Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to Decorate Your Christmas Tree {ON A BUDGET}

Christmas is by far my favorite holiday of the year. For many, many reasons... Just one of them being that I get to put of my Christmas tree!!


There is just something about having a christmas tree in the room that just makes ya wanna burst into song... "Chestnuts roasting on an open fire... Jack Frost nipping at your nose"- Ok... ok... maybe I am the only one that feels that way, but you have to admit that a Christmas tree makes ya feel good! Right? I put my Christmas tree up over a week ago and I have been enjoying every second of it!

Today I am going to share my tips of decorating your Christmas Tree on a budget!

To start, let me tell you the story of my Christmas tree... I got it 5 years ago at Walmart. At the time, I didn't have a lot of money and I didn't have much space. It cost me a total of $29.99 and came pre-lit. 5 years later {still have no money, and limited space} and it works great. It's pretty sparse, but it does the job and I try to make up for the sparseness with decorations! So with that said, let me tell you my tips for decorating your tree on a budget.

Tip #1: Don't spend a ton of money on the actual tree. Like I said, mine cost $29.99 and it does the job! Of course down the road I would love to upgrade, but since I need to decorate on a budget, this tree works great! :) Whatever money you save on the tree you can put into ornaments and all the fun stuff:)

Tip #2: Shop the after Christmas sales and clearance racks. Probably 85% of the decorations on my tree are things that I got 50-75% off at the after Christmas sales and saved to use for the next year. If you are like me, it's hard to do this because I want my tree to look perfect NOW! ;) But when you are trying to save money, this is a great thing to do. And just think- it will be so fun next year when you get to pull out all the new things you were able to get the year before on sale! It's like Christmas- Literally;)

Tip#3: Buy a little bit at a time. My tree has taken me 4 years to get it to the point it is now. It gets better every year and it is so fun to compare pictures from the previous years to see just how far my little tree has come!:) When you see something on sale throughout the year, snatch it up, add it to the Christmas pile. If you wait until Christmas time when all the stores have things full price, it can be pretty pricey to decorate your tree/house.

Tip #4: Buy things that aren't necessarily "Christmas decor" to decorate your tree. I love to use garlands and silk flowers in my tree to fill the sparse branches. These things can be found on sale throughout the year! This year I added 2 small berries wreaths to my tree to fill in the sparse areas- You can't even tell they are wreaths since I wiggled them into the tree branches.

Tip #5: Watch for Christmas Sales (during the Christmas season) and use coupons... Hobby Lobby, Roberts, and Joann are great places to buy things because they almost always have a 40-50% off coupon that you can use on one item. This year, I bought the things to make my 20 Min Christmas Wreath for 50% off at Joann and Hobby Lobby- and I didn't even have to use a coupon since they were having a sale!

Tip #6: Buy big things to decorate with on your tree. Now my husband might fight me on this tip;) You should have been in the room when I pulled out my "new" treasures to put on my tree this year {the 2 BIG vintage looking bottle cap signs that say Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas}... Needless to say, my husband was a little worried about how big they are- But as I always say "Go big or go home!" Once I got the tree all done, he loved them! ;) I love decorating with big things! It fills up your tree super fast and I just love putting chunky things into my tree that aren't really supposed to be put on a Christmas tree. Now- I know some of you are thinking that I broke the cardinal rule of decorating with odd numbers since I only have 2 signs in my tree- I know that I TOTALLY broke that rule, but I don't think my tree could have handled another one and I am happy with the way it looks- rule breaking and all:)

Tip #7: Break all the rules. (This tip doesn't necessarily have anything to do with saving money) Decorate your Christmas tree how YOU think looks good. Put things on it that YOU like. Don't worry about what is in style or what this years colors are. Christmas trends come and go, so just buy things that you love- whether or not it is in style. If you love mauve- then decorate your tree in mauve- gosh darn it;) In the long run, you will be so glad that you went with your style instead of doing what everyone else is doing.

So now here is how I decorate my tree!

Step #1: Have the hubby put up the tree (see how sparse it is to start??)
Step #2: Put ribbons and garland on. Then add your biggest decorations next so you can make sure they are evenly placed. Here is where I added my 2 bottle cap signs (which I got last week at Hobby Lobby for 50% off- they were $5 each!! LOVE!)
Step #3: I added my 2 berry wreaths.
Can you see the red berries on the left side of this picture- it is one of the wreaths.
Step #4: Add all of your biggest ornaments first so you can space things out well. Add the smallest ornaments last to fill in the gaps.
Voila! You are done- Now you are ready to cuddle up with a blanket and a cup of hot cocoa and enjoy your masterpiece! :)
Notice- I don't have a tree skirt! I have looked and looked over the years and haven't found the perfect one yet {in my price range}... might just have to make one myself:) For now I just prop up this snowman picture at the base of the tree to cover the stand until I have present there.

Hope you are all having a great holiday season! :)


  1. Such great tips! And I LOVE how you decorated! It is beautiful! You have such great style!

  2. LOVE this ash! you are going to snort when you see how ugly my tree is. Troy bought it at a garage sale for 5 bucks last summer. its huge and ugly! and i soooo wish it was prelit! all i have are the tacky colored rainbow lights. really i wish we did real trees, but since we wont be home for the holidays, i guess that would be a hazard. anyway, i guess my tacky tree will be perfect for our ugly sweater party, right? haha

    you have great taste. i love it!


  4. Love the tree! Wanna know what we use as a tree skirt? I blanket.... and it looks adorable! You'd never guess that it's a blanket. We found a red and black plaid one (it is throw size) for $5 in the Christmas stuff about 5 years ago. I love it so much that we've never replaced it!

  5. Looks great! That tree does not look cheap at all- it looks festive and merry :) Great job!

  6. Your tree is absolutaly beautiful!! I love it!!

  7. Thanks for the ideas. It's our first year married so we have nothing, not even a tree. I'm really excited to pick out a few things this season and build from there!

  8. Thanks for the inspiration! Love your tree. :)

  9. Your tree is perfect, I especially love how the star isn't perched at the tippy-top. I used Tip #2 a few years back, my mom and I literally stripped a display tree of all its decorations the day after Xmas, and now I have a perfect Xmas tree just for my studio, I never could have afforded it otherwise!

  10. Pretty tree!
    I don't like tree skirts either, a few years ago I saw someone wrap a quilt around the bottom of the tree, so now I wrap a quilt my grandma made around our tree and it is perfect. Just an idea :)

  11. Beautiful Ash!

    I put our entry tree in a giant red planting pot. I usually just stick the pole in the dirt to keep tree upright. Sometimes, if it leaning we use fishing wire and attach it to staircase to even it out. Can't even see wire. We put rocks around pole in the dirt. The lowest tree limbs lay over the pot so it looks like the Christmas Tree grew right out of it. Plus, it makes my 7.5 tree, look 2 ft. Taller. :)
    Got the idea from HGTV Holiday Special one year.

  12. Beautiful Ash!

    I put our entry tree in a giant red planting pot. I usually just stick the pole in the dirt to keep tree upright. Sometimes, if it leaning we use fishing wire and attach it to staircase to even it out. Can't even see wire. We put rocks around pole in the dirt. The lowest tree limbs lay over the pot so it looks like the Christmas Tree grew right out of it. Plus, it makes my 7.5 tree, look 2 ft. Taller. :)
    Got the idea from HGTV Holiday Special one year.

  13. hi every one..mommy you know what you are a genius.. so easy and simple ways to decorate a christmas tree .. great .. gud...

  14. Hi, Ashley

    I found your blog Making the World Cuter blog link party. I love looking around and I am a new follower. Love for you to stop by


  15. I love how the bottle cap signs and the wreaths really fill in the tree and make you stop and look! I can't wait to see more holiday decor from you!

  16. You're tree is gorgeous!! You did an amazing job with every inch of it!!

    I'm currently taking part in a challenge to decorate a 4' tree for under $20 so I really appreciate your tips in this post!!

    I'd love for you to link up this post and any other Christmas-related projects to the 26-Day Christmas Craft Marathon Linky Party!!

    Thanks so much for sharing!!
    Lisa's Craft Blog

  17. Great post. We always buy ornaments after christmas when they go on sale. I love your blog. I'm your newest follower.
    Would love to see you DIY Home Sweet home.

    P.S. I have a linky every Monday. Would love for you to stop by and link up.
    P.S.S. I have giveaway going on right now. Would love you to stop by and check it out.

  18. I really like your blog. I found you on pinterest and pinned your ruffled copy cat bag. I cut out all of the pieces yesterday and now your post is gone. Is there any way I could still use it. I have all of these pieces and don't know how to put them together. thanks

  19. Hi, your blog is lovely! I hopped over from Sewmamasew, to make the ruffled copy cat bag as a birthday gift for my mother. I even bought fabric over the weekend, but I cannot find it now. Would you be posting it again?

  20. I love love love your tree. Thank you for sharing and for linking up to last weeks show and share party. Please come back this week and share your latest project with us.

    A mommy's life...with a touch of yellow

  21. I had the same problem...finding a tree skirt. I ended up finding some gorgeous Christmas fabric...the kind you would use for a little girl's dress, not cotton... (deep maroonish-red with gold swirly design stitched throughout) and bought it after Christmas on clearance (I know it was under $10 for a couple yards). Just drape it around the tree and tuck under the raw edges! No sew, no fuss, looks fabulous! ~something to think about! Beautiful job decorating, by the way!

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  23. These are so beautiful Ashley, you must be an elegant woman to come up with these pretty things! I think your decors will look more beautiful if we add artistic hand blown glass ornaments from Russia or Murano. I will definitely add those when I use your ideas as my decor inspirations this year! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Beautiful tree! The wreath added to the tree made it look so full! I love Jesus framed in an ornament!!


Thanks for taking the time to comment. I honestly love reading every single one! If you have a question you would like answered- be sure to include your email so that I can get back to you!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great day!
xoxo, Ashley