Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thrift Store & Trash Can Holiday Decorating

Yeah, that's right, I wrote it. THRIFT STORE & TRASH CAN holiday decorating. And I want you to know I'm not talking cheap chintzy decor, but beautiful accents that make a house a warm, cozy home while giving you a warm fuzzy feeling because of the money you save.

I'm not an over-the-top person. I like clean lines, simplicity and color. I don't want a bunch of extra knick-knacks all over that I have to clean and I don't have time to change out pillows every time the seasons change. So when it comes to Holiday decorating, I want cheap, easy, but beautiful things in key areas to herald in the season. My main colors for Christmas have always been red/burgundy and gold and I have used the same "stuff" to decorate for years now. This year, however, I tried my hand at some silver and some color!

Recently after scanning through one of those home decorating magazines and seeing all the lovely pictures of wreaths over mirrors, I decided I "needed" one for my bathroom for Christmas, but since I didn't want to spend a lot on a luxury item, I went to the thrift store to see what I could find. I was amazed by how many wreaths there were and all for $1.99. I grabbed one that was closest to the size I needed. It was actually pretty nice but it didn't match the colors of my bathroom so I reluctantly took it apart and put the pieces aside so I could use those later for something else.

Then I dropped by the Dollar Tree and for an additional $4 worth of "stuff" and voila, a custom made mirror wreath for $6! I just love the way it brings the Holiday spirit into a room that is often overlooked in Holiday decorating. Seeing as we will be having my birthday party here in the house in just a couple weeks, I figure as long as the guests are "taking care of business" they should enjoy the view, right? As my Realtor friend says, "The bathroom is the one room that your friends will sit with nothing to do but look at your decorating." Can't say I ever thought of it that way before, but it makes sense to me.

As for my trash can find. I guess it wasn't technically a trash can find, though I have dumpster dived with great success before. This was an castoff of a moving neighbor. She had a HUGE pile of things she was going to get rid of and said I was more than welcome to help myself. I took this wreath and continued my wreath on mirror trend in our dining room. I still haven't finished decorating this little area. I'd love to find a red table runner or something to add a splash of color, but since I'll be using this area for serving drinks during the party, I'm hesitant to spend too much time on something I'll just have to take off and find a place to hide it come party time.

Be resourceful when it comes to Holiday decorating. A couple years back I wouldn't have thought of the thrift store as my first stop. I would have caught a deal at Jo-ann's with a coupon and been quite happy, but who doesn't like saving a little money around Christmas-time?

The Dollar Tree and places like that are perfect for little extra things to decorate with, especially shiny plastic ornaments that look like glass, not only are they cheap but they are also kid-friendly! If you need larger sizes or more assortment, check out Big Lots. Our home is FILLED with tons of the plastic red and gold ornaments, hung off mirrors, the trees, the fireplace, light fixtures - you name it. The great thing about it is that the consistent colors it brings a sense of cohesiveness to the whole home.

But when all is said and done, the best Savvy Saving Tip is patience. If money is truly tight,make do with what you have now and wait till the after Christmas sales to buy items for next year when things are 75% off or more. Earlier this year I bought a $300 dollar K-Mart Martha Stewart tree for $22 - so what if it was February and it went straight up into the attic? Combine that with the Martha Stewart burgundy tree skirt I found for $2, I was one happy camper! (Alas, since my husband has allergies, we have to have a fake tree and burn pine scented candles or oil.) For less than the price of a one-time real tree, we are set for a LONG, LONG time.

Truth is, the tree before that was a $19.99 salvage store tree I bought when we first moved into this house. I went to Walmart and bought $1 a yard fabric to drape around the base for a skirt, I didn't know how to sew at the time, but no one could tell. It may have taken me 10 years of marriage to buy a "new" tree, but the family and I have never cared nor noticed a difference.

You know, I could have probably sold my original tree on Craigslist for $20 and almost broke even in price with the new one I bought, but now I have another tree upstairs in the bonus room and we all LOVE it.

Notice the red "tree skirt"? That's the $1 a yard draped fabric I mentioned earlier. And all those brightly colored ornaments? $13 total at Big Lots with an extra $8 spent on colored lights (the tree is pre-lit but half the tree doesn't light up so with the encouragement of the Superstars I went for color this year!) The star, however, was a splurge at $10. It's LED and it changes color....OOooooooo. The cheapest comparable one I could find on eBay was $25 so I didn't feel too bad. $31 for a "whole new tree" for upstairs works for me!

Whatever you decide to do (or not do) when it comes to Holiday decorating, try not to stress out too much. Like
The Nesting Place blog I like to visit says "It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful." Life is not perfect and our homes will never be if you happen to have another person in your life, whether it's a spouse, a significant other, live-in parents and especially children. Love is messy, but isn't it worth it?

1 comment:

  1. Your Christmas decorating is lovely. I tend to use the same things year after year with small changes. So true about after Christmas sales. I scored big time at K-Mart last year on wrapping paper, lights, ornaments etc.
    So talk more about your "consultation" with Clinton. I just love that show...

    Sarah :)