My, oh my, do we owe our Mamas some Thank You’s and Spa Days. Growing up, I never realized all the effort that went into the fun stuff.. birthday party planning, invitation addressing, baking and Christmas. Don’t get me wrong I love planning a good party, baking a nice cheesecake and decorating for Christmas but I also didn’t realize how much work and money went into it. Luckily for us, I think I’ve mastered Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget!
I almost felt silly writing this post.. under $100 to decorate our house for Christmas and that was a good thing?! It seems like so much for some themed ribbon and shiny, plastic spheres but when you head to Hobby Lobby or Target and start shopping you soon realize how quickly it adds up.
The first step for Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget, you need a tree –luckily, ours was passed down from my Grandma and just needed a little updating. Then you need lights, ornaments, ribbon, a topper, extras (like sticks, snow pinecones ?? who even thinks of this stuff) , props for under the tree, garland, wreaths, more ribbon, stockings, more props, the list goes on. Ok, ok it’s not like any of this stuff is required but when it’s all said and done + a bottle of wine later.. your house will be so festive, so cozy and so Christmas, you’ll be the jolliest girl in town and won’t want to take it all down come January. Trust me I’m already dreading it.
In the past, I haven’t put much thought into Christmas decor. Most of our Christmas decorations had been donated from family member’s boxes of Christmas past or come from the Dollar Tree. It got the job done and we were happy. Since I’m from Memphis we travel there during the holidays to visit family. We also have a family tradition of traveling to NYC during the month of December, so that’s more time that we are away from home. All in all, we usually don’t actually see our decorations that much.
Since this is our first Christmas as a married couple, I decided it was time to invest in our own decor and stay true to our ‘home theme’ — Rustic Farmhouse Glam.
We spent less right around $50 to decorate our tree, but to be fair we already had two of the main parts.. the tree and the lights. A little background on our tree, it’s a 6ft fake tree and not extremely full, I used certain decor techniques to make it look fuller (more below).
**This is a pretty detailed breakdown if you’re looking for tips on a specific item I’ve broken it down in order that it goes on the tree. If you don’t want the play by play tutorial I’ve included the breakdown of where everything is from at the bottom + the prices of each.
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: Our Theme
I wanted our theme to reflect the same theme I try to portray throughout the whole house- Farmhouse Glam. The rustic, natural wood and cozy elements play perfectly with Babe’s background and personality while the chic, white, fur and mirror pieces play well into my style and personality. Mixed metals, neutrals, and unique pieces tie everything together. I wanted the same for our tree. Focusing on a white, snowy and fur base with silver and gold metallic ornaments paired with pinecones, natural elements, and burlap ribbon. Tied together with woodland animals and grey, fur pieces. While I did find many pieces I loved (such as lumberjack ornaments or red and green pieces), they didn’t fit the theme so I didn’t buy them. This help ensures that every piece I purchased would be used and therefore not wasting money. It also helps create a uniform look that is pleasing overall! No matter what your theme, figure out your color components and main look and stick to it.
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: What the Flock? see full blog post on flocking here.
Flocking my tree. Where to start, I have dreamt of a flocked tree for years (the ones that look straight out of a snowy wonderland) but I could never, ever bring myself to spend $700+ on a fake tree. This year I finally discovered I could flock my own tree and you would have thought I was a miracle woman! It was so easy and I was so impressed with myself. For our size tree, I needed 3 boxes of powdered laundry detergent from Dollar Tree & a bucket. Mix detergent with one cup of water and then add 1/4 a cup of water to the mix until you have a thick, liquid-y mixture. Outside take your mixture and rub, spoon and drop your mixture onto branches, creating a messy, snow-like effect. Try to make sure to keep things random, so it looks more realistic. Once you’ve covered your whole tree, let it dry outside for 20 minutes or until hard. You can also flock pinecones, garland or whatever you want. I told Babe he may come home to me flocking our whole house, I’m obsessed and we’re obviously not getting snow anytime soon. 😂 Once dry and in the house, you can move onto lights.
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: Lights
Last year we had to buy new lights, we have a 6-foot tall tree and we used two strands of small lights and two strands of big lights, both clear. Starting at the bottom of the tree, we wrap the small lights (both sets, plugged together) all the way around and up until we get to the top. We then plug in the big lights (both strands, plugged together) and wrap them around and down until we’re back at the bottom. I love the variety in effects that the different size bulbs create.
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: Ribbon
Once the lights are complete, you can move onto the ribbon. I purchased two 9 ft. rolls of wire edge ribbon from Hobby Lobby. Wire edge is important because it helps keeps the curve shape needed to place it on the tree. Cut each roll into sections (about 1/2 foot each). Placing the ribbon will take a little bit of practice, my tree looked insane the first time I did it. After you do get all your ribbon placed, it may still look a little crazy but don’t worry it looks way more pulled together after you finish everything. When placing the ribbon, think that you’re placing both the ends in towards the center of the tree with the middle coming out towards you. Almost like a ribbon rainbow coming out of your tree in different spots. Try crisscrossing some ribbon and making a few pieces longer than others.
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: Ornaments
While shopping for ornaments, I wanted to start with a base. At Hobby Lobby I found a pack of silver ornaments (3 different kinds of silver) for $10 (All their Christmas decor is 50% off this time of year!). I used this pack for our tree, our garland and still had some leftover. Next, I picked up a small tube of small, round, gold ornaments from Dollar Tree. I used these on the tree and the garland but I wish I would have picked up two of these small gold tubes so I could have used more on my garland. At Hobby Lobby I also picked up a pack of ‘Merry Christmas’ small gold hanging signs, 3 silver ball (I really don’t know what to call these) sticks and a large silver bow for the top.
Next, I headed to Target to finally explore their Christmas section (I’ve been dying to do some for a few weeks). I honestly wasn’t as impressed as I usually am with Target but I also felt they only had a small selection that fit with my theme. I was still able to find 3 fur, initial ornaments (An ‘S’ for our last name, ‘R’ for our first name and ‘D’ for the pups) and 3 fur, woodland animals that also fit our theme. I always try to purchase everything in 3’s as I feel it looks better.
We were gifted two gold wedding ornaments this year as wedding presents and I was so excited they fit with our theme! We have also gifted two ‘animal skull’ type ornaments, one gold and one wood, that tied in perfectly with our theme as well! If you stock up on the basic, cheap ornaments you can save money by only purchasing a few of your favorite big ornaments
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: The Fluff
You’re almost done! You’ve made it this far without falling into an egg nog induced slumber. So I had some white padding that I used for a DIY headboard once upon a time (from the Fabric Section of Hobby Lobby), I used some to add more ‘snow’ to the tree. Just pull pieces off and stick wherever you see bare spaces. In addition to the snow, I added some flocked pine cones. These are perfect for filling in any bare spaces you have left! I topped the tree with our bow and placed a few of my ‘sparkle ball’ sticks towards the top of the tree.
Christmas Tree Decor on a Budget: Down Under
Under the tree, I used pieces of fur fabric I had leftover from our wedding. If you don’t have extra faux-fur pelts on hand but you want the same look, you can snag two large fur pelts from Hobby Lobby. It would be cheaper than a true faux fur tree skirt and once you add presents, you can’t tell the difference. I added a few props + my grandmother’s manger scene. For props, I grabbed some lanterns, two trees from Dollar Tree and a candelabra from our wedding!
‘Flocking Snow’ Powder Laundry Detergent — $1 a box, 3 boxes from Dollar Tree
Wire Edge Ribbon — $5 a roll, 2 rolls from Hobby Lobby
Large Tube of Silver Ornaments — $10, 1 Tube from Hobby Lobby (Decorated our tree, garland and had about 10 ornaments left over)
Small Tube of Gold Ornaments — $1 each, 1 Tube from Dollar Tree (Wish I would have bought two rolls)
Fur Initial Letter Ornaments — $3 Each, 3 from Target
Fur Woodland Animal Ornaments — $3 Each, 3 from Target
Pinecones — $5 for a bag of about 10, 1 bag from Target (Didn’t use all of them)
Silver, Glitter Ball Sticks — $1.50 Each, 3 from Hobby Lobby
Silver Bow Tree Topper — $5, 1 from Hobby Lobby
Extras that we already had — White Padding ‘Snow’, Two large gold ornaments, 2 animal head ornaments
GRAND TOTAL: $55
Here’s the back of the tree, to save money I don’t decorate it since it won’t be seen! I also didn’t flock it so you could see what our tree looked like before! I know this isn’t the most glamorous shot but I felt it showed more of what I meant by the ‘ribbon rainbow’ and the two types of lights we use.
I was so excited to share this post because I love our tree so much. I never want to leave our den now because I just want to stare at it all day!! I’m thinking this weekend, Babe and I may have a little campout in the den complete with a Christmas movie marathon and buckets of peppermint hot cocoa. Be sure to add me on Instagram (@YesPleaseDaily) to see our new rug that arrives today, I was so sad it wasn’t here in time for these photos. If you use any of these tips to decorate your tree or just want to add some of your favorite tricks to the mix, tag me on Instagram so I can check it out & use the hashtag #🙋YesPlease so I can repost you! xo