Monday, December 16, 2013

Cheapskate Christmas

It would sound so much better to title this "Handmade Christmas," but who am I kidding? Most of the decorations on my tree are there because I was too poor or cheap to buy real ones. But as I sit here admiring my Christmas tree, I'm glad it's slowly grown over time. I added a garland this year, and it's my favorite tree yet. "Minus the fakeness" the boys would add. It's our first falsie tree. I have mixed emotions about that, but I'm choosing to celebrate that we could put it up on a whim in early December instead of having to wait until we were close enough to Christmas that the needles wouldn't be brown on the 25th.

The decorations:

Bling - I made these out of my old jewelry supplies. They totally disappear on our trees now, but we used to have to cram an itty bitty tree into our even bittier living room. Oh well, the boys still like them and they're fun to look at while we're putting them on and taking them off.

Stars/doves - I copied sheet music onto cardstock, then traced cookie cutters, cut out shapes, and attached ribbon. Would be so much easier with a Cricut or Silhouette, though!

Crocheted snowflakes - Wish I could say I made these, but I didn't. I could've though, if I knew how to crochet...

Picture frames: Found them at a dollar store. I think I gave $1 for a two or three pack. Anyway, I replaced their boring ribbon for my cute polka-dots and added tiny pictures, which I've left in their for three Christmases now. I'm just gonna roll with it and say it's for the nostalgia factor...

Boxes - These may be my favorites! My cousin, Samantha, makes these out of adorable papers. I followed her tutorial to make a bunch of tiny ones out of book pages and tied them up with twine.

Garland - string, fabric scraps cut with pinking shears, jingle bells, and paper hearts punched out of sheet music, maps, and book

There are also some cinnamon ornaments hiding on the tree somewhere, but a certain little elf ran around the house shaking the tin full of them and broke the majority of those...

The secret ingredient to this tree, despite the cinnamon mishap, is the child labor I employed to get it decked. These elves are actually pretty good decorators. I only had to move a few ornaments (unless you count the string of Christmas crap they left all over the house).

 My cheapness extends to my wrapping paper, too. I mean, really, it's just going to get ripped apart in a few days. I use a little bit of regular wrapping paper to add pattern under the tree, but for the rest of the packages, I have family save comic sections for me all year. I've also used newspaper, but I think I'd prefer the classified or some other section with fewer pictures. Those brown paper packages tied up with string are from packing paper shoved in every Amazon box I've gotten this month. It's a little wrinkly, but let's just say it adds to the charm. I also use brown paper lunch sacks for little, hard to wrap items. I just fold a little scrap of paper over the top and staple it. This year, I also decorated with twine, jingle bells, and monograms cut out of different papers.


Tavia Smith said...

Quality photography! You need to make your pictures the x-large size though. All the bloggers are doing it ;)

Deborah Raney said...

That looks awesome! Love the baubles!! And the garland. And perfect with the stockings! I'm wondering if all those M gifts are for "Mimi"??? ;)

Tobi said...

I'm employing your famous Christmas strategy - act like I forgot and/or there's really a secret code (we've proposed that M is for Must be Reed, C - Can't be Calvin, R - Ryan, Rachel, Rudolph, Ryleigh, or Really for Max)