When money is tight, sometimes it’s hard to get into the Christmas spirit. It’s even harder if you can’t even do a little decorating. Here are some good ideas to help you get into the spirit without spending a dime.
One of the simplest ways to decorate is with items that are easily accessible in your home. Make paper chains to string around your home. Simply cut strips of paper and glue the ends together to make a loop. The next strip you just run through the first one and do the same thing over and over again until you have the length you want. You can use old school papers you don’t need again, old newspapers, magazines, just about any paper that you would normally throw out. In our home, we make one long enough to stretch all the way around the living room in swags from the ceiling. If you have crayons or paints, you can add a splash of color, glitter adds a little sparkle.
Another idea is to string popcorn. You do need to have an air popper for this and a needle and thread. Pop about a quarter cup of kernels. String the thread through the needle. You want to have a manageable amount of thread, so no more than arms length. Insert the needle through the “meatiest” part of the popcorn gently and slide it down the string. Pretty soon you have a pretty strand of popcorn to decorate with. When you reach the end, just make a really large knot to keep the popcorn in place. You can tie several together to make it longer. Some people even string a few whole, fresh cranberries to add color.
Since the traditional colors of Christmas are red and green, you will want to include this into your decorating. If you have old hankies or bits of scrap material, use these like doilies to place under candles or to fill a clear glass for display. Even old t-shirts can be reused this way with a little trim. Instead of just throwing them away, cut them into circles or rectangles, stitch the edges under and you have a nice bit of color in any room.
Even the traditional Christmas tree can be found without having to spend any money. Find someone who purchased a live tree and simply ask for the branches they cut off. By taking a little time to arrange them and tie them together, you can have a pretty little tree ready to decorate. By nailing a coffee can to a couple pieces of wood for stability, you have a tree stand! You could wrap the can in a little wrapping paper or even one of those old t-shirts to hide what it really is. You wouldn’t believe how beautiful these turn out after a few ornaments are added!
Don’t forget to think about where you live and what kinds of trees are in your area. If you have pecan or walnut trees, you can paint the nuts whole in the shell and glue a bit of ribbon to them to hang from the branches. When the paint is wet, or even with just glue instead of paint, you can add a little glitter to them. They are also really pretty wrapped in foil. Also, if you have pinecones, you can paint, glitter, or just hang or prop them in the branches.
Now you have a home decorated with bits of items that you have found either in your neighborhood or within your own four walls. Your Christmas is starting to look a little brighter now that you have some color in your place. Continue to think of ways to share what you have learned, maybe through some homemade gifts created from what you have in front of you! It’s amazing what a little ingenuity can bring about!