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Don’t Get Scrooged This Christmas: How To Decorate on a Budget

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SMU chapter.

With Starbucks releasing their red Christmas cups and Dedman playing Christmas music, it appears that the holidays have begun. Whether you agree “the most wonderful time of the year” has begun or you believe the holidays are still around the corner, we all start to anticipate budgeting our money on gifts, celebrations, and of course, decorations. But there is no need to tap into that gift giving fund in order to make your home look the part this year. With these easy and affordable decorations, your house (or dorm room!) will look just as cheerful as your bank account.

We understand that you cannot deck out every inch of the house for the holidays like the inhabitants of Whoville in “The Grinch,” so pick main spots you or guests will see the most. Decorate main entrances with cutouts of snowflakes tied to string, a single role of white streamers or festive white lights that can be found on Amazon for only $8.99!

Do not be a “cotton headed ninnny muggins” this year. Take Buddy the Elf’s strategy and utilize edible decorations from the four main food groups: “Candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup.” We suggest filling festive colored bowls with candy, spreading red and green salt water taffies across a table, or tying candy canes to a continuous string and displaying them across a plain wall or fire place.

We all have seen “Christmas Vacation” and understand that not every house is meant to fit a tree. But the holiday must go on, so take some festive gold and green ribbon, sticky tape or tacks, and follow a zig zag pattern along a wall to create the image of a tree. If you want to continue “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” tack up all your friend’s Christmas cards along the ribbon as ornaments, or string some lights along the wall for some sparkle. If you create your tree in an area with plenty of space, place any wrapped presents you have along the base of the wall, under your tree.

Don’t have wall space? Then bring the outdoors in with a simple yard search and some green paint. Simply find pinecones and paint them green with a paintbrush or simply dip the entire pinecone in paint, let it dry, and there you have it: mini Christmas trees to display anywhere from the dinner table to the bathroom counter. If you have extra time, make it a “White Christmas” and add some white paint to the tips, or dash some silver sparkles on the tips of each pinecone.

Turn any average white door or fridge into Frosty the Snowman with some paper and scissors. Cut two large black circles for eyes, five smaller circles to form a mouth, and three additional small circles for the buttons on his stomach. Duct tape the circles on the door as they would appear on any snowman and cut out an orange triangle for his nose. If you want to be on Santa’s Nice List, you should finish off the look by cutting one long strip of red or green paper, and two smaller strips that make a scarf to keep your snowman looking sharp.

Let more than Rudoplh’s nose shine bright this Christmas and add some sugar and spice to items already in your home. Fill any candle holders or clear jars with raw cranberries or other red items. This will add a festive look to any table without screaming “Santa’s coming!”

If you have any trees in your front yard or plants within your home, instantly create a “Winter Wonderland” by hanging traditional plastic ornaments off branches. Cheap ornaments can be found in Target, Walmart, or any basic drugstore for as little as $5 per package. Feeling naughty? Get messy by purchasing clear ornaments, and filling them with paint to create your own, uniquely designed Christmas decorations.

With these easy, budget friendly decorating ideas, it is impossible to not get involved in the holiday cheer. Whether you have already embraced the Christmas spirit or plan to hold off until December, remember than you do not have to break the bank to make your home look Martha Stewart worthy this holiday season. Just make sure your guests do not get their tinsel in a tangle when they realize how easy it was to turn your home into Santa’s workshop.

Karna is a Junior at Southern Methodist University studying Public Relations, Advertising, and English. She is the Social Media Director for Her Campus SMU, as well as a member of STUMO and Alpha Chi Omega. She is from Orange County, California and loves going to the beach and spending time with her younger sisters when visiting home. When she is not studying, Karna is usually exploring Dallas, listening to country music, or updating her blog, Simply Karna.
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