As the air gets colder and Christmas get closer, entire neighborhoods, towns and cities put up thousands of twinkling lights, wreaths, bows and pretty much anything red and green. While half the fun of the holidays is decking out your house in everything holly and jolly, all those festive adornments can get expensive! Instead of forking over hundreds of dollars for decorations that will sit in the attic for 11 months out of the year, check out the cheap, do-it-yourself Christmas decoration ideas below.  

1.  A fun and festive way to greet guests in the entryway of your home, either for Christmas dinner or a Secret Santa gift exchange, is with a Christmas-themed chalkboard sign. HGTV suggests tracing a reindeer silhouette onto a 24” x 24” piece of plywood, cut it out with a jigsaw and apply two coats of chalkboard paint. To finish up the sign, add screw eyes and a wire to the back in order to display it.

2. A pretty and elegant entryway can be created by filling mason jars with Epsom salt and placing a votive candle inside. HGTV advises lining the walkway to the front door with the snowy-themed mason jars.

3. For Christmas dinner, create personalized and festive place cards by placing a glittered chipboard letter, for example you would use the letter ‘B’ for a guest named Brian, in a pinecone and placing the pinecone at the correct seat. To create the glittery effect, use an artist brush to apply school glue to both sides of a traditional chipboard letter. Sprinkle silver glitter on the letter until both sides are entirely covered, Marian Parsons suggests.



4. Use an old holiday sweater to create custom stockings with sentimental meaning. HGTV has an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide to make the stocking, no sewing machine or knitting needled required. Click here for the guide.

5. Deck out your dinner table by placing miniature evergreen and deer figurines in salt shakers filled three-quarters of the way up with salt to create a “snowy scene” effect.

6. For cheap--yet beautiful--Christmas ornaments, spray-paint pinecones white, Country Living suggests. The white will really pop against the bright green evergreen boughs.

7.  For special ornaments that you hold close to your heart, showcase them by placing them in a shadow box. Line the frame of the shadow box with bright, Christmas-themed wrapping paper and fasten the ornaments with double-sided adhesive pads.



8. Instead of a boring, traditional centerpiece smack-dab in middle of the dinner table, use a long tree limb to display colorful ornaments. Knot lengths of twine around the branch, Country Living suggests, and hang it from a row of five or six ceiling hooks so the ornaments hang from the branch directly over the table.

9. Create a magical atmosphere in your own home by suspending glittered plastic birds and snowflakes from the ceiling using white yarn. Marian Parsons advises placing them at varying heights.

10. Instead of decorating your mantel with evergreen boughs and poinsettias, simply take varying sizes of empty boxes and wrap them in three or four different kinds of coordinating wrapping paper. Use a decorative ribbon to create a pretty bow on each box, and places the boxes in a fun display on the mantel. Arrange the boxes among ornaments, pinecones and candles to create a festive display, Layla Palmer suggests.