How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap

Recent realization:  I thought I was a pretty easygoing person until I started letting our 4 year-old bake cookies and hang ornaments on the Christmas tree. I might have rearranged the cluster of glass balls Olivia stuck on the branches, but I’m still finding flour and sprinkles all over our kitchen.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

Honestly, if I wasn’t joining up with Ashley from Cherished Bliss and some of my blogger friends for a Christmas tree tour today, I might have just left our lopsided tree exactly the way it was. “Imperfection”, when created proudly by a child, is absolutely perfect in its own way.

But here it is all symmetrical and grown-up like.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

If you’re visiting from Nina Hendrick Design, welcome! I’m so glad to have you here!

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

The holidays officially in full swing at our house. So far, I’ve already shared our Christmas entryway, DIY tabletop trees, St. Lucia Day inspired sweets table, Christmas gift guide, and holiday hot cocoa bar.

I usually try to come up with ways to decorate our house for Christmas as inexpensively as possible (without it actually looking cheap), so here are a few tricks I used this time around. (You can find more thrifty decor ideas here too.)

  1. Print family photos to use as ornaments.

We really didn’t change up our tree very much from last year. I love carrying our tradition of nestling black and white photos of some of our favorite family memories among the branches. When Robert, Olivia, and I dance around our living room decorating to our Michael Buble Christmas CD, it’s one of my favorite ways to look back at our years together.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

Our photos are nothing glamorous, just pieces of cardstock printed in black and white from our computer and tied up with twine. But they’re those important reminders that the presents under the tree don’t matter nearly as much as the friends and family in our lives who make Christmas worth celebrating together.

Sticking to sentimental decor is always my favorite. Nothing at a store could ever buy that.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

2. Stick to classic garland.

We use wooden cranberry garland pretty much every year because it will never really go out of style. If we want to change up our tree’s look from year to year without breaking the bank, we switch out our ribbon. This year, we decided on this pretty burlap net wired ribbon to add some texture.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

christmas tree (3 of 8)

3. Utilize dollar store ornaments.

I love using simple dollar store ornaments and personalizing them with paint or Mod Podge. My favorites are these that we wrapped with sheet music scraps and twine. (We get extra craft happy this time of year.)

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

4. Have fun with gift wrap.

A lot of times, I wrap our presents in inexpensive shipping paper and add fun ribbon that I’ve saved from previous years. I usually add color with just a couple of boxes wrapped in the pricier paper instead of all of our gifts to break up the patterns.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

And in lieu of a tree skirt to make it a little rustic, we use our barrel planter that usually doubles as an outdoor end table on our patio in the spring through fall.

Next week, I’ll be showing off more of our living room, which has been a super big deal for me this year since I finally have a mantel I can decorate without a giant TV above the fireplace! It’s the little things, ya know. I live a boring life. 😉

If you want to know any of our tree sources, here’s the full list: (Some affiliate links are provided below for convenience. For more info, see my full disclosure here.)

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

The next stop on the Christmas tree tour is Setting for Four. Heather is always the queen of glamorous Christmas ideas.

How to Decorate a Designer Christmas Tree on the Cheap | blesserhouse.com - How to decorate a christmas tree like a designer with these money-saving tips, plus tree decorating ideas from eight other home decor bloggers.

If you want to start the tree tour from the very beginning to get lots of decorating ideas, you can start from the very beginning over at Cherished Bliss.

Have you already decorated your tree at your house? Do you have any money-saving tree decorating tricks you use? Or a little one who clusters all of your ornaments on your lower branches? Now that I’ve photographed our tree, Olivia has already redecorated it her way… as it should be. 😉

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21 Comments

  1. Love seeing your home at the holidays! Beautiful 🙂 Question for you: This will be my first year using a basket as a tree skirt alternative and I’ve run in to a little problem that I’m hoping you can help me with! Even with a basket that is too large (in my opinion), the tree stand won’t fit in it! Are there any pointers you can offer?

    1. Oh no! You could try to find a different tree stand instead maybe? I wouldn’t suggest wedging it in and just hoping for the best. That might be a recipe for disaster.

  2. Happy Holidays, Lauren! Wow, your tree looks fantastic, as does the festive playroom and dining room. It all makes me want to dance along with you, Robert, and Olivia. Cheers, Ardith

  3. It all looks beautiful Lauren! I am always amazed at how you are able to take inexpensive things and make them look expensive. That is such a gift! Thank you for sharing all your great ideas with us! I was wondering about Lola’s stocking…did you or someone you know make it? If not, where did you get it? I love it!

    1. Thank you, Becky! That’s probably the best compliment ever. 🙂 For all of our stockings, I got them on this Etsy shop: http://rstyle.me/n/b82qqab5ky7 I bought them two years ago and they were way more expensive than I wanted to spend, but I plan on them to last for many years.

  4. Love, love, love your Christmas tree and Christmas decor and ideas! Thank you for sharing! Looking forward to seeing more Christmas decor posts…..

  5. It looks super cozy and I like the idea of hanging photos on the tree, very cute! I put a small Christmas tree into each of my girls rooms this year and they decorated away and got their own style… and I get to have mine in the living room, hehe…. Have a nice day!

    1. Aw that is so sweet! My mom always let me decorate and plan my own Christmas tree decor. Little did she know, she created a monster. So who knows, maybe one of them will be a decorator by profession one day. 🙂

  6. Beautiful! I love the basket with the chalkboard label that is beside the tree! Do you remember where it came from?

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