A Homemade, Make-Do Christmas

DSC_0345We are having the family over for Christmas this year so we need to get the house suitably decorated but we are on a budget so I’m trying to spend as little as possible on decorations and use things we already have. Thankfully, we already have a handful of garlands, ribbons and candles.

These are some of the dead bulbs Chris replaced. There were even more by the time he was done!

These are some of the dead bulbs Chris replaced. There were even more by the time he was done!

Unfortunately, almost all of our electric Christmas lights didn’t work when we plugged them in earlier this month. Chris spent hours testing each individual bulb to find the broken ones and replacing them so that the strands will work. After a lot of time and work, we finally had enough working lights to decorate the tree, the banister and the front porch. Usually I would just toss the broken strands and replace them but I was adamant that I wasn’t buying MORE Christmas lights this year.


Inexpensive woven branch wreath with pine cones, fake oranges studded with cloves, sprigs of gold and red berries and gold and bronze ribbon wreath

We needed some new wreaths but when I looked at wreaths in the store I was shocked at how expensive they are. I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a “mini” wreath for under $30 and even if you went up to $50 or more they still looked cheap and ugly. I couldn’t find anything I’d be happy to hang in my house for less than $75. Clearly, that wasn’t going to happen this year. Instead, I bought a $4 wove branch wreath frame and a $2 metal frame and covered them in things I found in our Christmas decorations box. Not the best wreaths, but I can live with them if it saves me over $100!!


Wreath is a cheap metal frame with garland attached, wrapped with gold ribbon with a big red bow made out of glittery, wire edged ribbon.


The candle holder on the fire place mantel was made by Chris out of a scrap from an old bourbon barrel that he got from a friend’s brewery (they age some of their beers in bourbon barrels).



DSC_0386I always like to put together a nice centerpiece for the dinner table to make our family Christmas dinner more special. Each year I like to go with a different theme. This year is “An Old Fashioned Christmas”. The lace on the table and the two tall candle holders are unfinished and (sadly) stained pieces of lace handmade by one of my maternal great grandmother. I have some of her lace on display around the house but these pieces are so stained and unfinished that I haven’t been able to find a use for them until now! The lace around the rest of the candle holders are scraps from a basket of trim that used to belong to my paternal Grandmother. The gold ribbon and pine cones were pulled from the Christmas Box. I think I’ll replace the whole (fake) oranges with dried orange slices.


I’d love to hear what kinds of decorating are you doing for the holidays!

One thought on “A Homemade, Make-Do Christmas

  1. What pretty decorations: those made at home are more meaningful, at least we think so.

    Sure wish we’d replace lights in strands we already have, but the frustration level always seems to rise too high. Three trips to the store this year, I think it was, before we had strands that both worked and looked well.

    The first Christmas tree I had was shared with my sister in Atlanta. We begged some cut limbs from a tree seller, put them in a bucket, wrapped them with a strand of lights, and hung sweet gum tree balls painted with gold paint from them. Voila: tree. :}

    Very best,

    Natalie in Lexington

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