Monday, December 10, 2012

Creating Home on a PW Budget

Hi Ladies!

I’m taking a fun spin on today's post in light of the season. As PW’s we do a lot of hosting and entertaining during the Holidays… church staff Christmas parties, women’s ministry gatherings, family sleepovers and more. I’m sure we all love to make our house feel warm and welcoming. The only obstacle is that decorating is expensive! Many of us are on very conservative budgets, so in order to warm up a home for the holidays creativity is key [which is wonderful in my book!]. I’ve been getting crafty on pennies around here, so I thought I’d share six fun ways to decorate your home FOR $5 OR LESS.


1. Make it a white Christmas! ($5)
I grew up in California, and it never snowed on Christmas. But I’ll never forget being amazed at trees that had faux snow. I thought they were so beautiful! It was always my childhood dream to have a snowy tree. And guess what! This is the first year that I got a snowy tree!! I know many tree lots provide flocking, but a few years back someone gifted us with a fake Christmas tree and it’s been a faithful money saver every year since. This year, I decided to add my own snow for a whimsical feel. Turns out, faux snow is fairly cheap.

How To: Buy a $5 bag of faux snow at your local craft store (I got mine at Michaels). I used the kind that looks like pillow stuffing. Spread the "snow" along the tops of your tree branches. It goes a LONG way, so you could make your whole house a white Christmas if you please!

2. Hang a plain wreath for a simple, modern touch ($5).
Sometimes less is more. The hubby and I like to keep things pretty simple around here with our décor, so this idea was perfect for our pallet. I found these $2 wreaths in a bin at my local craft store (Michaels again) and grabbed a roll of ribbon (in blue since that’s our regular home decor color).

How to: String the ribbon in front of a window, on your existing curtain rod. Then loop it through the wreath and tie a double knot, leaving a little extra ribbon to hang for the look of “tails”. You can't tell in this picture, but my ribbon tails are hanging in the center of the wreaths. Simple and cheap!

3. Print a FREE banner with whatever saying you'd like ($1).
Banner ideas are all over the Internet now a days. I’ve wanted to make one for over a year. I finally found this great website with free printable banner letters. Perfect for adding a little something festive. Did I mention they’re FREE! (If you don’t already have supplies on hand, the entire project could cost just a few bucks at the dollar store. I bought a pack of 38 clothespins for $1, which was my total cost of this project!)

How to: Pick a saying such as “Joy to the World” or “Peace on Earth” or “Merry Christmas”. Go to this website and print your free letters from home on regular printer paper. Cut them out. Then grab cardstock or scrapbook paper (from the dollar store if you don’t have any on hand) in the color of your choice. This will be a nice backing for your white paper triangles (I chose ivory). Then clip on some clothespins and string twine through the little metal coils on the pins. Hang wherever you’d like!

4. Make your own ornaments for less than $3
I found a whole bag of these glitter pinecones at my local craft store for $2.49. And they're cinnamon scent! I thought that was a steal so I grabbed them to decorate my tree. I cut small pieces of twine I already had (you could use any ribbon or string) and hot glued loops on top to hang them from our tree branches. Simple, pretty, and cheap!

5. Assemble a quick, FREE centerpiece.
Here’s an easy one that doesn’t take much time! Grab a glass vase from somewhere in the house. Then steal a few bulbs from your tree. Fill the vase for a quick and easy centerpiece!
6. Keep Jesus at the center with a free nativity!
Google search ”Nativity Silhouette”. Choose one you like. Print it from home. Cut it out and tape it above a mantle, or on a window sill. Tip: string garland just below it on the sill or mantel for a more complete look. Bonus Tip: if you don't have the budget for fresh garland, stop by your local tree lot. They often cut branches from trees and have a big pile of beautiful tree limbs. The owners may be happy to have you help them "clean up" by taking a few off their hands. Pick a few full limbs and make your own fresh garland for FREE! 

And there you have it… six ways to warm up your home for Christmas on a Pastor’s Wife’s budget. And bonus, you can get the kiddos to help on some of the projects too!

Merry CHRISTmas and happy creativity,

Monique Zackery

Monique is a Northern California Pastor's wife. When she isn't glueing her fingers together in a D.I.Y. project, you can find her worshiping God through music and everyday life.  Above all, she desires to be an arrow, pointing others to Jesus. To learn more about Monique, you can visit her family ministry blog at


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Mary! P.S. Miss ya! P.S.S. congrats on the little one!

  2. Love these ideas, Monique! $5 and under -- how cool is that? Your home is beautiful! Makes me want to visit you on the West Coast all the more...

    1. Thanks, Carla! And YES, come visit! :) Our house is itty-bitty, but we LOVE it and we're blessed to entertain often! :) I once read a Max Lucado quote: "To the lonely heart, your small house is a castle." It really impacted me, so our doors are regularly open to host family & friends. It's a blessing. So... come on over!

    2. I love the idea about the nativity silhouette. I enjoyed reading this!

    3. Hi Ladyfele! So glad you enjoy the read. It's always a pleasure to have you in The Garden. :) Merry Christmas & God bless.


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