There’s something about decorating for Christmas that just makes people feel happy, maybe it’s the twinkling lights, the warmth of fireplace and the nostalgia that each ornament conjures up. Whatever it is, just pulling out the boxes that keep the decor safe throughout the rest of the year stirs excitement in the hearts of kids and adults alike.
Our collection of Christmas decorations has been built up over the years. Some were made, some were bought but all that hang in our house represent a feeling of joy, warmth and sparkle of the season.
This year, when it came time to add to our collection I didn’t want to spend a lot. We’ve had a hard year financially with me not working a normal job, my husband’s company selling his department and all my son’s medical issues.
After checking out the collection of Christmas decor and everyday items at Dollar General, I knew we would be able to find inexpensive Christmas decorations and deck the halls with sparkle for less. Not only that, but it would give me a chance to spend some one-on-one time crafting with my daughter, which we haven’t had the chance to do in a while. I hope you enjoy our finds and projects below.
10 Ideas For Christmas Decor On A Budget
Salt & Pepper Bud Vases
I’ll start with one of my favorite projects. I turned normal salt and pepper shakers from Dollar General into mini bud vases. I’m sort of kicking myself for not taking a before photo because these looked like something you would find on the table of a restaurant. Now, I think they look like something you would find at a high-end décor store, probably selling for $10 each.
I simply removed the caps, spray painted them white, added some natural twine that we already had and voila! I love the natural, rustic look and the best part about these is that they can be used during all seasons. I can just picture some wildflowers in these when it’s spring.
As I said, these are mini so I bought three packages (just $3) and made six of them. I love the way they looked lined up on the window sill. My husband often gets on my case about being so detailed, but I believe the details make life special.
Clothespin card holders/Picture frame
This was something really simple, but something that I needed. A few years ago, I made this Christmas card holder with an old frame, spray paint and chicken wire. However, over the years I’ve lost the clothes pins that actually attach the photos to the wire. I found a large bag of clothes pins at Dollar General, spray painted them and had brand new Christmas card holders.
Enamel-painted wine glasses
This is something I had never done before. When I found nice, thick wine glasses at Dollar General, I decided to give it a try.
To paint the wine glasses, I cleaned them with water and soap then used rubbing alcohol to get the surface nice and clean.
I then used an enamel paint. You can use an acrylic but it is more likely to wash off. I free-handed the poinsettia design and used a pencil on the dotted design. My daughter insisted on painting one too. She is a born crafter so the second I broke out the paint I knew she would want to help. If you have kids five and up, I would say this is a great craft for them. You can use regular glasses and let them design whatever they want. She wants to make a dot one next. 🙂
I tried to keep the paint away from the edges of the glasses because it is more likely to flake the more it meets a pair of lips.
We haven’t baked them yet, but this is the last step for this craft. Set your oven to 350 degrees, bake them for 20 minutes, then turn the oven off and let them cool inside the oven for 10 more minutes.
Gift wrap and boxes
These items were fantastic finds at Dollar General. Sometimes buying wrapping paper, boxes and bags can feel like I’m buying people another gift. It’s always so expensive! However, I was able to find these items at Dollar General this year for less. The cute boxes are perfect for gift cards and small accessories and they were much less expensive than other stores. The tins will be just right for giving gifts to the kids’ teachers. I also love that I was able to find metallic wrapping paper, which is always the most expensive at other stores.
These guys were another great find! When my husband saw them he asked where I bought them. I told him Dollar General and he was shocked. These Nutcrackers are wood and they are great quality!
I love that they had Nutcrackers in multiple sizes and look like something you would have found in a historic home. They look gorgeous sitting on the kitchen counter. The kitchen is always one room that doesn’t really get decorated for Christmas but these are perfect for that area since they are technically a tool for food. (I wouldn’t use these ones to crack nuts though. Maybe they can – I haven’t tried – but these feel more decorative to me.)
The vase was once just a clear, regular vase. Now I feel like it’s a statement piece. Using enamel paint again I painted the inside of the vase with a brush. You have to make sure to use a lot of paint so that the vase doesn’t look streaky. After it dried I simply added some greenery (some from Dollar General and some I had) and tested it out in different locations. Since it is glass, I settled on mixing it in with some of our other glass décor – out of the reach of tiny, destructive fingers.
I really love the way this turned out and I wasn’t sure that I would originally because I was having trouble with the streaks. Once I was past that (I added more paint) it was smooth sailing and only took about 10 minutes. I then let it dry overnight. I didn’t bake this and I’m not planning to since the greenery is fake and I won’t be adding water. I probably won’t use it for real berries and buds.
It’s a gorgeous color and even though it’s more of a sleek piece, it still fits in well with all the other décor.
Ornaments for less
One of my favorite ways to decorate a table or a tray is to simply put ornaments around. Ornaments add so much and it’s so simple to do. I found so many varieties at Dollar General. My favorites are always the ones with some sparkles because I’m convinced the whole world would be happier with a little more sparkle.
Tissue paper hurricane candle holder
I don’t remember the first time I did a project like this. I swear it was in college but then I did something similar with bud vases for my grandma one year for Mother’s Day. I have to say I really love the way this hurricane candle holder turned out.
This was a plain hurricane vase when I found it at Dollar General, but I used a simple technique and turned it into a holiday showpiece. And, my daughter helped with this one too.
- Simply take pieces of tissue paper (you can use multi-colored paper if you want) and tear it into random pieces about an inch big.
- Use clear glue, or glue that dries clear, and paint that on the side of the vase, layer the tissue paper on the vase in random patterns. Feel free to overlap it as much as you want.
- Go over the entire thing with another layer of glue.
- Let dry overnight.
This is similar to a Modge Podge effect but glue is something that most people have on hand. I tied twine around it again and we added a battery operated candle on the inside. During the day it looks like a beautiful, textured vase. When we turn the candle on, you can see all the different patterns of the tissue paper from the light on the inside and it looks gorgeous!
Picture frame serving tray
Last, but not least, I always feel like I never have enough ways to present or serve things during the holidays, specifically for appetizers and desserts. I made this simple serving tray with a picture frame from Dollar General, spray paint, wrapping paper and those wooden spools that we randomly had.
- Take the whole frame apart and spray paint the frame. My frame was already white but I wanted a new, even coat. Then, I used a glitter spray paint to add a little detail.
- Remove the piece on the back of the frame that helps it to stand and discard.
- Use the back of the frame to trace out a piece of wrapping paper. I used the metallic paper from Dollar General.
- Super glue the glass back into the frame. Once it is dry add your wrapping paper and frame backing.
- Super glue the wooden spools, or whatever you want to use as legs, onto the bottom
- Flip it over and use!
This should not go in the dishwasher though so keep that in mind when you decide what to showcase on it. To clean it simply wipe down the surface with a damp cloth.
I love the idea of using this as a way to present fruit and nuts for dessert, or to leave out on the counter for people to snack on. It’s also great for cookies, brownies and other sweets.
So, how do you think you could create more for less when it comes to holiday decorating? Do you have any great finds you discovered at Dollar General for everyday use of crafting? Tell me below!
For more holiday joy, check out this inexpensive, do-it-yourself advent calendar with 25 ideas for family fun.