Frugal (and toddler friendly) Christmas tree fun!

As we have the family around this Christmas and we are in our new house, we decided we should get a decent tree.  For as long as we have lived in Australia we have had a strange little pre-dressed tree which we found in an odd little shop in the Blue Mountains near Sydney.  It’s served us well but the cheap gold paint is chipping off the ‘quality’ plastic decorations and it’s time to move on.  We don’t really have room for a big tree so we opted for a fake tree so that we could keep it narrow and not too tall.

Once the tree was ordered thoughts then went to decorations.  Other than a few gifts from people we had nothing at all to hang on the tree and looking around online it was clear my preference was for the more expensive decorations out there!  We’ve spent a lot on the new house this year so in a bid to save money I decided to make the decorations myself (cue nervous looks from D. To be fair my crafty projects can be somewhat hit and miss).  I gathered some inspiration from Pinterest and other crafty websites and got to work.

I decided to make a number of types of decorations:

  • Ribbon bows – The ribbon was $3 a roll and I made 16 bows but didn’t use them all.  I used flower arranging wire which I already had for attaching them to the tree.
  • Salt dough stars and hearts – These cost hardly anything to make and you can get the kids involved too.  The ones I made are a little scrappy looking but they do the job!
  • Felt birds – I designed these myself after taking inspiration from a whole bunch of other felt bird makers on Pinterest.  These are my favourite! The felt was $7 in total for half a metre of each colour and I have some left for future projects.
  • Festive chalk boards – I completely stole the idea from this blog post.
  • Paper chains. – These were my tinsel substitute.  I used the same double-sided card which I used for the festive chalk boards.  I think the whole pad of card cost about 8 bucks.

We also added some IKEA Christmas lights and I made a felt star for the top.  I’m pretty happy with it although I probably would have made the decorations a bit bigger if I did it again.  The other bonus is that the decorations are all toddler friendly.  They aren’t at all fragile and even if one gets damaged or hidden in a corner of little M’s room, I have some spares.  What do you think?

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