Money Wellness
Image of tea light candles in jam jars surrounded by pine cones and fur tree branches
category iconMoney Saver
calendar icon11 Dec 2023

Make your house festive for less this Christmas

In times gone by when the world was less commercial, households would work together to decorate their homes for Christmas without spending a fortune. Here are some ways to decorate your home this year without breaking the bank:

Pick up a free tree or decorations

“Lots of people regularly change their Christmas colour themes so it’s worth checking out Gumtree, Facebook Market or local charity shops to see if anyone is giving away pre-loved decorations or trees.

“There are also a few charities offering free Christmas trees or grants to help families on low incomes. It’s worth contacting the Salvation Army or Family Action to see if they can help. Alternatively, speak to your local council to find out what help is available in your area - for instance a local business in Somerset is giving away 100 trees to those in need.


“Get the kids busy making colourful paper chains that can loop from room to room. Not only will it keep them busy for hours, you’ll also fill your whole house with festive cheer. Packs of paper chains start from just £1.”

Scraps of fabric into bows

“Cut up old clothes into 18 inch strips. Fold over into bows and put three on top of each other, pinching them together in the middle before tying with a smaller piece of ribbon. Use these to fill your tree.”

Salt dough decorations

“To make the salt dough you need to combine 1 cup (250g) or plain flour and half a cup of table salt (125g), with half a cup of water (about 125ml). Roll the dough out on a lightly floured work surface to a thickness of about 5 mm. Use festive biscuit cutters, such as Christmas trees or snowflakes, to make your tree decorations. Then make a hole in the top with a sharp pencil use a pencil to loop ribbon through. Bake for three hours and leave to cool. You can then decorate them using pens or paint.

Forage for a natural look Christmas

“There’s lots of Christmas decorations growing all around you and available for free. Get out for some fresh air either in your garden or a local park and pick up some mistletoe, pine, spruce, and red berry holly, which can be used to decorate your whole home. Just don’t collect it too early and it’ll wilt before the big day.”

Jam jar candles

“Fill old jam jars or bottles with a little bit of sand and put a candle in each. Tie multicoloured ribbon around the mouth of the jar to make a festive table decoration.”

Use up leftover ribbon to hang cards

“Use up old ribbon to create a festive and cost-effective display by pinning it up on doors and walls, then attach the Christmas cards you’re sent this year.”



Avatar of Caroline Chell

Caroline Chell

Caroline has worked in financial communications for more than 10 years, writing content on subjects such as pensions, mortgages, loans and credit cards, as well as stockbroking and investment advice.

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