Given the pandemic this year and so many families living in unforeseen uncertain circumstances, I wanted to explore just how creative we can get with affordable holiday decor from dollar stores and bargain aisles. I tried to focus on items that fall under $10, closest to $1 as possible. Last Christmas our son Marcelo was just 9 months old, so this year is his first-second Christmas as my husband calls it, so we get to have a little more fun decorating with him. And why not, I’m up for any challenge!
TIPS FOR DECORATING YOUR HOME WITH A FEW DOLLARS:
The main goal is to create affordable holiday decor and involve your children. Most importantly, making memories.
USE YOUR WALLS
This year for Halloween, we cut out bats using black construction paper and stuck them to the wall which was so fun and easy. Browsing the dollar store, I came across varying sizes of gift wrap bows and thought it would be fun to try the same idea. To decorate: start small and work your way up to the larger sizes in a wavy pattern. Your kids will have fun sticking them to the wall (and probably ripping them off if they’re like Marcelo)!
Let your little ones tap into their creative side by painting holiday pictures. Displaying their art is not only another affordable holiday decor idea but is a souvenir for years to come. The Dollar Tree has sets of flat canvases in all sizes, chunky paint brushes for little hands, and plenty of paint. For under $5 your little ones can be proud of their own masterpiece.
TABLESCAPES, END TABLES, AND MORE
Use your tabletops. Swap out some of your everyday decor for holiday items. In our bedroom, I replaced a small flower vase on my jewelry catchall tray with a $3 mini tree from Target, bringing a teeny bit of holiday warmth into our personal space. Any Home Depot or Christmas tree vendor will give you scrap tree trimmings if you just ask. Place them in any vase you already have. They look beautiful and fill your home with a warm holiday scent. If you’d like, add in some cinnamon sticks and dried citrus peels.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed the “Under the Sea” fun we created as a rainy day activity for Marcelo. With the current Coronavirus so many holiday activities are canceled, why not bring that cheer into your home? All you need are white balloons, birthday ribbon, snowflakes, and maybe some Christmas lights. Hang everything from the ceiling and create your own Winter Wonderland.
Here are a few affordable holiday decor ideas you can make your own and involve kids of all ages:
- I picked up a bag of fake snow aka styrofoam, a set of silver bowls, and a cute LED Santa all at the dollar store. At Target, I found a cute mini Christmas tree in the front aisle (you know the area–before you even enter the store and spend 10 minutes browsing). I poured the “snow” into the bowls, placed the Santa and tree, and voila, cute tabletop decor for $4.
- Both Dollar General and Dollar Tree have a variety of clear plastic bowls and glass vases, but use any you have at home. They also have ornaments for days! Grab a few packs of sparkly round ones. I went with a couple of 12-packs of glittery silver, bronze, and gold. Fill the bowl with your ornaments and it looks beautiful on a coffee table or kitchen island. You can also add in some mini LED string lights I spotted at Target’s dollar aisle which gives it a beautiful glow. Place garland on the bottom to add some green.
- Find any tall vase around the house, fill with bright red ornaments or peppermints. Also makes a unique candle holder.
- Both Target and dollar stores have mini Christmas tree skirts of all styles and colors. They make a perfect placemat for any serving dish. For example: if you have a silver serving bowl, fill it with walnuts in the shell, add a nutcracker, and place it on a tree skirt.
- My D-I-Y husband spotted empty colorful gift boxes at Dollar Tree. Using just some hot glue, stack them up, think Alice in Wonderland. Great centerpieces or to frame your doorway (just add rocks inside as weights)
Digging further I felt inspired and realized if you let the creativity flow, you can do a lot more than you think.
- A few picture frames and any flat ornaments make perfect art for any shelf or even hanging prints. Paint the frames silver and/or gold, add your ornament, and done.
- Grab a few decorative candlesticks, all you need is some glitter. Coat them in silver, gold, or even blue. Just paint them with glue and add your glitter of choice. Your tots will love this activity. (Pro-tip: for easy cleanup, pick up a $1 plastic tablecloth).
- A simple family heirloom. Create your own beautiful serving dish (or even a grandparent gift) with nothing more than a white large dish and paint markers or Sharpies. This is a perfect activity to have fun with the kids and let their creativity flow.
- Any dollar store has tons of those miniature stockings which make for great utensil holders.
- For a few bucks, kids of any age can create their own ornaments using a styrofoam ball, school glue (which you probably already have), some beads, and sequins. For the older kids, try toothpicks! They come by the hundreds at almost any store for less than a dollar. Using the same styrofoam balls, just stick them in until the ball is covered. Hit it with some white or silver spray paint and boom, beautiful bursts of snow and glimmer as hanging decor.
- Remember leg warmers? Here’s a cozy idea. If you find any just pull it onto any long vase. Cut any extra on the bottom. Then, fill it with branches. You can use plastic ones from Target’s dollar aisle and reuse them elsewhere when done.
I hope I’ve inspired some holiday creativity in your home. Please share your photos with us by tagging Miami Mom Collective and me on Instagram.