Friday, December 6, 2013

A Second-Hand, Dollar Store Christmas: How We Decorated, and How Much it Cost

Most of our clothes, our decorations, our books...pretty much most of our life is comprised of second-hand items. I'm sure we've saved a lot of money this way, and none of it mind it at all!

Our Christmas decorations are no exception. Of course, there are a few brand-new items that I bought for a dollar (or a few dollars, when I was feeling reckless :-p), but most of it was either given to us, or I bought it second-hand.

Before we had our Christmas tree, I bought this garland from Wal-Mart to decorate our mantle. It was several years ago, so I don't remember the price. Same with the Christmas lights... I don't remember if they were given to us, or if I bought them for $2.50 at Wal-Mart. (Those boxes of lights for $2.50 are my favorite lights to buy, because they're the least expensive ones I've found.)

The tiny ornaments were $1 from the Dollar Store, and the price of the yarn is really insignificant, you know. ;) The gift boxes were free (part of my brother's job right now is emptying out houses, and these were from one of those houses), the Nativity set was free (my sister had three of them, and offered one of them to us... why not?), the Christmas-y candle-holders were free (another house-emptying find), and the candles were from Wal-Mart. Because we rarely light the candles, I've used them for several Christmases, and one Valentine's Day. They've definitely been worth their price (80 cents a piece, maybe?).

The first year of marriage, we didn't have a Christmas tree, and that was completely fine because... we didn't want to spend any money on a Christmas tree, AND I was very sick (pregnant with Rachel), so I didn't feel like decorating anyway. The following year, though, we got a Christmas tree for free! I. love. yard. sales.

I bought a boatload of ornaments for $4 at a consignment store, and the lights were $2.50 at Wal-Mart. Wahoo!

I keep this beautiful, hand-made doily there year-round (a friend made this for me-- thank you, Angela!!), and I just switch out the decoration based on the season. The candle and candle-holder were both free (from my sister, who most likely got them at a yard sale ;)).

And here's the porch...

Each string of garland cost $1 at the Dollar store, and the ribbon was from Wal-Mart. As I bought it last year or two years ago, I have no idea how much it cost. Let's just say, I didn't have to get a loan. ;)

The Christmas wreath was a DIY project that cost $3, and took an incredibly short amount of time. I bought a $1 wreath (Dollar Store again), wrapped a $1 garland around it to "thicken" it, and then hot-glued a $1 red bow on it. The End.

I've been using and re-using all of these decorations, so I think the most I spent this year on Christmas d├ęcor was $5.00 for two strings of white lights (one of them is a spare for next year).

So that's how we decorated for Christmas. How about you? How do you decorate for Christmas?


  1. I loved seeing your decorating! It looks beautiful. I think your tree is so pretty. I bet your girls are enjoying seeing it in the living room. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  2. Do you ever go to the Dollar Tree?

    I find that is has some of the sweetest, small decorations - knick-knacks and such. Lovely glass vases of all different shapes and sizes. Of course, I do have my favorite Dollar Tree's to go to. Others are hit and miss.

    I have to small round bowel/globe - I don't really know what they are, actually. But they are small-ish to medium-ish, and are currently my favorite thing to decorate with. I have two, and they were a $1 each. During the fall they held "Autumn filler" - small apples, acorns, squash - I bought several little bags of the filler from the dollar store for a $1 each. For Christmas, I painted a strand of Christmas tree lights around the top, painted a votive glass glittery Christmas green, and put it in the bowel with an LED candle. I figure I can wash the little strand of lights off and reuse the bowel/globe for something else! :)



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