Hella Cheap Holiday DIY Decoration Round-up

I’m from Northern California, and while I rarely bust out the “hella”, this collection of easy DIY holiday decorations can be done for so little money that it’s use as a descriptor was necessary. We’re talking major decorating for around $20 here, folks, total.

I love decorating for the holidays. My tree is silver and my ornaments are as obnoxiously colored as they can get, tending more towards hot pink, turquoise and lime green as opposed to more traditional emerald and red. Behold the tacky-

It makes me irrationally happy.


I have been amassing decorations for years, hitting after-Christmas sales in force to get the leftover awesomeness for super steep discounts. That, however, is not the cheap decorating I am talking about here. What will follow are tutorials that allow you to create a winter wonderland with tissue paper, printer paper, yarn or string, balloons, glue, cotton balls, and crap collected on a nature walk (not literal crap, unless you’re into that sort of thing). Oh! And spray paint. It wouldn’t be one of my posts if spray paint wasn’t involved somehow.

My Favorite Decoration Ever – The Poof!

One of my very firsts posts for Persephone was a tutorial for the main decorations at my wedding, the tissue paper poof, called They’re all gonna laugh at you”¦ | Persephone Magazine. There is a detailed tutorial there for this awesome, easy, and CHEAP way to spruce up any event. I have used them at baby showers, bridal showers, and birthday parties, and now I am folding some up for holiday decorations, as well. Each poof takes 8 to 10 sheets of tissue paper, but for the holiday garland I am making, I am cutting each large sheet into 4 smaller squares. Since most stores currently have scores of jumbo packs of tissue paper, you could probably make a few dozen for around $5.

Imagine these are red and green. Isn't it Christmas-y?


Cotton Ball Snow

This image has been floating around the web-

Image courtesy of Flickr

How simply beautiful is that? I made a few strands the other day while watching TV. All it takes is a pack of large cotton balls, small cotton balls, some clear thread or fishing line, and a needle. Since the cotton balls will slide around, either tie a little knot under where you want them on the line or put a little dab of glue under it. I hung them from the ceiling with push pins. I would post a picture, but that section of the house is still a work in progress and pales in comparison to the above.

Paper Ornaments and Snowflakes

There is really no cheaper decorating idea than paper snowflakes. All it takes is plain white paper and a pair of scissors. Moving on from there, you can make so many minor alterations to the basic idea that the possibilities are endless- tracing paper (great for hanging in windows to let the light through), glitter cardstock for sparkles, colored paper for matching other decorations; I could go on and on.

“But I always end up with a blob of weirdness when i make snowflakes!” you may be saying. I know this is what I used to say. Then I found this- A+ Paper Snowflake patterns for Children, Easy instructions, science classification template paper crafts | Paper Snowflakes For Young Children. – yes, I know, children’s crafts, whatever, they are awesome. You can print out the pattern for so many different snowflakes, no two in your house will be alike.

Then you can string them together and do this-

Image courtesy of

My favorite paper snowflake is this one-

It looks like it would be really tricky, but in reality it is incredibly easy. You can find a tutorial here – How to Make a Paper Snowflake | Ellinée. The one suggestion I would make is using a stapler instead of tape. As you get closer to completing the star, the pulling of the paper will often snap the tape, which is incredibly frustrating. I have found it is best to use a little heavier card stock as well.

Quite Possibly the Most Epic Snowflake Patterns Imaginable

Even if you aren’t a Star Wars fan, the sheer awesomeness that are these snowflakes cannot be denied.

O. M. G. I don't even know what to say about how amazing these are.

Tutorial here- DIY Star Wars Snowflakes | Matters of Grey.

Spray Painting Various Goodness

As we all know, spray painting things is the best. It makes even the most mundane item fabulous. I suggest going for a walk and collecting pine cones, rocks, twigs, and branches, then bring them home and spray the hell out of them to match your holiday decor.

For example-

If your decorations are brightly colored
Image courtesy of

If you prefer shiny things –

Image courtesy of

And the pretty goes on and on –

Tutorial here- CAKE. | events + design: DiY Pine Cone Garland.
So shiny... Tutorial here - All That Glitters - Home for the Holidays.

So there you have it, folks. Super cheap ideas for all your decorating needs! Anybody have any other cheap DIY’s they want to throw in?


6 replies on “Hella Cheap Holiday DIY Decoration Round-up”

I’m going to send you a picture of my tree, and then were gonna figure out how we got split into two different people.


Great ideas. I still can’t get my poofs to look anything like your poofs, which severely limits using them for, well, pretty much anything. But I think I’m gonna try doing yarn poofs for garland and package decorating. I mean, I can’t screw that up, right?

It really does keep coming up time and again, right? Internet soul mates, I’m telling you. And now I really want to see your tree!!!

What size poofs have you tried? Sometimes the little ones are easier to make poofy, just keep scrunching them until they look how you want. I did have the most ridiculous amount of practice for the wedding, but I swear, it does get easier after a while…

I intend to make a shit ton of yarn pom poms this weekend, should time allow. It really does look like they are pretty hard to fuck up, but I have been known to screw up much simpler things, so….

Oh, trust me, this post was twice as long before I whittled it down! I had the popcorn strings, construction paper chain links, yarn pom-poms, all kinds of stuff, but I didn’t want to overwhelm you all. Now I am kinda regretting not leaving it…. Forgive me for missing old classics!!

Yes!! I currently live at with my parents (thanks, character and fitness, for taking FOREVER) and have been lamenting my lack of space to decorate. My dad starts a new job on Monday where he’ll be gone for a week and then home, then gone, etc, and I was thinking my mom and I should just decorate while he’s gone. These are awesome! I think I definitely need to make the storm trooper snowflakes for my boyfriend. What a great compilation!

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