Simple Low-Cost Christmas Projects

Keep holiday spending under control with these easy and innovative projects that spread Christmas cheer.


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Christmas Tree Pillow
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Festive Holiday Pillow

    Brighten your living space by dressing up a plain pillow for the holiday season. To make, cut a holiday shape, such as a tree or star, from felt or burlap. Secure to the pillow by wrapping it repeatedly with red and white yarn.

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Christmas Mantel Decor

    Keep Christmas casual and take a relaxed approach to decorating. For a low-key mantel, simply drape greenery boughs around objects and add a few oversize pinecones.

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Nutty Pomanders

    Unshelled nuts, sold in the grocer's produce aisle, can add natural texture to your Christmas decor. For these pomanders, secure a loop of ribbon (for the hanger) to the top of a plastic foam ball and ribbon tails to the bottom with florist's pins. Hot-glue filberts, walnuts, almonds, and Brazil nuts around the balls and hang from your stairway banister.

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Festive Table Runner

    Repurpose cloth napkins or place mats into a table runner. Add rivets to the edges of the linens. (Be sure to position the rivets evenly on each linen so the edges will match up.) Loop ribbon through the rivets and tie the linens together in a chain formation.

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Mini Christmas Tree Door Decoration

    Skip the circular wreath this year and deck your door with something unexpected. Tuck an evergreen branch into a linen bag and gather the top of the bag with lengths of ribbon. Wire on a few glass ornaments for a finishing flourish, then hang the decorated bag from a small nail or hook.

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Cake Plate Centerpiece

    For this simple centerpiece, fill a few glasses with colorful ornaments and arrange on a footed cake plate. Cover the base of the cake plate with extra ornaments, jingle bells, and a few candles for ambience.

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Votive Candles with Christmas Flowers

    Give inexpensive, plain glass votive cups a little trimming, too. Hot-glue a length of ribbon around the votive and adhere a poinsettia scrapbooking sticker where the ribbon ends overlap. Make a set to use as a centerpiece or as a homemade gift for a friend.

    Editor's Tip: Want to reuse the glass cups after Christmas? Use hot glue only where the ribbon overlaps. After the holidays, simply cut the ribbons off, leaving no glue residue behind.

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Christmas Cheer Chair Rail

    Beribbon a chair rail with a simple garland crafted from Christmas essentials. Tie ornaments to a length of ribbon and tack onto a chair rail. Top the garland with greenery sprigs for extra color. No chair rail? Drape the garland over a window frame instead.

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Simple Christmas Wreath Embellishments

    A pretty ribbon and three oversize poinsettia bracts are all you need to make over a plain green wreath. Simply wire the embellishments to the wreath for big impact at low cost.

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Holiday Message Wall Decoration

    Decorate a wall with a message made of thin metal letters adhered to a background of striped and printed papers. Hang in identical frames topped with pretty ribbon bows.

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Stylish Side Table

    Use extra garland to encircle a glass-top side table. Pin the greenery onto the tablecloth around the top edge. Or take the look a step further and layer a square of Christmas-theme fabric over the tablecloth before attaching the garland.

    Editor's Tip: If your scrap of garland won't reach all the way around the table, simply pin it to the front, leaving the back unadorned.

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Edible Christmas Tree Decoration

    Purchased icing is the "glue" that keeps these decorations edible. Place floral foam in a container, then insert a wooden skewer in the center. Push a foam cone onto the skewer, then cover with purchased icing. Attach purchased meringues using wooden picks. Finally, tuck bay leaves between the meringues and container.

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Easy Ribbon Cabinet Flourish

    Dress cabinet doors and windows with a flourish of ribbon -- a useful, inexpensive Christmas decorating trim to keep on hand. Crisscross lengths of ribbon inside a glass pane, stretching from corner to corner. Tape or tack in place and adhere a paper medallion where the ribbons cross.

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Red-and-Green Ribbon Wall Art

    Create easy holiday art by painting nine 12x12-inch artist's canvases in your favorite Christmas color, then applying ribbons using adhesive tape.

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Merry and Bright Table Arrangement

    A small glass vase rests in a larger vase, and the space between is filled with coffee beans; flowers or candles are placed in the center. This is a fun arrangement for a long table.

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Decorative Holiday Plates

    Use dinnerware to draw attention to the buffet at your next Christmas party. Using decoupage medium, apply a motif, such as a Christmas card, to the center of a clear plastic plate. Layer wrapping papers and adhere with the medium. Finish with a plate hanger.

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Holiday Blues Floral Arrangement

    Hyacinths, usually available at floral shops in December, offer a break from traditional poinsettias. Display a single hyacinth in a glass cylinder that's slightly taller than the bloom. Stabilize the stem in glass marbles. Add water.

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Mitten Door Decoration

    A little clutch of greens tucked into natural wool mittens hints at the simple pleasures inside.

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Colorful Chandelier Covers

    Wrap thin, inexpensive ribbon around the arms and base of a chandelier to add color. No-sew adhesive fabrics tape ensures that the material stays in place. Use the same tape to secure ribbon to the top and bottom edges of the shades.

    Editor's Tip: For temporary applications, double-sided tape secures ribbon to lampshades or tablecloths. For something permanent or washable, sew the ribbon in place.

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Colorful Christmas Trees

    For a last-minute touch of cheer, gather your favorite holiday papers, make circle shapes with a paper punch, and apply the circles to foam cones with decoupage medium. Display the colorful trees on a platter with glass ornaments and fake snow.

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Seasonal Table Bouquet

    Wrapped in fabric and tied with a ribbon, a vase or jar is stylishly dressed for the holidays. Fill the container with water and add a bouquet.

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Outdoor Holiday Luminarias

    Turn paper bags into dramatic luminarias by cutting out your own designs with a crafts knife, hole punchers, and scissors. Then wait for dusk, fill the bottom with sand, and drop in a tea light to bring your walkways to life. (Use battery-powered votives if you're not going to be at home while these are on display.)

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Branches and Ornaments Decoration

    Twigs gathered from the yard put a textural twist on ornaments displayed in a bowl. Prop twigs in a glass bowl filled with various sizes of ornaments; dangle a few small ones from the branches. Clear glass orbs accentuate the simplicity of the display.

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