It's the first Saturday and December and if you aren't the "buy/put-up-the-tree-the-day-after-Thanksgiving" type, you are probably buying/putting up your tree today and thinking about how to make your home festive for the holidays!
Honestly though, if you weren't
smart lucky enough (I wasn't) to score major sales on Christmas decorations on on December 26th last year, decorating on a budget can be a daunting task.
Here are some simple projects I've made this year (or in past years) that make my house feel like Christmas:
Homemade Sweater Stockings
I made these stockings a few years ago from felted wool sweaters that I bought from Goodwill.
(felting = wash and dry on HOT)
I found a simple stocking pattern online used that as a template. Stockings are such a family tradition and even though I had a beautiful knitted stocking from growing up, I wanted new ones for my new family.
You can personalize your homemade stockings in many ways, especially from a sweater--for mine (in case you couldn't tell, the hurts-your-eyes pink one above. I must have been acutely feeling the testosterone in my home the year I made this) I used the cowl collar of the sweater for the opening of the stocking. Pretty!
Even if you already have stockings, monogramming them can add a special personalized touch to your holiday decor.
Countdown to Christmas Garland
I did a blog post about our 24 day Countdown to Christmas Activities here...
...but this fun activity also doubles as a garland for our mantle.
(if you click on the picture you can see that the decorations on the Left are stacked holiday tins. These were left over from cookies and hot chocolate gifts that I received in years past. Totally free!)
So, you may be saying, hey...your stockings are on the mantle in your previous pictures. Well, last year they were, but this year I have them hanging from the top of our upright piano. The bright colors of the stockings contrast beautifully against the dark wood.
Placing your stockings in a unique location can add freshness to your holiday decorating and provide color and cheer to a perhaps neglected area of your home.
Twiggy Christmas tree
I wanted something simple and striking to grace a small bookcase by my front door so I decided to fill a vase with rice and poke some branches in (collected from my back yard). I added a few simple red balls and a photo ornament from when the boys were one and ta-da! Unique and fun! (Later I added the BAM letter ornaments that are on my blog header to this twiggy tree)
DIY Paper Stars
I found this tutorial for these paper stars via pintrest. Though they are a little hard to see in the picture due to the glare of the sun, they look absolutely beautiful and add a special touch to my dining room.
I used cardstock for these but I've had some friends make them out of wrapping paper too! Pretty!
They look great in a window or would be absolutely magical if hung from the ceiling in your child's room too!
DIY Festive Phrases Painting
I can't take credit for this project because my sister-in-law Brittany (yes we have the same name. There were two Brittany Meng's in the same family for a few months before she got married) made me these little beauties last year for Christmas! How much fun is this? Simple and sweet but with a big decorating impact. She used small canvas cards (they aren't very thick) from a craft store.
"Ho! Ho! HO! Would be a fun combination too!
I am really not much of a decorator. This is actually the first year that I have actually decorated my house (beyond simply a Christmas tree) for Christmas. I love it and it feels very festive! I hope that these ideas inspire you to add simple and inexpensive decorations to your own home for the holidays.