Monday, July 14, 2008

Frugal Christmas Decorating Tips

This week the Word Quilters will share simple Christmas decorating tips. The tips I've found most helpful over the years are the ones that yield lots of splash without much effort or money spent, so I have two for you today.

The first tip is to invest in a few flocked pointsettias. I bought two at least eight years ago--they still look great. Mine are traditional red. I store them in a closet with the bracts covered (plastic bag in climate controlled closet or old pillow case if in the attic).

I set them out early in December to decorate the hearth because our Christmas tree doesn't go up until mid-month. Terra, my verdant-thumbed friend, are you cringing that I don't have the live plants? Some years I do add a few live ones.

The second tip is to place a string of colored or white lights in a not-so-usual place in your home. My favorite place to plug in color is in my kitchen (decorated in red for 40 years, even our new home we're building--kitchen is mostly white and a bit of red again.) In my current home, my kitchen counter top is port wine Formica. On two wooden shelves of teapots, I weave a multi-colored strand of lights and then cover them with holly-type greenery. On the opposite long countertop, I place a multi-colored strand behind my canisters, coffee pot, bread box, etc., and cover it with ivy like greenery, allowing the cheery bulbs to show through.

A friend, who had a similar kitchen with ample counter space uses white lights and greenery, placing her Christmas miniature houses and figurines among the lights.

When you plug in strands of miniature lights and turn off overhead lights, even a small dwelling or a tiny dorm room will usher in Christmas ambiance.

If you have a frugal holiday tip, please post it for our readers.


Terra Hangen said...

I love your ideas for using lights and flocked poinsettias, and the bear is so cute, what is his name?

Trish Berg said...


Love the Christmas light tip. I also put little white lights in my kitchen. We have some space on top of our cabinets, and I put them up there with some "fake" pine roping. (Sorry, thumb is brown)

Another neat idea- I purchased this at a craft show, but you could make it easily. Get a single glass block (from a basement glass block window) and with a drill bit that will work on glass, frill a hole in the side. Insert a 20 light strand of white lights, cord hanging out to plug in. Then top the glass block as if it were a Christmas present, like with a bow, pinecones, or other holiday trimmings.

I have mine sitting on my kitchen counter, and it glows so beautifully.

I found directions online here:

Enjoy the journey-

Karen said...

Great ideas, gals! We take a small string of little lights with us when we are away traveling for the holidays. We drape them around the mirror in our cabin or room. It makes the room much more festive.

Mean Puppies Inc. said...

My college roommate made some cute ornaments out of paper grocery bags. She cut out Christmas shapes, tucked a cotton ball between two of them and trimmed the edges with pinking shears. She used a marker to add some embellishment and ran a string through a hole at the top. They looks a little like Christmas cookies.

Cathy Messecar said...

Terra, the bear doesn't have a name, but he was given to us Christmas 2002, in honor of the 100th birthday of Teddy Bears. My folks gave him to us...CM