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Christmas on a Budget

A Few Ideas for When Money Is a Little Tight for Santa


With the holidays just around the corner, things may be a little tight in Santa's wallet this year. We have all been there so I hope to pass a little knowledge to you so maybe you don't feel like such a Grinch this year. 

Here are some ideas:

Try a felt Christmas tree.

Not only is this cute, but it is incredibly easy. Just get some felt with colors that work for you and cut away. Once your tree is hung, make the ornaments and you're good to go! Felt sticks to felt so the fun part about it is your kids can rearrange it as much as they want and you don't have to worry about broken glass, either!

The only items you would need are:

  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Tape (to tape the tree to the wall)
  • Glue (to piece together the ornaments)

If you live near a JOANN Fabrics or Hobby Lobby, that would be a good place to get the stuff and you can get great coupons online for them. I'm sure any Walmart sells it, too!

And then there is this second option to a felt tree:

3D Felt Tree

If you don't want to stick felt to your wall then this is a good option! I have seen plenty of kits like these that you can buy on Amazon too and that can make things even easier. I saw them as cheap as $10 and you can get a variety of sizes and styles. I would love to get this even with my tree to keep my toddlers out of the real one. I'm sure this would be a fun craft to make with the same items for the wall felt tree above. Just hot glue the green felt for the tree part on a cone made of plastic or styrofoam. If you aren't feeling so crafty then they have kits for these too at Amazon, eBay, and Etsy. 

Try a DIY wall tree.

This is perfect if you have a smaller house or apartment. It can be cheap to do with some garland and ornaments or I have seen it done with Christmas lights strung back and forth, too. Not only is this cute, but I think you could make it look classy too if you aren't into the idea of the felt trees.

What you would need to make your own:

  • Garland
  • Hooks or pins (to hold garland in place)
  • Ornaments

You could make this as big or as small as you want. You could add lights, make your own ornaments or buy them, hang candy canes, and/or make a tree topper for it or buy one. You can make a false trunk for the tree or leave it as is and it would still be so pretty!

Try a DIY snowman on your door.

Now, my mom did this every year to our fridge. I always thought it was adorable! It is so easy to do with some construction paper and double sided tape. The possibilities are endless with this too! You could do a snowman, an elf, Santa, reindeer, or whatever you like!

What you would need for this is:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Double sided tape

If you don't have double sided tape, you can always use regular tape and roll a small piece and it works just as well. You can use gift wrapping paper or newspaper for the scarf, too.

My mom used to get boards of styrofoam and screw it into the wall and we would decorate it for every season. As a kid, I always thought it was fun and we wouldn't hurt the walls because there was that styrofoam there so we could tack anything to them.

You can buy rolls of paper and make big characters and color them and hang them, too. 

Head to Dollar Tree.

Personally, when it comes to Dollar Tree, I am very picky. But they do have some cute crafts you can do with your kids. The expensive decorations could never mean more to them than some hands-on time with their parent(s). They do sell decorations too and plenty of stocking stuffers. It's a good place to buy the tape, scissors, and supplies for your crafts too since everything is a dollar! I've seen plenty of tutorials and ideas online for taking things from Dollar Tree and making decorations too.

Make Christmas cookies.

You can never go wrong with baking cookies! It may be fun to get some festive cookie cutters and use paintbrushes and frosting with your kids. Besides, what could kids love more than a craft with sugar that you get to eat? There are plenty of other festive goodies to make as well.

Puppy chow, buckeyes, hard candies, chocolates, chocolate covered pretzels, and more just to name a few. Gingerbread houses are always a good option too if you want to go a bit more traditional.

It may also be a good idea to make a bunch and give them out for holiday gifts instead of having to worry about all the extra money in personalized gifts. Who would turn down some homemade sweets, right?

Head over to YouTube.

There is a tutorial for pretty much everything on YouTube. I have seen plenty of tutorials on how to take Dollar Tree items or other household items and make Christmas stuff with it! 

Check out Pinterest.

I have at least twenty boards on Pinterest so let me be the first to say they have options! If nothing I have said is something you like, I promise Pinterest will have something.

Go to local garage sales.

You would be surprised with what you can find at a yard or garage sale. And these days we have Buy-Sell-Trade sites all over social media as well. Find some things with a little life left in it!

It goes both ways, though. You can always have one of your own or sell your own items on those Buy-Sell-Trade sites or look into consignment shops as well to get some extra cash for decorations or even Christmas gifts to give out.

These are a few ideas that I hope have helped you have a holly, jolly Christmas! The memories are what matter. So just because you don't have a "traditional" Christmas doesn't mean it won't end up being your children's favorite! Happy holidays!