Budget Christmas Decorating: Clearance Challenge

By Susan Young | Decorating on a Budget

Dollar General Christmas decor

Out of budget this Christmas to decorate your home? Have no fear! See how I succeeded at some budget Christmas decorating and crafting with a few clearance items that I found! You'll never believe what I created...

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$15 Top Shelf Clearance Challenge

Note to the Reader: My blogger friends and I (their blogs are listed at the bottom of the post),decided to continue our clearance challenge from Fall into the holiday season.  As a reminder, our challenge was to spend no more than $15, on a clearance item(s), and then incorporate the items into our home's decorating. Since I love budget decorating, this was right up my alley. Luckily I found some items right away that I knew would work with this challenge. Here we go!

Budget Christmas Decorating: From Fall Clearance Items

I know what you're thinking. How on earth do I find a clearance Christmas item when Christmas stuff doesn't usually get put on clearance until after the season is over? Well, I was fortunate enough to spot some items in November in the Fall clearance that I knew could work well for my budget Christmas decor. I just had to use some creativity. And you can too! First, I found this item at JoAnn Fabric in the very back of the store on November 15. Normally I don't make it to the back of the store, but in this case, I did:

clearance home decor

This mid-century modern looking clip frame was originally $9.99. It was on sale for 70% off ($2.97), plus an extra 20% off of that price as a clearance item, so I got it for close to $2.

Next, I headed over to Dollar General, and was surprised to find all of these goodies on sale for 50 percent off. I wasn't interested in anything too harvest-looking, but could see potential in the items below: 

clearance Christmas decor

To me, these didn't necessarily scream Fall. I knew that they were glam enough to incorporate into my home for Christmas with a few tweaks. And they matched with my colorful living room decor. A score at 50% off Dollar General's already reasonable  home decor prices!

budget Christmas decorating

I found this green basket and thought the leaf decal could easily be removed. In addition, the galvanized bucket decal would work for a Christmas craft. I got both of these for around $1.

Christmas Crafting with my Clearance Loot

I stored my clearance items away until after Thanksgiving (because I don't start Christmas decorating before then), and almost forgot where I put them when it came time to write this post! Then I remembered I had them and realized I needed to get started making them into fun items for my home! I set everything out on the floor of my new home office on Sunday afternoon and got to work:

Dollar General Christmas decor

These were the items purchased for $5 at Dollar General for my budget Christmas decorating.

Budget Christmas Craft #1: Galvanized Bucket

For my first craft, I used the galvanized bucket and the blue ribbon. The blue ribbon matched many things I already owned in my home so it was perfect. As you can see, the leaf decal pulled right off of the bucket.

budget Christmas decor

I didn't even need to use any effort to peel off this pumpkin and leaf decal!

I decided to add some blue ribbon around the bucket with hot glue. Next, I cut another piece of ribbon in half lengthwise to make a little bow, which I glued on the front. Then, I found some silver pine cones I had painted for a Fall project and added them to the bucket.

galvanized bucket with pinecones

Okay, my bow isn't the best on this one, but who cares? I still think it's cute and now transformed!

Budget Christmas Craft #2: Storage Basket

I knew that I could always use a storage basket, so I was excited for this project. First, I successfully peeled off the leaf design on the front of the basket:

green basket- Christmas crafting

As you can see, the leaf just peeled off of this, leaving me with a blank slate on this green basket.

Next, I added some ribbon that I had left over from a wreath project that I did earlier in the week. I kept it simple and just lined the edge of the basket and hot glued it into place.

storage basket - Christmas decor

You know, I really like the simplicity of this basket. The ribbon reminded me of a sweater.

Budget Christmas Decor Craft #3: Floral Arrangement

For the three colorful flowers, I immediately knew they needed to be the stand-out of the display. I thought about putting them on my tree because they matched my living room colors.  But I wanted to create something more special. So I decided to use a vessel I already had in my living room but wasn't currently using, and make a fresh arrangement. I headed out to my backyard to cut some fresh greenery. 

Fresh greenery and flowers

This was the start of my fresh floral arrangement. I cut some overgrown stems from my backyard Arborvitae. You have to be resourceful sometimes, but most often you can find what you need on hand in your own home. This pretty vessel was not being used and perfect for my arrangement.

I ended up securing the fresh stems with some floral foam to the inside of my base. In addition, I also hot-glued the floral foam to my base so that it wouldn't  move around or knock my evergreen stems out of my vase.

DIY fresh greenery

Adding the flowers and a few pine cones I had on hand to this arrangement was all that it needed. I will have no problem keeping the greenery fresh with a few mists of water every few days.

Budget Christmas Decor #4: Reindeer on Display

Finally, I decided to create a cute decor item out of the wooden clip frame from JoAnn Fabric. I gathered my supplies: some discounted garland from Target and a glittery reindeer ornament from Dollar Tree.

DIY Reindeer frame

Really, I was inspired by some other DIY crafters online to create this reindeer craft.

DIY reindeer frame

All that it took was some hot glue and cutting the garland into a wreath and this craft was done! Also, I removed the clip as I didn't really need it. Now, where to display this cutie...

Displaying my new, budget Christmas crafts

Would you like to see how I styled these budget-friendly Christmas items in my home? I'll take you on a little tour around my house and show you:

pine cone bucket DIY

This galvanized bucket full of festive pine cones sits on my husband's bedside table.

Tea light remake

On the other side of the bed, I added the blue candle holder. All it took was removing the leaf tied around the rim and adding a sparkly tea-light to complete the look. Not even a craft!

using leftover ribbon

Notice how the ribbon on the basket matches the wreath I created? Think of ways you can reuse leftover ribbon for new projects.

DIY ribbon basket

As you can see, the basket is big enough for storing keys, power cords or even a dog's leash.

DIY reindeer

This reindeer sits in my front entryway on my antique desk, for now. He matches with the mid-century glam things in my living room.

DIY greenery arrangement

This greenery arrangement sits in an area of my living room that didn't really have anything festive, so I'm glad I found something to put there. The flowers add the perfect pop of color and the pine cones add a rustic feel which matches the couch and cushion.

A closer look at the finished floral display. No, I did not pay $35 for this at a grocery store or flower shop! It cost me $2 plus supplies I already had in the house = winning.

Time to get creative with your own budget Christmas decorating ...

I think I even amazed myself on this challenge. I literally bought the items and had no idea how I was going to make them work in my home. First, I was able to gather and think about leftover items I already had in my home. In addition, I used leftover craft items that I had saved from previous crafts and even from previous seasons. Finally, I thought about areas of my home that still needed extra Christmas spirit. What do you think of my DIY Christmas decor projects? I'd love to hear your favorite in the comments below. For more of my Christmas styling, visit my Instagram page or blog page

What else can you do with clearance items?

Be sure to visit my designer friends' blogs below, to check out the clearance items that they found, and see how they incorporated them into their Christmas decor!

Farmhouse Fun - Rustic paper mache houses

Stilettos and Shiplap: Dramatic Window Treatment

Decorate And More With Tip: Golden Entryway Display

Le Cultivateur: Glittery holiday houses

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About the Author

Susan is a Midwest mom of two and lover of all things colorful in the home. She works with homeowners to find their unique style and color palette while keeping their budgets and lifestyles in mind. You can find her hanging out on Instagram at @colorjoyinteriors or Twitter @getcolorjoy, where she shares her latest colorful projects and inspirations.

  • Cate says:

    I love what you did with your items!! Everything turned out beautiful. So many great ideas.

  • Such a lovely mix of items for all over your home. I love your creativity with these. I think my favorite is the floral arrangement because peonies but really it’s all so pretty.

  • Terrie says:

    Susan I love how you took random items from a clearance shelf and made them in beautiful home decor pieces. You amaze me girl! Thanks for sharing.

  • Emily says:

    Susan, you created so many amazing things with just $15! I am so impressed with your skills! I especially love that little gold, glittery, reindeer sign that you made! And the fresh greenery arrangement is gorgeous!! Seriously amazing!!!
    ~Emily

  • These are all so clever and creative! I love the reindeer head/wreath. Great idea!

  • Megan says:

    I love how you ask “out of budget to decorate your home”? My problem is I am out of budget to buy presents, but on the bright side, the house looks fantastic! haha!

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