Decorating on a Budget
Christmas is a special but expensive time – especially on a student budget. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative and festoon your student accommodation or home with cheap and festive decorations. To mark Tree Dressing Day on Wednesday December 5, here are some top tips for decorating on a budget.
Buy decorations from charity shops
Some people change their Christmas décor theme every year, and when they buy new decorations they give their old but still in great condition stuff to charity. I’ve bought lots of bags of baubles and bead garlands from charity shops. Stick to two or three colours to stay classy. As well as the baubles, use the garlands on the tree instead of tinsel. Grouping baubles, lengths of garlands, or pine cones in bowls makes striking decorations.
Get outdoors for greenery
Holly, pine cones, fir and mistletoe make beautiful, and best of all free, decorations. You can buy a piece of oasis very cheaply and put greenery into it to make a table centrepiece, or you can wire the foliage together to make a wreath. If you’re short of time a few sprigs of holly tucked behind picture frames or in vases looks fab. Pine cones can be strung on a garland, piled in a bowl, or hung from the tree. Keep them au naturel or spray them with fake snow or gold paint.
Go old school
You can make colourful paper chains out of interlocking strips of coloured paper or wrapping paper and hang them across the ceiling, bannister, doorways or on your tree. Snowflakes cut from paper look good, two dimensional ones stuck onto walls or three dimensional ones for hanging from the ceiling or tree. You can attach your Christmas cards to a wide and long length of Christmassy ribbon and hang lengthways or horizontally on a wall. Some people group their Christmas cards by colour for an easy and effective display.
Use food as decorations
You can make presents for your foodie friends to save money, and use them as a feature too. For instance homemade rum truffles in pretty boxes will look nice on a shelf, as will ruby-coloured bottles of sloe gin or plum vodka. Home-baked gingerbread biscuits look fab decorated with white icing and stacked in a kilner jar, strung on a garland or hung from the tree. Candy canes are cheap to buy and can be hung from the tree or piled in a pretty glass jar or jug.