Oh Christmas.. my favorite time of year. Snowball fights, sledding, decorating.. Except really it’s not. I don’t like the cold, the snow, and I don’t like putting up Christmas decorations.. or do I? This year, having my one year old Ivy to share Christmas with and owning our own home, has changed my perspective on holiday traditions. Especially decorating!   I realized that Christmas decorating isn’t that much different than regular decorating, just more festive.

Since Ivy makes it difficult to get much done at once, I’m working slowly through the house. And, since I am cheap, I knew I had to do most of my decorating on the cheap. Here is what I have come up with so far. (Sorry my camera skills leave much to be desired!)
Here are five simple guidelines to create your own inexpensive Christmas-y scene.
1. Use something fresh and natural
A lot of times at Christmas your fresh element is the tree, freshly chopped from the field (or picked from of the few green ones left at the market). Don’t be afraid though to bring the outside in in other ways.  I cut pieces off our evergreen bushes in front of the house and stuffed them into a clear glass vase. Voilà, instant and easy Christmas impact that is fun and a little unexpected. You could essentially bring any winter foliage inside and put it on display: pinecones, greenery off a Douglas fir, or bare twigs spray painted gold or silver. Just keep it fresh and fun!
2. Put a twist on the traditional
Putting a twist on the traditional can be done in a lot of ways. Break away from red and green and use a new color scheme; Use a mini tree instead of a full size, if you’re using an artificial tree, why not make it white, or blue, or any other color out there. For this vignette, I used a mini tree that I had bought years before when we were living in a tiny rental. It is white and pre-lit. Cute and whimsical.
3. Display in a fun way
One thing I like to collect is milk glass vases. I used them for flowers at our wedding, and I have them sitting out all over in our house. I wanted to display a bunch of these pretty green ornaments that I had. First I set a few in a ceramic bowl that a friend of mine glazed, but I wanted to display more. Cue the milk glass. I arranged three vases of varying heights and placed an ornament atop each. Here is a tip: group like objects in threes, it is more visually appealing than a group of two or four.
4. Vary the height of your display and layer objects
In the same way that I used vases of different heights, making points of interest at various heights will make your whole display more visually appealing. If all of your objects were the same height, it would look stale and somewhat boring. My tree and the cabinet it is standing on are the tallest points. The small shiny bell and tree ornament are the lowest. Even in between the high and low points the other objects are not all on one level.
By layering objects, I mean to have some things in the foreground and some in the background. In my vignette, I placed a tin wall decoration in the back, propped against the wall to act as a background. All the other items are arranged in front of it. The shiny bell and tree ornaments are furthest in the foreground. Placing objects in the foreground, background, and in between will create dimension in your display, and make it look lovely.
5. Use what you have
This really is the key to creating a eclectic and inexpensive vignette. This Christmas I didn’t buy any of the items in my display. In general, I wouldn’t say that I have a lot of Christmas decorations or display type items. But I was able to use the things I had to create a decent display. Things you already have, such as vases, evergreen boughs from outside, old ornaments, Christmas lights, interesting wall decorations, ribbon, and almost anything else, can come together to create a pretty Christmastime vignette.
 Have fun with it, and let me know what you think!