We all love a bit of festive cheer, and Christmas is the time for adorning your place with brash and bold decorations. But if you’d rather spend your hard-earned on presents and booze this party season, here’s how to decorate your pad on a shoestring.
It definitely wouldn’t be Christmas without the tree. And the choice here is whether you want a real or a fake one. For bargains on real firs, head to your nearest London market – you’ll find plenty at St Ely’s Yard car park, off Brick Lane, ranging from one to 12ft high and costing from about £15.
For realistic fakes try department stores like Marks & Spencer which does a 3ft tree – perfect if you live in flats – for £15. It comes in traditional green, or if you’d rather some obscene fakery, go for the pink and silver option.
If you’re after a smaller, and even cheaper faux tree, Poundland (poundland.co.uk) has some £1 trees in white as well as fibre optic ones.
Christmas lights should be sparkling inside and outside your pad. Play.com has some cool white indoor snowflake lights, £4.95, which you can weave in and out of decorations on your tree or drape up the stairs and over furniture. Hit tesco.com for some more cheap lighting, with icicle microlights, £8, star-shaped, £6.99, and lit-up holly, £3.33.
Pick up some colourful “Happy Chistmas” lights, £3.33, to hang in your hallway to welcome people in for a Christmas party. Poundstretcher also do lights from £1.99, like the ones pictured above, far right.
Candle holders for a warming winter glow are also a good way to cosy up your pad for Christmas. Dunelm has some cute ones, such as the Santa’s grotto tea light holder, £2.29, and the red cut out tea light holders, £1.49 (both pictured top, second from right).
As for outside, light up tastefully with a blue LED string for £5.99 from Xmasdirect.co.uk or you could go out in a blaze of Christmas glory with light-up solar-powered colour-changing Santas, £15.99, from Brightlightz.com. But don’t blow the power by plonking a huge Santa with his sleigh on your roof.
Now you’ve got your lights up, plaster any remaining space on your walls with all things festive. A good start, just to remind you what time of year we’re in, are knitted “XMAS” letters (below, left), £2.99 per letter from Notcutts.
If you’re in the market for some wall art, Poundland has some classy-looking pictures (that look like they’re worth more than a quid) sporting Christmassy designs including snowflakes and messages of Christmas joy. Walls and windows can also be decorated with vinyl stickers, like the white snowflake designs – £12 for 30 stickers that come in various sizes from Bouf.com (pictured above, second left).
Again, Poundland is great for cheap and cheerful decorations, like the red glittery butterfly pictured above, second right. For some silly anti-Christmas baubles for anyone fed up with festive fuss, go to Homegardenliving.co.uk for some shiny black, red pink and white decorations (pictured above left) emblazoned with phrases like “ho bloody ho”, “fill my stocking”, “merry whatever” and “Santa’s bitch”. The silly 4-bauble sets are £12.
Poundstretcher is the place to go for more cheap decorations, which start at 99p – you can get two glittering reindeer in bright blue for 99p.
Remember, if tree, lights and decorations are bright and garish, less is more. But having said that, what’s Christmas without a lashing of tinsel? The cheapest you’ll find will be in markets and supermarkets.
Given five minutes, anyone can make a paper chain from coloured paper or cut out some snowflakes to hang up. With a bit more time, you can fashion tree decorations using buttons and beads tied up with ribbon. If you’re feeling really creative, make your own snowglobe with a rounded jam jar and some dirt cheap festive cake decorations from Thecookskitchen.com (mini reindeer, christmas trees and santas are 65p). Then glue the decorations to the inside of the lid, fill the jar with water mixed with glitter and glycerin, which you can buy from the supermarket. Finally, screw on the lid and you’ve made yourself a white Christmas (sort of).