Tips to save money on Christmas items and help make your holiday budget stretch.
You can save a lot of money if you don’t have ornaments from previous years. I was once at a training course in the Midwest over Christmas and did a whole tree using ornaments I made.
Pop your popcorn on the stove or using a popper and string it using an ordinary needle and thread. Don’t use too wide a needle or the popped kernels will break when you try to string them. This is a great family activity for the week before you decorate the tree. Do it while watching TV – or sharing family stories.
Use your leftover paper strips to make paper chains for the tree.
Most craft stores offer ceramic paint-your-own ornaments for under 50 cents. Use them for your own tree, or give them as gifts.
Before baking cookies (cut into Christmas shapes), use a toothpick or bamboo skewer to make a 1/8″ hole near the top. Decorate, and thread ribbon or yarn through the hole to hang them on the tree (and eat when the tree comes down).
Note: if you spray bug spray or air freshener near your tree, do not eat the cookies!
Egg Carton Ornaments
Bell – Cut an egg carton cup, paint the outside and decorate to your liking (glitter, beads, or just paint) and let dry. Use a craft needle to thread yarn, ribbon, or string through the top for a loop, or use a sharp pointed object to make a top center hole and thread yarn through.
Lantern – Glue two egg cups together at their bottoms to form a lantern-style ornament. Thread yarn, ribbon, or string through the top to make a loop and hang on the tree.
Cut paper snowflakes to hang on the tree (use thread loops).
Candy Cane Icicles
Icicles (or tinsel) costs money and can only be used one time. Try buying 3-4 dozen candy canes at your local discount store and hanging them on the tree instead of icicles. Candy canes can be re-used 3 or 4 years before the colors start to run. Then they can be eaten when they come off the tree, or saved to crush later and make peppermint bark.
Draw an angel on a piece of paper. Make the bottom edge of the skirt a half circle and join the two ends when it is cut out. Draw the two arms straight out to the side and join them in front when cut out (be sure you color the back side of the paper if you color the front). This makes a nice tree-topper.