During her first Christmas season with an empty bank account, Maria Reed turned a handful of pinecones, a tiny bit of glue and quality family time into one of her family’s most treasured memories.
With no extra money, and while staying at her sister’s home, the Reed family searched all over the property for pinecones to craft into handmade ornaments. Instead of extravagant gifts, they gave family and friends a present from the heart.
Fifteen years later, crafting together is a family staple. And the seasoned Army spouse and DIY diva has become the queen of making something out of nothing. When Reed left her six-figure career in film production to marry a military man, she began to get creative with stretching the family dollar on a single salary.
So if you find holiday spirit in short supply (along with an excess of funds), Reed shares her tips for how to decorate on a dime.
“Decorating brings joy. Joy is life,” Reed said.
Here are Maria’s tips for designing and decorating on a dime:
- Make it. Whip up a quick craft with these snowflakes. Grab a handful of clothes pins and some hot glue for a winter wonderland. Don’t want glue? Snag some paper bags and a pair of scissors for these super cute ornaments on the fly.
- Thrift it. Not a crafter? No problem. Run to your local thrift store and grab an artificial tree (or a few). Next, buy a few 99-cent snow cans to make some flocked trees. Ready. Aim. Spray. You’ll have your home looking like a snowy retreat in no time.
- Flip it. Brave the jungle of your garage to find all those moving boxes. With some inexpensive wrapping paper, a smidge of tape and a handful of rocks or bags of sand, you’ll have a showstopping set of “presents” to bring a bit of whimsey to any front lawn.
- Stitch it. Well, sort of. Grab an embroidery hoop and some old uniforms. Snip a few pieces and snap the hoop in place. All done! No-sew handmade uniform ornaments are perfect for family and friends.
- Style it. With a handful of ordinary household items, or even a few toss aways from your local hardware store, you can put together some pretty Pinterest-worthy pieces. This garland was made from a handful of bay leaves, a bag of apples, some cinnamon sticks, and dried oranges. The skis are picket fence posts discarded by a local home store. Get creative.
Whether snapping together some simple garland, putting up a few ornaments, or even showcasing some sprigs of greenery, a pop of color really does do wonders. And, when the cheer is running low, it doesn’t take a ton of money or fancy gifts to raise the bar.
In the long run, it’s the moments that matter and how we spend the time together.
“The magic isn’t in the making,” Reed said. “In fact, it’s in the memories.”Read comments