With the holidays approaching, you can buy decorations everywhere, from the grocery store to the mall, Amazon, or your friend’s holiday-themed home party. When facing so many options, it can be easy to go overboard.
Yet great decor doesn’t have to equate clutter or a maxed-out credit card. Follow these strategies to deck the halls in a beautiful, budget-friendly way.
1. Evaluate Your Space
Are outdoor decorations essential? What about holiday knickknacks in spare bedrooms?
“Think about where you spend most of your time and focus on decorating those rooms,” says Jessica McRae, co-founder of SwatchPop!, an interior design site. “If you’re not hosting the holiday meal this year, you can skip the dining room decor and put all your favorite pieces in the living room instead.”
2. Choose Meaning Over Quantity
Once you’ve selected the spaces to decorate, be intentional about where you place holiday ware.
“While you could go all out in the living room sprucing up the pillows, coffee table, walls, and more, try focusing on two specific areas instead,” says McRae. You might opt for a sentimental arrangement on the mantle and simple wreaths in the windows.
3. Store Clutter for a Clean Look.
An array of toys, papers, and winter jackets will take the spotlight off simple decorations.
“Use the holiday as an excuse to work on organizing the space in general,” suggests John Linden, an interior and furniture designer in Los Angeles.
Place extra toys in boxes, sort through papers, and only keep out coats you use every day.
4. Work With What You Have
If you have picture frames on the wall, take out the photos and replace them with holiday scenes. “For some extra holiday flair, stick a holly twig or a piece of garland behind the frame,” Linden says.
Round ornaments and garland can be placed in a glass bowl and used as a centerpiece. If you have trees in your yard, gather branches and pine cones to make decorations. Tie red ribbons from your craft supplies to the backs of dining room chairs for a festive look.
5. Look for Low Prices
To add new pieces this year, start at discount places.
“The dollar store is a great resource for gathering holiday decorations such as wreaths, candles, ornaments, garland, stockings and much more,” says Jill Caponera, a consumer savings expert at Promocodes.com. “You could decorate your entire home for the holidays for less than $20.”
For big-ticket items, like new lawn decorations, wait for post-holiday sales.
6. Opt for Secondhand Pieces
If you want to replace your current artificial tree, browse pre-owned options to spend less.
Local thrift stores, garage sales, and sites like craigslist and eBay might have exactly what you’re looking for. Apps such as Facebook Marketplace and OfferUp can also be scoured as the holidays approach for secondhand items that still have life in them.
7. Make Signs
“There are tons of free online printables that will help to bring the holiday spirit to your home with ease,” says Caponera.