Budget Blog: How to... Decorate for Christmas

Being a student often means giving up the festive luxuries of living at home but we adamantly put our foot down when it comes to Christmas. There is no way we can wait till we go home in December to get that warm fuzzy feeling that only a Santa’s grotto inspired house can bring. So this week we’ve tried to bring you as many bargains as possible so you can start feeling Elf levels of cheer.


Step 1: Theft, that wasn’t a typo. You literally need to steal things from home that won’t be missed in order to maximise Christmas decorating potential. For instance, the tree that’s been in our basement since September anxiously awaiting this season of the year. We also think throws, cushions or anything that’s literally not been screwed to the wall is open to thievery. There is no shame on this web page, fear not.

Step 2: We headed straight to town to examine what Primark and Poundland have to offer us this week and we were not disappointed. Use this as an excuse for a shopping trip, or join us on Wednesday 26th on the Her Campus trip to York where I for one plan on buying anything with a sequin on it. Alternatively, go for an evening of late night shopping; especially in the Trinity Centre where you’ll be forced into “Love Actually” style shopping, with mobs of early shoppers and the stunning Christmas lights. 

So, after being physically removed from the bedroom section, where I had to be convinced that Christmas bedcovers are not an annual investment, we headed to the tinsel-tacular area of Primark. We think a colour scheme for your decorations is essential and we’ve gone for purple with the silver tree we’ve kept captive for the past three months. There is an abundant section of tinsel (£1.50), baubles (£2.00) and fairy lights (£2.50) in Primark, so force your flatmates into donating dosh and get spending! Another important touch is the Christmas scented candles such as the ‘Warm Winter Berry’ one we picked up in Primark. For something slightly more expensive but also stronger, head to Clintons where there is a half price Yankee candle of the month, which would also make a great present for someone at home.

Step 3: Poundland is the only place a student is going to buy a star to top the tree and we invested in one in all its Pritt Stick secured, diamante glory. As the place we’ll probably be advising you to buy your presents in a few weeks, you should get familiarised with the aisle of glittery goodness sooner rather than later. From the necessary “Santa stop here” door signs, spray cans of snow and window stickers, this is the place to go.


When decorating your festive canvas in a student home you’ve got to make the most of what you have. We bring you the easiest ways to use what you’ve already got so you can save that little bit extra for that blow-up snowman you really want.

●     Find any spare Christmas wrapping paper you have and use it as a cover for your furniture, it’s a lot cheaper than buying a tablecloth or runner and can look as jolly as your present paper soul desires!

●     Wrap up empty boxes to look like presents from friends who aren’t as eager to start the festivities as early as you are. Use old boxes from decorations that have already adorned your two-foot tall tree and scatter them around the area until you get numerous real gifts from your loved ones.

●     Make some paper snowflakes to attach to the ceiling. Turn your living room into your own personal winter wonderland and get your creative hats on; what 20-year-old doesn’t love a bit of cut ‘n’ stick? 


For those of you who fancy a little indulgence with your holiday purchases, we have our top 5 fancy picks to really get you in the spirit:

1.    String of paper star lights, from £9.99 at Clas Ohlson.

2.    ‘All I Want for Christmas is You’ sign, now £5.60 at Debenhams. This song should now successfully be stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You’re welcome.

3.    Any of the adorable Christmas Stockings available at Wilkos, from £2.00.

4.    Kitchencraft Christmas cake-pop moulds, now £8.40 at Debenhams.

5.    Jewellery Christmas Advent Calendar, £25.00 at Topshop.

Enjoy your seasonal decorating fun and remember, the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.


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