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How to make expensive looking free, or very cheap, ornaments and decorations.

Updated on April 8, 2013

Pine cones come in all sorts of shapes, they are free and look good.

Pine cone.
Pine cone.

Start collecting your free Christmas decorations now.

Christmas is an expensive time of year, okay, maybe that’s something of an understatement. Christmas can be so expensive that we end up spending most of the following year paying for it. But does decorating the house with festive ornaments also mean turning it into a money pit?

There are free alternatives or things that are so cheap they are as good as free. It’s bad enough shelling out a small, or maybe not so small, fortune on presents and food without having to consider buying pretty things to make our homes look festive.

There is an alternative though, many things that can be found in nature can also make wonderful, and expensive looking, Christmas decorations. And the best part about collecting things to use is that they are free and it provides us with the opportunity to spend a pleasant few hours communing with nature. Homemade, all natural christmas decorations can look very chic too, so by going back to nature you can also become something of a trend setter.


Take a walk in the local park or forest and collect pine cones. When you get home spread them out on some old newspaper to dry, or you can speed up the process by putting them in a low oven for a few minutes. Give them a good shake before you do this to make sure that you don’t have any little creatures inside the cones. Once they are nice and dry you can paint them gold, silver or red.

Or scent them and pile them in decorative bowls around your home to make it smell festive. Mix ¼ cup of cinnamon, some whole cloves, and a large pinch of pickling spice. Mix together and put pine cones into a large plastic bag in a single layer, spray with spray adhesive, close the bag and shake it then re-spray, be careful not to breath in the fumes add the spice mixture and give the whole lot a good shake and leave to dry. Put the pinecones into a mesh sieve to remove any leftover spice mix and then display.

Your home will smell festive all through the holiday.


Cheap baubles will look really good displayed in a large glass vase or bowl.

Christmas decorations.
Christmas decorations.

Making christmas colourful.

Cheap plastic baubles can look really good when simply displayed in a glass vase or large bowl. Sprinkle in some Christmas confetti or dab some glue on the baubles and use a little glitter to give them some added sparkle. If you place the bowl or vase near a light source, such as a candle, the baubles will catch the light and reflect it all around the room or table.


Gather interesting looking sticks, you might be lucky enough to find some twisted willow which looks amazing and spray paint them to match your Christmas colour scheme, or use some old, leftover white paint to create a snow effect.


Bowls of small oranges look very festive when mixed with a few leaves from the garden. Try ivy or holly leaves. To give your oranges a nice healthy shine try rubbing them with a small amout of olive oil. It works great on the leaves too.


Nuts can be sprayed gold or silver and piled high in small glass bonbon dishes.


Buy glass paints and decorate cheap plain glasses to match your table scheme.


Use raffia to tie up napkins instead of buying expensive napkin rings.


Scented or coloured candles can be very expensive but plain white ones look classy and if you add a few pieces of cinnamon to the base of a small white plate and stand the candles in that the warmth from the flame will release the scent of the spice as the candle burns down.


Whatever you chose to do this festive season and however much you decide to spend, I wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas. If you follow these instructions you too can have a home filled with expensive looking Christmas decorations for free.


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  • GALAXY 59 profile image

    GALAXY 59 6 years ago from United Kingdom

    Happy Christmas to you too Aman.

  • profile image

    Aman 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing and Happy Christmas!