It was supposed to be easy this year.
All I had to do was unpack my handmade decorations from last year and hang them up. I wasn’t going to reinvent the wheel like I did every other year. I wasn’t going to spend hours upon hours crafting new pieces. I wasn’t going to be spray painting anything.
But when I put the first Christmas decoration in place, I stood back, tilted my head, and wrinkled my nose.
Doesn’t match our house?
All of the above?
And with that one tilt of the head, my easy decorating was thrown out the window, and I was starting from scratch again.
But this year I promised myself I’d keep it simple. I wanted something bold, colorful, casual, easy to make, and of course, CHEAP. So I surveyed my collection of materials:
Yarn. Spray paint. Old paint chips. Glass ornaments.
And I hit up the craft store for some new materials:
Pack of scrap paper. Pad of double-sided patterned paper.
Then I got out my paper cutter, and made strips out of paint chips and paper. This went surprisingly quickly and my cutting was complete within an hour.
Then I spray painted the backs of the paint chips gold to give them some glitz (and because I’m weird).
When everything was dry, I piled them all on the table, got out my darning needle and gold yarn, and started stringing the paper strips together. It’s just like stringing popcorn, except with paper.
Two hours later, I had a heaping pile of paper garland.
I decided to hang some of them vertically, tying the glass ornaments to the bottoms.
Then I took two long garlands and swagged them over each one of my windows.
To carry the paper theme to the tree, I raided my tissue paper collection and constructed some fans while watching Parenthood on Netflix. Then I raided my fabric collection and pulled out two pieces of vintage trim I’d bought in high school that I’d never used.
I’m still amazed I only spent $6.50 for everything, especially with the large quantity of decorations I ended up with. And come to think of it, I probably could have gotten away without spending anything at all by taking advantage of other free paper sources in my house:
- old books
- sheet music
- construction paper
- coffee filters
So the next time you need to decorate in a pinch on the cheap, just remember the two magic ingredients. Paper and yarn.
I’m hoping these decorations suffice for next year, and aren’t ousted by my wrinkle-prone nose. Because then I could put my energy into decorating my kitchen, which is screaming for this treatment I found on Pinterest (originally posted at katie did).
Note the the magic ingredients for this project are also yarn and paper. They pack a big frugal punch when used correctly.
Are you decorating for Christmas this year?
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FOR THE HOME DIY
A big thanks to everyone who participated in DIY Friday this month! We’ll be back with another edition on January 6, 2012. You can submit your DIY posts at any time.