24 Cheap Christmas Decorations You Can Make Yourself

You already know you can save money with homemade Christmas gifts and Christmas appetizers you make yourself, but your Christmas decorations don't have to break the bank either. Use these homemade ideas for holiday decorating on the cheap.

By Reader's Digest Editors from Reader's Digest
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    Stephanie Lynn

    Create An Advent Calendar

    Start by spraying an old frame with a metallic base, says By Stephanie Lynn. Create tags using an online template (see link below). Mix in gold, silver and neutral ornaments to tie the whole Calendar together.

    Haeley Giambalvo

    Go For A Bow Wreath

    Creating this simple, festive wreath from Design Improvised is easy and won't drain your wallet! Get this look by simply hot gluing bows of various colors to a Styrofoam wreath. It only takes about 20 minutes to complete.

    Ruth Soukup

    Craft A Candy Cane Vase

    Put some simple odds and ends to good use for this easy craft from Living Well, Spending Less. Glue the candy canes to the can, tie with a red ribbon, and fill with artificial (or real) poinsettias.

    Kacey Kendrick Wagner

    Make Your Own Mistletoe

    Felt, a fabric pencil, pearl embellishments, red ribbon and a hot glue gun are all you need for this cute decor from Stay At Home Artist! Cut out your felt mistletoe using a template provided and arrange pearls how you like. Tie with ribbon and hang.

    Try Formal Finishing Touches

    Wrap bows around your dining room chairs (you can even tie on Christmas ornaments for extra sparkle), says Better Homes & Gardens. Secure on the underside with tape as needed.

    Mary N.

    Redo Your Wreath

    Stack wreaths and give classic winter door decor a pick-me-up. Purchase three wreaths in different sizes, hang on top of each other and add accessories, according to Sweet Little Bluebird. The best part is this costs only $20!

    Place Pretty Pinecones

    Dip pinecones in gold paint (either partially or all of the way) or use a mixture of water, glue, and glitter for a sparkling effect. Place on side tables or use to fill baskets and bowls.

    Alexa Westerfield

    Get A Galaxy Ornament

    These baubles are sure to catch your eye, thanks to Swell Designer. Take a clear ornament, add clear floor wax inside, pour in glitter of your choice, shake and enjoy!

    Michelle DuPuis

    Check Out A Chalk Ornament

    These are great gifts that you can decorate differently each time. Paint your plastic bulbs with chalkboard paint, let dry, then start drawing your holiday decorations on, says Rust Sunshine.

    Ashley Johnston

    Sit In Santa Chairs

    These chair toppers are simple to make, washable, and charming! Watch and learn as Make It-Love It shows you how to add some color to your dining room with these felt Santa Claus Hats.

    Amber Price

    Paint A Snowman Ornament

    Check these materials off of your list: Black, white and orange acrylic paint, a paintbrush, baby food jar and ribbon. Crazy Little Projects suggests that you paint your jar and decorate with a snowman face. Add ribbon to hang your ornament.

    How Does She blog

    Have a Hot Chocolate Jar

    Grab your favorite hot chocolate brand and toppings, a clear mug or mason jar, and start layering, according to How Does She. Keep a few stashed in the guest room for visitors who stay with you during the holidays. All they need to do is add hot water and enjoy!

    Turn Pillows Into Presents

    Tie a bow around your throw pillows with holiday-colored ribbons, and they'll look just like Christmas gifts! Add a rhinestone pin for an extra decorating kick.

    DIY Decorative Loops

    Make festive paper chains with strips of wrapping paper—simply glue a loop together, and then string another paper strip through and repeat the process.

    Show Your Cards

    Do you hang onto Christmas cards that are too pretty to throw out? Turn them into works of art. Attach a card front to matboard using Spray Mount, double-sided tape, or rubber cement. Trim to fit just a single card, or cover a large piece of matboard with multiple cards, and then decorate a doorway or tree.

    Source: Mary Ellen Turner, vice president of seasonal merchandise for Party City

    Reader's Digest Magazine Christmas Trees

    By folding your Reader's Digest magazine page over page, you can turn it into a cute, cheap Christmas magazine craft. Trim with tinsel and ornaments left over from your holiday decorating, or spray gold or silver. Get the directions here »

    Add Paper Angels

    All you need are paper plates or white cardstock, and you can make a full chorus of angelic little statues, a great decoration for a centerpiece or tree.

    Get the directions here >>

    Light The Driveway

    Line a driveway, mantle, staircase, or the middle of your dining room table with homemade luminarias for a warm, Christmas decoration, says Good Housekeeping.

    Spray A Spruce

    Spray paint artificial trees (big or small) with white paint for a clean, sophisticated decoration, says Better Homes & Gardens.

    Make Mini Trees

    Plain dry branches from your yard—whether from green firs or bare deciduous trees—make excellent decorations when you spray with silver or gold paint. Hang, or tuck in a vase to decorate an entryway or dining room. Plus, add ornaments to the branches for an instant Christmas tree.

    Try Two Wreaths

    Repeat design elements—like this duo of hanging evergreen boughs—for a look that's sophisticated and classic.

    Make Guests Feel Festive

    Stack red, white, or green bath towels, then tie together with coordinating ribbon to create a "gift-wrapped" look for a guest bathroom or to decorate during a party.

    Source: Connie Bandstra, author of Tasty Temptations

    Just Add Water

    Take clear vases or bottles, fill them with water, and add holiday-colored food coloring—a few drops will do. Then line the bottles up in a row, or decorate with floating candles for a festive touch.

    Glam Up Your Glasses

    For a fast, sweet decoration, put out bowls of holiday candy in pretty, stemmed glassware.


    Your Comments

    • Snow Elf

      This is a WONDERFUL site! LOTS of fun easy Christmas decorations to make! To all those who have posted that this info is “not kid friendly”, well…SHAME ON YOU! Almost every craft listed here can be MODIFIED to suit most children. Can’t sew? Big deal! Use stick on Velcro or double stick tape or washable glue. Don’t want your little one’s using paint? Then use water colors. Don’t want your kids using scissors, then YOU cut it out! Use these craft ideas as an example and MODIFY it to suit your child’s needs and age. If you can’t do that, then find a friend, neighbor, or grandparent that has a little more creative imagination than YOU! THANK YOU, READER’S DIGEST FOR ALL THESE WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS CRAFT IDEAS! PLEASE IGNORE ALL THE SCROOGES AND GRINCHES! :-)

      • Tulie

        Your right kids can do it just do that stuff for them and give them the stuff you want the to use don’t just say here make this or not let them do it at all


      The things are nice and all but if you put a little kid to make that you think he would be able to no im sorry but this a bad site for kids to learn how to make stuff

      • emb

        Does it say somewhere that these are for children? If it does then you’re right, if it doesn’t then I don’t see what everyone’s talking about these not being kid-friendly for.

        • superstar

          yea so you pick don’t let the kids do it

        • Bethany mota

          Technically I am a kid because I’m only 10 so I’m not a preteen or anything and I can do everything that is on the site so don’t say that that it’s a bad site for kids But it might be a bad site for your kids so you don’t have to post the problem because if it’s something was wrong with it for you then you don’t have to tell everybody about it you just have to not do it

      • superstar

        yea its not my kid got on it and it show this

      • Mac Guy3135

        they must be some unintelligent kids if they can’t make these i made a whole 2m tall lamppost for christmas – when i was 10 (i have had to completely rebuild it twice though)


      There is nothing good here i hate this just please teach us something that a little kid can do using paper or crayons

    • Dianepherigo

      Another inexpensive idea is to purchase inexpensive gift bags and set them over your yard lights. They look beautiful. The shiny or waxy ones hold up best in damp weather :-)

    • http://www.dirtcheapdiscounts.com.au/ SD

      Great ideas to make Christmas a little more financially manageable.

    • me

      P.S. Be sure to get permission to use it.

    • me

      If your mom or somebody’s got an old Christmas tree that’s in fairly good condition, use that until you can buy one.

    • http://twitter.com/PenthouseShots PenthouseShots

      There is a DVD called “The Christmas Lights DVD” that is great for playing at your home or office party. Very affordable. I love it!!

    • http://www.kleendrybh.com Water Damage Kendall

      I read your post. It is very Interesting. And i am Sure its very Beneficial for me.

    • The Miss


      • Alvina

        I like them too! My tips for an affordable Christmas -

        1) Shop online. Walmart, Amazon, etc. has everything you could possibly want with free shipping. Plus, you get to avoid holiday traffic.

        2) Use coupon sites like retail me not.

        3) Give gift cards or cash. Most physical gifts will go unused.

        4) Cut back spending in other parts of your life. Don’t limit it to just Christmas. Examples – $20/month cell phone from Tmobile, $24/month car insurance from Insurance Panda, $15/month gym from Planet Fitness.

        5) Re-Gift old presents that you never used. Don’t just throw them away!