Give Your Old Decorations a Rest— How to Create Your Own Christmas Oasis on a Budget.

I know the Christmas police are out in full force right now but listen — it’s a miracle I waited until after Halloween. By the end of October I had that Christmas itch and I tried so hard to not itch it until finally, I decided there are no rules and we can do whatever we want.

I have finally — after DAYS of prepping and assembling — finished decorating my house. Except that spot in the foyer. And that spot beside the couch. And maybe the porch. Someone make me stop! But seriously, the last big project I want to do will be pretty sweet. I just can’t decide if it will go in the foyer or on the porch.

The other day when I was making the mantle decorations (seen here) my nephew came over and wanted to help. He’s six and for some reason assumed I was making a Christmas tree out of those sticks. And the next day it was all I could think about. I should make a Christmas tree out of sticks. Picture it — formed like a teepee, painted white, simple star on top, maybe some tiny LED lights around it — it would be so cute! I could do this with smaller sticks but I’m thinking I want it to be a major statement piece done with 5 or 6 footers. Especially if I end up putting it outside! Stay tuned for that. 😉

Today I’m going to break down the rest of my decorations. They’re nothing special, but this year I spent a little more time on them with some DIY elbow grease. They’re not all budget friendly like the DIY birch arrangement that came in at $0 (seen here) but hopefully they will give you some ideas and you’ll be able to put something new together of your own after reading this! If you’re like me, you’re used to having the habit of putting up the same decorations in the same places year after year. I needed this year to be a little different. I can’t spend another December looking at 10 snowmen and 8 Santa figurines placed around the house.

Let’s get started.

I’ll start with the most simple. The side table. (With one of those 10 snowmen making an appearance. You know I couldn’t leave them all behind.)

I’m really into arrangements this year — even if they’re fake.

I found the inserts at Hobby Lobby for less than $2 each. Four pine inserts and one berry/pine insert. $10 total. Not bad for how clean and fresh it looks! For the vase, I found it at TJ Maxx for $4! The same ones at Hobby Lobby were going to be $12 – $24 so I always suggest going to places like TJ Maxx FIRST. You know that saying, “Don’t count your chickens before they hatch?” (My nephew is really into saying this right now.) Don’t buy your arrangements before you have a vase. What good is a bargain deal on an arrangement if you have to spend triple that on something to put it in? I’ll tell you — it’s no good. Buy the vase first (I think mine is actually more like an old milk jug/jar). You can always alter the stems to fit.

Next: the centerpiece for the dining table. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t immediately wild about it.

I had no idea what to do on the table that would match the rest of the decorations. I dug through a closet and found a broken square container that at some point had some type of arrangement in it. We’ve had it so long that that’s missing and a leg is broken off. No worries, we’ll wing it.

I cut up some more of the garland I mentioned in my mantle post (here) and started filling it in — didn’t look right. So I went outside and spray painted some more sticks — started looking better but still wasn’t what I wanted. So I took more garland and spritzed that with white spray paint — eh, getting somewhere. And then I remembered I still had a few pieces for the tree that I didn’t end up using. Random holly, berries, and a bird. That’ll do it. To fix the container being unbalanced, I just put a heavy rock inside it to balance out the weight. You can’t tell it’s broken unless you’re looking for it!

Now for my favorite project so far. See those branches in the corner of the centerpiece picture? Yep, more DIY birch wood.

For that DIY, click here. I spray painted these like the pieces on the mantle. They were just too big to go in with a paint brush and then have to wait on them to dry. At this point I’d already spent what felt like days preparing all of these decorations. (I count the time I spent just planning in my head. It’s exhausting.)

These three branches are around 6 foot long. After painting them, i just tied them together with plaid ribbon and found an old pine cone tree decoration and bundle of berries to stick inside. I think it’s my favorite piece I’ve ever done! It’s so simple and clean. And free! Well, almost. I paid $1.50 for the plaid ribbon at Hobby Lobby. But it could have been free. They looked perfectly fine just propped in the corner without any garnishes.

Last but not least, the tree.

See the wood in the back? Ugh, I just love it.

The tree is always the show stopper. When I tell you I spend no less than 6 hours putting the tree up every year, I mean it. It’s a process. And that’s with it being pre-lit!

First, I have to put in the dozens of poinsettia flowers. First the red, then the white, and this year I added gold too! After the flowers are all in place and filling the holes I couldn’t cover, I start with what I call the stick-ems. The pieces you just stick on the tree like the berries, pinecones, etc. After that, I put all the birds on. You don’t want too many birds jumbled together so you need to get them on before too much else makes it up.

Then comes my least favorite — the hanging ornaments. The balls, the icicles. I don’t hate hanging them because they’re ugly — I really love the way they look. I just really hate hunting hooks every year. For some reason, no matter what I do, every hook I own decides it wants to walk off and leave me. I have no idea where they go. I can’t be the only one this happens to. It’s the Christmas version of losing socks.

That’s it! I still have that spot in the foyer to fill and I should probably do something in the kitchen but it’s November 16th and I’m tired, y’all. I need a break. Hopefully by December I can have those little projects finished and I can enjoy my little Christmas oasis the rest of the year.


Don’t forget to enter into my giveaway for a free set of original Christmas cards!

To read more about that and to enter your name into the drawing, click here!

To finish off the week, tomorrow I’ll be telling y’all about my favorite ornament on the tree and what it means to me.


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