A Super Simple Secret to Festive and Frugal Christmas Decorating

Looking for a festive and frugal Christmas decorating strategy? Here’s a super simple secret that will look great in your home!

Have you ever stopped to notice exactly how beautiful everything looks at Christmas time? Lights transform ordinary nighttime sights into something magical. Bright colors bring unexpected cheer to rooms. Festive decorations brighten spaces.

But if you’re not comfortable with decorating, or if you feel less than creative, you may not know what to add to your home. And if you’re on a budget, you may just not have enough extra money to spend on festive decorations. As much as you love looking at Christmas decorations and displays in stores or other homes, you just may not be sure how to make it part of your home.

After I noticed a tasteful decorating idea in quite a few home stores and Christmas displays, I decided to try it on my own a few years ago– and I haven’t looked back.

It’s simple, resourceful, and, depending on what you already own, it’s free.

My secret to festive and frugal Christmas decorating is so super simple I’m almost embarrassed to share it.

But I will.

Looking for a festive and frugal Christmas decorating strategy? Here’s a super simple secret that will look great in your home!

My Super Simple, Festive & Frugal Christmas Decorating Secret

Once my Christmas tree is up and decorated and I know I need to add a festive pizzazz to the rest of my home, I look for what I already have – clear glass jars and containers of all shapes and sizes.

I dig out my footed trifle bowl, Mason jars, hurricane vases, and tall, wide glass cylinder vases.

Once I’ve gathered all my glass containers, I fill them with glass Christmas bulbs of all sizes and colors.

Then I place them around my home in spots that could use a little splash of color … and could look a lot merrier.

  • My trifle bowl holds red, green and silver bulbs as our dining room table centerpiece.
  • Glass vases filled with red, turquoise, lime, orange, and pink bulbs bring Christmas cheer to our mantle.
  • A huge bowl of mismatched vintage glass bulbs decorates a bookshelf.
  • And a red bowl of green glitter-coated plastic bulbs is displayed on my coffee table.

That’s it. My easiest, peasiest Christmas decorating secret of all. Fill clear glass containers with simple Christmas bulbs.

Tasteful Christmas decorating can be simple, resourceful, and, depending on what you already own, it’s free.

How to make it frugal

Decorating doesn’t have to be difficult. And it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Aside from using my collection of glass containers, this particular way of decorating is so absolutely affordable because I reuse the same bulbs year after year after year. And some of the bulbs, like my vintage ones, were passed along from my mom and grandma.

When I first tried – and loved – this decoration, I hit the stores after Christmas and stocked up on decorations priced at mega clearance prices. I have an entire plastic tote of glass bulbs that I use each year, but only paid about $10 for the entire collection. Dollar stores and thrift stores are other great places to nab ultra-cheap but cute ornaments … or glass containers.

How to make it kid-friendly

If you have children and the thought of jars filled with glass ornaments makes you shudder with baby-proofing fear, you still can use the idea.

Simply choose plastic ornaments that look exactly like glass bulbs. Put them in clear plastic containers, and you have a festive, kid-friendly decoration.

How to make it last long after Christmas

I love the simple look of glass containers filled with a collection of interesting objects, so I recycle my decorating idea throughout the year. After my Christmas decorations are stored away, I’ve filled my glass jars and bowls with:

  • Seashells
  • Buttons
  • Coffee beans
  • Polished pebbles
  • Plastic Easter eggs
  • Wine corks
  • Colorful marbles
  • Candy

Now that I’ve shared my festive and frugal decorating secret with you, you can add a tasteful touch of cheer to your home this Christmas.

With this festive and frugal decorating secret with you, you can add a tasteful touch of cheer to your home this Christmas.

What is your favorite Christmas decorating secret? What do you like to add to your home for a festive and frugal Christmas decorating touch?

Disclosure: This post originally was published Dec. 1, 2015. Links in this post may be affiliate links. This means that, at no added cost to you, I make a commission on products purchased through these links. Thank you for supporting this website!

All images courtesy of Kaboompics and Pexels.

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  1. I love this! Everything looks better in a glass jar! I do this with craft supplies and it functions as storage, decoration and inspiration too! Feathers, pom poms, sequins, buttons, rolled up paper ready to use for a collage, rocks, craft sticks, beads… The list is endless. (And that’s why I rotate the stuff). But it looks so much better and inviting than stuffing art supplies in a bin. Since I do this the kids are also cleaning up better after using the supplies.

    But I really love your idea to use for decoration only, as it contains all the pretty bits in one spot. That would also make it easier to put it away in case you have a visitor with a toddler. Way easier to lift up one glass bowl of decoration than to undo an arrangement that sits on the coffee table.

  2. I’ve been collecting glass jars for some time now….now I know why! Thx for this idea!

  3. I have several different collections of ornaments in different containers around my house. It is SO easy and colorful. I also re-use containers like you do. Over the years I’ve bought plastic apples, pine cones, twine balls, etc. Also try the different colored clear pebbles, seal glass, etc.

  4. FAKE is great! I pull out the same wreath every year (I might update the ribbon or something) and hang it on the door. Easy peasy! Or, I’ll hang a pair of ice skates with a ribbon on the door. Same with a set of “bobsled bells” I found at a flea market in NYC. Hang it and I’m Done! When guests arrive, a cheery “sleigh bell” sound greets them.

  5. Another low-budget idea–I raid my bookshelves and set up displays of Christmas-y books on our windowsills, with white lights draped around and between them. Sometimes it’s just a winter book like, The Mitten by Jan Brett, or The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, rather than a specifically Christmas book, but they all look festive together and are very kid-friendly.

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