here really is nothing quite like the holiday season. Whether it’s Halloween, Christmas, Easter, or Valentine's Day the holidays make for great excuses to give your home a whole new look. But this makeover doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. With a few tips and tricks, and a willingness to get your hands a little dirty, you can save plenty of money on holiday decorations and have your home look great in the process!

Tip #1 Reuse Old Decorations

During the holiday season, we may sometimes find ourselves falling into the trap of thinking we need to go out and buy new decorations each year for each holiday. This really isn’t the case. In fact, not only is it unrealistic, but it’s also impractical and very expensive. Most of us probably have a box of Christmas decorations sitting in the attic or basement somewhere. Break that bad boy out before you go shopping and see if there are any decorations that are still in good condition. If so, use them to start decorating, and only go out to buy new decorations when the old ones start to look bad or even break. 

Make Displays

If you have been collecting decorations for a few years you likely have a few decorations that are similar to one another. Here are some good examples of what we are talking about:

  • Plastic, Glass, or Toy Pumpkins: Do you have an old glass pumpkin jar in which you used to put Halloween candy? What about the kids' old pumpkin-shaped Halloween candy bowls? You can take a few of those bowls, or containers, fill them with candy and place them around the house. It may not be as fancy as buying real pre-carved pumpkins but it will still capture the Halloween spirit at a fraction of the price. You were going to buy a bunch of candy anyway for the trick-or-treaters so why not use some of that candy for decoration? This is also great if you're having a house/costume party since your guests will be able to snack on some candy from each bowl as they move throughout the house.
  • Using Seasonal Mugs: A really cool display idea is to take some of your seasonal mugs and simply line them up next to each other or stack them in a pyramid shape. Christmas and Valentine-related mugs are common in most households so you can easily achieve that holiday feeling with at least 3 or more mugs/cups sitting next to each other.
  • Make Mini Christmas Trees Out of Smaller Objects: Here is one that can be really fun if you’re willing to put the thought and time into it. If you have a bunch of the same or similar items, and it’s stackable, you can try making a Christmas tree out of the stacked items. Just make sure the items are colored appropriately. You’ll want colors that invoke the spirit of Christmas, so greens and reds are a good choice but so are whites and light blues since those give off a snowy/icy vibe. If you're an avid book collector you may have a few books in your collection that match these color requirements. If so, get stacking!
An Image of 3 book Christmas trees.
Here are three examples of book trees you can try out yourself! Image courtesy of Countryliving.

Section: 2 Build Your Own Decorations

Who needs to buy new holiday decorations when you can make new ones yourself? This option is made even better if you have children. Make the building of your holiday decorations into a family activity, this way the decorations will have much more sentimental value and your kids will have a blast doing it. Here are a few suggestions for each of the different holidays:


Reindeer Puppets: This decoration can be made with some simple crafting supplies and makes for a great activity for the whole family. You’ll need some construction paper, popsicle sticks, a Sharpie, black, red, and white buttons though this can be substituted for other items with similar colors, and some colored string or ribbons. 

Your goal here is to create cute little reindeer stick puppets. If you want you can cut out the shape of the heads, ears, and antlers and let your kids assemble their own puppets themselves. The more crafting materials you have the more fun your kids will have with this one. When they are all done making their puppets. Hang them up somewhere around the house. A decoration that is inexpensive and a lot of fun to make!

An image of a crafted deer stick puppet.
Cheap, cute, and fun to make! Image courtesy of Kidscraftroom.

Cardboard reindeer: Speaking of reindeer, Go out and get some brown cardboard boxes from a store, they are pretty inexpensive so don’t worry about the price. Any boxes that you don’t use feel free to stash away for next year or for when you need to send off a package. If you have some old shipping boxes from say Amazon or some old shoe boxes these can work too. The back side of the box doesn’t matter, as long as the box has a solid, brown-colored side it’ll do.

Draw outlines of each of the reindeer's limbs on the different pieces of cardboard. Then cut along the outlines until you have a cardboard limb of the legs, the head, the tail, the body, and the antlers. Next, you're going to assemble the deer by stapling the pieces of cardboard to the appropriate location on the deer. Finally, you can let your kids draw faces on the reindeer or use other small household knickknacks for the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth. These reindeer can be as big or as small as you want and they can either be hung up like the puppets or if the reindeer are big enough and cardboard is durable enough you can stand them up outside as seasonal lawn decorations. This one is a bit more work than some of the others but it’s also one that younger kids will enjoy a lot!


Carving Pumpkins: This one is pretty much a classic Halloween tradition but it’s so much fun and relatively inexpensive that we had to mention it here. This is another activity that is perfect fun for the whole family and one that we recommend you do each Halloween as a bonding activity. You can find a step-by-step guide to the carving process here. The best part of this one is that any of the pumpkins you mess up or don’t use for decorations you can cook with!

Paper Towel Roll/Toilet Paper Roll Eyes: Ok, a strange name we know but hear us out. This is an example of how cool and creative you can get with Halloween decorations. Take some empty paper towel or toilet paper rolls and cut out different creepy eye shapes. Now stick a glow stick inside the roll and close both ends of the roll so light can't escape from either end. The color of the glow stick you put inside can be any color you want, red, green, yellow, etc, whatever color gives off the atmosphere you're going for. Now place the eye rolls inside some bushes or other dark places around your house. It will appear like there are eyes looking at people from the darkness. A perfect Halloween decoration that is super cheap to make.

Spooky eyes in a bush.
This is an example of the finished product. Pretty spooky right? Image courtesy of Frugalupstate.

Rent Decorations

If you don’t have the time or energy to do any of the previously mentioned methods then here is our final cost-saving method for getting holiday decorations. Simply rent them. This option is perfect for those families that want to go all out with their holiday decorations but don’t want to break the bank buying the decorations, it’s also great for those who like to switch up their decorations each year. Keep in mind this method will be much more expensive than the other methods mentioned on the list but if fantastic and flashy are what you're looking for this is probably the best option for you.

There are plenty of online companies and websites you can visit that will actually come out and set up the decorations for you after you select the items you want to rent. If you’re more into setting things up yourself, you can try tracking down a physical store like Home Depot or a mom-and-pop store and rent your decorations from there. 

A house that is completely decked out in Christmas decorations.
If you have the extra cash, there is no harm in flexing a little. Image courtesy of Jonspressurewashing.

Holiday Part Decorations Don't Have to Break the Bank

In this post, we used Christmas and Halloween as our holiday examples, but this advice isn’t limited to just those two holidays. These methods of saving can apply to all of the holidays including:

  • Saint Patrick’s Day
  • Valentine's Day
  • Easter
  • Other Religious Holidays

We hope this post will inspire you to get creative and save some money next holiday season!

Nov 30, 2022