If you’re worried about having enough cash for Christmas gifts this year, these cheap Christmas decor ideas for when money is tight can help. Let’s decorate on a dime!

christmas tree 2021 to show cheap Christmas decor ideas

15 Places to Buy Cheap Christmas Decor

If you’re not into making any of your holiday decor, or at least not all of it, there are several places you can find cheap Christmas decor. Check out these 15 ideas:

  • Dollar Stores – look for basics like tinsel, faux snow, paper ornaments, and gift boxes that can double as decor.
  • Thrift Stores – vintage ornaments can often be found at our local thrift stores. 
  • H&M – I love to shop H&M online leading up to the holidays because they have some great pricing on unique Christmas decor like tea towels, throw pillow covers, paper ornaments, and accent dishes. 
  • Amazon – One of my favorite places to grab greenery stems to add to my tree or pottery. My eucalyptus stems all came from Amazon. 
  • Micheals – Micheals always has tons of Christmas decor well before the holiday season. Unfortunately, it can be a bit pricey – but the trick is to watch for BOGO deals or 40% off coupons. 
  • Target – Target often has some lovely Christmas goodies and if you’re looking for a deal check out the dollar spot.
  • Etsy – Great for homemade items, Etsy also has a lot of inexpensive options as well. Look for printables and also ornament especially. 
  • HomeGoods/Homesense – Always good for unique, almost one-of-a-kind pieces, HomeSense and HomeGoods are a virtual treasure trove of decor for the holidays. 
  • Zulily – Also a good place to scoop up unique finds. Just order well in advance to account for the sometimes long shipping times. 
  • Walmart – Walmart has really upped its decor game in recent years. And while I’m waiting for the Canadian stores to catch up to the U.S. stores for everyday home decor, there is good Christmas decor to be found. 
  • Home Depot and Lowe’s – Two of the first big box stores to embrace trendy Christmas decor, they’ve kept up fairly well with pretty things. 
  • Loblaw’s/Real Canadian Superstore – This is just a Canadian thing, but there are some really fun holiday decor finds to be had in this giant grocery chain. 
  • Hobby Lobby and Joann’s – Entirely U.S.-based Hobby Lobby and Joann’s are also filled with beautiful holiday decor. Shop early and shop sales to find great stuff at a great price too. 

7 Ways to Stretch Your Christmas Decor Budget

Of course, you can always stretch your budget too by following a few simple tips:

  • Reuse what you already own year after year. You can use pieces in the same places or move them around to different rooms. 
  • Look outside and find decor in nature. We have almost no yard, but we still get dogwood branches and birch logs that can be used year after year for a hint of nature in our decor. Pine cones are also easy to find. And if you have cedar bushes even small clippings brought indoors smell great!
  • Get creative and use things differently – use crates to lift smaller trees and decor, hang dried orange slices on a string on the mantel or place them with other greenery as ornaments on the tree. 
  • Make your ornaments and tree decor. There are so many different types of ornaments you can make. Ball ornaments are super easy to fill with different things to go with your colors and theme. 
  • Make paper or fabric banners or garlands and hand them on mantels, banisters, or trees.
  • Repurpose winter things as decor: sleds, snowshoes, skates, etc. Tuck them into planters or centerpieces. Or hang them on the wall for a little holiday festivity. 
  • Swap holiday decor with friends either permanently or just for this year. This is a win-win because you both get something for free!
2022 HML Christmas Tree

21 Cheap Christmas Decor Ideas

Use them all or just choose a few of these cheap Christmas decor ideas. 

Clip Natural Elements from Your Yard

If you’ve got a yard that’s bigger than a postage stamp, this is the cheapest way to bring in some Christmas cheer. Clip cedar or other evergreen branches. Collect pine cones. Trim dogwood or other branches to tuck into planters or centerpieces. 

Dollar Store Decor

While a lot of dollar store decor can be junky or ugly, there are a few cheap but nice-looking treasures to be found. Stick to the basics like gift boxes, ribbons, and plain greenery. 

Decorate with Wrapped Gifts

By coordinating your gift wrap with your color scheme or decor theme, you can easily add more to your decor with wrapped presents under the tree. 

Pillows & Throws

Another great way to inject some holiday cheer into your decor is to swap out your throw pillow covers and throw blankets. You can either go super-themed (like Santas and trees) or more subtle (with cable knits and furs). 

Use Sheets as A Tree Skirt

If you don’t have the dollars to spend on a tree skirt or tree collar, try wrapping the base of your tree skirt with a spare sheet. You can even use an old one that’s damaged (by wrapping it so the damaged portion is hidden) or one that you’ve picked up for cheap at the thrift store! 


Set up a Hot Cocoa/Coffee Bar

If you’ve got a lone buffet or hutch with the space, put out a spread of holiday hot chocolate. Put hot chocolate, marshmallows, and cinnamon sticks in pretty jars next to a kettle and some mugs for a really simple version. 

Paper Snowflakes

Most of us probably remember cutting a bunch of little pieces out of folded paper to make paper snowflakes when we were in grade school. You can still do this as an adult, or with your kids. Choose simple white printer paper (maybe from the dollar store) or colored construction or scrapbook paper to match your color scheme. Then hang the snowflakes from fishing line or jute. 

Floating Candles

Floating candles are easy to make. You can even make them from tea lights, by removing the metal holder before placing the candle into a jar of water with cranberries and a sprig of rosemary. Or if that’s beyond your budget, grab a cheap garland from the dollar store and pull a spring or two off of that to float in your water!  

mason jar floating candles

Gingerbread House

You can make a simple gingerbread house or village with a kit or even with some cardboard (as the gingerbread) and white glue (as the icing)! 

Christmas Balls in a Bowl

This easy-peasy decor is a beautiful way to extend your decor theme, displayed on a shelf or a table. 

Handmade Ornaments

There are so many ornaments you can make yourself to decorate your tree with. You can even hang them from door knobs or tuck them into wreaths or garlands. Try our favorite:

Cheap Ball Ornaments

In addition to the ornaments above, you can also fill cheap clear plastic ball ornaments with all manner of holiday things.


While I’m not a huge fan of bows in Christmas decorating, sometimes ribbon is one of the cheapest ways to inject color into your Christmas decor. Look for BOGO sales at Micheals or other craft stores or try Amazon for specific colors. 

String Lights

String lights and twinkle lights are a holiday decorator’s dream. Added to mantels, railings, trees, and even centerpieces, string lights are all holiday magic!

Merry Christmas Banner 

Declaring Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays in your decor is a super obvious, but cheap and easy way to add a little cheer to your decor. Check out our free Christmas banner letters here. 

Pine Cone Ornaments

Easy to make with just a pine cone and some string, these can be hung on the tree, on the mantel, or tucked into a wreath. 

advent scripture cards strung on mantel with orange slices, bells and pompoms

Dried Orange Garland or Ornaments

Dried oranges are another easy and economical winter/holiday decor craft that anyone can make. Here’s how to make dried orange slices

Advent Cards

Try decorating with some Advent scripture cards or Advent activity cards.

Salt Dough Ornaments

Although I mentioned these salt dough ornaments above with the other homemade ornaments, I felt they should be mentioned again. We made ours about 15 years ago now and they’re still going strong! We just store them in a Ziploc bag with our other ornaments all year!

Pom-Pom Garlands

Yet another crazy simple craft to make, pom-pom garlands can be hung on the mantel (my favorite), on the railing, or even on the Christmas tree. Find out how to make pom-pom garlands in this post. 

Make Your Own Snow Globes

Snow globes can be a fun craft for the whole family – and they needn’t be filled with water either! Use snow globes meant for crafting or even just a lowly mason jar. Glue some little decor to the lid and add some fake snow (even Epsom salts or salt will work). And voila! Homemade snow globe decor. 

I hope these ideas – while not an exhaustive list – will spark some ideas of your own. Christmas and holiday decor doesn’t have to break the bank. Think creatively and you can have a beautifully decorated home for the holidays without spending an arm and a leg!