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Frugal Christmas Decorating Ideaas: Paper Garland, Popcorn & Cranberry Garland, Snowflakes & Ribbons

Published by Jeffrey Plumley

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For frugal Christmas decorating ideas, search your childhood memory bank and reuse the special Christmas decorating techniques that have been around for years. These decorations give a festive touch and are especially fun if you can make them with a child.

Paper Garland

Paper garland is simple to make. Cut strips of construction paper about an inch wide and four inches long. Join the two ends to form a circle and staple closed. Then loop each successive piece onto the piece before, creating a chain. The garland can be made as long or as short as you need it.

Make this garland festive by using every color construction paper available. Or, stick to a color theme, using all red and green, or any color combination that appeals to you and your family. An alternative idea is to make several chains, each in a single color.

Popcorn and Cranberry Garlands

A festive garland that is inexpensive, though somewhat time consuming to make, is the traditional popcorn and cranberry garland. You will need a needle, strong thread, a bag of popcorn and a bag of fresh cranberries. Pop a large bowl of plain popcorn. If you can, use an air popper so the popcorn will not be coated with flavorings. String the popcorn and cranberries onto the thread with the needle.

You can string one piece of popcorn, then one cranberry and continue alternating. Or, you can get creative and use a different, repeating pattern.

Paper Snowflakes

Paper snowflakes are fun for children and adults to make. Use unlined, white paper. Fold the paper diagonally, creating a triangle that will unfold into a square. Cut off the extra piece at the bottom. Fold the square in half diagonally several times. Once folded, cut out small shapes from each side. Carefully unfold the paper. Each snowflake will be unique, just like real snowflakes.

To hang your snowflakes on a Christmas tree, use a hole punch to punch a hole in one end. Thread a ribbon through the hole.


Tie ribbons into bows at the end of several, random branches to add inexpensive color to a Christmas tree that is lacking in ornaments. Use traditional Christmas colors like red and green, or, for a more elegant look, use silver and gold ribbons.

Check craft stores for sales on ribbon and you may be able to find some very luxurious looking ribbon at a reduced price. After the Christmas season is over, look for holiday ribbons at clearance prices to save for next year.

Holiday decorating doesn’t have to be expensive to be festive and fun. Recreate the easy, fun Christmas decorations from your childhood. Paper garlands, popcorn and cranberry garlands, paper snowflakes and ribbons all add a beautiful, homemade touch to any Christmas tree.

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