- Or, if you want something a little different, why not have a go at the advent wreath (pictured)? Just print numbered labels for the lids of mini favour tins and then glue each one to a circle of card - don't forget sweets and treats to fill each tin with!
Shiny paper baubles
- Metallic, glittery, plain or patterned card cut into strips of even length – about 12 to 15 cm long by about 1cm wide. For each bauble, you’ll need 10 strips.
- A hole punch
- Two paper fasteners for each bauble (from stationers or craft shops)
- Metallic thread (from the craft shop).
- Punch a hole in each end of each strip of card.
- Stack them up and clip together at the bottom and the top with your paper fasteners.
- Fan out and voila - a bauble!
- Tie your thread around one of the paper fasteners and your bauble is ready to hang.
Cute bucket advent calendar
Create a unique and fun advent calendar that the whole family will enjoy in the countdown to the big day.
- 24 coloured mini tin buckets
- Foam or cut-out numbers
- Check ribbon
- Stick a number on the front of each bucket.
- Pop a small gift in each.
- Hang them from your mantelpiece using the check ribbon for a folk-art effect.
Traditional felt shapes and stockings
- Pieces of coloured felt, from craft shops or stationers.
- Pictures of an angel, Christmas stocking, star, Santa, reindeer etc.
- Tracing paper or other thin paper.
- Pins, wool or embroidery thread.
- Sequins, ribbon, beads etc for decoration
- Trace your festive shape onto a piece of paper then cut it out.
- Place one piece of felt on top of another then pin your festive shape onto it and cut around it.
- Stitch the edges with wool or embroidery thread in a contrasting or matching colour.
- Decorate with sequins or beads
- Tie some pretty thread to one of your stitches and it’s ready to hang.
- Hang on the tree or thread a row onto ribbon and hang along the mantlepiece.
Create a cosy seasonal glow with some beautifully decorated candles that will add an extra finishing touch to your festive displays.
- Wrapping paper
- Felt shapes
- Customise some simple pillar candles by tying some bright, patterned paper or ribbons around them.
- Always remove wrapping before burning and never leave lit candles unattended.
More DIY decorations
Who doesn’t enjoy decorating the house at Christmas? Here are a few ideas to get your home sparkling without spending a fortune.
Go back to nature
Go back to nature and collect pine cones. They’re a classic way to bring a bit of Christmas atmosphere into your home, for free. Arrange them in a large glass bowl or on a white platter. If you have some spray paint, you could spray them silver or gold for extra Christmas sparkle.
Give your table a Christmas facelift with a table runner made from a length of metallic, shimmery or sequinned fabric from your local craft shop. It needs to be about 25cm wide by 2.5 metres long, depending on the length of your table. The remnants bin is a good place to start. Pick up some matching or toning ribbon or strips of the same fabric to tie around napkins and pillar candles.
For Shaker-style simplicity with your gift wrap, use brown parcel or craft paper. It’s inexpensive and can be recycled after Christmas. If you want to get creative, pick up a stamp in a festive shape, or go back to basics with a homemade potato stamp. Dip it in poster paint or an ink pad and stamp each sheet, then hang paper over a door or lay out to dry. Tie your parcels with wide pieces of metallic ribbon that you can buy by the metre from the craft shop or pick up from the remnants bin.
Make your own gift tags from metallic or glitter card cut into squares or circles (use a small box or egg cup to cut round). Punch a hole in each with a hole punch and thread with ribbon or coloured string. Use a gold or silver metallic pen to write your tags for extra sparkle.
For even more ideas, check out Hobbycraft.co.uk where you'll find video demos and free step by step project sheets.