Making Things Merry and Bright When Your Budget is Tight

The Nesting Place is hosting "Your Garland is Showing" extravaganza...I decided to join in the fun with my recent garland work. Now you will need to check out the other garlands because mine are not nearly as extravagant...but I do have a lot and I tried to make them work on a tight budget...So here they are...

Tis the season to decorate like Martha Stewart...except I don't quite have the money like she does. :( I found myself getting discouraged this last week over Christmas decorating. I did not have the giant luxurious tree or crystal shining ornaments...things just didn't look quite right. After giving myself a break for a few days, I decided to tackle the decorating again with a more positive spirit and frugal attitude. I do not have the money of luxury but I do have the skills and creativity to foul you all! Lol! I hope to encourage those of you feeling this same way and give some crafty tips on how I made my tight budget bring Merry Christmas cheer that Martha would be proud of! ;)
I started with a GIANT spool of glittery red ribbon (think Costco/Sam's Club), my fabric scissors, some garland, and floral wire...and went to work...
A simple porch plant makes a statement with sweet little red bows...
My "fall" apple basket is transformed with some pine cones and fake poinsettias...for extra sparkle use a little spray paint...
My absolute favorite so far was transforming the porch with some simple bows and garland. I attached the garlands with wire and I had an automatic porch makeover...sure to make the neighbors jealous!
Working myself inside the house, I found a this cutie at the thrift store, lit and all! I added some candy canes and a little ribbon to make a sweet entry way welcome.

Added a few ornaments to my cake stand...oh, so Pottery Barn! :)
Some poinsettias help dress up the kitchen and give those wooden spoons some festive company...
This little ol' tree stands out with more little baby bows, adding a pop of color and character to the room.
To add a little glitter and glam I found these fun florals at the craft store...they give the room height and add some shimmer to break up the typical red and greens.
Some more garland dresses up the entertainment center...the giant thing looks great with the pops of light and red poinsettias against the white paint (can you tell what I am watching...? Elf...so hilarious!).
Adding a pot and ribbon makes these real poinsettias look less "grocery store."
In the dinning room houses this giant candle that I surround by a wreath of the coordinating season...this shimmery wreath adds glow and the red bow adds a little color.
A few more craft store florals in a simple pitcher glow against my white hutch (the one I have been working on for MONTHS!!! Stay tuned...it's almost done!!! yay!). Can you see my reflection in the pitcher??? How embarrassing...I'm wearing my boxer shorts, a sweatshirt, and my green slippers...cute...I look like a teenage boy! lol. Yikes!
Dressing up the dinning room a little more--are some more garlands, lights, and bows. The light strand was waaaaayyyy too long for the window so I draped them behind the curtains for a glowing affect.
Happy decorating friends...try to not go too crazy and use your resources!!! haha...

"Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly Merry Christmas."

-Peg Bracken


43 comments:

  1. Hi......
    Your blog is really interesting... Keep posting....Good Luck...Welcome to my blog...

    Merry Christmas and happy New year.

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  2. It looks amazing! Love it! I got some garland at Michael's on sale and now you've given me some idea of what to do with it.

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  3. Love it all! You know how to make a tight budget look FAB! And p.s.,
    your reflection shot cracked me up. I cannot tell you how many times I've done that and not realized it. LOL.

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  4. I think you did a great job decorating and it is really inspiring!!

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  5. I just loved your post today. Something I really needed. I've been finding myself sort of discouraged bc also don't have the money to make things look as gorgeous as I had hoped. I don't even think there is the money to buy lights for our tree.

    A few months ago I did buy a bunch of things from the dollar store and have really tried to work some magic on them. I hope to post later this week. I really loved everything you did with your garlands. So so pretty. I love garland! I ran out of some and ended up using pine boughs from some of the many pine trees in our yard. :) Two thumbs up girl! You should be proud!

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  6. Excellent post for so many readers...as times are touching all of us in varying degrees, your words are going to be so helpful...i sure needed the boost!
    Your ideas look great!!

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  7. Oh WOW! Everything looks fantastic! Seriously, what a roll of ribbon will do, huh? I have to see where else I can put some around here. I love it all! Do you mind if I post about how you used the ribbon? I'm going to a post soon on some of the ideas I've found. Let me know.

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  8. Oh and I have a reflection shot in my latest post but your's is MUCH cuter! :)

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  9. I love your decorations! Thanks for giving inspiration to us fabulous fashionistas with not so fabulous funds! LOL

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  10. I just found your blog through SITS and I am in LOVE. I love crafy/decorating blogs and I love vintage, so I've hit the jackpot with yours!

    I love all of your decorating ideas, espeically the cake stands with ornaments! I've been on the hunt for cake stand with tops or dome stands for awhile and yours looks so cute!

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  11. You are officially "Budget Martha" to me. I LOVE all your decorations!! Everything looks so festive. I need to put a wreath on my door. I saw real $7.99 wreaths at Safeway the other day. that's budget,isn't it?

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  12. Umm... so I'm a dork. You found me first, haha! And I love the idea of using a doll hutch to store fabric, that is such a good idea!!

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  13. Wow! Your decorations are fantastic! I'm loving your entire blog. We're getting ready to move and I could use some decorating tips. I might just have to stop by and steal some of your ideas....

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  14. Everything looks so beautiful! And the picture in the previous post cracks me up. That is me some days!

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  15. Ashley,

    You are proof it doen't have to take a lot of money to turn a home into one beauty and Christmas joy.
    I loved all your wonderful tips... and hopefully can use them when I can get to it all.
    My nieces' wedding in 1 1/2 weeks and are trying to prepare for it.
    Thanks for your wonderful comments.
    Beth

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  16. Everything looks beautiful. I am like you, I try to decorate on a budget. You did a great job!

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  17. Very cute! Love your porch sooo festive. You have a great blog. cherry

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  18. Ashley, I just wanted to thank you for your sweet comment and for your prayers on our behalf. We are so blessed to have such good people helping us pray for a miracle for little Ella.

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxo ~ Amanda

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  19. Love it! You did such a beautiful job and it looks like you didn't even have a budget!! Great ideas! I love all the garland. There can never be enough garland! ; )

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  20. I found you on SITS. Your blog is great. I love your decorations! Great ideas!

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  21. Oh, I just love bows. The more bows the merrier. I never would have thought of using my cake stand like that. It's brilliant and...you're right...so Pottery Barn. I'm going to have to dig mine out! Thanks for the fab idea! Christmas blessings to you and your family!

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  22. Very nice. I love to see how I can use things I have in new ways! And ribbon? I can not resist a spool of ribbon! The garlands and other decor look fabulous!

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  23. Hey, I got laid off in July so I know the discouraged feeling. I absolutely love the ornaments in the cake stand idea! Merry Christmas!

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  24. Why have I never read your blog before? It is just what I need right now! Everything looks great- fantasticly great

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  25. You did a fantastic job! You accomplished a lot and it looks so pretty!

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  26. Your garland is so lush and pretty. I absolutely adore it!

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  27. What a fun blog!!! I look forward to coming back and reading more! Christmas looks so fun at your house too! Love from one California girl to another, Denise :-) (We lived in the San Francisco Bay area but are now in Colorado!)

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  28. And on a strict budget--I love it! Especially the silvery stuff!

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  29. Wow...your place looks great! You've inspired me to get out and add some more stuff to my decorations. Thanks!

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  30. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I LOVE your potted plant all fancied up! TOO CUTE!!

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  31. Thanks for stopping by! You have a great blog. I love your garland!

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  32. Your silver tree is to die for, I LOVE IT!

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  33. I am in love with your silver tree! You did a great job here with your decorations! So Christmassy! :-)

    XO,

    Sheila

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  34. Such pretty, pretty touches. LOVE that red ribbon!!!

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  35. I love how you did it all on a budget! Wow! You did a lot!

    The reflection photo and your caption cracked me up!

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  36. You did a gorgeous job! I love the outside railing!

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  37. All of your decor is great! It is way more satisfying to decorate great with very little cash because ANYONE can decorate great on an unlimited budget...think Martha.

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  38. I think your decorations look fabulous!! I love the bows on that outdoor plant!
    Carrie

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  39. I know how you feel about not having enough money to decorate like Martha. So don't you just love Nester for inspiring us to decorate with what we have?

    Your decorations are beautiful because they are simple. Job well done!!

    Merry Christmas!!

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  40. Okay, how weird is this, I think I was browsing your blog just as you were on mine... I came by way of Nester's Garland Linky... Hilarious... Thanks for the advice, I have been looking at all these great garlands for some inspiration... I don't have any "non-POOPIE" stuff laying around, but I do have a Costco Sized Ribbon Roll (2 even)... I will take a page out of your book and ribbon up :)

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