We love that this time of year is filled with family, friends, and other joyful gatherings, but the holidays can also be a major drain on your budget. Still, going all-out with decorations and gift-giving doesn’t have to cost a ton. If you’re open to going the non-traditional route with some of your decorations—even more so if you’re willing to put in a little elbow grease with a fun DIY—you could save major dollars. Plus, you’ll be able to feel that much more smug when someone asks you where you bought that chic garland, or if they can commission you to make their tree skirt next year. Ahead, seven easy, affordable ways to be nonconventional with your holiday decorations.
1. Spin the Color Wheel
Who says you need to stick to conventional color schemes throughout the house? Opt out of the traditional “red and green” palette and try a more muted, earthy palette of your own. Mix metallics, pinks, subtle greens, and neutral browns to create a gorgeous new color scheme that you can mix up and reuse for years to come. Use the Coolers app, which helps create custom color schemes, to create your palette until you get one you like, then shop bulb sets!
2. Get Your Scissors Out
If you don’t mind a fun DIY, make your own garland from evergreen cuttings, baby’s breath, dried bunny tails, and decorate it with ribbons and pines. This is a great project to get the kids involved, too!
3. Skip The Tree Lot
Don’t want a traditional Christmas tree? Instead, snip large cypress cuttings or greenery, and use twist-ties to secure them together. Even if you don’t want to use this trick as a replacement for your tree, it’ll look great as decor in a secondary room, like the powder room or den.
4. Break & Remake Tradition
You don’t have to stick to a traditional green tree, either: Instead, embrace the unconventional with a wooden tree from Target, CB2, or IKEA on a table, then place presents around it! It’s a great way to celebrate the season in a more non-denominational way.
5. Make It a Family Affair
Need a fun DIY project for the whole family to get involved in? Have everyone grab a mason jar or other vessel, and let everyone fill them with chic ornaments, silver bells, or pine cones.
6. Try a Tabletop Wonderland
Use a mix of dried fruit, eucalyptus, and mini Christmas trees to create a winter wonderland-themed tablescape. It’s a perfect small touch for dinner parties around the holidays, even if you’re not celebrating on the exact day of the holiday.
7. Lift Your Skirts
Real talk: Most all the tree skirts on the market are overly kitschy or impossibly ugly. Instead, use leftover fabric or an old coat or blanket instead as an alternative to the tacky, traditional red fleece tree skirt.