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    • MSE Martin
    • By MSE Martin 21st Nov 06, 6:13 PM
    • 8,115Posts
    • 42,285Thanks
    MSE Martin
    Great ‘Decorate your house for under £20’ Hunt
    • #1
    • 21st Nov 06, 6:13 PM
    Great ‘Decorate your house for under £20’ Hunt 21st Nov 06 at 6:13 PM
    Christmas is coming and many are under pressure to provide the perfect festive season, on a less than perfect budget. So how do you do it? You ask MoneySavers of course!

    It's more than just 'where to get cheap decorations'

    This isn't just about where to get the cheap decorations, the idea's 'what to prioritise?' What should you focus the cash on? How do you extract maximum value out of minimum spend?

    Click reply to add your suggestions

    Last edited by Former MSE Natasha; 12-12-2006 at 7:02 PM.
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.

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Page 1
    • hollydays
    • By hollydays 21st Nov 06, 7:40 PM
    • 17,091 Posts
    • 13,281 Thanks
    • #2
    • 21st Nov 06, 7:40 PM
    • #2
    • 21st Nov 06, 7:40 PM
    Cheapest christmas decoration i know,and looks effective too,pick some twigs,paint them white (emulsion for example),hang a few baubles off them (or pine cones if you prefer the natural look)-voila.
    Last edited by hollydays; 29-11-2006 at 7:20 AM.
    • sammy_kaye18
    • By sammy_kaye18 21st Nov 06, 7:46 PM
    • 3,068 Posts
    • 19,331 Thanks
    • #3
    • 21st Nov 06, 7:46 PM
    • #3
    • 21st Nov 06, 7:46 PM
    lol i have plenty of white emulsion left from when i move in so might do that for a few pots and put them in the windows - good tip

    mine has to be - collect toilet rolls (you can get them easy enough - i hope!!!) cheap bag of cotton wool (say 50p) from wilkinsons - stick it onto the tube and voila a tribe of snowmen!!

    another one is use up old newspaper and make paper chains with it and when your done you could recycle it after Xmas.

    otherwise poundland is pretty good for cheap decs!
    Finally sorting myself out.
    Debts - £2022.18 owed. 8 lenders
    Comping - November - £200 approx in wins.
    Selling to clear a debt - £14.85/£120
  • ang babe
    • #4
    • 21st Nov 06, 7:53 PM
    • #4
    • 21st Nov 06, 7:53 PM
    bah humbug, £3 battery opperated lights, double sided sticky tape, round your front door. ( with your painted branches snowmen and paper chains !!!)
    • jetty
    • By jetty 21st Nov 06, 8:24 PM
    • 2,933 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    • #5
    • 21st Nov 06, 8:24 PM
    • #5
    • 21st Nov 06, 8:24 PM
    buy coloured card and make paper chains and get some tinsel from the pound shop, throw it around a bit, lol. i buy some decorations each year, we are at the stage of looking like santas grotto now, we started out with just a 3 ft tree,lol
    • earwig
    • By earwig 21st Nov 06, 8:37 PM
    • 1,052 Posts
    • 693 Thanks
    • #6
    • 21st Nov 06, 8:37 PM
    • #6
    • 21st Nov 06, 8:37 PM
    i always get some curly wood branches from the local wood spray them sliver and put then in a vase and hang small baulbles of them look just like then ones you see in those fancy shops you could do a bigger version use a plant pot in stead and add some cheep fairy lights
    Last edited by earwig; 22-11-2006 at 6:40 AM.
    • tiff
    • By tiff 21st Nov 06, 8:48 PM
    • 6,551 Posts
    • 8,597 Thanks
    • #7
    • 21st Nov 06, 8:48 PM
    • #7
    • 21st Nov 06, 8:48 PM
    Large glass vase (cheap from Ikea) and fill with baubles.
    “A budget is telling your money where to go instead of wondering where it went.” - Dave Ramsey
    • troll35
    • By troll35 21st Nov 06, 9:03 PM
    • 692 Posts
    • 787 Thanks
    • #8
    • 21st Nov 06, 9:03 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Nov 06, 9:03 PM
    We always make paper chains from sliced up colourful magazines or christmas catalogues. Once they are pinned to the ceiling it's quite hard to tell they were once magazines.
    I like to live in cloud cuckoo land
    • Hello
    • By Hello 21st Nov 06, 9:09 PM
    • 354 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 06, 9:09 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Nov 06, 9:09 PM
    I have been lucky with a garden the last couple of houses - fir tree branches or anything evergreen, place left and right (don't know how else to explain it!) and tie in the middle with one of those big pull ribbons, which were 10p each in the January sales. Place along a table (make sure all the bugs are shaken or rinsed out!), on a mantlepiece, bookshelf, make big or small! Add berries on wires, spray with snow or paint. Very versatile.

    To stop the trees and bushes looking lopsided make sure you trim from all sides!

    Merry Christmas!!
    Ciggie free 2am 21/09/06. Debt free 25/06/09.

    'It was such a lovely day I thought 'it's a pity to get up'' W. Somerset Maugham.
  • astonsmummy
    2 years ago i bought a 'decorated' xmas tree, was gutted when it arrived and i had to 'decorate' it myself, talk about false advertising! lol
    Anyways, as it came with decorations i just re use them, i did buy a few others to top it up.
    I will be gerring some ceiling decs from poundland, we just got a LOAD fr my nan for less than £10.
    I'm not really a lights person except for the tree but nan bought me some from asda so will put them up at the kitchen window, along with my 'santa please stop here for Aston' sign.
    Baby boy Number 2, arrived 12th April 2009!
  • LJM
    spray pine cones silver/gold
    make paper chains
    handmade snowflakes cut and cover in glitter
    cheap tinsel
    i get my girlies to help me make things plus my eldest (5)brings bits home from school
    Is loving life right now,yes I am a soppy fool who believes in the simple things in life
    • louise24769
    • By louise24769 21st Nov 06, 9:51 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 297 Thanks
    My Mum hung paper snowflakes from the ceiling, with cotton, last year. Looked brilliant and it was very toddler proof. Not even my adventurous son could climb up and pull them down!
  • Suzie_Wing_Wong
    I try and save some of the previous years wrapping paper... always assuming the kids haven't shredded it getting into their presents!... then it will get sliced up and become this years paper chains.
    It's not how much you earn..... It's what you do with it.....
    • rasmus
    • By rasmus 22nd Nov 06, 6:05 AM
    • 95 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    Popcorn garlands left natural colour or sprayed silver or gold
    Fireplace garland made of slices of orange & lemon (dried out in the oven)
    cinnamon sticks tied together with ribbon
  • bev b
    I found this site with lots of ideas on and will keep the kids busy during the holidays:
    and if your're not 'arty' you could try the charity shops, ours has their box of decs out already
  • schoolfundraiser
    Last year's Christmas cards mounted make great pictures
    Cut out large pieces of card from wine boxes or suchlike, cover with cheap shiny gold,silver, purple,green or red giftwrap (try Asda) depending on your colour scheme and what cards you have.

    Mount last year's nicest cards on them - arty picture style - and blutak them to walls.

    They look best against plain walls - very effective going up the stairs. Make in assorted sizes and shapes depending on what cards you have. You could also use this year's cards. Mine are kept and added to each year.

    Another trick is to make your own big stars out of smallish (12 to 18ins or so) green garden canes tied together. Then cover in cheap tinsel and add a few cheap baubles or bows. Hang on a wall or in the window. Again maximum impact for little cash. If you are feeling very good you can paint the canes white or gold first rather than green - this way you can use less tinsel and try for a more minimalist look.

    For outside - I saved last year's door wreath frame with the moss attached out in the garden and it is still OK. Am going to use the rosemary cuttings from the leggy bush I cut down (which have been in bucket of water outside for the past month) to make a rosemary wreath. Hopefully it should smell nice as well. Will have to screw it to the door again though to deter thieves.

    Also on the cardboard front. Frozen pizza boxes with brown card inside cut in reindeer shapes are very effective as a frieze. Remember to paint on eyes mouth and nose. Also tree shapes painted green using the cheap poster paints in such as Early Learning Centre and the Works. You will need green plus black for the tree colour. If you use brown card you don't need to paint the trunks. Angels can be done this way too. Quite a lot of the craft mags have templates but the library will have books if you get there before everyone else.

  • schoolfundraiser
    Oh and I forgot - use some of the leftover shiny stuff to cover loo roll inners to make crackers. They look good around a door frame. Could also use any leftover wrapping paper. They make useful tree decs as well.
  • wotnext
    Me and my children always spend an afternoon making lots of snowflakes from white paper and stick them over the windows and porchway doors and it look really effective. (Plus it keeps overexcited children busy for a while ).

    1 pack of foam sheets - (about 99p off Ebay). Get the kids to cut out star shapes/stocking shapes etc, then let them decorate them with glitter pens. Attach a piece of thread and hang from the tree.

    For a cheap but beautiful shaker style Christmas:

    Popcorn garlands - 1 bag of popcorn, 1 needle, and 1 reel of cotton. Can be put on the tree, around a fireplace etc. To carry on the theme, you can also decorate your tree by buying a few felt sheets off ebay (cost minimal) and make your own decorations by sewing 2 identical shapes together with a blanket stitch. Buttons can be added for a nice effect. Instead of tinsel, use gingham ribbon. Finish off with a set of very cheap Tescos own white fairy lights.

    For the table, buy a cheap couple of metres of red gingham fabric (ebay again) and cut out placemat sized squares. Fray all around the edges.

    Make napkins in the same way and instead of using napkin rings, tie using some cheap rafia (Ebay).

    Tie a bow of raffia around the back of your chairs and "voila" you have yourself an entire shaker style Christmas for about £15 at the most.

    I did this a couple of years ago and got so many comments about how beautiful it looked.
  • Katuska
    Gift boxes
    I know it's not exactly Xmas decoration but in a way it is...

    I start collecting shoe boxes, perfume boxes, any size of boxes really from around Oct-Nov. Then we buy some nice wrapping paper and ribbons and wrap up these 'fake' gifts. Before wrapping them up I shred some leftover wrapping paper, celofane, magazines, anything really and stuff them into the boxes. The kids (it will only work with babies and toddlers as older kids would probably not talk to you till next Xmas if you gave them empty boxes!! ) love opening the boxes and play with the shredded papers. I figured this when my 1 year old didn't even bat an eyelid when we unwrapped her dolly but was mesmerised by the shiny box and the papershred.

    Same goes for Xmas tree decoration: collect small soap-boxes and match-boxes and wrap them with shiny or glittery paper. Put a string on it and presto you've got tree decorations.

    Lloyds TSB Current Account-
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  • sunshineandsparkle
    Gingerbread - Salt dough
    Make yummy looking fake gingerbread people to hang on your tree. Mix up some salt dough - 2 parts cheap flour one part table salt, with water - adding some brown food colouring or cocoa powder and yellow colouring, to create a 'gingerbread' colour. Roll out and cut with small gingerbread people cutters

    These can air dry (in about a week) or can be baked slowly in the oven (low temp) for a couple of hours (or put them in when you are cooking something else). (baking them can make their little bellies swell - which looks cute.)
    They need to dry out completely - watch carefully so they don't burn.

    They can be then varnished so they last, and decorated in a number of ways. I use black and white glass paints (in tubes) for eyes, buttons and 'icing' but you can use kids' paints or anything. Attach ribbon or string to the back and hang!
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