Decorating on a Budget 2

I’m just a boy who helps around
The workshop and I can be found
Sawing for Joseph or shaping wood
Helping a master who’s kind and good

And now I’m here to wave goodbye
To watch them go and know that I
Am trusted to finish the table and stools
And take proper care of the carpenters tools

I have had a lot of of wonderful compliments on the Christmas Decorations here at TheMadHouse, so here are some tips for decorating on a budget.

MadDad and I have been lucky enough to build up our collection since we were married nearly 14 years ago.  We decided pretty immediately that we wanted a traditional look and would go down the mainly red, green and gold colour scheme and have stuck to it.  That is the key for me.  We have a small tree in the dinning room which the children call their tree and we put all their decorations on or around it.  They like it better this was.  The tree was our first ever tree from Agros 12 years ago in the sale!
Great places for shopping for decorations:
Great value, Scandinavian style and a little bit different.  This year I have bought a few garlands to drape over the twig lights, they are wired and only 99p each.  They look so much better in real life than the photographs.
Straw decorations  – I strung some that we purchased a couple of years ago on cotton and hung from the curtain rail.

Ikea also do great candle-bridges which are super for adding atmosphere to a room.

John Lewis
We have bought quite a lot of items from John Lewis, they tend to reduce items before Christmas. 
These santa dolls are reduced to £2.85 
You have to look, but they often have great basics such a baubles for a pound.  I fill up vases with them, to make our standard decorations look even better.  They also have gold and silver spray that you can use to decorate pine cones etc with.
Friends and Family

Often parents and grandparents have lots and lots of decorations, many more than they use, why not ask if you can look through the boxes that they havnt used this year.

This Father Christmas came from my mum, she hadn’t used it for years as it was part of a double set and it is older than me!!

Home Made

The older I get, the more sentimental I get nad I love to see the children make their own decorations, but homemade decorations do not always have to look childish.

I made our advent stockings and our personalized stocking too.

Charity Shops

I always keep an eye out on the charity shops on the lead up to Christmas as they often get some super retro decorations in.

Many, many places know down the cost of their decorations after Christmas, that is how we got our tree (Homebase for £10 in the sale 5 years ago).  So it pays to scope out and look for inspiration in these places sometimes and add them on your January hit list.  Marks and Spencer have some lovely decorations in this year, so if cash allows I will be taking a look in January.

So my basic tips are:

Still to a simple colour scheme year on year (do not follow trends)
Buy in the Sales
Ask family and freinds if they have any spare decorations they do not want
Try the supermarket for basics
Never throw any of it away
Always store it correctly in the loft or garage
Make your own – popcorn on bakers string looks fantastic
Look for pieces that will last

Lastly do not try and do it all at once or it will look overly forced.  Our decorations grow with us each year, we have ones we have purchased on our holidays to Boston, South Africa, Paris and Amsterdam.  My mum even brought us Disney ones back from her trip to the US last year.  Putting the tree up is as much fun for me reminicing about where, who and what ornemants we bought, as it is talking to the boys about them.  The tree holds a lot of precious memories, like the boys first baubles