Hey everyone, Corey here from Sawdust2stitches, and I am really jazzed to be back . It’s the Holiday season , which means it’s almost/is time to put up the tree! Today I have some awesome tips and tricks to help make your tree look like it came right out of a catalog. Best part ? I decorated my 10′ tree for less than $50; and most of it is from the “Dollar Tree”, SCORE!
How to Decorate a Christmas Tree, On a Budget
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(I am going to just assume most people already have lights, and will not be included in the total cost.)
I am not saying there is only one right way to light a Christmas tree… I am just saying that this is the method that works well for me. I start at the top and work my way down. I also cheat a little. My tree obviously sits in a corner… and…. shhh… I don’t string the lights around the back of the tree. I just don’t. If this was in front of a window, or in anyway, shape or form visible, I would incorporate the lights on the back. But, it’s not!
(If you don’t have little helpers in your home, feel free to skip to step 2)
2.) Ribbon (Approx.) =$5.00
If I could get you to take away just ONE thing from this tutorial it would be: RIBBON!
Seriously ribbon is awesome, it comes in countless colors and patterns, and if you know where to look, CHEAP. I purchased mine from Sam’s Club. They have 5″wide x 25 yards for $6.98! On the picture above, I used approximately 15 yards. ( Leaving plenty left to use on a garland.) The thing I want you to notice is HOW MUCH space the ribbon takes up! The more space the ribbon takes up, the fewer ornaments you will need! If you are aiming to spend less on your tree, then you really cannot afford to skip the ribbon!
One suggestion when adding the ribbon. Please, please, please, do not rest it on the branches… If you have an artificial tree then you have it really easy! I actually bend the branch around the ribbon to make sure it stays put! If you have a real tree, simply use a metal ornament hook ( use it like a bread twisty-tie), wrap it around the ribbon and then on to a branch.
3.) MORE Ribbon (Approx.) = $2.00
Like I said, if I can get you to take away one thing from this tutorial, it is that ribbon might cost money, BUT it will save you money with how much space it takes up! I like to pair up the solid ribbon with a patterned ribbon. This ribbon was 3″ wide and 50 YARDS long, for only $6.98! On this tree I used approximately 15 yards, leaving plenty left over for garlands, gifts, wreaths etc.
4.) XL Decorations = ($9.00)
Alright folks, all the ornaments you see here were purchased at the ‘Dollar Tree”! The snow flakes came in a pack of two and the bells were $1 each. These are AWESOME. Ultimately we want to add texture to the tree. We don’t want it to be all bulbs! When placing these on the tree, try and set them a little ways in. I don’t really “hang” these on the tree. You want these to add dimension, and depth. (I spray painted some of the snowflakes to adds some variation.)
5.) Large Ornaments = $10.00
Here is another instance, where it might feel weird to buy a single ornament for a dollar, when you can purchase a 16 pack for $5.00. The math is hard to deny. But, like the ribbon, it is worth it! Take a look, in the photo below I added $10.00 worth of ornaments, and it fills a majority of the vacant spaces!
I also purchased these at the “Dollar Tree”, their color options are very limited, but that shouldn’t limit you! Don’t forget spray paint is your friend! You can read all about how I did it here.
6.) Spray Snow = $1.50
Spray snow is essentially a temporary spray paint, that has a little bit of texture. It can easily be wiped off! Actually, the reason I added the snow now, instead of directly after the lights, is because I want it to stay in place. I love how it adds dimension and fills visual space, without the cost of more ornaments. When applying, I just use it in short bursts, and I do NOT cover every inch of the tree. I add just enough to make it look like a frosted pine tree, NOT a white fake tree. 🙂
8.) Small (Traditional Size) Ornaments = $2.00
I say “small” but I am really referencing the traditional size bulb you can find at most any store. I found these bulbs at the “Dollar Tree”. That’s right 8 ornaments for $1.00! Boom. In the picture below I only used 2 packs. (Although I did buy a TON to use on wreaths , garlands, etc.)
*Notice* When decorating a tree, I focus on traditional colors. I invest in more red and white ornaments, or if you prefer the more elegant use cream, for rustic try brown. ( So on and so forth) The reasoning ? You can easily change out your accent color, and change the ENTIRE look of your tree, for minimal cost! (See more info below.)
9.) Pop Color= $13.50
Most of my “pop color” ornaments are also the “Dollar Tree” ornaments that I also used for steps 5 and 8. The only difference? Spray paint! That’s right! I have been known to change my pop of color, and all it takes is a can of spray paint! This year I opted for a light turquoise/seafoam. I love it. I love that I don’t need to be married to a color, because it is only a $3.79 can of spray paint. For $4.00 I can change the entire look of my tree every year. I just keep repainting the previous years accent bulbs .
I did also add basic clear ornaments, with tinsel put inside. (Another easy to change the pop color from year to year.) You can read all about it here.
10.) The Star= $1.50
As is tradition the star goes on last. Mine is yet again another “Dollar Tree” purchase! That’s right I used a $1.00 star, and backed it with a 2/$1 snowflake, to give it a little more impact. $1.50? I will take it!
EXTRA CREDIT: = $3.00
I made these odd looking guys for basically nothing! They consist of Dollar Tree Ornaments ( the smaller ones, I think they are like in a 16 pack for $1.00!), white pony beads, a white metal coat hanger, hot glue gun and a drill w/bit) For a total of $3.00!
5″ Ribbon $5.00
3″ Ribbon $ 2.00
XL Decorations $9.00
Large Ornaments $10.00
Spray Snow $1.50
Small Ornaments $ 2.00
Pop Color- $13.50
Star $ 1.50
Extra Credit $ 3.00
=$49.50 To decorate a 10′ tree!
One of my favorite features of the tree ? This sucker is kid proof! It’s all plastic, without looking “cheap”. One other great selling point of plastic? I can literally throw the ornaments in a bin. Seriously, when packing up Christmas it takes no time at all! No more wrapping individual ornaments, and commanding the kids to “freeze” when you hear that unmistakable “popping” sound of glass, when they inevitably get hit. So, rest easy, and know that if one of them breaks it is always less than $1.00!?
Happy Holidays, and enjoy!