80+ DIY Holiday Decor

“Spoiling loved one with good eats, gifts and spending your money on home decor~ season” is HERE! It does not have to be expensive though to have cute, seasonal holiday decor! Who doesn’t love a home set for the season, right? I don’t mean a cluttered mess, I mean beautiful heartwarming decor for the holidays, which double as great hostess gifts too!

We’ve put together over 100+ ways to decorate your home and entryway on a budget. Or, give as cute hostess gifts. Let’s get started…

  1. Greenery basket~A Beautiful tobacco basket is a beautiful accent this season. Perhaps you have one lying around or check your local thrift stores, our local thrift store has baskets year round and during the holidays have them already full of pine cones for under $2.00. Baskets generally go or $.25- 4.00 depending on size. Greenery with accents and a bow to finish is beautiful, refreshing to smell and homemade.

2. Snowman shutters via Pinterest

3. Ornamental Wreath. How about this cute ornament wreath diy by crafted life?

Sugar and Charm

4. DIY Brass Ring Wreath~ A long cute, lasting seasonal addition by Sugar and Charm.

5. Photo Wreath– A personal touch of decorating! Craftingchicks

6. A Kissing Ball~ DIY Pine Cone Kissing Ball.

7. Bottle Brush Trees~ Dipped Bottle Brush Trees, DIY HERE!

8. Bowling Pin Snowmen via Pinterest

9. A Wreath. Not any old wreath, but a DIY Burlap Wreath!

10. DIY Citrus Garland. Slice your citrus fruit. Preheat oven 275 degrees. On lined parchment paper, place your sliced fruit and bake for 3 hours. Cool. With skewer, poke holes and lace with twine! Place on trees, door ways, mantel, etc. A great decoration with wonderful smell!

11. Wooden Outdoor Christmas Lights~ Outdoor decor that is sure to get attention and brighten your home for the holidays. A great idea~ DIY Wooden Christmas Lights!

12. Candles~ DIY Pine Scented Soy Candles.

13. Garland~ Simple~ Pine cones, ribbon and gardland!

14. An Advent Count Down~ Now this is so cute and adorable! Of all the advent ideas, I absolutely love this! Check out this charming idea and many more on a new to me site, sugarandcharm!

15. Wooden Trees~ DIY Mini Wooden Christmas Trees

16. Coffee Filter Garland~ Country Livings DIY Coffee Filter Garland

17. A Christmas Lights Table Display~A new center piece attraction for the table? Or perhaps the mantel display, you name it. This cute display is sure to spruce up your home, desk or office for the holidays. Check out thesweetescape for details.

18. Card Tree Display~ A cute handmade tree with your Christmas cards, stock barrel with wrapped presents or glitter white batting.

19. Festive Pillows~ Homemade Buffalo Plaid Pillows! Check out this great tutorial.

20. A Spool Wreath~ A seamstress in the family? This cute crafting wire wreath is just spools of thread and ribbon.

21. Spray Painted Spoon Trees

22. Marbled ornaments, for many decorations, not just the tree! Festive and simple with this tutorial.

23. Simple. Elegant. Seasonal displays.

24. Felt Garland. Who would of thought how cute, festive and simple felt would be on a tree?

25. Snowflakes~ Cute Popsicle Snowflakes the whole family can get involved in to spruce up for the holidays.

27. Festive Buckets~Decorated galvanized buckets. Festive! Love!

28. Wreath~ A cute DIY life preserver wreath idea!

29. Greenery. A vase of decorated greens. Simple strategic touches are the best! The greenery in an open space is sure to spruce any room this holiday. Dried citrus and greens, I love this cute idea! Check out cheetahisthenewblack for more ideas.

30. Festive Frames

31. Burlap~ Lighted Burlap Garland

32. Candy Canes~ DIY PVC Candy Canes that light up, check out DIY Show Off!

33. Snow Candle Holder by crafts-for-allseasons!

34. Wooden Snow Crew made of 2X4s by Keeping it simple.

35. Snowman Wreath~ DIY tutorial by Trendy Tree

36. Pallet Christmas Tree~ A Festive and simple wooden pallet Christmas tree by making it in the mitten.

37. Stocking Holder~ A quick addition to any home by Dukes & Duchesses, a DIY Stocking Hanger!

38. Decorated Lanterns. This idea came from dimples and tangles. Perhaps you already have the materials. Check out her page for other great decorating ideas to get your creativity flowing. If you do not have lanterns, check out my diy craft link here of a fun building project to do this season with the kids.

39. Skate Wreath~ An Adorable Ice Skate Wreath.

40. Cute Santa Logs~ A quick DIY from Smart Girls.

41. A Pallet Tree~ This cute Christmas tree tutorial can be found at Jolene’s Crafting!

42. Decorated Tree Frame~ This is another favorite of mine this holiday season. So CUTE & she makes it look so simple! Check out this knock-off Crate and Barrel Ornament by Maryann!

43. Holiday Logs~ Pick your favorite holiday character and large log, then head over to hip2save for the directions!

44. Self Decorated Christmas Shutter~ via Pinterest.

45. A Candy Cane Lit Walkway!

46. Snowman Mason Jar~For yarn lovers everywhere!

47. Lowes Pyramid Outdoor Lights for on this Lowes DIY.

48. Salty Jars~ DIY Epsom Salt Luminaries by Remodelacasa!

49. Snowmen~ Snowmen logs are simple and cute. My kids also have used paint sticks identically decorated for doorknob hangers.

50. & 51. Decorated Birch, Light Box, AND MORE. Many great ideas for that extra rustic and cute flare of holiday decorating this season! Check out unskinnyboppy for more details!

52. DIY Village Luminary~ Hold on, here’s another one the whole family will love. A Christmas Village Silhoutte Luminary Jar. Head over here to check out this DIY!

53. Christmas Card Holder~ Check out Shanty Chic for this simple, but super cute and festive, holiday Christmas Card Holder!

54. Snowy Pine Cone Luminary~ This cute winter luminary by Amanda can be found here!

55. DIY Outdoor Stars for the holidays from dukemanorfarm.

56. “Joy To the World”~ Holiday light up sign by uncommondesignsonline!

57. Twig Stars by happyhooligans.ca has these simple, festive stars you and your whole family would enjoy making to spruce things up a bit for the holidays Check them out!

58. A Beautiful Mantel Display~ “O Come Let Us Adore Him” by Kimsixfix!

59. Centerpieces~ Over 50 cheap and DIY options for seasonal centerpieces found here.

60. Paper Snowflake Decorations by the handcraftedlife.

61. Vintage Luminaries~ by NellyVintageHome

62. Centerpieces and woodsy Holiday Art ideas can also be found here.

63. Repurposed Muffin Tin Decor~ via Pinterest

64. Decorated Vintage Lantern~ via Etsy.

65. Hand Painted Christmas Tree Cut outs~ via etsy.

66. Decorated Vintage Cheese Grater~ via Etsy.

67. Decorated Tin~ via Pinterest

68. Birch Decor~ Via hometalk!

69. Window Decor Piece~ for sale via Etsy.

70. Table Vase Decor~ Via Pinterest

71. Hanging Stars~ for sale via Etsy

72. Window Strings~ Via Pinterest.

73. Mini Wreaths~ DIY Mini Garland wreaths w/ ribbon!

74. Door Hanger or Ornament Cones

75. Chalkboard~ Don’t forget to use your chalkboard for a classy stylish addition to your decor!

76. Wall Tree~ Virtually any decoration work! Even sea shells are beautiful with that drift wood or birch sticks- depending on what’s available!

77. Birch Log Fire

78. Wooden Spoon Fun!

79. Signs~ What better way than paint your own signage!

80. Birch Candles~ Simple drill and place candle within birch lights!

81. Spoon Fun~ Decorate your favorite character on a bent spoon, via ebay!

82. Birch Stacked log Or Centerpieces for a table~ via Etsy

83. Stocking Hanger from reclaimed wood by Beyond the Picket Fence.

84. Wooden Spoon Decor for the tree, kitchen or wall!

85. Painting~ a Picture can seem simple, but that’s really all it takes. Photo via Pinterest.

I hope this sparks some ideas for your holiday decor! Have fun & make memories! We will be back with an update and a few more!!!

World Best Pumpkin Bars (*A Large family Pumpkin Pie Cheat*)

Pumpkin Pie Bars

Pumpkin. Not pumpkin pie, but pumpkin puree. We use our Amish Pumpkin Pie pumpkins from the garden. After baking, we cool and make pumpkin puree in the blender, then freeze for winter usage. However, you can use any old pumpkin puree. Honestly, even generic pumpkin puree at the dollar store tastes great in this recipe! So beat 1/2 dozen eggs into the pumpkin puree, approximately a 29oz can (xlg). *Keep in mind this recipe is flexible. Making it several ways, it still turns out great! My crew loves pumpkin. I just eye ball a load in the blender and 3 cups work well too. (Fresh baked pumpkin is amazingly delicious!)

So Mix your eggs and pumpkin, then add 2 Cups of milk, 2 Cups of sugar and 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice. Whalla… that’s it! Mix well and pour into a 9X13 pan. Now you can bake it this way and eat. However, my crew thinks it’s so close to pumpkin pie, they like the fluff topping on top and cool whip. Kind of like the easiest desert on the planet, Ministers Delight, BUT with a Thanksgiving twist. SO- to do this I add a Jiffy Yellow cake mix sprinkled on top with a few tiny dollops of butter. Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown top.

Pumpkin pie bars are so simple and best of all, they request it every year instead of pie. Score! No pie crust making involved. At least not for pumpkin pie. (We’re still saps for strawberry-rhubarb pie!)

PUMPKIN PIE BARS RECIPE

  • 29 oz Pumpkin Puree (Or fresh baked pumpkin)
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Cups Sugar
  • 2 Cups Milk
  • 2 tsps Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 1 Box of Jiffy Yellow Cake Mix
  • 2 Tbl Butter
Bake 400 degrees, 40 minutes or until golden brown.  Bars will be consistancy of pumpkin pie.

Enjoy with a dollop of Cool Whip! Happy Baking!

Thanksgiving Dinner Rolls

In a large bread bowl begin with 1 Cup of flour, 2 Tablespoons of Sugar (or maple syrup), 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1 packet of Rapid Rise Yeast (Fleischmanns).

Warm 1/4 Cup of water & 1/2 Cup of milk. *Be careful to not burn the milk, but very warm. Then add 2 Tablespoons of KerryGold Butter. (As a last resort Crisco or margarine works as well.) As butter melts and liquid cools (120-130 degrees) add to your yeast and flour mixture. Mix.

Slowly mix and roll in your remaining flour mixture. (This should total 2 Cups) then go to your flour board or table. Stir and knead in flour mixture to make a soft dough, not a sticky ball of mess. 😉 Once reaching consistency of smooth and elastic, let rest for 10 minutes. (Cover as needed. ~If in a cool drafty house, I have dampened with hot watered cheese cloth and then a towel covering or let rise near your oven top.)

After resting, divide into 12 equal parts. Roll. Place in pan. Let rise and double in size. (Usually 30 minutes in draft free area.)

Bake 375 degrees for 20 minutes or light golden color and done. Brush with melted butter.

Enjoy! Happy Baking!

DIY Herbal Infused Oil

It’s that time of year when everything is quickly put in the root cellar, canned, frozen or dried. One of the last herbs of the season in cooler climates is Golden Rod. Yes, you can prepare and pick most summer. However, that last batch blooms fullest right before the weather turns. We scramble to get as much picked in between harvests as possible. Here is a great way to use it and your summer dried herb and flower stash.

One of the simplest ways to incorporate herbs is by placing herbs in your favorite oils. No matter the purpose for your herb infused oil, you need two main ingredients.

  1. Carrier Oil
  2. Dried Herbs

1. Pick a carrier oil. Now this is important! Know your oils, if your experimenting, a quality olive oil makes great salve and oil for soaps. Depending on your goal with the oil once it’s infused is the key to selection. Are you planning to make: soap, lotion, salve, a soar muscle rub, skin cream, balm, sugar scrub? There are so many options of small topical or skin care oils (emu, almond oil, etc.), to basic oils for rubs or cracked skin. (Olive, palm, coconut oil, etc.)

2. Place your herbs in a sterilized jar (make sure it is dry, no water).

3. After selected herbs are chosen, cover with your desired oil. Make sure to completely cover the herbs and they are below the oil. (Below: examples of infused oil) The first picture is the completed infused oil I am beginning to pour off to make Balm of Gilead salve.

4. Let sit in a warm sunny area & Infuse!

Have fun and enjoy your creations! I will post a list of tried recipes we enjoy, look for my post soon!

Best Ever Coffee Frosted Mini Cut Outs!

These cookies are sooo good and supply that sweet craving in one bite. (If you can stop at one!) I love these little guys. Use your favorite sugar cookie dough recipe, here is mine. Roll out and cut as desired. I purchased these cute mini star cut outs! Perfect for little bites and the little ones! Bake as directed. Cool.

Coffee Icing

Place 1/2 Cup of butter (softened) into a medium mixing bowl. Add 1/ Cup of whole milk. Next add 2 tsps of vanilla. Mix and add 1 Tbl of espresso powder. *If you do not have espresso powder available you can substitute with instant coffee (only add 1& 1/2 tsps though). You can also add cinnamon if you desire- it’s another great addition, simply add 1/2 tsp as well at this time.

Mix & beat until creamy. Next add 2 &1/2 Cups of powdered sugar. Mix and frost cookies! Eat and enjoy.

*Remember this is a base recipe~ experiment! There are so many varieties available. Also if you are on a budget and you don’t have the espresso powder or instant coffee, just use coffee you made and reduce the milk a bit OR be prepared to add a bit more powdered sugar! (As in the picture above!)

Enjoy! Happy Baking & Happy Holidays!

10 Cute & Simple DIY Holiday Ornaments

  1. Classic Salt Dough Ornaments are a must! Country living has a great tutorial.

2. Glitter fun! A simple and great project to do for all ages! These DIY Confetti Ornaments are sure to be a hit with the kiddos!

3. Twine. Need I say more? This gorgeous Christmas ornament is quick, cute and sure to decorate the cottage this holiday season.

4. Festive Flannel Ornaments are sure to cozy up your home this holiday as well.

5. If your family loves to travel like ours, what a perfect addition these would be! If you only do a few state a year, why not add a couple each year and write the year on the back. Cute & a wonderful idea to bring back memories for years to come! Check out this tutorial here!

6. Beautiful addition to any home are these beautiful marbled ornaments!

7. Along side Christmas we often see kids adoring Rudolph. This cute Rudolph ornament will be a delight to make.

8. So simple, yet so many options of ornaments to make. Check out the tutorial here.

9. These hats are adorable, one for each person, right? Tack a cute gem, initial or leave as is; a great addition this holiday season with this winter hat tree ornament!

10. These are sure to add shimmer and sparkle to your holiday decor. Check out the this DIY ornament tutorial.

10 Ways to Reduce Your Power Bill…

Photo by Binyamin Mellish on Pexels.com
  1. Lighting- The most obvious choice, but overlooked choice is lighting. Turn of the lights not in use. Use dimmer switches, timer lights, and/or motion lights in entryways and outdoors. Use energy star bulbs. These LED light bulbs can save you up to 75% on your lighting costs. Now purchasing these have a cost right? Not always. We were looking into reducing our electric bill after noticing that even with less usage our bill kept rising. So we had a few things left we had not done. Lighting seemed minor since we are outdoorsy family. But we knew it would reduce some because after all we are still home a lot. Our librarian told us the local city hall gives the florescent lights away on a energy grant program they received. We would have never known. Sure enough, we went to the local city hall and they gave us a few packages of light bulbs and free smoke detectors. The ones we have purchased since were roughly $.99 a piece, if you do need to purchase them. During the holidays, calculate here, your extra lighting expenses if needed to keep within your budget.
  2. Use your main electricity in off peak hours– Wash your clothes, tend to the dishes and extra electrical uses on the off peak hours. (Including watering the garden or lawn.) Simply go to your power companies website and look at their “Time of Use” schedule. That simple? Yes, depending on your power company rates. Your time of usage can save up to 48% of your power bill. Crazy right? However, if your company is like the couple we’ve dealt with, you would have to select your “usage timeline” to find that savings.
  3. Turn Down Your Hot Water Heater- Check the settings on your hot water heater, it costs nothing. Set your hot water heater to a sufficient heat to keep your home clean and efficiently running, but not overworked. Another factor can be your hot water heaters location. Is it in a drafty cold area? Is it running efficiently? If looking for long term savings, check into tankless water heaters. These are more efficient, but have a larger upfront cost. So if you currently have to replace one, perhaps the little extra expense is worth the long term savings to you.
  4. Purchase water saver appliances- this was a big savings for us! As our family grew and the wash machine seemed continual, the water saver upgrade was a noticeable monthly savings for us. Not only do certain appliances save water, but your faucets and shower-heads can save you money. Look for these aerator faucets and shower-heads that use no more than 1.5 gallons a minute.
  5. Get rid of electric appliance dependency- this can even go extreme. Just think of all the items you use in a week, or a day. Microwave, toaster, waffle maker, crock pot, rice maker, quesadilla maker, coffee maker, electric mixer… the list goes on. We live in a day in age where we have a “maker” or an appliance for everything. I find people fall on one end or the other, rarely in the middle. Either you can run 10+ appliances in a week or under 5 in a month. Either way, we can all be a little more frugal. Even if it means turning off the coffee pot after it’s made and using that thermos we got from Christmas last year that guarantee’s hot coffee up to 5 hours. 😉
  6. Weatherize our home- Anything from caulking the windows, plastic around the windows, weather stripping air loss areas, door rugs or pillows, or even more. This is another area many people do not know about. Some communities actually have programs that upgrade older homes and they redo your insulation with blown in insulation and cut down on your heat loss area. Simply check your area or local weatherization program. The worst response is no, we don’t have that in our area.
  7. Change your filters- Yes, that can actually save you money. Your heating or air conditioning can run smoother, and it provides cleaner air to your home. (Scented now if you’d like too.)
  8. Use a thermostat- This can help reduce fluctuation in temperature AND in return prevent the furnace or cooling system from having to kick into high gear. In other words, save you from using more electricity and it keeps your appliances “healthier”.
  9. Use powerstrips- this saves so much money. If every outlet was covered or contained a simple powerstrip, when you leave the house for the weekend or simply need to shut multiple power units off, on switch can do so. So many electronics use electricity sitting unused. Think about it, if it has a little light showing “on”, that is powered by something.
  10. Unplug- Last, but no least. Actually, one of the largest power wasting devices is our computers, game counsels and such devices. Turn off the computer at night. Is the T.v. all night while your sleeping? Make a game charger station with a powerstrip and shut off the powerstrip a few hours after the kids go to bed and everything is charged.

**BONUS ENERGY SAVING IDEAS**

~Check your dryer to see if you have a damp setting. It will shut the dryer off when the clothes are dry even if the cycle timed dry is not up, therefore saving electricity.

~Air dry your clothes.

~Get rid of that extra fridge or freezer. We went to more canning as our family grew so we didn’t have to run a second freezer after our fall harvest. We also starting pickling and drying more goods.

~Look for energy star products and appliances. If you have to upgrade or replace an appliance, look for a better energy saving one. As a general rule we agreed each year at tax season, we would invest in an upgraded household appliance or put that money aside for when we would need to. It has worked thus far. If that’s not an issue and you have extra to do so, why wait? Some of the old fridges/ freezers use 2x more power than the new ones. (*And the new ones are bigger)

~If capable, switch your heat source. Where we lived, wood was available inexpensively if you were willing to do the work. This cut our heating drastically and was a great supplement. However, with tighter regulations and fees. For nearly the same cost (and no labor) we can heat the majority of our home with pellet heat. A friend found coal to be cheaper and more available in their area. It’s worth looking into.

~If able switch to natural gas. Regardless of where you live, natural gas seems to be overall the cheapest and most efficient. However, it means buying propane appliances, which can be expensive to switch to for some. Others can find newer appliances where there are many propane users in the area, within local ads and craigslist’s.

~ Use shades, blinds and drapes.

~Add a Solarium to your home.

~Seal cracks and gaps.

~Schedule tune ups and check ups for seasonal maintenance. This keeps the appliances working most efficiently.

~Rotate your ceiling fans. In the summer, have the fan pushing air down. In the winter, change the direction to pull the air up.

~Lastly, this does not reduce your overall bill- HOWEVER, check your power company for REBATES. Many companies have usage rebates or upgrade rebates. You will not know though, until you check their website.

So, here are a few helpful tips to lower that power bill. You’ll be surprised how little something may seem, but most homes can easily reduce their bill by 35%. So if your bill runs $120 a month, that means over $500 a year in savings. If you are really proactive and willing to pay close attention you could be like us, our bill was about $140 a month and hasn’t been over $80 in over 6 years. (Over $4000 savings). In the summer, it’s nothing for us to have a $40 bill. (This includes the power to our heating sources.) Leaving our biggest home expense (heating) almost half of what it used to be. So, if our family can do it, so can you & yours!