I’ve been hemming and hawing a bit about my outside Christmas decorations this year. I really didn’t want to spend any money on them and usually I spend well over $100 on pretty evergreens to fill my planters. So initially I was thinking I would just skip the outside stuff this time around.
I’ve got to be honest and admit that part of the problem is my tendency to compare myself to other bloggers. I have been admiring all of the gorgeous decorating that some of the other bloggers out there are doing, and I really didn’t think I could measure up on my budget of $0. I really wasn’t even sure if I could measure up on my $100+ budget.
So the insecure defeatist inside of me decided to give up before I even started.
But then last weekend we had a bright and sunny (albeit a bit chilly) Saturday and I decided to at least put the twig lights up in my front window box. Once those were in place I thought, what the heck, I could certainly fill the window box with a few of the bazillion dried hydrangea flowers that were still on my bushes. Once those were in place I could see that the arrangement desperately needed at least a bit of evergreen, so I clipped some random clumps from my arborvitae hedge and threw those in.
And guess what? For a cost of $0 it looked pretty good. At that point I was on a roll. Why not go ahead and do the planter by the back door too?
I used some birch logs and some rusty metal ornaments that I already had, plus the same arborvitae and dried hydrangeas from my garden.
Next why not do the galvanized boiler planter on the side of the carriage house too?!
While working on that one I remembered the old pair of snow shoes that my neighbor, nnK, dug out of a dumpster for me.
What? Don’t your neighbors bring you treasures from the trash?
I wasn’t quite sure what I would do with those when she first brought them over, but I realized they would fit perfectly in this planter.
I just tucked them in the back behind the evergreens.
And then I added some hydrangea. As the crowning touch (pardon the pun), I tossed in a metal crown that usually sits in the garden.
It feels like the planter is positively bursting with stuff, all of which cost me again, $0.
But wait, there’s more!
While I was digging around in the carriage house for stuff I could use, I came across an old fake Christmas tree that was also being discarded when I grabbed it (so again, $0). I’ve always thought it would be fun to have a Christmas tree out in the garden, but I’d never gotten around to putting it up before.
Up it went.
I added a string of white lights that I already had on hand, and then I decorated it from the garden.
In addition to the dried hydrangeas, I also used dried allium flower heads as well as some curly willow branches.
Then I tucked in things like this watering can …
and a vintage kid sized shovel. Just fun vintage garden stuff that I already had on hand.
I placed the tree so that it’s perfectly centered outside the bay window in my piano room, just behind Cossetta, my statue. I love the way the tree looks lit up at night just outside the window. I think it will be even prettier when we get a bit of snow.
For spending $0, I think I did pretty good. I’ve definitely proven that you don’t have to spend a bunch of money to decorate for the holidays. I realize that not everyone has loads of dried flowers to harvest, or a spare faux Christmas tree lying around somewhere. But today when everyone else is out spending a gazillion dollars, I hope I’ve inspired you to think about using whatever you already have in a new way and decorating for free this Christmas!