Last Minute Christmas Decorating on a Budget

Have you started decorating for Christmas yet?  If not, don’t panic, there is still time.  You can find great deals on Christmas decor right now.  Here are few ideas on how you can get it done on time and budget!  Click on the highlighted words for sources.  

The Christmas Tree

This year we have 2 trees, an artificial one that we’ve had for a few years that we put all of the family ornaments that we’ve collected over the years on, and this little tree (aka Mama’s Tree) with all the coordinating decorations.  I toned it down with all neutrals but I did add little sparkle in some of the ornaments.  I spent less than $100 on this tree, including the tree and decorations.  I bought the tree at Lowe’s Home Improvement for $29. It’s a 6′ real tree, so it’s not huge, but I think it’s the perfect size for our family room.  Also, a smaller tree requires less decorations.  I forgot how much I love having a real tree.  It smells amazing!  I put it in the tree stand and sprayed a quick coat of flocking (in the garage).  I let it dry for a few hours.  I added LED string lights then I wrapped it with burlap ribbon. I kept it simple by adding various silver, white, and clear ball ornaments similar to these found here, here, and  here.  I had already had this set of ornaments that coordinated well so I added them, as well.  I didn’t have a tree topper, so I wrapped the top in burlap ribbon and tied a bow at the top and called it good!  I wrapped a faux fur tree skirt around the tree stand.  I already had this, but you could also wrap a white knit throw around it or put it in a large galvanized bucket.  Lastly, I wrapped a few presents in brown craft paper, tied them with jute twine and added a sprig of fresh greenery.  I placed fireplace logs and some pine stems that I cut off the base of the Christmas tree in a galvanized bucket.  


If you’re starting a decorative tree from scratch;

  • pick coordinating colors and theme (theme is optional) first 
  • start with basics – simple ball ornaments, ribbon, etc.
  • Add some decorative ornaments (this is where you add a texture, theme, color etc.)
  • Use items that you already have that coordinate well.  
  • keep it simple – you don’t have to add a lot of decorative ornaments to make it beautiful, you can always add more next year.
  • start small – don’t overwhelm yourself trying to decorate a huge tree.  A 5′ – 6′ tree is a great place to start.   


The Front Porch

For the front porches I used what I already had and added natural elements. On the lower front porch I planted a 5.5 gallon Green Giant Arborvitae in our existing whisky barrel planter (this tree can stay here all winter, then be transplanted in the spring).  I collected large branches from our yard and placed in a smaller planter in the corner.  I filled a lantern that I already had pine cones and holly clippings.  I spruced up (no pun intended 😉 ) an old wreath and small artificial tree by giving it a coat of spray flocking.  And I added a few decorative seasonal pillows to the loveseat. 

For our upper front porch, I trimmed the  front door with lighted garland that I already had.  I hung a fresh holly wreath on the door. I popped 2 large poinsettias in our planters on each side of the door (I left them in their plastic container).  I lined the steps with 6 galvanized buckets filled with fresh trimmings from my yard of Holly, Boxwood, Juniper, and Pine.  At the bottom of the staircase I placed 2.25 quart Emerald Green Arborvitae  on each side (these can stay here all winter and be transplanted in the spring).  

Porch Decor Tips

  • keep it simple – you don’t need a lot of decorations to make it beautiful
  • keep it natural – use natural elements from your yard
  • consider using plants that can be transplanted later
  • Add a pop of red to your greenery 

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