Instant Glamour on a Military Budget

Military families are some of the most budget-conscious people I've ever met. Some of the most creative, too. Holiday decorating doesn't have to be a budget-busting exercise. You can spruce up your place for very little cost and/or make inexpensive, one-of-a-kind gifts to give to your friends and family members. I thought I would share a few easy, inexpensive ways to dress up the house with some Holiday cheer.

Take a basket, glass bowl or anything else you can fill. Grab some lights, pine combs and ornaments, intertwine the lights among the ornaments and you have some instant glamour that costs next to nothing.



The clear glass balls don't photograph well, but they do look beautiful with the white lights. I also have two baskets shaped like sleighs that I've stuffed with lights and ornaments. You can use just about anything.

Buy two glass blocks at your local Home Depot or Lowe's, place a strand of lights between them. Drill a hole large enough to get the lights through so you can plug them into the electrical outlet. Note: Requires a special drill bit to drill through glass. Have a professional do this if you're not comfortable or experienced in mixing power tools and glass. Use proper caution and follow the instructions that come with your glass drill bit.


Top off with ribbon of your choosing (pull tightly to secure the blocks together and use wide ribbon) and you will have a beautiful piece of art for very little money.



A photo of my "cheap yet festive" ensemble:


Buy some tinsel, foil paper and styrofoam or wood blocks. Cut tinsel into little strips, glue or stick into styrofoam or wood base, shape tinsel strips into a tree shape. When done, wrap base with foil and you have some beautiful little Christmas trees to sit around the house.


If you have patience, time and live near a wooded area where you can gather the round mini-pine combs, buy a tree/topiary-shaped base and attach rows of ball-shaped pine combs and then spray a glittery gold or silver. Buy bases in various sizes and create your own beautiful indoor Christmas tree farm.


I have no idea how to do this, I'm not that handy. But it appears that you would have to make a tree-shaped base out of wire, then add beads to the wire.


When you've beaded the tree (which looks to be a time-consuming task) you simply stick a strand of lights in the base. This little tree is one of my favorite Christmas decorations because my mother (who is much handier than I) gave this to me. I've had it for ten years and I smile every year when it comes out of the box. I always use this tree in the guest bathroom. Again, the clear beads don't photograph well, but they glow beautifully.

A cool idea for holiday gift giving is something you can make yourself. Buy a set of wine glasses and add your own art. Make sure you use paint that is made for glass and can withstand heat from the dishwasher. Give as a gift and someone will have a set of wine glasses made especially for them, by you.


All of the items above can be made for yourself, or you can make them to give as gifts. I love receiving creative, homemade gifts. They always make great conversation pieces and remind me of the person who gave them to me.

If you have creative and inexpensive ideas for holiday decorations or gift ideas, share them with us in the comment section. Send me a photo of your creation or favorite decoration and I'll post the photos on SpouseBUZZ in the coming days.

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