Amy’s Free Ideas

Seasons > Christmas > Decorations for the home > Silver and White Christmas decorations for the Living Room, Foyer and Dining Room

Don’t you hate it when magazines glibly say to decorate inexpensively by using what you already have around the house as if you can just pull silver candelabras and a huge mirror out of your closet. And, of course, a rich relative has sent you a box of gift pears that you can lovingly arrange on the mantle since they will last all of 3 days left out in a warm room!! If you like the way a particular room looks, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. Look at the elements, and think of less expensive ways to get a similar look. Begin with greenery cut from your yard, or a friend’s yard, or use branches cut from the bottom of your tree. If that is not an option, invest in artificial greenery--it is quite inexpensive--as little as $2-3 at craft stores (for even cheaper greenery, shop the day after Christmas for next year’s decorations.)

Any candle holders will work--they don’t have to be silver. Dollar stores often sell these. If they are all the same height, vary them by stacking some of them on cans, and hide them behind greenery. Instead of expensive pears that are going to go bad in a few days, scatter silver balls from the dollar store (they fall off often enough, you will be very glad you bought plastic!!), and pick up pinecones from your yard or nearby park for free! Instead of a large mirror, put white paper in a silver picture frame. (Walmart does have large framed mirrors that are only about $30, which I think is a reasonable price since it can be used year round to make small spaces look larger.) Crocheted angels and stars are quite inexpensive. If you can’t find them locally, Oriental trading company sells them by the dozen--enough for the mantle and the tree. Rather than spending lots of money on wooden letters, cut them out of poster board. Cut out 2 layers to give it a three dimensional look. Make a “stone” bird house out of cracker boxes and egg cartons.

White and silver decorations look really classy, and it’s not very hard to do  inexpensively. Sprinkle white ribbons, candles, and silver balls (from the dollar store, of course) along with greenery throughout the room. Adding these details to the wood bucket changes it from ordinary to all dressed up for Christmas.

It’s fairly easy to find inexpensive small Christmas decorations--the problem is, they are usually too small to use by themselves. Using a small nick-nack shelf can solve that problem. Small shelves can fit just about anywhere--on a bookshelf, or tabletop, or even a windowsill, so they are perfect for decorating small unexpected places like bathrooms or halls.  Sometimes you have to try out several different items till you find the ones that fit the spaces, or that look good grouped together. A sprig of greenery adds the finishing touch. Although I like Willow Tree figurines, I am too cheap to actually shell out money for them. But my daughters really liked them, so various generous relatives gave them angel figures for Christmas.

Filling a basket with pinecones is one of the cheapest Christmas decorations you can make, if you can pick up pinecones off the ground for free. My sister gave me this beautiful carved wooden basket, but a dollar store basket would look just as good. Floral picks add some flare and a bit of color to match your decor. They are often sold two for a dollar at craft stores and dollar stores, and come in all different colors to match what ever color scheme you may be using. If you can’t buy any floral picks locally, group together several small Christmas tree ornaments, along with some ribbon and artificial greenery. Florist’s wire or twisties are the easiest way to fasten them together. If you don’t have little people around, you could get away with just grouping them together without actually fastening them together.

If you want to hang a wreath on a  big wall, such as in this foyer, the wreath needs to be quite large. Plain wreaths are WAY cheaper, so buy a wreath, ribbon, and ornaments, to decorate yourself. If a large plain wreath is still too expensive, you can make one quite inexpensively if you can find inexpensive artificial swags. Buy stiff wire at a hardware store and shape it into a ring the size you would like your finished wreath to be. Buy one or more swags (I have found them for as little as $2 apiece) and fasten them to the ring with florist’s wire or twisties. If it looks too skimpy by itself, layer another one on top if it to make it look more full. Be sure to arrange the branches so they look good--you don’t want the finished wreath to look like something you dragged out of the dumpster! For more wreath decorating ideas, check out my Christmas wreath decorating tips.

A foyer is a great place to display a nativity set. If you have young children, or if you expect young children to visit, make sure it is a set that is not breakable since it is within the reach of little fingers. Display breakable sets up high, such as on a mantle shelf. For ideas on how to make your own nativity set, check out my ideas on Nativity sets.

Adding greenery to a candle arrangement instantly makes it a Christmas decoration--it doesn’t really matter if the greenery is real or fake. If you have bushes or trees you can trim in you yard, or a friend’s yard, it will be free. You may need to experiment till you find plants that don’t wilt quickly. For more ideas, see my page on Arranging Candles

Pillar candles can be expensive, but they don’t have to be. Walmart sells them for about half the price  they usually do before Christmas, so stock up then! The candles are more interesting if they are different heights, so vary them by putting some on a can. You could also stack 2 short ones, and disguise the seam with some ribbon (these may be best left un-lit.)

A Christmas tree is the centerpiece of your Christmas decorations so you want it to look great, but I am always amazed at the amount of money some people are willing to shell out on Christmas tree ornaments!!  I can fill a 7 or 8 foot tree for the same amount some people spend on just a handful of ornaments!! I make a  lot of decorations, and “splurge” at the dollar store or  Walmart the day after Christmas for things I can’t make, like lights. Oriental trading Company sells really inexpensive ornaments, too. After all, it is the over all effect you are after--few people stop to study every ornament! If you are one of the rare ones who wants a closer look, you can see closeups of the ornaments along with ideas for making your own sliver and white ornaments:

Silver and White Christmas Tree Ornaments

Seasons > Christmas > Decorations for the home > Silver and White Christmas decorations for the Living Room and Dining Room

Continue the silver and white decorations in the living room, too. I used branches cut from the bottom of our Christmas tree and wired it to the railing along with some pinecones. I added white ribbons and fastened a silver floral pick in the middle of the bow for an easy shot of silver (see the photo above next to the tree.)

For an inexpensive centerpiece, save a log from the fireplace and arrange candles, greenery and some silver balls all around it. Since the the candles might drip before the end of the evening, this centerpiece is best used with place mats rather than a tablecloth.