Budget Holiday Decor

We like to keep it pretty simple around here with our holiday decor. White lights outside, a pair of (fake) lit evergreen trees flanking our front porch, and matching wreaths on our double front doors. You've seen our stockings before. Those hang on our fireplace with a garland made of burlap that was leftover from our wedding. Then there's a few other stockings,wreaths, jingle bells, snowmen, and nutcrackers here and there.

I only did a pair of new projects this year, and I'd love to share them with you. First things first, the tree. We do like to switch up our tree decor a bit each year. This year we went out and chopped down our own tree for the first time since we met. We went with our friends John, Heather, and their baby Henry. December 2 in St. Louis, Missouri was a 70 + degree day.

But you could probably see that based on John's shorts and Sean's t-shirt in the photo above. I'm reminiscing... today it has been sleeting/snowing and in the 30's.

Turns out even if you think you're getting one of the smaller trees, they end up being a bit bigger once they're in a room instead of a field full of other trees. We figured, 8 foot ceilings, 6 foot tree, no biggie. Well, yes, biggie.

 It's a bit difficult to really be able to tell in photos, but this tree is massive. Thank goodness we still don't have much furniture in our front living room! Next year we'll probably need to test out the "How far will my arms wrap around it?" test.

This photo was taken after Sean trimmed and shaped the heck out of it, but before we found out he's apparently allergic to Norway spruce sap. That's a story for another day. To put the size in perspective, that garland is over 60 feet long, and it STILL doesn't wrap all the way around. I could have used probably another 6 feet to make it work. We did eventually add ornaments too. It's been a bit dreary around here to be able to get a good photo of that.

So speaking of garland, that's really what I wanted to show you in this photo. We used this tutorial to make a new felt garland for our tree this year. I cut, Sean looped, I stitched them together, we wound them around the tree. The best part is it only cost $2 (we used poly felt, which was on sale) and a couple hours of our time for the entire 60 feet of garland. Now that's my kind of holiday craft.

I've seen a number of crafts done with coffee filters lately, and when Melissa posted this project a few weeks ago, I knew it was time to break out the pack I'd purchased a few weeks before for 95 cents. Now I don't quite have the patience that Melissa does to take the time to use a whole pack on one wreath (I made two as we have that lovely double front door) so I decided to do my own thing instead of following any tutorials.

In the end, it's a good thing I didn't make it much fluffier. We have a glass storm door on the outside of our front doors that smashes anything deeper than a few inches, and smooshed coffee filters just wasn't the look I was going for. I added a few sparkly holiday picks, also from JoAnn, and called the project a day. Ribbon, filters, picks and wreaths (which I already had) all in cost me about $5 total.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

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