This post was most recently updated on April 24th, 2018
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I love decorating for the seasons. It’s so fun – creating a festive, warm atmosphere in and around my home to celebrate a holiday or time of year. There are times, though, when money runs a bit too tight for me to indulge in seasonal decorating. Having the desire to prettify my space, but not having any budget to work with can be frustrating. So during these times of ‘fiscal drought’ I like to get creative, and find ways to use free seasonal decorating ideas in my home.
Getting Creative is Key
There are so many ways to add embellishment to your home – for absolutely free. Here are a few of my go-to favorites … and honestly, I use most of them even when I have money.
It’s not just for gift wrapping! I always have lots of this on hand in a variety of colors. Tissue paper is easy to work with and fun to use in creating all kinds of seasonal crafts. I’m counting it as a free decor item, because it’s something that is in my house all the time. I am a perpetual tissue paper collector — seriously, I never leave the dollar store without it.
1. Flowers & Flower Garlands
I started making tissue paper flowers with my kids – a fun and cheap craft project. I soon realized they made amazing accents and garlands, and are especially lovely for spring and Easter. And one day, when I was desperate for a seasonal decor update but was completely broke, I had the brainstorm to try tissue paper flowers for fall.
Cutting the folded paper ends differently can yield so many different types of flowers. Use tissue paper sunflowers to embellish a sunny summer wreath for your front door. Add longer chenille stems to tissue chrysanthemums to create a stunning (and cheap!) fall or Thanksgiving centerpiece. Experiment with different colors and shapes and use these beautiful blooms in every season.
2. Tissue Paper Window Clings
Tissue paper is so versatile. Did you know you can use it, along with spray starch, to make easy and adorable window clings for all seasons and holidays? Snowflakes, pumpkins, falling leaves, spring flowers, birds, etc. – this is actually the easiest method I’ve ever used to decorate my windows, glass doors, and up-cycled window.
This is my architectural salvage window decor from last fall. I made paper templates and cut several types of leaves and different sized pumpkins in fall colors. I sprayed a bit of starch on the glass, gently laid my tissue paper pieces on the starch, smoothed gently and let dry. It looked amazing. When I was ready to switch designs, I sprayed the tissue paper with glass cleaner and it came right off!
Seriously, there is no limit (except your imagination) to the seasonal and holiday shapes you can create and stick to glass or mirrored surfaces. It’s super fun. And only slightly addictive.
I have a ton of construction paper lying around the house. I love using it to make seasonal banners and signs.
This sweet spring banner was super easy and fast to make. I drew and cut out some simple paper doll clothing, hung kite string across the window frame and clipped my ‘laundry’ to the string using tiny clothespins I found in my sewing drawer. I filled in the rest of the scene using tissue paper and starch.
Cut construction paper into a pennant banner for a festive addition to your mantel or entertainment center. Make your design more detailed by using stick glue to layer different papers together, or adhere embellishments like lace, ribbon, jewels or buttons. The sky is the limit, my friends!
Put Stuff in Jars
This tip, if I do say so myself, is pure brilliance. We all have jars around our house. They don’t have to be fancy, expensive, or antique jars, either. I’ll admit I have a pretty impressive stash of old-fashioned, antique jars in my basement. But that’s only because my grandmother (whose house we live in) was something of a hoarder. Lucky me.
Seriously, though – any jar will work. Big jars, small jars, cleaned-out candle jars – whatever you have. Put stuff in it. So easy. But it can look AH-mazing. Colorful jelly beans, coffee beans and a candle, pine cones, salt … putting things in jars elevates them. So, I literally just walked through my house, snapping photos of stuff I put in jars. Just to show you what I mean …
In a jar, that pile of rocks your kids dragged in from their nature walk becomes artful and intentional. Dried beans become an eye-catching seasonal accent. Dog cookies seem … more adorable. (FYI – I didn’t take a picture of the dog’s cookie jar, as any time someone goes near it, she thinks she needs a treat.) I am not kidding – put something common or plain in a jar, and watch it transform into a clever design element. Go on – right now … go try it.
Do Something Unexpected
I’m a big fan of using what you have in a way than that isn’t expected. Here’s an example: I have a shelf in my family room that is made to hang a quilt from. During the winter months, I used it as intended and the quilt added a warm, cozy feel to the room. But when spring came, the quilt was out of place.
I didn’t have a different quilt to hang that looked more ‘spring-y’, and I couldn’t afford to buy anything. In an inspired moment, I hung one of my outdoor spring flags from the shelf instead. It looked perfect.
I find that the times I have no money for new stuff are when I get the most creative. (Which may be why God has chosen to keep me on such a perpetually small budget. hee hee) Hey – I’m happy to step up to the challenge. I feel such a sense of accomplishment when I’m making our home using only what is available to me.
The ideas I’ve shared with you today, honestly, are some of the most complimented and talked about seasonal decorations I’ve ever put up in my house. People think I’m so clever – which I love. I don’t have to tell them I set out a jar of glitter because I was desperate & broke, right? And neither do you!
I hope some of these suggestions will get your creative juices flowing; and I would love to see your ideas for free seasonal decor. Be sure to follow me on Instagram, and ‘like’ That Farm Mama’s Facebook page, so we can keep in touch and keep exchanging ideas!
Love & Blessings,
That Farm Mama