10 Affordable Trimmings

Want to make your holiday decorating both easy and creative? Have these essential trimmings ready to use. Look for them

There is an elegance to white candles that is hard to beat.
There is an elegance to white candles that is hard to beat.
Want to make your holiday decorating both easy and creative? Have these essential trimmings ready to use. Look for them throughout the year at tag or garage sales, flea markets, dollar stores, thrift stores, craft stores, and even big-box stores. Most can be found on markdown after the holidays. This stock will form the foundation of your decorating structure for the holidays and throughout the year.

[step-list-wrapper title=”” time=””] [step-item number=”1. ” image_url=”” title=”Baskets:” ] They’re rustic and charming, easy to dress up, perfect plain, and amazingly useful. Fill them with fruit, nuts, leaves, flowers, glass-ball ornaments, candy, cookies, small presents, party favors, and more. Line them with fabric or paper, tie satin or velvet bows or raffia to the handle. Use them to serve rolls or bread, or even to set serving dishes in or to hold individual bowls of soup. Place in the bathrooms to hold guest towels or soap.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”2. ” image_url=”” title=”Candles:” ] The most versatile are white candles in all shapes and sizes, from tea lights to tapers to columns. There is an elegance to white candles that is hard to beat, though you should also stock up on red and green candles when you see them on sale.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”3. ” image_url=”” title=”Flowers:” ] Fresh, dried, and artificial flowers are an easy way to bring the beauty of the season to every corner of your house. Gather them in baskets or pots, tuck into grapevine wreaths, tie small bouquets with ribbons to add to your tree, or twine with ribbons and frame a doorway.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”4. ” image_url=”” title=”Glass-ball ornaments:” ] These can be picked up for practically nothing at end-of-season sales, so stock up on all sizes and colors. Tuck them wherever you need reflected light or a spot of color. Mass all sizes and colors in a basket, pot, or crystal bowl for a dramatic effect. Use them in unexpected places, like hung from ceiling beams or from kitchen curtain rods.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”5. ” image_url=”” title=”Grapevine wreaths:” ] These staples of the craft store can take you through an entire year of holidays, not just the November through January lineup. Just adding ribbons in seasonal colors can immediately create a winsome wreath, but go a step further and add tiny lights, dried or silk flowers, and leaves, fruits, nuts, and ornaments — essentially whatever pleases you and your family.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”6. ” image_url=”” title=”Holiday lights:” ] Strings of lights, both white and colored, can add a festive glow to any decor. And don’t just think of trees or the eaves of houses. Live in the Southwest? Adorn your cacti. Live in a high-rise apartment? Frame windows or a balcony, or run a line of lights along the tops of cupboards and cabinets.[/step-item]
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[step-list-wrapper title=”” time=””] [step-item number=”7. ” image_url=”” title=”Linens:” ] We’re not just talking about tablecloths. Linens can have a tremendous impact on the feeling of any room, adding warmth or elegance or rich color. Tablecloths, table runners, place mats, cloth napkins, quilts, bedcovers, sheets, bath towels, kitchen towels, lace doilies, dresser scarves, and just pieces of fabric, large and small, should all be part of your collection. Linens are particularly easy to find for pennies at tag and garage sales; so whenever you see something you like and can afford, buy it![/step-item]

[step-item number=”8. ” image_url=”” title=”Pine cones and other natural materials:” ] Pine cones in all shapes and sizes are a quick and easy way to add a touch of nature to any arrangement or corner of your house. Pile them in their natural state for a simple, rustic look, or spray a few with gold or silver metallic paint to lend a Midas touch. Other natural materials, such as fruits (apples, oranges, and pomegranates, in particular), nuts, dried Indian corn, corn husks, wheat sheaves, moss, and so on, can all be used effectively throughout the holiday season, either in their natural state or gilded.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”9. ” image_url=”” title=”Pots:” ] We like them fancy, we like them simple, we like them white porcelain, we like them shiny brass, we like them terra cotta, we like them large, and we like them small. Pots can hold plants or arrangements of dried or silk flowers; pile glass ornaments or nuts in smaller pots; set a large pot near your fireplace to hold a fragrant selection of firewood and pine cones. And don’t assume a particular pot won’t work for the holidays, because “it’s the wrong color.” Pull out everything you’ve got, and then see how you might use it all.[/step-item]

[step-item number=”10. ” image_url=”” title=”Ribbons:” ] The decorator mainstay, adding a ribbon to a basket or pot or wreath is obvious, but you can wrap ribbons around banisters, tie bows on lamps or bedsteads, frame a doorway, gussy-up a dining table, and so much more. Buy ribbons in basic colors (red, white, green, blue, orange, and yellow) and more exotic colors (gold, silver, turquoise, hot pink, lime green) whenever you see them on sale. Always check at craft and fabric stores for sales.[/step-item]
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Originally Published in Reader's Digest

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