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Budget Decorating for the Holidays

Low or No Cost

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When the holidays near, we all begin to worry about the size of our bank account. Where will we find the money for presents, trips, dinners, and all that decorating? The good news is you don't have to spend anything on decorating. You can decorate your home with fabulous homemade projects - projects from items that are in and around your home. These projects are also family friendly, so while you are decorating your home, your family is bonding with holiday fun. Are you ready? Lets get started!

1. Decorating with Nature.

Pine Cone Christmas WreathPhoto: Linnell Esler
To begin this project, take a walk! Take along a plastic or paper bag and gather natural objects you see along the way. Leaves, twigs, pine cones and boughs, grasses, and other plants and seeds will help make wreaths and centerpieces you can display on your door, table, and fireplace. With something as simple as a wire hanger for a base, you can create lovely decor or gifts with little or no money invested.

2. Decorating from your Kitchen.

A molded Christmas tree salt dough ornamentPhoto: Bally Scanlon - Getty Images
Have you ever made salt dough ornaments? Its easy, cheap, and great fun for the kids. Flour, salt, water and a little oil is all you need. Keep the oven ready to bake the ornaments and when they cool, decorate with paint, glitter, buttons, beads, and anything else you can think of. Hang the ornaments on the tree and cherish for years. But who said Christmas is the only time you can play with salt dough? You can roll into ropes and make baskets for spring, or mold little characters - ghosts, pumpkins, or turkeys - for Halloween and Thanksgiving.

3. Decorating from your Trash.

Tin Can LuminaryPhoto: Vanessa Salazar

Don't throw those tin cans away (they should be recycled anyway!). Take the label off, wash and dry, and remove the lid cleanly. Then fill with water and freeze. The next day, take a nail and hammer and pierce holes in the design of your choice. Add a candle and voila! A luminaria! or had a wire handle and you have a fancy homemade lantern to hang on your porch.

These ideas are so inexpensive, there is no excuse not to have the prettiest decorations in the neighborhood! You can use any of the ideas to branch out to other holidays or seasons of the year - all at little or no cost.

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