Decorate this Christmas on a budget

Written by Mel Brown on 2 December 2021

The festive season is upon us and what better way to celebrate than to create some festive cheer!  However, you don’t need an extravagant light display or a huge inflatable Santa (or Grinch!) to make your home into a Christmas grotto.

Decorating your home for Christmas doesn’t have to be expensive. Reusing, repurposing, and going green this Christmas can also have a great impact on reducing your carbon footprint and the amount of waste produced. As a nation we create 30% more waste over the Christmas period than any other time.

But how can you make your home festive on a budget?  Here are some ways you can create a bit of Christmas sparkle in your home this year – without busting your budget.

Outside Christmas decorations and lights

Make a homemade Christmas wreath
Make a wreath for free by shaping an old wire coat hanger into a circle and wrapping tree trimmings around it. Then decorate the wreath with pinecones, berries and anything else you find out on a winter walk!  For an untraditional festive look, try turning your home into a present by wrapping the front door with some fabric and tying a bow in the centre.

Use more energy efficient LED Christmas lights
Instead of large light displays that use a lot of power, switch to a reusable battery LED alternative to decorate your tree and home. Make sure the lights are switched off in the day, and only turn them on when it gets dark outside. You don’t need to have the lights on every day for your home to feel festive!

Plant your real Christmas tree and re-decorate year after year
If you buy a real Christmas tree, make sure you get one with roots so you can plant it and then put it outside your house or in your garden for the rest of the year. Keep watering if throughout the year, then when Christmas comes around again, you can decorate your tree again – and again and again!

Indoor Christmas decorations

Dust off an old fake Christmas tree
Revive an old fake Christmas tree instead of buying a new one. It might be pine-ing for some attention so use reflective ornaments to make the tree look bigger.  If that trick doesn’t work, you can get some pine picks for under £10 to fill in any gaps and bring your tree back to life. Or if you need a new tree this year, why not try a modern look with a twig tree, which can be a cheaper option? 

Can Christmas decorations be recycled?
There are many cost-effective ways you can decorate your home without overspending.  Unique homemade decorations add a crafty feel to your house, are lovely to make with your family and a great way to let Santa Claus know where to stop. There are loads of ways you can use old decorations too. Baubles can be put into a vase or bunched together to make a new bigger statement piece.

Make some homemade Christmas decorations. Cutting out snowflakes, making paper rings, and creating snow and salt dough tree decorations can make unique and personal family decorations that will last for years to come!

Ask friends, family, or even local online groups if anyone has any Christmas decorations they don’t want. Why not swap your decorations with someone else and instantly update your festive theme for free?!

Using household items to make decorations is a great way to repurpose old items.  For example, you can have loads of fun making a gingerbread family. If you have some small plant pots going spare, glue two together at the base and get everyone involved in painting their own gingerbread person, tie a ribbon around the middle as a scarf.

We think the little ones will really enjoy making the gingerbread version of themselves!

Charity shops are another great place to find cheaper decorations and the money you buy them with will support a great cause. Also, remember to take anything to a charity shop from your house you don’t use. What is one person’s junk is another person’s treasure!

Ideas for reusing your old Christmas cards
Save your Christmas cards to create tags for your presents. You can also decorate your house with Christmas cards, by bluetacking some on your wall in the shape of a Christmas tree.

Don’t fir-get our tips when you’re decorating your home this Christmas for affordable ways to make your home festive, without having to splash out on new decorations! 

For more budgeting help, you can also take a look at our Financial Wellbeing Hub

Read our other blogs on how to budget this Christmas:


Filed under Money Saving Ideas

This article was checked and deemed to be correct as at the above publication date, but please be aware that some things may have changed between then and now. So please don't rely on any of this information as a statement of fact, especially if the article was published some time ago.