This year, save some cash and adopt a use-what-you-have approach to decking the halls. We scored tips from The Farm Chicks' Serena Thompson's book, The Farm Chicks Christmas.
Plus, try 14 Homemade Food Gifts
1. Dress Up A Barn
Turn even the most prosaic scene into a winter wonderland. A couple of smart touches - mini wreaths, coconut-flake "snow" - bring Christmas cheer to a nostalgic toy barnyard.
(To find a similar barn, usually for under $10, search eBay using the phrase "vintage toy barn." For similar cows visit anwo.com. For a similar wreath visit amazon.com)
2. A Homespun Tree Stand
DIY Christmas Tree Stand
Hide an unsightly tree stand in a timeless galvanized tub. "Not only does it look adorably rustic," Thompson says, "but the tub can hold enough water to nourish your tree for days at a time."
3. Colorful Cabinets
Colorful Christmas Cabinets
Give cabinets a festive feel - jolly fast. Thompson recommends dressing up kitchen cupboards with patterned wrapping paper (don't worry, it's a cinch to remove after the New Year). Just cut the paper to fit glass cabinet doors, as well as the back wall space between shelves, and use double-sided tape to affix.
4. Crafty Christmas Cheer
Spin yarn into a wreath with pop appeal. To craft this door adornment, wrap Styrofoam balls (in two different sizes) and a Styrofoam wreath form with colored yarn. Then use a glue gun to affix the balls onto the form, as shown. Note: If you're hanging your final creation outdoors, be sure to spray it with a protective finish.
(Balls and wreath form, joann.com. Aerosol waterproofing spray, buffalogapoutfitters.com)
More: 8 DIY Wreath Ideas
5. Create a Winter Wonderland
DIY Winter Wonderland
Make a plain-paper town merry. Transform a ready-made, unadorned card-stock village by customizing the buildings with wrapping paper. "I save the structures from year to year and just change the paper," Thompson adds. Finish off the scene with tinsel wreaths, tabletop trees, and toy deer.
(For a similar village, visit scrapbook.com. Fir trees, hobbylinc.com. For similar deer visit bakeitpretty.com)
6. Letter by Letters
A Scrabble Christmas
Spell out a Yuletide message. Score big with this little idea-Scrabble tiles offer a fun, low-key way to say what's on your mind. Paint the standard holders white to really make your words pop. "You can even use them as placecards for Christmas Eve dinner," Thompson says.
7. Light Up a Room With Color
A Colorful Christmas
Brighten a room with colorful bulbs. Even unplugged lights shine when gathered in a glass apothecary jar. For a container that truly glistens, top it off with a dusting of artificial snow.
(For similar bulbs visit christmaslightsetc.com. For similar jars visit sears.com. Artificial spray snow, amazon.com)
Plus, check out these budget-friendly holiday ideas, from CountryLiving.com:
- DIY Christmas Gifts
- 7 Gifts Made From Family Photos
- Holiday Gifts for Less Than $20
- 3 Recipes, 15 Different Christmas Treats
Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.