If you are new to decorating your own tree and don't have a lot of decorations, here are some thrifty ways to decorate your tree.
Add your thrifty tree decoration ideas here!
About The Author: Susan Sanders-Kinzel is the editor of ThriftyFun News.
Instead of putting tinsel on your tree (I stopped doing that years ago as I feel it is so messy) take a large sewing needle and using fishing line thread popcorn and cranberries, then drape this over your tree. It's a fun project for the kids to do, it's very unique and just before you toss the tree out layer the popcorn and cranberry strings on your fence or if you don't have a fence toss it on the ground. The birds will love you for it. Hey, they have to eat too.
As a pack rat of all things sentimental in nature, I have hung many items on my tree that remind me of different periods of my marriage/family life. I have a set of crocheted bells that were made for me and attached to a wedding gift, the figures that were part of each of my children's crib mobiles, and my children's wooden blocks, to which I screwed an eye hook, for hanging a ribbon to attach to the tree. Of course there are the yearly contributions of ornaments made by the kids in school, and the ornament I buy them each year, to begin a collection when they start families of their own. And to finish it off - red beaded garland bought at the dollar store. There's just no room for any regular glass balls, but we always find room for more memories.
you can make ornaments out of cinnamon, applesauce and white glue (lots of "recipes" for this online) and cut them out with cookie cutters. use yarn or ribbon to hang them for a bit of color - this adds a nice festive smell as well.
Family photographs make great ornaments also - you can glue them to frozen orange juice can lids or inside jar lids (clean the jar lid and spraypaint the back if needed) - a little ribbon glued on as a hanger works well. If you don't have these, you can just glue the photo to some stiff cardboard or card stock.
One of the cheapest but prettiest ways we decorate our Christmas tree each year is to buy a couple of boxes of candy canes. They are inexpensive and look so nice on the tree!
Found these on another site
Salt Dough Ornaments
2 C. flour
1 C. salt
1 C. water
Mix salt and flour. Add in half the water, then gradually add the remaining water. Knead until the dough is smooth, this can take up to 10 minutes.
For flat dough ornaments roll out the dough on baking paper. You can also be creative and make odd shapes and wreaths (takes longer to bake.) Use cookie cutters, cut-out templates, or just use your hands.
Dust dough with flour and begin to add details to the ornaments with a toothpick, popsicle stick, and knife.
Don't forget to use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.
Baking: Time varies based on thickness of ornament
Time: 1 1/2 hours - or until dry
Let cool before you begin. Paint with acrylic paints. Glue on beads, buttons, or any fun accessory. Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry.
Salt Dough Ornament Recipe 2
3 C. flour
1 C. salt
1 C. cinnamon
1 C. nutmeg
1- 2 1/2 C. of warm water
Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl.
Add in the water a little at a time, keep adding water and mixing well until the dough is formed. Roll the dough to desired thickness and begin cutting out shapes with a cookie cutter.
Place ornaments on an ungreased baking sheet and use a straw to make holes for hanging the ornaments.
Bake for 1 1/2 hours at 225° F. Place on a wire rack and return to the over for another 1 1/2 hours to ensure the ornaments are completely dry on the bottom.
Let sit and cool, then decorate.
Cinnamon Dough Ornament Recipe
2 C. flour
1 C. salt
5 t. cinnamon
3/4 to 1 C. water
Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir in water gradually to make dough. (Tip: If it sticks to your hands - add more flour, If it crumbles - add water) Knead for 5-10 minutes until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough to desired thickness can range from 1/4 - 3/4 inch thick.
Note: The thicker the longer it will take to bake.
Use cookie cutters to create teddy bears, gingerbread people, and holiday shapes. Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.
Baking: - Check After 45 minutes - 1 hour
Time: 1 1/2 hours - varies based on thickness, bake until dry.
Let cool before you begin to decorate. Paint with acrylic paints. Glue on fun eyes, buttons, ribbon, or any fun accessory. Coat with acrylic varnish when everything is dry, this is optional.
Cinnamon Applesauce Ornaments
3 C. applesauce
8 oz. Cassia cinnamon powder, approximately
Vegetable cooking spray
24-48 pieces satin ribbon
Line a strainer with cheesecloth or paper towel. Place strainer in large bowl. Pour applesauce into strainer, let drain for 8 hours.
Gradually add the cinnamon to the applesauce until the dough is pliable and resembles pie dough. Place a quarter of the dough on a sheet of plastic wrap and place another sheet over the top. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut out shapes using cookie cutters. Slide a spatula under the cut ornament dough and place on a cookie sheet sprayed with vegetable cooking spray. Use a toothpick to poke a hole to hang the ornament; make it bigger than you think because it shrinks during baking. Place in 175° F. oven for 6 hours or until firm and dry.
Thread ribbons through hole and hang from tree boughs or attach to gifts.
Makes 24 to 48 ornaments.
No-Bake Cinnamon Dough Ornament Recipe
1 1/2 C. ground cinnamon
1 C. applesauce
1/4 C. white school glue - like Elmer's
1. Mix cinnamon, applesauce, and glue together in a bowl
2. Mixture should have a consistency of cookie dough
Tip: If it seems hard - add a little water
3. Knead dough for 5-10 minutes, place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap so it doesn't dry out, and let sit for 30-45 minutes
4. Knead dough again until smooth
5. Roll out dough between waxed paper until thickness is 1/8 to 1/4 inch
Use cookie cutters to create teddy bears, gingerbread people, gingerbread house panels, and holiday shapes. Use a straw to make a hole so you can hang the ornament.
Place ornaments on wax paper for drying. Drying will take 3-5 days, turn ornaments over a few times a day in order for them to day flat and prevent curling of the edges. Ornaments will shrink a little while drying.
Someone posted this on another forum....
We made some yesterday Maria Have hit a slight technical hitch though
Got some empty egg boxes and cut them into their individual 'cups' we then painted them and put glitter on them. Had just gone through to make a hole in the top to put a pipe cleaner through (to hang on the tree) and half the glitter and paint has come off Next lot we do, I will thread the pipe cleaner through first
We're also making paper chains to decorate the kids bedroom
I had another idea, but not sure if I've got any balloons small enough Get a small balloon (you want it to be about bauble size), paper maché it (leaving knot of balloon free), let that dry, paint & decorate it and when that's all dry, burst the balloon and add a bit of cotton or coloured string to hang it up
You can alos use Christmas cookie cutters. Use ribbon make loops to hang from your tree. Dollar stores also carry clear orns to which you can paint the insides, or stuff with a bit of tinsel...
Cover old DVD's and CD-ROMs with paper and write about your year on them. Have your kids draw a picture. It never fails!
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