Monday, December 3, 2012

Easy Christmas Decorating on a Dime

Santa kneeling at the manger...
Merry Christmas, friends!

We've been busy here putting up our holiday decorations.  We'll finish the tree this afternoon, but I wanted to show you some of our favorites and give a few hints on decorating on a dime, as I have done for the spring and autumn seasons.

A little tour?  (We have more stuff, but I think this will be enough...)

We start at the front door.
I bought this wreath somewhere last year
(maybe Goodwill or Salvation army?)
and didn't pay more than $5.
I've gotten lots of great Christmas decorations
at thrift stores and yard sales.
Last year, we bought an artificial tree and stand
for a fraction of the price of new ones.
I bought the reindeer wreath hanger at Walmart.

Hmm, I think I need to straighten out that bow a little.

This is our wreath from Christmases past.
This year, we moved it to the side door,
where many of our family enters the house.
I touched up some of the artificial berries with
red permanent marker since white Styrofoam
was peaking through. If you repair what you have, 

you can make it last longer and
cut your replacement expenses.

Next, the front entry way.
My favorite, the guardian angel watching over
a ceramic Christmas village.
All of this is on a vintage linen pillow case
on top of an antique cabinet.

We inherited the lovely angel from
my mother-in-law.
I love family heritage decorations!

I have added to the village bit by bit.
I bought most of them at Walgreens

for a dollar or so.
Here they are pictured on a doily 

in my dining room,
since the lighting wasn't good 

for a photo in my hallway!

On the table in the entry way,
an olive wood nativity set,
a gift from a dear friend who visited Israel.
We also have miniature olive wood nativity tree ornaments.

An open area at the bottom of the antique cabinet
is the perfect place for a trio of stuffed snow men!

A garland stretches the length of our
front hallway over the closet doors.
The NOEL decoration, a long ago gift,
is made of painted wooden letters
suspended on a chain.

Moving on the the living room,
my pride and joy, a stained glass nativity 

lovingly made by my mother.
I keep it up high, on the top of a bookcase,
so little hands won't destroy it.
My newest decoration is
woven ball potpourri in a glass bowl.
The package of potpourri was originally $6 at Big Lots,
was on the 50% off rack (before Thanksgiving!)
and rang up even lower, at $1.80.
Keep your eyes peeled for bargains!
My JOY snowmen!
Yes, despite the fact that we live in sunny Florida,
I do love snow people,
especially when they bear glad tidings of great joy!
As always, a basket of Christmas books!
See My Favorite Christmas Books.

The perfect place to curl up with a Christmas book!
I made a set of four snow men and penguin pillows.
To save money, I used worn out throw pillows
I bought Christmas fabric from Walmart.

On to the tree ornaments!
I received this in 1985,
as a newlywed,
at an ornament exchange with the ladies
from our church.
It's one of my personal favorites.
Angels are my other Christmas theme.
My Grandma Hess made all of these ornaments
in her "younger" years -- her seventies!
She used to make one for each grandchild each year.
We try to label them on the back, so each
child can take their collection when they move away.

A memorial ornament from the nursing home
where my Grandma Driggs
lived out her final days.
It's so good to remember departed loved ones.

My son made this out of popsicle sticks
at school last year.
Homemade is pretty economical,
but most of all fun!

This was a gift within the last year or so,
and I have to say it's one of my very very favorites.
I love ornaments that tell the nativity story!
After all, Jesus is the reason for the season!
This one, a ceramic book spread ornament,
only a dollar at Dollar General last year!
I bought several of these for my children too add
to their personal collections.
I chose this one for my daughter Mary,
since the quote is from the Virgin Mary's Magnificat
in the Gospel of Luke.
I have other nativity themed ornaments in the same series.

My sister's family personalized many fun 
ornaments for us over the years.

In my bedroom, a few things for my desk area.
A mug with a small chip, not suitable for drinking,
serves as a pencil holder.
And yes, that is a wreath tacked to my bulletin board!
A have a set of these mugs, bought at Salvation Army
for less than a dollar each.

A basket of cinnamon scented pine cones
for my bedside table!
Watch out for dye in baskets,
since if it gets wet it can bleed.
This one stained a vintage doily
when a cup of water spilled.
This is in the master bathroom.
The subtle lace colors go well with my peach theme.

A rug in front of the kitchen sink pads the feet
and keeps spills from becoming slipping hazards.
(That tip comes from my daughter, the nursing student.)
I paid about $7 for this one at Aldi a week ago.

Get your holiday kitchen towels
and hot pads at a dollar store.
I like to buy extra matching ones to to send to a friend,
and then think of them every time I use mine.
On top of the stove, this plate held is in place with a
plate stand.  The bottom of the back of the stand
is wedged behind the stove to prevent it from falling.
I use these stands year round for seasonal decorating.
There are still a few things I want to get this year, like a small silk flower arrangement in a basket, fresh hot pads, and a new full-size flag and garden-size flag for outside.  I'll keep my eye out for good deals on things I really like!

Oh, here we are with my new
small silk flower arrangement --
$5 at Deals.

And you can add a bright ribbon
to your every day items
to give them some cheer!
This one is from a box of chocolates
that a friend sent to us.

These last two photos are added in from my post Christmas Red on my blog

Here are my summary tips on Christmas decorating on a dime!
  • Decorate with things you already have, especially family heirlooms and thoughtful gifts.
  • Group related items together into a pleasing arrangement.
  • Create wonderful aromas with candles and potpourri!
  • Use baskets for a homey look, especially since you can put things in them!
  • Gather new items little by little, and you will have quite a collection after several years.  
  • Keep your decorations in good condition by storing them safely.  I use large plastic bins for most of the bigger decorations.  Ornaments are stored in big aluminum pop corn gift canisters within the bins, while the nativity sets have their own boxes.
  • Make your own decorations using materials from a dollar store, Walmart, or a craft store.  See Great Gifts Kids Can Make for Others.
  • Keep your house tidy, since clutter distracts from beauty.  At Christmas time, I remove most of my non-holiday decorations and put them in a bin.
  • You don't need anything fancy or expensive! Simplicity is beautiful! 
My Christmas page is full of links for food, fun, poetry, and inspiration.

Grace and to you and glory to God!

Virginia Knowles

P.S. Decorating is a wonderful holiday tradition, but if you're looking for something a little more outward focused, check this out: What You Can Do to Make the Holiday Season a Little Merrier for Others


  1. Great ideas. I love your pretty decorations. We have a smallish home and now that we heat with wood there isn't even a safe place for a tree, but some of your ideas may work for us.

  2. Thanks for sharing your decorating ideas. I especially liked the nativity scene. Sweet. There are so many ways to spend a lot of money decorating, so it is nice to be encouraged to decorate attractively for little cost but time.

    Thanks for linking up over at WholeHearted Home this week.

  3. Such cute goodies! I don't decorate very much, but love those that do! Thank you for sharing and linking up at Simply Helping Him.


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