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‘Tis the season for getting festive! It’s time to start decorating for the holidays, but don’t spend a lot of time or money doing it — these clever DIY Christmas decorating hacks are just what you need!

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Score the best deals on Christmas decorations

Christmas trees and decor at Target

The last thing you want is to blow through your holiday budget before the season starts. Before you shop, check out these tips to help you save on Christmas decor and more:

Spend less with DIY Christmas decorations. Making your own Christmas decorations is a fun and affordable way to get festive for the holidays. Pick up cheap materials for any DIY project at Dollar Tree, Hobby Lobby, Michaels, or Amazon.

Hobby Lobby Christmas sale prices reach 65% off the week before Christmas, so grab any last-minute decor and DIY materials then!

Stack coupons in store. Dollar Tree is a great place to use coupons. If an item only costs a dollar, you can use a $0.50 off coupon to get the item for half price. Use a dollar-off coupon and the item is yours for free (yes…FREE)!

Dollar tree accepts printable internet coupons and paper manufacturer coupons from newspapers and inserts (no digital coupons).

And don’t miss Dollar Tree’s Value Seekers Club for budget-friendly craft and DIY ideas. You can sign up and get weekly emails with store updates and seasonal inspiration.

Turn to the great outdoors. Paying for pine cones? No thanks! When it comes to DIY Christmas projects, you can find tons of materials in your own backyard. Scour the grounds for pine cones, pebbles, branches, and greenery, and gather natural (and free) DIY materials!

Never miss a deal on Christmas decor. At The Krazy Coupon Lady, our shopping experts hunt down the latest deals on holiday decorations to bring you the best possible savings. Bookmark these pages to deck your halls for a lot less:

 

1. Use evergreen pipe cleaners to hang garland or heavy ornaments on your tree.

A person using an evergreen pipe cleaner to hang a heavy ornaments on a Christmas tree

These garland ties are a festive solution to hanging all your Christmas decorations. Use these Artificial Canadian Pine Stem Garland Ties from Amazon to embellish home decor pieces like wreaths, trees, baskets, and so much more.

 

2. Hang Christmas decor with Command Hooks to avoid unsightly nail holes.

A person using a command hook to tie a garland onto a fireplace mantel.

Instead of poking holes in all your walls, get a set of 45 Command Clear Mini Light Clips (reg. $9.63) from Amazon. These damage-free hooks are a great way to hang lightweight decorations like garland, lights, strings, and more.

Use one of these free Command Hook coupons to save more on your purchase.

 

3. Make a DIY Christmas tree garland with tiny ornaments.

Small red, white, and green, hanging on a white flocked Christmas tree.

Prepare your garland with a pack of mini ornaments, like Amazon’s 24-count mini Christmas tree ornaments (reg. $8.99).

Small red, white, and green Christmas ornaments being tied onto bakers twine to make a tree garland.

Using baker’s twine, carefully tie on each ornament at even intervals. Drape them over the branches of your mini Christmas tree and enjoy!

 

4. Make flower arrangements more festive with candy canes.

Candy Canes hot glued around a round vase filled with flowers and tied with a red ribbon.

Attach candy canes to a glass vase using hot glue. Tie the vase with a ribbon and fill the vase with festive flowers. Ta-da! Use your creation as a centerpiece or as a gift for any holiday party.

 

5. Protect outdoor cords by placing the plugs in a lidded plastic container.

A person protecting extension cord plugs by placing them in a Tupperware container with a lid

Grab an old plastic Tupperware. Then, cut holes on opposite sides of the container to make room for the plugs and wires. Pop the lid on top and call it a day. You’ll never lose power to your lights or decorations again.

 

6. Spray paint glass light bulbs to hang as decor.

Christmas light bulbs, sprayed with a glass paint finish, tied onto a string to make a garland

Instead of tossing your burnt-out light bulbs, transform them into a festive DIY Christmas garland. Use a mirror effect or metallic spray paint, like Krylon Premium Metallic Spray Paint (reg. $9.81) from Amazon.

What you’ll need:

  • Metallic spray paint
  • C7 or C9 light bulbs
  • Vinegar
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Paper towel
  • Baker’s twine or colored string
Christmas light bulbs spray painted with mirror paint.

What you’ll do:

  1. Clean your light bulbs.
  2. Stand the light bulbs upright and spray them with mirror effect spray paint.
  3. Immediately after, use a spray bottle mixed with one part vinegar and one part water to lightly mist the freshly painted bulbs. Try not to overspray — let the mixture sit on the surface of the bulbs in droplets rather than run down.
  4. Let the vinegar-water mixture sit for a few seconds. Then, use a slightly damp paper towel to gently dab off the droplets.
  5. Allow your bulbs to dry completely before tying them onto your twine.

 

 

7. Hang bells on the bottom of your tree to hear when kids and pets pull on branches.

A person hanging bells on bottom branches of a Christmas tree with a dog in the background.

For years my friend’s dog, Sammy, loved marking his territory on our Christmas tree. It was quite the unwanted tradition, so I came up with the idea to add bells at the bottom of our tree.

Sammy was surprised by the jingles just long enough for someone to scoop him up.

It’s been four years, but Sammy hasn’t had an incident since. Success!

 

8. Instead of gift tags, use a certain gift wrap for each family member to avoid premature present peeking.

A person holding 5 Christmas wrapped packages

Without gift tags, kids will have trouble guessing which gifts are theirs. This keeps any surprises secret and adds a personal touch to your gifts.

On Christmas morning, hand each family member a square of their designated gift wrap to let them know which ones belong to them.

 

9. Transform a Christmas mug into a fun planter — just by adding greenery.

A person holding two Christmas mugs filled with greenery.

You can find tons of classy Christmas mugs on World Market to fill with holiday greenery.

Artificial plants will last forever, but live plants have the real Christmas feel (and smell). Once the plant dies, your recipient still has a fun mug to use, so it’s a win-win.

 

10. Save on expensive fragrances by simmering a bag of your favorite smelling tea.

A tea bag held over a small crock-pot

This is a great touch for holiday parties or when you just want to make your home smell amazing.

The scent will last until all the water in the pot evaporates. Keep a careful eye on the pot so you don’t miss when the water’s gone.

 

11. Create a hanging DIY Christmas card display using greenery and a tree branch.

A person attaching string, greenery, and Christmas cards with colorful clothes pins to a stick.

Tie each piece of greenery onto the branch using string or baker’s twine. As your holiday cards arrive in the mail, hang each card on the display with a colored clothespin or paper clip.

When the holidays are over, you can dispose of the tree branch so you don’t have to store it.

 

12. Brighten up your tree with extra Christmas lights.

A person holding a box of 100 count Christmas lights, pointing out the height, 7.5 ft, on a Christmas tree box.

Pre-lit trees can be pretty on their own, but to really make a statement, add even more lights. Plan to add at least one strand of 100 count mini lights per foot on your tree.

 

13. Use floral picks to add color, variety, and texture to your Christmas tree.

Red berry floral picks being put into a Christmas tree.

Put floral picks from craft stores like Michaels in your Christmas tree. Place them in the same direction as the branches for a more natural look. Spread them throughout the tree — especially in spots that are less full.

 

14. Salvage Christmas tree lights with a Light Keeper Pro.

A person using a Christmas light sensor device on a strand of Christmas lights to identify the broken Christmas lights.

When a strand of Christmas lights stops working, use a Light Keeper Pro (reg. $19.99) from Amazon to find burnt-out or broken bulbs. It’s a simple tool that will save you tons in the long run — and it works super well.

This is great for fixing lights that are challenging to replace, like the ones attached to a pre-lit tree or garland.

 

15. Make your own gift wrap with a potato stamp and paint.

A person using a potato with a Christmas tree shape cut out of it to stamp green Christmas trees onto brown paper, making their own wrapping paper.

Make a DIY stamp by cutting into one half of a potato with a cookie cutter. Cut around the cookie cutter to remove the excess potato. Brush paint onto the surface of the potato and stamp away!

 

16. Place jingle bells inside gift boxes to mask the sound of the gifts within.

Bells in a persons hand, being put into a gift box containing Harry Potter movies. Wrapping paper and packages of more bells are sitting on the ground next to it.

When your loved ones shake their gifts to guess what’s inside, you’ll be prepared to say, “nice try.”

 

17. Use yarn pom-poms on packages instead of bows.

Boxes under a Christmas tree, wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper with yarn pom pom ball bows on top of them.

Not only are they fun, inexpensive, and easy to make, you won’t have to worry about them getting crushed in Christmas storage.

A person using a pom pom ball loom to make a yarn pom pom and the finished product on a gift box wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper.

Buy pom-poms from your local craft store, or make your own with a Pom-Pom Maker Tool (reg. $6.58) from Amazon using your favorite color yarn.

 

18. Store Christmas decorations in matching bins to distinguish them from other boxes.

Three storage bins, all green and red in front of a Christmas tree. A person is opening one of them.

For extra organization, I like to slap labels on the tops and sides of the bins before I put them in storage, just so I can tell which items are in which bins.

 

 

19. Place Christmas tree lights in zip-top bags to protect them in storage.

A strand of white lights being pulled from a Heafty zip lock bag.

This will also make lights easier to find when you need them again next year.

 

20. Store small, fragile ornaments in an egg carton to prevent them from breaking.

Small glass ornaments stored in an egg carton.

This won’t work for larger ornaments, but it’s an easy way to store the smaller ones instead of packing them individually in bubble wrap or paper towels.

 

21. Skip the expensive outdoor pre-lit trees — make your own from a tomato cage, lights, and garland.

A small lit Christmas tree made from garland, lights, and a tomato cage.

During the holidays, stores like Home Depot carry tomato cages for this very purpose, like this 42-inch plant support tomato cage (reg. $3.28). You can even find them in green!

What you’ll need:

  • Tomato cage
  • Artificial pine garland
  • Mini clear Christmas tree lights
  • Pine cones
  • Red berry floral picks

What you’ll do:

  1. Place your tomato cage upside down on the ground.
  2. Using floral wire or evergreen pipe cleaners, tie the pointed tips of the cage together to make a cone (a.k.a your tree shape).
  3. Beginning at the top, wrap the garland around the cage to secure it in place. The closer you attach the garland, the more natural your tree will look.
  4. Add strands of Christmas lights to the tree.
  5. Once the tomato cage is fully wrapped, finish it off with pine cones and red berry floral picks.

 

22. Decorate with disposable items to save storage space.

White paper stars being punched from a piece of paper and hung on a mantel with string.

Grab some paper and use a star puncher from Amazon to cut out dozens of stars. Then, attach the stars to string and hang them around your house.

 

23. Hang ball ornaments deep inside the branches of your tree to fill gaps and hide bare spots.

A person putting a white sparkly ornament ball into the back branches of a Christmas tree

Do this after adding your lights, but before adding the bulk of your ornaments. This is especially helpful for hiding the fake-looking center post of an artificial tree.

 

24. Keep Christmas lights wrapped around a clothes hanger to prevent them from tangling.

Christmas lights wrapped around a clothes hanger.

What’s more frustrating than untangling a massive knot of Christmas lights?

If you’re worried about Christmas lights tangling inside a zip-top bag, try wrapping them around an old clothes hanger instead. It’s the perfect trick. They’ll be SO much easier to unravel when you need them again.

 

25. Or, wrap Christmas lights around the box they came in for easy storage.

Christmas lights wrapped around a Christmas light box

No clothes hanger? No problem! Wrapping your Christmas lights around the box they came in isn’t just a tangle-free solution. It’s an eco-friendly one, too!

 

26. Cut the bottoms off hanging shoe organizer pockets to store gift-wrapping supplies.

A show organizer being cut to hold wrapping paper

If you’re like me, you have tons of gift wrap supplies — but it all seems to disappear as soon as you need them. That’s why I came up with the idea to store everything in the shoe organizer hanging on my door.

Just cut the middle pockets’ bottoms to slip the wrapping paper through, and use the top pockets for tape, bows, string, and cards.

 

27. Spray paint Christmas light strands to make them more festive.

Gold strand of large c9 Christmas light bulbs being hung on the front of a fireplace

First, prepare the light strand by removing the bulbs. Insert wadded pieces of paper towel into each bulb socket to protect the inside from paint. Then spray the strand.

A person spray painting strand of c9 Christmas lights gold. The bulbs are missing from the strand.

When it’s fully dry, replace the light bulbs and enjoy!

 

28. Make snowflake window clings with hot glue.

Hot glue snowflakes being attached to a window.

Print out a few snowflake images from the Internet and use them as templates to create these easy hot-glue snowflakes.

What you’ll do:

  1. Place your printed snowflake templates under a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Using a hot glue gun, trace the snowflake design on the parchment paper.
  3. Once dry, the glue will easily peel off the parchment paper.
  4. Add dabs of hot glue to the back of the snowflakes and stick them onto your window.

The snowflake will easily pop off when it’s time to take the decorations down.

A person making snow flakes with a hot glue gun.

TIP: Don’t touch the hot glue gun directly to the window, especially if your window is cold. The heat can break the glass.

 

29. For more of a “wow” factor, use two different sizes of Christmas light bulbs on your tree.

c9 Christmas light bulbs being added to a Christmas tree.

This will make your tree pop and give it a unique look with a personal touch.

 

 

30. Use a tension rod for ribbon storage to make wrapping gifts easier.

Gift wrap ribbon on a tension rod, attached under a kitchen table with wrapped packages and Christmas wrapping paper on top.

Grab a tension rod from Amazon and attach it between the legs of your craft table. Slide your ribbon rolls onto the rod to make gift wrapping a piece of cake.

 

31. Place tiny mirrored ornaments inside your tree to reflect the lights.

A person gluing ornament hooks to the back of small round mirrors and putting them in a tree.

You can use reflective paper or mini round mirrors from Amazon for $6.99. Hot glue ornament hooks to the back of each piece and hang them throughout your tree. It’ll look like you have twice as many lights.

 

32. Use a candy cane to seal gift bags.

A gift bag made from wrapping paper, secured with a candy cane.

It’s fun, effective, and delicious. Enough said!

 

33. Turn a hanging shoe organizer into an Advent calendar.

A person wrapping small gifts and putting them in the pockets of a hanging shoe organizer to make an advent calendar.

Turn your hanging shoe organizer into an Advent calendar for the 25-day countdown to Christmas. Label each pocket with numbers, and stuff them with candies and small gifts.

You and your family will have a fun treat to look forward to every day of the countdown.

 

34. Use hot glue to hang outdoor Christmas lights on bricks and masonry.

A person using a hot glue gun and glue to attach white Christmas lights to brick

I can’t believe I never thought of this before.

 

35. Decorate a big cardboard box and use it as a gift wrap wastebasket on Christmas day.

Christmas wrapping paper being thrown into a box wrapped in similar wrapping paper.

Glue on fun shapes, pom-poms, or snowflake cutouts, or simply wrap the box with fun wrapping paper. No more unsightly garbage bag hanging out in your Christmas morning photos!

 

36. Track gift purchases with Santa’s Bag to keep your budget in check.

A gift being wrapped with a cell phone beside it displaying the Santas's bag gift tracking app.

Santa’s Bag app is a fantastic way to manage your holiday spending. Track everything from gifts and goodies to decorations and gift wrapping supplies.

 

37. Use mini red cups to make Santa-themed lights.

A strand of Christmas lights with DIY Santa, red party cups attached.

You can find a pack of mini red cups for super cheap, like these Houdini Disposable Shot Glasses for $2.89 at Target.

What you’ll need:

A person using a hot glue gun to attach ribbon around a mini red plastic shot glass to make it look like Santas belt.

What you’ll do:

  1. Using a craft knife, cut square buckles from an adhesive sheet of gold “rhinestones.”
  2. Cut pieces of black glitter ribbon so they wrap completely around each cup.
  3. Secure them in place with hot glue.
  4. With a craft knife, carefully cut a small “X” into the bottom of each cup.
  5. Insert one light into each “X”.

Hang them up for a holiday party, or put them above your kids’ beds for a festive night-light.

 

 

38. Create a DIY table runner with paper snowflakes.

Paper Snowflakes attached together to make a table runner

Cut out paper snowflakes and either tape or glue them together. Then, drape it over your table and place decorations on top to make your dining room festive and kid-friendly.

 

39. Brighten your home with wintry Epsom salt mason jars.

Epsom salt mason jar candle holders in the center of a table, set for a meal.

The trick to this DIY Christmas craft is Mod Podge, a multi-functional glue and finish that makes thousands of projects possible. You can find a 16 oz. bottle of Mod Podge on Amazon for under $8.

What you’ll need:

A person painting mod podge on the outside of a mason jar and then sprinkling epson salt on the outside.

What you’ll do:

  1. Mix the Epsom salt and glitter in a disposable bowl or cup.
  2. Apply an even layer of Mod Podge on the outside of your mason jar. Be careful not to layer it on too thick to avoid dripping.
  3. Sprinkle the Epsom salt glitter on the jar until it’s completely covered. For easy cleanup, do this over a paper plate to catch the excess.
  4. Place the jar on wax paper and allow it to dry overnight.
  5. When the glue is completely dry, wrap twine around the mouth of your jar and attach faux greenery with a dab of hot glue.
  6. Insert a flameless tea light into the jar.

Use it as a table centerpiece, mantel decor, or festive front porch lighting.

 

40. Decorate festive holiday cookies by sprinkling powdered sugar over a paper snowflake.

A person a snowflake as a stencil to dust a design of powdered sugar onto a cookie

Use a sieve or fine strainer to sprinkle the powdered sugar. For the best results, decorate just before serving.

See more easy cookie decorating tips.

 

41. Turn a Christmas tin into a gift box that hangs as an ornament.

A person pulling a gift card from a Christmas tin, attached to the front of a Christmas tree.

Instead of throwing away your Christmas cookie tins, you can repurpose them into gift boxes. Wrap a ribbon around the tin, place your gift inside, and hot glue an ornament hook to the box to hang it on your tree.

 

42. Don’t buy expensive napkin rings — make your own with jingle bells and wire.

A person stringing jingle bells onto wire making a napkin ring.

String bells onto the wire alternating the pattern by size — for example, one large and two small, repeated until there are 10 large and 20 small bells on the wire. Cut the wire and use the pliers to twist the ends tightly together, forming the napkin ring.

You can find dozens of different-sized bells at the Dollar Tree.

 

43. Melt chocolate in a slow cooker for easy cookie decorating.

A person dipping a Christmas cookie in Chocolate. The chocolate is melted in a mason jar, kept warm with a crock pot.

Add enough hot water to your slow cooker to reach halfway up the sides of your mason jars, then turn your cooker on high. Don’t get any water inside the jars — water will cause your melted chocolate to seize and thicken.

Leave your slow cooker uncovered. After about 30 minutes, stir the chocolate. Once the chocolate melts, reduce your cooker’s heat to low. Dip cookies in the chocolate, or use it to drizzle over treats.

 

44. Use candy as bows on Christmas gift boxes.

A Christmas gift box wrapped with a bow made from a package of M&Ms.

This gift wrapping trick is especially great for kids. Skip the ribbon and stick a bag of your kids’ favorite candy on their presents instead.

 

45. Use paint and glitter to make an expensive-looking, shatterproof miniature village.

White plastic village houses and trees being arranged on a table.

Village pieces can be expensive and fragile. Save money and create a classy village your kids won’t break. You can pick up plastic village pieces from Dollar Tree.

What you’ll need:

Dollar Tree plastic village buildings being spray painted white

What you’ll do:

  1. Following the directions on your spray paint can, apply several even coats of spray paint to your plastic village pieces.
  2. Once the paint dries completely, apply Mod Podge where you want it — I applied mine only to the areas that were previously white with snow.
  3. Sprinkle on a layer of white glitter.
  4. Place a flameless tea light candle under each building, and display your new village pieces for everyone to enjoy.

 

46. Make your own star ribbon with Model Magic.

Model Magic clay cut into stars, attached onto a Christmas package.

Crayola Model Magic is a non-toxic molding material (like clay) that can be attached to plastic, wood, cardboard, and other materials. You can find Model Magic at Walmart for $4.47.

What you’ll need:

  • Crayola Model Magic
  • Wax paper
  • A rolling pin
  • A cookie cutter
Model Magic clay cut into stars, attached onto a Christmas package.

What you’ll do:

  1. With a rolling pin, roll out your Model Magic onto freezer or wax paper (don’t use regular paper as the Model Magic will stick).
  2. Use a small cookie cutter of your choice to cut out the modeling clay.
  3. Follow the drying instructions on the Model Magic package.
  4. Glue the dried shapes onto ribbon or baker’s twine and wrap it around a gift.

TIP: The more you work and knead the Model Magic, the easier it will be to roll out and cut with cookie cutters.

 

47. Press cookie cutters into frozen whipped cream for festive holiday hot cocoa.

Frozen whipped cream being cut with a cookie cutter and placed in a cup of hot chocolate.

Spread whipped topping onto a foil-lined cookie sheet and freeze it. Once the whipped cream is frozen, use holiday cookie cutters to create shapes that add a fun element to your party’s hot cocoa bar.

 

48. Use toilet paper tubes to prevent wrapping paper from unrolling.

A toilet paper roll being cut and tapped around a roll of wrapping paper

Take toilet paper tubes and cut them lengthwise. Then place one around a roll of wrapping paper and tape it together. This way, tape won’t damage your wrapping paper again.

 

49. Decorate gift boxes with double-sided tape and confetti (instead of ribbons).

A gift box with double sided tape on the front, having confetti sprinkled on it.

If you don’t have ribbons, you can use double-sided tape to stick Christmas-themed confetti to your presents. To avoid a big mess, place a newspaper or a trash bag under your gift before you add the confetti.

 

50. Add greenery, water, cranberries, and floating candles to a mason jar for an easy centerpiece.

Floating candles being lit in mason jars filled with greenery and cranberries

It’s a classy DIY Christmas decoration everyone will enjoy.

 

51. Use candy canes as place cardholders.

Place holder cards saying Anna and Sara sitting inside stands made from 3 candy canes

Hot glue two candy canes together. Then attach the third candy cane to the back.

A person using a hot glue gun to attach 3 candy canes together

Add decorative ribbons and slip a place card into two of the candy cane hooks.

 

52. Make a snowman out of a dollar store candle.

Dollar tree candles being decorated with ribbon, buttons, piper cleaners, and paint pens to look like snowmen.

You can find $1 candles from the Dollar Tree for these adorable snowman DIY Christmas decorations.

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Twist two pipe cleaners together.
  2. Using hot glue, attach the pipe cleaners to the back of your candle to make the twig arms.
  3. Tie a ribbon just above the pipe cleaners for a scarf.
  4. Use paint pens to draw on your snowman’s face.
  5. Finish it off by hot-gluing buttons in place.

 

53. When you’re finished decorating, take photos of your work to remember it for next year!

A person using a cell phone to take a photo fo a Christmas fireplace mantel.

Take a photo (it lasts longer)!

Snap pictures of your mantel, tree, and other DIY Christmas decorations in your home. Store the photos in a folder on your phone or computer to easily find them when the holidays roll back around.

 

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