Budget-Friendly DIY Christmas Decorations

In the age of Pinterest-perfect homes, keeping up with every design and decorating trend can be stressful. With the revolving door of holidays calling for a new look every month, your wallet and creativity may feel stretched thin. If you’re looking for a way to share some holiday joy throughout your home without sacrificing your peace of mind or your holiday budget, we have gathered some classic and impactful do-it-yourself Christmas decoration ideas you’ll love!

Popcorn Garlands

This timeless classic is easy, budget-friendly, and makes a big impact. It can also be a great opportunity to relax if you’re creating solo or bond if you’re making these with loved ones. Popcorn garlands can be wrapped around your tree, draped over your fireplace mantle, or hung in doorways. 


  • PLAIN air-popped popcorn (Butter, oil, or flavors can make a mess or cause a stale scent. Plain is best, and air-popped kernels will give you those beautiful fluffy pieces you're looking for.)
  • Large sewing needle.
  • White thread


  1. Pop the popcorn one or two days in advance and allow it to rest so that it becomes stale. This will make the popcorn easier to work with and the kernels less likely to crumble when you begin threading them together. 
  2. Thread the needle with a piece of thread twice as long as your final garland. (For example, a 3-foot garland would require 6 feet of thread.) Tie the ends of the thread together and move your needle to the middle so that when it is pulled tight, you will have double strands being pulled through your popcorn. 
  3. Place your needle near the center of a popped kernel and press gently but firmly so that it goes through the popcorn, and you can slide it to the end of your string. Continue stringing popcorn until the entire length of your thread is filled. 
  4. Tie a knot at the end and hang to enjoy!

Paper Snowflakes

This childhood classic can be as simple or complex as your heart desires. Simple patterns can give a cozy, nostalgic feeling, while more detailed snowflakes will provide an elegant look. Paper snowflakes can be taped to walls, windows, or even hung from the ceiling for a whimsical atmosphere.


  • White paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape/string
  • Optional: glue and glitter


  1. Begin with a square sheet of paper. All four sides should be the same length. From a standard sheet of printer paper, you can create a square by folding one corner down until the top of the page is even with the side and cutting off the excess paper at the bottom. 
  2. Fold your square diagonally into a triangle, and continue folding diagonally in half three times so that it makes a smaller triangle at each fold. Fold it once more, but overlap the bottom so that it makes a triangle with two points at the bottom. (This should be the “open” side of your paper.)
  3. Trim the double-pointed “open” end of the triangle to make it a true 3-sided triangle again, then begin cutting out shapes, taking care to leave some parts of the folded side intact so that the snowflake will stay together. (This portion can be trial-and-error, or you can find templates online to guide you.)
  4. Unfold your paper to reveal your snowflake! You can optionally add glue and glitter to give your snowflake some shimmer if you’d like. Then, hang your snowflakes to display them wherever you would like!

Pipe Cleaner Candy Cane Ornaments

This childhood favorite is an instant recipe for holiday cheer. Threading beads on the pipe cleaners can be great for small children developing fine motor skills who may not be ready to help with popcorn garlands, which take a long time and utilize a sharp needle. It can be rewarding for children and adults of all ages to see their cute completed candy canes hanging from their Christmas tree boughs. 

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  • Red/white pipe cleaners
  • Optional: red/white beads, ribbon


  1. Trim your pipe cleaner to half-length. 
  2. You can twist a white and red pipe cleaner together and then bend it into a candy cane shape for a simple candy cane, or you can twist one end into a loop before threading beads in an alternating red and white pattern. Loop the last end to keep the beads in place and then bend to shape into a candy cane shape. 
  3. Candy canes can be hung directly on your Christmas tree as ornaments, or you can optionally tie a loop of ribbon on the top to dangle the candy canes around your house. 

Christmas Luminaries

Long winter nights are the perfect occasion for Christmas Luminaries. Some neighborhoods even make lighting their driveways a tradition on Christmas Eve. Whether you choose to make our simple luminaries or opt for more intricate paper designs, these decorative lights are a beautiful way to illuminate the holiday season. 


  • Glass jars cleaned with the labels removed
  • Tissue paper in Christmas colors
  • Scissors
  • Mod Podge 
  • Paintbrush or foam brush
  • Fairy lights or battery-operated tealight 


  1. Prepare your jars if needed by making sure they are clean and dry with the labels removed. Decide how you’d like your luminary to look. Would you like it to be abstract or have specific designs like a Christmas tree or snowman?
  2. Begin cutting or tearing your tissue paper into the necessary shapes for your design.
  3. Use the paint/foam brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge on the glass and stick your tissue paper pieces onto it, continuing to add Mod Podge and tissue paper pieces until you’ve completed your desired design. Add a final layer of Mod Podge to seal in your tissue paper and let dry.
  4. Turn on your light source (a small strand of fairy lights or a battery-operated tealight) inside and place your luminary on the mantle, window sill, or anywhere you’d like to see the gentle light shine. Then, enjoy it all Christmas long!

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