Budget Friendly Glam Holiday Decor Ideas

I think Christmas decorating is an all or nothin' situation.
To scale it back is to resist the very thing that holiday adornments allow, no rules.
We finally have an excuse to go jingle-balls out with our wildest dreams of glitz and glam to twinkle against the lights we string up all over our indoor sapling.
I say deck the halls... and the door, and the porch, and the railings, your dining room table. Screw it we might even need more than one tree.

Every year I change it up so, in order to do that, I have to think of affordable ways to mix in what I already have with some new finds.
I'm going to list various themes below but first, let's talk about where to budget shop, to begin with.
Hit up your local shops first.
Small businesses need our love right now so if you are looking for something to inspire your tree and home decor aesthetic it could be as simple as one special ornament that centers the entire theme.

This ornament was a gift along with the striped one behind me, from my mother-in-law and where I began with my decorating this year.
  She got them from a little shop in Leavenworth, WA and cost around $5 a pop.
 They give me feels. 

 I treat them like gold, placing them on the tree ever so carefully and sure to put them in the utmost visual spot so they can't be missed.  I know most of us don't want to think about Christmas when we visit little towns in the summertime, but while on an away-cation be sure to pop into those year-round Christmas stores and let the collecting begin.  It gives you something to look forward to in December and will keep the memory from your trip as a conversation topic every year you get them back out.

Target's $1, $3, & $5 area will start slowly slipping in Christmas deals right after Halloween.  This section is always a different vibe every year and I must say it somehow always knows what I like.  That's where I got these little wooden houses.  I also tend to find mini-tree figurines that I can sprinkle through the house.

Dollar stores are another place you can score vase filler and ribbon and on occasion, not too shabby outdoor decorations too.  I'm a bit tepid with how caught up I get in some of the dollar items since they can come off as cheap-looking easily, but I got these cranberry branches (below) in this arrangement there.  Then I just threw in some dried eucalyptus and some rabbit tail grass for volume and height.  I also got a glittery sign for outside which, against the exterior Christmas lights, dances reflective gold all over my patio.

 Thrift stores and antique shops are the ultimate spots to find festive goodies.  
Ornaments are usually under a few bucks and sometimes you can score some really unique ones like these huge gold grandiose ones (above). 

 I've found some rather odd stuff piled on piles so if you like to search for buried treasures, mentally prepare ahead that thrift and antique stores are organized chaos this time of year.  You will find Santa yard blow-ups piled on top of tree stands piled on top of plastic reindeer. 
 It's a comical Christmas cattywampus.
My tree this year is flocked so I went with a red, gold, and silver concept to offset the bright white.  I wanted it to look like a tree you'd find in a magical ice cave in Finland.

Crafts stores are a gem for decorations and where I get my tree picks which are fun ways to fill up space easily, just slide them into the branches.
I got these red sparkle sticks and glitter berry picks at the craft store for $1.  I also used glitter snowflakes as a filler inside the various gaps of the ornaments.

Did you spot King Kong?  It's our tradition that he climbs the top of our tree every year so no matter the theme, he will be climbing to the star.  Lyle and I got it on a date in downtown Seattle the first year we met.  It holds a special place for me.

Decoration Themes:

Woodland: Think natural materials, wood, pheasant feathers, burlap ribbon, tarnished metallics, matte textures, velvet textures, mercury glass.  I'm thinking a Canaan Fir suits this look for sure.

Retro:  Classic ornaments from the '50s that are in the shape of nostalgic foods, cars, and quirky objects.  Etsy is a hub for these and you can buy them in sets.  Search for mercury glass ornaments, they have that vintage look to them that I'm obsessed with.  Also, check this Etsy search out, it's drool-worthy.

Alpine Dream:  Flocked tree with silvers, glitter bulbs, icicle shaped glass ornaments, white twinkle lights, doves, snowflakes.

Grandma-Mod:  Think the tree in the Christmas Story...tinsel, fake snow spray, colorful lights that flash, all bets are off with ornaments just throw on whatever you find or are homemade.  I envision this on a Fraser Fir tree.

Monochromatic:  If you really love pink, make a pink tree.  If you want to have an all-black tree it would be fun to find specific black objects such as raven figurines and baubles with gold leaf, then drip cascading black velvet ribbon down a Noble Fir. Ohhh I like, I think I just got goosebumps.

Aromatic Food:  Dried oranges are a classic tree adornment and they smell amazing.  As a kid, we would string popcorn on thread and use it as garland.  You can tie together cinnamon sticks and hang them throughout to help add a seasonal spike to the pine.  Real cranberries can also be strung up with needle and thread.  Slide-in some lavender stems for color and a calming aroma. Balsam Firs are the most fragrant of all trees so this would go well with the theme.

Simplistic:  Honestly there is something incredibly humbling about just a tree with some elegant lights on it, a star...and that's it.  My too much gene won't allow such a thing but it is definitely admirable.  Douglas Fir trees are perfect for a simple classic and elegant look.

Floral:  Dried flowers or faux would look so beautiful poking throughout a tree.  You can choose one type of floral theme or go wild and mix and match.  A rose tree, or a hydrangea tree.  This idea actually just made me want to do this next year too.  Crap, I'm going to need more than one tree!

When I was a teen, a family member worked at the White House so I got to tour the Christmas Trees they put up throughout the various hallways and grounds.  They can have upwards of over 25 trees depending on the year. They were gigantic, grand, debonair, like something out of a magazine.  This could be where my desire to make my tree stand out started.  It's a memory I wish I had been able to hold on to more photographically.  I have an emotional memory where I remember feelings rather than visuals, unfortunately.


Christmas time is magical.  The glitter, the colors, the smells, the excitement, I really get into it.  I hope this inspired some festive decorations for your own home.  I think we all just want to do anything that might cheer us up a bit as we close out 2020.

Happy Holidays!


NOTE: I've gotten a lot of questions about flocked trees on Instagram so I will say it here as well-

Since it's still a real tree it has the pine smell but the flock holds the needles in place so they aren't messy and they don't need to be watered.  They do start to droop a few weeks in, but I feel like that just adds to the effect of a wintery tree with fresh heavy snowfall on it.  



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