When money is tight, decorating the living room for the holidays may seem like a frivolous waste of money. Little luxuries such as table decor, floral arrangements, wreaths, candles, and tinsel all cost money which might be better spent on our families.
But, just because we are short on cash this holiday season doesn’t mean that holiday decorating is impossible. There are all sorts of free ways you and the kids can decorate the living room and the rest of the house during the holiday season. These holiday decorating ideas can get you started.
Hang greens. Long before Christmas trees, north Europeans decorated their homes with evergreen garlands and wreaths. This simple method of decorating a living room for the holidays calls for a bundle of evergreen boughs which you can prune from the yard or collect free from Christmas tree lots.
At our house, evergreen boughs are cut into 12-18″ lengths and either arranged on the fireplace mantel, on the window ledge or thumb tacked above the front door. (Read Easy Christmas Decor: The German Tradition of Hanging the Greens for more ideas.)
Paper snowflakes. I love paper snowflakes. This whimsical paper art is free to make and adds a lot of elegance to any room. What the kids and I used to do was spend the better part of an afternoon trying to “outdo” each other for the prettiest, most unique snowflakes. We’d take the best and hang them on the living room picture windows. The runner ups were ironed and then hung from the ceiling with fishing line and a tiny straight pin.
When paper snowflakes are pressed, they become as pretty as a paper doily and are a great way to add some elegance to a table. Large snowflakes can be used to decorate end tables. Smaller ones can be used as coasters beneath candles.
Decorate with ornaments. Not all ornaments needs to go on the tree. One of my favorite decorating ideas for the living room is to fill up glass pitchers with colorful glass orbs to arrange on the end tables. Ornaments can also be hung from lamp switches, the mantel, and cabinet doors.
Recraft old Christmas cards into doorknob decorations. If you hang onto stuff like I do, you probably a collection of old or unused Christmas yards from years past. Once fun and free way to repurpose these pretty cards is to turn them into doorknob decorations. Here’s how it’s done:
1. Trim the back of the card away from the front.
2. Next, trim the sides of the image as if you were making a bookmark.
3. Punch a hole in the top of the card with a single hole punching tool,.
4. Thread red holiday ribbon through the punch and tie around the doorknob.
Decorate with bows. Almost anything can become a Christmas decoration when tied up with a pretty red or green bow. If you have a stash of recycled wire edged crafting ribbon from previous holidays, this is the time to reuse them. (If not, hit the dollar store for spools of ribbon priced at $1 ).
To create a simple bow from crafting ribbon, cut 1-3 feet of ribbon (depending on the size of the object to be decorated), center the ribbon around the base, and then tie it ~ shoe lace style ~ into a bow. Fluff out the bow when done, then trim the ribbon edges with a scissors at a 45 degree angled cut. Some of the ways I’ll use these bows to decorate the living room for Christmas include the following ideas:
* To embellish plain taper or pillar candles
* Around a pretty jar
* Around doorknobs
* On drapery tiebacks
* The base of table lamps
* To use for bundling up some evergreen boughs
When it comes to decorating the living room for Christmas, it’s totally possible to pull off this feat without spending a dime. All it really takes is a little imagination to turn some little nothings into festive holiday decor that your friends and family will enjoy.
For other free decorating ideas, check out these articles by C. Jeanne Heida:
How to have a no cost Christmas
Cheap & Thrifty ornaments to make