6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Decorate for the Holidays

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Decorating for the holidays was something I always looked forward to every year. And not that it was ever a competition, but my mom may have certainly won the award for the most decorated house for Christmas—she had a tree (most of them artificial) in almost every room of our house. She truly set the bar for getting into the Christmas spirit and making your house look festive.

Well, if you’ve been waiting for Halloween to pass before you start bringing out your holiday decorations, the time has finally arrived! Take it from us, it’s easy to want to deck the halls and really spread holiday cheer all over the house. But if you’re looking to pare it back a bit this year or you have a tight budget, you can still decorate for the holidays without breaking the bank—here’s how.


1. Swap out your photos

Whether you have a full gallery wall or a few photos here and there, swapping the images out for more winter, holiday, or Christmas themed photos will really set the tone for a small price. You can add your own family holiday photos or search for downloadable holiday artwork on sites like Etsy. Here are some favorites you can download and print yourself.

vintage artwork
Etsy | Kiki & Nim

Vintage Holiday Collection

This set comes with 10 downloadable vintage prints.

nutcracker art
Etsy | Rain City Design Co.

Nutcracker Print

These nutcrackers are adorable for any space—from the living room to the kid's room.

holiday artwork
Etsy | Kiki & Nim

Printable Holiday Art Set

This mega-bundle comes with 65 prints, or you can buy your favorites individually.

holiday decor
Etsy | Seven Paper Prints

Christmas Wall Art Set

Set comes with five winter nature scenes.


2. Add a string of twinkle lights

A simple string of lights can really add the perfect touch when decorating for the holidays. Plus, it can add a warm and cozy vibe to your home, too! Place these around your bathroom mirror, wrap them around your banister, or string them on your mantel. 


3. Add some sprigs of winter greenery

Since full-blown garland can be a little expensive, grabbing a few festive stems to put in your existing vases and planters can add a budget-friendly holiday touch. 

snowberry stem
Target x Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

Pine & Snowberry Branch Seasonal Faux Stem


4. Make your own wreath

Depending on how elaborate, some holiday wreaths can be upwards of $50 or more. With a little DIY motivation you can easily create your own wreath. Everything below is under $30!


14" Floral Hoop

Step 1: Grab a floral hoop from your local craft store.


Canadian Pine Garland

Step 2: Grab an affordable garland around the hoop.


5. Update your candles and scents

One of my fondest memories of the holidays as a child were the smells of Christmas running all through the house. Now is the time to shift from the pumpkin spice scents to those of pine, cinnamon, and juniper.

stocking stuffers
Harlem Candle Company

Holiday Spruce Candle

Inspired by singer Billie Holiday, this bestselling candle has an aromatic green blend of fresh winter spruce, pine needles, fir balsam, and more.

World Market

Green Glittered Christmas Tree Candle

A festive addition to mantle or shelf decor, these unscented tree candles come in two sizes.

Target x Hearth & Hand with Magnolia

Glass Cypress & Pine Seasonal Jar Candle

We pretty much love everything Joanna Gaines touches, which includes her seasonal scented candles from Target.

Two sizes and multiple seasonal fragrances available.


6. Freshen up your shelves

Sprucing up the shelves around your house is a simple yet fun way to make a big holiday impact on a small budget. From fun holiday books to small seasonal accents like ceramic houses or bottle brush trees, the options are endless!

glitter trees
World Market

Champagne Glitter Bottlebrush Trees

Bottle brushes are some of the easiest, cutest ways to add festive cheer—like this glittery gold pack of three.

holiday decor
Etsy | GFT Woodcraft

Wooden Tealight Holder

These handmade tea light holders add a nice, natural touch.

Crate & Barrel

Reindeer Accents

Add one or more of these reindeer to a mantle, shelf, or dining room table for a modern holiday touch.


This article was originally published in 2020 and has been updated for timeliness.

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