Holiday decorating can be a very expensive project, especially if you are trying to watch your budget. In the past few weeks, I have seen absolutely gorgeous decorations (many on the Marietta Pilgrimage Tour) and was struck by their simplicity. Check out these free or inexpensive decorating ideas that will be a sure to impress visiting family and friends during the holidays:
Magnolia Leaves and Garland – Take cuttings of the leaves and place them strategically around vases, mantle or lamps. You may also bind them with florist wire and make a garland for the mantelpiece.
Pine Cones – Place pine cones on your Christmas tree for a natural, pretty effect or put them in a bowl for a centerpiece.
Christmas Ornament Bowl - Place round Christmas ornaments in your choice of colors in a clear bowl and use as a centerpiece.
Candy Cane Vase – Using a tin can or cheap vase, use a glue gun to attach candy canes around the vase. You may fill the vase with red flowers or bunched cinnamon sticks.
Placemats For Armchair Covers – You can buy these cheaply right now and they really add to the room decor
For the Kids:
Microwave Salt Dough Ornaments -Recipe Courtesy of All Free Crafts
◊ 4 cups of flour
◊ 1 cup of salt
◊ 1-1/2 cups of hot water
◊ holiday cookie cutters
◊ decorations - glitter, paint, beads, etc.
1. Half of this dough recipe is enough to make all the ornaments shown, plus extras. You will also need paint in red, green, white, and gold, plus green glitter paint, and trims such as iridescent stars, pom poms, mini candy cane erasers, and glitter chenille stems.
2. Use Christmas cookie cutters to cut a variety of snowmen, Christmas trees and stars. Use a toothpick to make a hole for hanging, being sure to make the hole a bit larger than you will want as they tend to close when baking.
3. Using a microwave-safe plate (not paper or cardboard), microwave a plate of ornaments for 1 to 4 minutes, increasing the time by 1 minute increments and keeping a close eye on the microwave as the ornaments bake. Microwave power levels differ, so use high power in a less-powerful oven, but lower if your oven heats things very quickly. You don't want to risk a fire! Let ornaments cool completely before decorating.
4. Snowmen: Base coat white. Paint hats black. Use paint or markers for eyes, nose, mouth and buttons. You can also paint on a scarf, unless you are using chenille stems. Take one chenille stem and, leaving enough stem to form an arm on the left, wrap the stem around the neck, and form another arm on the right. Cut off excess stem and bend each end in a 1/4" to form hands. Add mini candy cane erasers if desired.
5. Stars: Base coat white or gold. Add green glitter paint, or outline with gold paint or glitter paint, if desired. Glue an iridescent star in the middle of each ornament. Take a chenille stem and, leaving a little extra at the top to form half a loop, bend the stem around each star point, pushing in with your fingers until the stem will retain the star shape. You will find the stem ends at the top with some extra left over. Bend both of these end lengths together to form a hanging loop.
6. Christmas Trees: Base coat green, then re-paint with green glitter paint. Add gold and white accents in a "garland" effect, then use red to add red "balls" to the tree. Glue sparkly pompoms or two iridescent stars glued together on top of the tree if desired.