thrifty Christmas decorating

People keep asking if I’m decorating for Christmas yet. I have to admit, I am already thinking about all aspects of Christmas…the decorating, the entertaining, the baking, and all the other fun things we do this time of year. It’s a big event at our house.

Last year, I made a real effort to cut back on the amount of money we spent on Christmas decorations. If you know me at all, you know we have a lot already, and I didn’t want to overspend on more. It really started with the project I wanted to make for the scrapbook room…ornament garlands.

ornament garlands

My sister Genny shopped thrift stores and consignment shops on a constant hunt for old Christmas ornaments and shiny balls. She also had a running list of things I would like to find for use in our Christmas decorating. Here are a few of her finds.

These candlesticks were thrift store finds. Cheap, cheap, cheap! They made great bases for the candy trees.

candy trees

Another thrift store find…this picture frame. We placed a white piece of poster board behind the glass, then used dry erase markers to write a message. The frame cost a couple of dollars, at the most.

message board

In the laundry room, we displayed old ornaments Genny found at the thrift stores. I made the star for the top by bending wire into the shape of a star, then wrapping it with old tinsel roping. And, believe it or not, Genny and I painted that old wing chair yellow. 🙂

vintage ornaments in the laundry room

This glass dome, the birds and the silver charger are thrifted items. I had the nest, the eggs and the Christmas plate.

Christmas birds

This nativity, displayed on the counter in the laundry room, is thrifted. Genny found several lovely nativities which we used around the house.

nativity on the laundry room counter

I used this 1970 Sears nativity in the scrapbook room on the counter.

Sears nativity circa 1970

In the guest room, we placed five mirrors over the bookcase. They were all thrifted. I’ve had the middle one for a long time, though it was originally painted gold. Two of the frames came with mirrors. We had mirror glass cut for the other three. We spray painted all the frames silver.

thrifted frames with mirrors

All these items came from the thrift store. I used a dry erase marker to write a message on the platter.

all thrifted

The little wreath, and the snowman clothesline that I attached to it, came from the thrift store. Even the suction cups that hold it to the dryer were thrifted! I did remove some old decorations from the wreath to give it new life.

dryer wreath

These tinsel wreaths are made by wrapping tinsel roping around embroidery hoops. Both thrifted.

tinsel rope wreaths

And I loved the way the wreaths came out.

tinsel rope wreaths

Genny found this great box at a thrift store. I plan to fill it with Christmas items. A lot of these are thrifted. Some were picked up around the house from Christmas trees or from the boxes of Christmas decorations we have on hand. The tiny copper cookie cutters were in the kitchen pantry with my other cookie cutters. The picture for the little frame was cut from a Christmas card. I plan to expand and develop this cubby collection as time goes by.

thrifted display box and thrifted Christmas items

These thrifted jars held a variety of Christmas candy. The jars were shuffled around from here to there for different events we hosted. During the open house, they were in the kitchen. During the house concert, they were in the dining room.

thrifted jars for candy

Thrifted plates displayed the message “JOY” in the dining room.

thrifted plates and thrifted plate display

Some thrifty decorating didn’t involve any buying at all. The circles for these window garlands were punched from old Christmas cards and scrapbook paper that I had on hand, sewn on the machine and tied to the existing curtain rod. They were not hard to make. Just took some time. And we got a lot of compliments on them, too.

snow tree in the dining room

As an aside, another good way to use old Christmas cards is to make tags.

making gift tags

If you enjoy browsing thrift stores as much as Genny and I do, you can find all sorts of things to use for decorating, for crafting, for organizing, for all sorts of things. And not just for Christmas!



  1. Denise Bird
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Your decoration are inspiring!

  2. Posted September 17, 2012 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Thanks, Denise! I hope you can come by for the open house this year. 🙂

  3. Barb
    Posted September 17, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Rhonda, love looking at this “thrifty” decorating ideas. Do you have a detailed “pattern” for the window garland made with the circles of old cards and craft paper? I’d love to try something like that.

  4. Posted September 18, 2012 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Leave it to you, Rhonda, to be even more creative – and on less! I still think you need to write a book. 😉 Yep, not giving up on that one. hehe Hugs and Holiday Blessings

  5. Mary
    Posted September 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    Love the silver mirrors! I need some inspiration. Can’t believe al the thrift store goodies!

  6. Tricia
    Posted August 27, 2014 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Great article. Lots of good ideas.

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