Christmas time is here! Happiness and fear! Just kidding, the lyrics are actually “happiness and cheer” but I know when the holidays roll around, it seems like stress and fatigue are my primary emotions.

On top of making sure gifts are bought and Christmas cookies are baked, making your place look like a winter wonderland might not be your top priority. But, thankfully, you have me: I love design and decor — and saving money. Read on to get lots of little tips and tricks to help turn your space into a place that would make Santa proud.

Buy After the Season

After the Christmas rush, all the stores put on major sales, sometimes as much as 90% off. You’re definitely going to want to capitalize on these sales because, although it may seem odd to buy after the holiday ended, you’re going to thank your past-self for being frugal and organized.

Repurpose What You Already Own

This can be a really fun activity and all it takes is a little bit of craftiness. One of the best ways to repurpose Christmas decorations is by spray painting old ornaments to the desired colors. You can even use masking tape as a stencil to make stripes or designs on the ornament.

Another great way to update what you already have is by flocking your old tree. Flocking is the fake snow that can be added to a Christmas tree to make it look realistic and snowy. Is there anything better than that? It creates whimsy and makes the tree look brand new. Thankfully, it can be easily done at home and there are plenty DIY articles out there that can help. You can also buy flocking kits like this one, to make that old tree look brand new.

Use Trays to Draw Your Eye In

In the design world, it’s important to have a focal point for your eyes. That’s why centerpieces on tables, or in large areas, are so important. Without them, the pieces used in the decor don’t flow, or draw your eye. A simple tray, like this one, can keep everything tight and together for a perfect centerpiece. When working with these trays, play around with different heights. Maybe you want two Nutcracker figurines anchoring each back corner of the tray, with a long, rectangular sign that says “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” in the middle, and pine cones or holly berry scattering the bottom of tray. Get creative with this one.

Shop at the Dollar Sections/Stores

As much as you might roll your eyes when you think about those discount stores and sections, they will actually become your best friend when you decorate. Don’t discredit the discounts. A lot of times, dollar stores will have cheap, fake flowers that you can use to make fabulous arrangements. You can even spray paint (noticing a trend?) these flowers to your desired colors. And, usually you can find unique little vases or boxes to put the arrangement in. What I love about this tip is you can really get creative and have fun with it. There are no rules, so you can just make them up as you go along.

Pick a Theme and Stick to it

Out of all of the tips I’ve shared, this final tip is a mantra in my life: embrace a theme. Pick something that anchors the decor and creates cohesion in the space. A theme helps you decide: silver or gold, polka dots or stripes, candy canes or gingerbread. It can honestly be a decorative lifeline. What I love about choosing a theme ahead of time is that you’re essentially creating a plan for the pieces you’re going to buy. Let’s say your Christmas theme is “whimsical winter wonderland” (how fun is it to name your theme?) and you want your primary colors to be silver and white with splashes of pastel colors as accents. It makes it that much easier to buy your ornaments, lights, and decor.If you’re not one to get the creative juices flowing, fear not. Inspiration is everywhere. Follow Pinterest accounts like this one and track what the Instagram bloggers are doing to their homes. You’ll be easily inspired to pick a fabulous Christmas theme that you will look forward to every holiday season.

AuthorLauren Cook