How to Decorate Outdoors for Christmas on a Budget

Published: one year ago, Last Updated: 7 months ago
Daniel Brown
Writer: Daniel Brown

Almost everyone can agree that the holidays are the most wonderful time of the year. Nonetheless, from buying Christmas presents to spending money on decorations, it can also be the most expensive time of the year. 

Fortunately, if you’re on a budget, you don’t have to give up on outdoor Christmas decorations to avoid overspending. Instead, you can create your own DIY outdoor Christmas decorations from inexpensive materials you may already have or find good deals from affordable stores. That said, this blog will share how to decorate outdoors for Christmas on a budget.

When it comes to DIY-ing your ornaments, hot glue tinsels and extra materials are your go-to. For example, if you have cookie cutters in your pantry that you don’t use anymore, in addition to leftover Christmas scrapbook paper and colored ribbons, you could DIY your own cookie cutter ornaments. Even if you don’t have these materials lying around in your house, it may cost you no more than $15. But remember, you could always repurpose the leftover materials to make sure nothing goes to waste.

Close up on hands holding homemade holiday ornament

After gathering your cookie cutter, glue, scrapbook paper, and ribbons, cut your piece into the shape of your cutter. Next, make a hole in your cookie cutter to insert your ribbon. Then, add glue to the edge of the cookie cutter and press down onto the paper. Let it dry for a couple of hours, and trim the edges if necessary. Finally, pick your ribbon, tie a knot in one end and pull through the hole.

Be careful in all stages when DIY-ing to avoid breaking your material or burning yourself with glue! You can hang your ornaments on your front door, the eaves of your house, or around your patio.

Hanging Snowflakes

Another way to decorate for Christmas on a budget is with plastic snowflakes. Plastic snowflakes are relatively inexpensive and easy to find at dollar stores or mass retailers. For example, 50 pieces of snowflakes may cost around $10. If you also want to add a special touch to your snowflakes, you could spray paint them with colors of your choice or cover them with glitter to make them look more expensive. When finished, you could hang them around your patio with twine or repurpose the ribbon you used for your cookie cutter ornaments.

Seasonal Bows

Another element that you need to have on your affordable outdoor Christmas decorations list is seasonal bows. While shopping at the dollar store or your local craft store, you may also notice seasonal bows in festive colors. Depending on the size of the bow, the price can range from $2 to $7, making them a great home decorating idea on a budget. You could use these ribbons to decorate your wreaths, place them on your patio, or stick them around your planter to create an instant Christmas spirit.


Garland is a versatile go-to Christmas decoration that can make almost anything look more festive. In addition, they come in various designs and colors, such as already adorned with lights and pinecones or green and red. Nonetheless, you could always purchase a simple garland and decorate it yourself. A piece typically costs around $20. You can use your garland to drape them over doorways, staircases, windowsills, or anywhere else to bring a festive look to your outdoors.


Even though lanterns may cost more than the other options and isn’t in the cheap outdoor Christmas decorations list, they can add a festive flair to your landscaping. You can place them in dark corners, along your walkway, or on each stair leading to your porch. You could also repurpose your bows and ornaments to make your lanterns more Christmassy. The price of plain and simple lanterns starts at around $12.

Unadorned Wreaths

When shopping for plastic snowflakes, you may also find unadorned wreaths that are also reasonably inexpensive, up to $10 to $15 per piece. In addition, plain wreaths allow you to unleash your creativity and decorate them according to your taste. 

Overhead view of child decorating holiday wreath

For instance, you can decorate them with burlap, pinecones, or (DIY) Christmas ornaments with a hot glue gun. This is a fun and creative craft project to quickly decorate doors and windows. If you decide to decorate them with pinecones, consider planning a fun trip into the woods with friends or family to gather cones under fir trees for free.

DIY Luminaries

If you don’t want to spend on lanterns but want to light up the pathway of your house, you could always DIY your own Christmas luminaries. DIY luminaries make a perfect outdoor Christmas decoration on a budget, as chances are you already have the required materials in your home. All you need are brown and white paper bags, a pen, and scissors. 

In this DIY project, you could also use your cookie cutters to draw and cut some shapes on your bag. After cutting out your shape, insert the white paper bag into the brown one. You could also use any color you want instead of the white bag to make your design pop. Finally, fill each bag with a couple of cups of sand and add a votive candle. You could also use flameless LED votive candles for extra security.

If you have some extra shallow bowls in your house, you could also consider placing them along your pathways with tea-light candles floating in them and some flower petals. Also, if you have some essential oils in your house, consider adding them to the melting wax to turn them into scented candles. Cinnamon, frankincense, myrrh, and pine are traditional holiday fragrances that bring the spirit of Christmas joy into your house.

Upcycled Bottle Lights

If you enjoy a bottle of beer from time to time or know family or friends that do, you can repurpose the glass bottles for your outdoor Christmas decorations instead of tossing them into the recycling bin. Upcycling is a great backyard garden idea, as it also helps you save money. 

After thoroughly cleaning the bottles, gently rip off the labels and stuff some holiday lights until they are filled. Continue doing this until you have filled all the bottles. You could also spray glitter on the bottles for added Christmas spirit. Finally, you can set your Christmassy beer bottles along your sidewalk or up your porch steps. You may find small Christmas lights for under $5 at your local dollar store.

Sum Up

By giving new purpose to everyday items and knowing where to shop, you can decorate outdoors for Christmas on a budget. These eight inexpensive Christmas decoration ideas will surely bring joy to your household without breaking the bank. Additionally, you can turn each DIY project into a fun craft project with your family that will increase their happiness! Lastly, consider preserving your Christmas decorations, as you can always reuse them the following year, helping you save a few bucks in the long run.  

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