Tips for saving money on Christmas ornaments as suggested by the ThriftyFun community.
Every year we make new ornaments of a completely different style. There is a cow made from parts of an old patchwork quilt, a bread dough girl painted with watercolors and sealed with clear nail polish, a golden wreath from puzzle pieces, a plastic ball with a glitter glue Christmas tree, salt dough hearts and birds made by our children long ago, and on and on. It makes for an eclectic and beautiful tree. I prefer all white lights, but sometimes we use all the different colors. The angel at the top is made from one daughter's Barbie.
Buy a few bushes of silk poinsettias from the dollar store and pop them off their stems. Hot glue an ornament hook to the back, and you've got several very pretty ornaments for very little money. I use white ones on my tree along with gold balls and white lights, and it looks very pretty.
My daughter got married in July of last year. We bought lavender and white ornament balls to put in bowls as centerpieces. We got them all at 90% off after Christmas! So, for Christmas, we re-used the white ornaments on the tree. We have three different sizes of white shiny balls. Double the use at a darn good price to begin with. We haven't found a use for the lavender ones... yet! My creativity is always working.
I don't do a big tree anymore since I live alone. But as my kids were in school and growing up, out tree had no store bought ornaments except lights and tinsel. Our ornaments were gifts, or handmade at school or at home. The paper chains or the popcorn chains, or both, were hung up last. Small toys made the tree. We traced coloring book pictures onto shrinky dink plastic, colored them in and shrunk them in the oven for the tree.
One year we made large sugar cookies, one for everyone with their name painted on before baking to hang on the tree. This included teachers, etc, too. We wrapped up in paper or foil lifesaver candy rolls, candy boxes, etc. Tied them with colorful yarn to attach to the tree. You can make the clove apple or orange sachet balls ahead of time to hang on tree when ready. It takes a little while for the sachets to shrink down.
If there are babies in the family, small baby rattles can be hung on the tree. The ideas are endless, use whatever you have at home. Let your imagination run wild.
Christmas decorations don't have to be expensive to be beautiful. Several years ago when I was working as a church secretary, I found all the decorations I needed at the local dollar store: a table-top-sized tree, miniature ornament balls and bells, and silver and gold tinsel to wrap around my desk, file cabinet and copier, as well as the doorway. Not to mention miniature lights, which I still have! I was able to lavishly decorate my office for under $15 tota. And the best part was, these ornaments were hardier than traditional glass and reusable, too.
One thing that I've learned is buying materials rather than ready made decorations saved me a ton of money. When I started to coordinate the colors, I saved even more! And, if I can reuse part of what I saved from last year, my savings are really multiplied.
I usually buy a roll of ribbon every year and use it with craft notions I've collected. Sometimes, I buy something new like bronze colored leaves and use them with notions I already have like crystal clear and gold beads strung on copper wire to make little flower shapes and bunched then together with silver and gold ribbons. It's a really rich, Victorian look that is put together with almost no money.
This can serve many needs, not just for ornaments but even for adding spark to table decor or gift bows!
Every year, immediately after Christmas, I buy or make one ornament for each of our grandchildren. This is really the cheapest time of year to make purchases of this sort. I put the year and their name on their ornaments and save them in a personal box for each child.
Now, with 9 grandchildren, the oldest being 19 years old, we have no need for other ornaments as these completely fill the tree. On Monday the 19 year old will move into her own apartment so we have bought her a small tree and will give her the box with her 19 ornaments in it to decorate her tree. With a string of lights she will have all she needs to begin her new Christmas traditions herself.
Any grandchildren who happen to be here at tree decorating time get to put their own decorations on the tree as well as those of the cousins who are not present. They love choosing a cousin to do this 'favor' for.
One of my favorites is making a dough out of ground cinnamon and applesauce (not the chunky kind). You can mix it inside a large Ziploc to cut down on the mess. When the dough will form a ball, you can roll it our and cut it with cookie cutters. Put the cinnamon dough ornaments on a cookie sheet in the oven on low heat. They will get hard after they dry out. They smell amazing and look cute too. I especially like to make gingerbread men and decorate them with slick paint when they cool. Good luck!
Years ago we made ornaments from cookie cutters. First we used an icepick to puncture the top so we could insert a piece of yarn for a hanger, then we glued decorative trim or grosgrain ribbon to the outside surface. We used glue sticks, but hot glue would work too.
One of our friends wrapped her cookie cutters in yarn, and then glued rick-rack to the edges.
I'm attaching pictures of a few, these are more than 30 years old.
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