Call Me Ang: Decking the Halls on a Budget

Decking the Halls on a Budget

Friday, November 27, 2015

I know I am in the majority, with my love for the holidays! Like everyone else, I am obsessed with turning our home into a winter wonderland.  Traditionally, we decorate our house the day after Thanksgiving, but our plans changed this year.  My youngest sister offered to host Thanksgiving.  This allowed me to get the hop on decorating for Christmas.  Our holiday decor is very traditional. Normally, our home is decorated in cool colors. I drastically switch things up during the holidays.

From this......

To This....

Pottery Barn Christmas Decorations

Decorating is a week long production (if not longer). I rearrange the living room, followed by dragging everything downstairs from at attic. This is the point I decide what I will, or will not use. My husband helps me set up the trees throughout the house.  

Today I am going to highlight our great room.  I "sanitize" the space, by removing all of our normal pillows and decorative accents.  I like a blank pallet, and have gone so far as to swap out lamps and art. I'm  know...I' know...I'm crazy....but I can't have things clashing!

When you have a budget, you find yourself being creative and coming up with alternative ways to decorate without breaking the bank.  Below are ways I have saved money through the years.

Money Saving Tip I:

I purchase new ribbon for on our main tree each year.  This provides us a change, and I don't have to replace all the ornaments.  I went with a flannel plaid this year which cost roughly $ 30.00.  I top our tree with a large bow and cascade several ribbons down the nine and half foot tree.  Ribbon can be expensive and adds up quickly. They key is to wait until Michael's has their ribbon 60% off and combine that, with a coupon for 40% off (they routinely send flyers in the mail).  If you are service member, some stores will provide you an additional 15% off.  The ribbon is practically free!

Buffalo Check Throw, Target,
Buffalo Check Throw (on sale now) | Fur Tree Skirt: Here and Here | Basket | Chair

I wanted a outdoorsy/woodsy feel this year, so I purchased flocked pinecones. A large bag from Homegoods cost $15.00. They rest nicely on the branches. 

Christmas Tree

Money Saving Tip II:

Obviously this won't save you money this season, post holiday sales! Were you eyeing decorative accents, but they didn't fit into your budget. Stalk those items.  I've picked up countless goodies I "needed" and stored away until the following year.  You can do this with ornaments, wrapping paper, stockings, Christmas trees, etc.

Money Saving Tip III:

Go green! Find beauty in nature.  The simplest and easiest way to decorate your home is to add fresh fruit and garland.  Most people have serving bowls...utilize them to decorate. Fill those bowls with red apples, oranges, add some springs of evergreen and voila!  You will spend next to nothing, and you've created an elegant piece. I found my greenery from Home Depot, and spent $22.00.

Boots: Here | Grey Cabinet: Here (on sale now)

I already owned the vase. I added sprigs of Frasier Fir and red roses from Harris Teeter to make an arrangement for the kitchen table. Tie ribbon around the vase and you have a $10.00 center piece. 

Frasier Fir sprigs added to our lighting using florist wire. I always keep florist wire stocked. I use it to make bows, garland and secure floral arrangements.

Ballard Design Home Lighting
Cake Stand 

Bowl Similar: Here | Red/White Stripe Throw Similar: Here, Here, Here

Real Boxwood Clippings are inexpensive and look festive and beautiful! 
Silver pitcher can be found: Similar Here | White Candle Sticks: Similar Here 

Money Saving Tip IV: 

Have realistic expectations. If you have just purchased your first home, are newly married or added a baby - do NOT go into debt trying to decorate your home! I know you see all these perfectly coifed spaces on Pinterest. You've pinned your favorite rooms and want to recreate the look. If you are on a tight budget...Good luck with that! Patience my dear elves....See tip II, and start collecting! Shop post holiday sales, create your own art work, etc.  Decor like you see plastered all over the internet and on Pinterest didn't happen in a single year.  Most people have collected new pieces over the course of several years. These holiday decorations are years of accumulation.  You see that cranberry topiary? That was the very first piece of Christmas decorations that my husband and I purchased as a married couple...nearly fourteen years ago.  My taste has changed, but each year, I proudly put it on display. To which my husband will say, "I think it's time to throw that thing out, it has seen better days."  I will NOT ever throw that "thing" out. That "thing" represents the evolution of our family through the years. It was our beginning and it brings a smile to my face every year I drag that "thing" down from the attic.

Money Saving Tip V: 

Hit up the parents or grandparents.  Once the kids have grown and created a family of their own, a lot of parents no longer deck the halls like they once did. So all those boxes sit in attics or closets collecting dust.  Years and years of beautiful decorations just yearning to be used.  The thought probably hasn't crossed their mind to pass all of these goodies down. Ask! This will save you a ton of money.  Not to mention, utilizing the decor from your childhood provides beautiful sentimental value.  Your holiday decor should be done from a place of love.

A few of the elements on this table has been passed down and gifted to me.  I filled the apothecary jar with bulbs and ribbon that I didn't use on the tree this year. The deer art was done by me, tutorial can be found here

Money Saving Tip VI:

Make your own! Drag out that sewing machine and get to work!  This year, instead of spending a fortune on new pillows, I ordered fabric from  I knew what I wanted, but couldn't find it in the store for a reasonable price....So, I made my own.  I spent roughly 30 minutes sewing six new pillow covers.  I was so happy with the color combo, and I only spent $40.00!

To say I'm obsessed with Woody Wagons is an understatement. I have a dream of living in Vermont, our family navigating through the snow with our freshly cut Christmas tree strapped to the roof!

Embroidered Christmas Pillow
Woody Wagon Cloche Similar: Here | Embroidered Woody Lumbar Pillow 

I'll continue to share some of the other rooms in our home in the coming weeks. I get so excited to peer into other people's homes. Please share a link of your holiday spaces in the comments section. I could spend hours admiring other people's creativity!



  1. What a gorgeous room, and such great tips! Thank you!

  2. Your house looks so beautiful! I love how you have changed things up this year (long time reader here! :) I saw it on The Real Houses of Instagram - what a huge compliment, given that yours was one of the few REAL houses I saw on there. Most of them were shots from architectural and interior design firms, and in my humble opinion, aren't quite the same as "real" houses :) Your room is every bit as gorgeous.

    1. You are so very kind. Thank you for taking the time to boost my ego. ;-) Truly, it means the world to me that people like yourself, take the time to read my little blog. Happy Holidays!!!!!

  3. Such great ideas! I soooo want a woody as well. Jeep is coming out with one in 2017 that I may just have to save up for.

  4. Interior designing can be really fun especially when its your first time doing it. It can be a trial and error process at times but when you get the hang of it it will come naturally

    Extent Home

  5. Love love this! It is the look I'm doing this holiday! Great job and wonderful look! Thanks