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Holiday Decor You Can DIY for Cheap

December 1, 2020

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Even if your holiday celebrations are a little smaller this year, you can still run up a big tab.

It makes sense. This year, we could all use an extra dose of holiday cheer.

While we all need a little extra holiday cheer, you still want to guard that budget.

And that’s why we rounded up three DIY holiday decor options. 

You can give your space a dose of holiday pep without spending more this season.

Dried Orange Garland

Pull from your produce bowl to make a festive garland for your mantel or tree.

All you need: oranges, a yarn needle, and string or twine to make this DIY work.

Preheat your oven to 250℉.

Then, slice your oranges (or mandarins, tangerines, clementines) into quarter-inch thick slices. The more citrus you cut up, the longer you’ll be able to make your garland.

Arrange your slices with a little space between each on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake the oranges for an hour and a half, then flip them and bake for another 90 minutes. 

This should leave them pretty thoroughly dehydrated. The edges may be a little bit brown.

Now, place your oranges on a drying rack and leave them in a drafty place for a couple of days. You want them to dry out and get harder. 

Once the orange slices seem dry, string them along your twine to make your garland. You can leave space between them or line them up one right after the other, depending on your decor preference.

If you want to dress the garland up even more, you can also intermix popcorn and cranberries. 

Really, there are no limits here. Get creative to make your holiday decor extra-festive!

Cinnamon Stick Himmeli

A Himmeli is ceiling ornament that you can also hang from your tree. These ornaments get their name from the Swedish word himmel, which translates to sky. 

All you need is the same supplies as our first DIY, but you’re swapping out the citrus for cinnamon. You’ll need 12 cinnamon sticks, to be precise.

Now, thread three cinnamon sticks along your twine. Tie the ends in a knot to make a little cinnamon stick triangle. Leave lots of twine on both sides of the knot.

Now, add two more cinnamon sticks to the twine, scooching them down so the bottom of the first stick hits the triangle you just made. 

Thread your twine back through one of the cinnamon sticks from the first triangle. You should make a diamond shape with the cinnamon stick you just double-threaded in the middle. 

Repeat this pattern, adding two more cinnamon sticks, then threading back into an existing stick in the last triangle you made to complete the triangle. 

Make five triangles total (each with a shared side), using 11 cinnamon sticks. You should have something that sort of resembles a ladder.

Now, thread one last cinnamon stick onto your twine.

Finally, tie the two ends of your twine into a knot. That should pull the Himmeli into a diamond pattern, giving you a great-smelling ornament for your tree. 

You can adorn your Himmeli with wooden beads, cranberry, or even a little sprig of tree. Just thread your twine through whatever you want to add before you snip them. 

And don’t forget to leave enough twine to make a loop to hang the Himmeli on your tree. 

Clipped-bough wreath

The thing about Christmas trees is that you pay for the full thing, but people usually don’t see the back.

Don’t let that extra tree go to waste. Instead, make a wreath for your door with it.

For this, you’ll need a hoop to serve as your base. You can buy a wreath frame from a craft store, use an embroidery hoop, or get creative with something you have around the house. A wire coat hanger shaped into a circle can even work. 

Now, all you need is floral wire (or any thin-gauge wire), some pretty ribbon, and some boughs clipped from the back of your tree. Using the wire, wrap sections of bough to your wreath base. Cover over any wired-down pieces with the next section of bough you lay along the wreath base.

You can cut boughs down into smaller pieces to cover any gaps you see in your wreath, too. 

Cover the majority of your wreath solidly with boughs, leaving a half-inch section at the top. Loop your ribbon around the section. 

You can tie a bow if you want, or you can simply string the ribbon up and over your door. 

Or, if you have a wreath hanger and can cover all of your wreath frame to your liking, you can skip the ribbon entirely and pop the wreath right on your hanger.

This is just the start. You can add ornaments, cranberries, more ribbon, or even your dried orange slices to your wreath. 

With these three cheap holiday decor DIYs, your apartment or house will be looking—and smelling—festive all December long. 

Opinions, advice, services, or other information or content expressed or contributed here by customers, users, or others, are those of the respective author(s) or contributor(s) and do not necessarily state or reflect those of Varo Bank, N.A. Member FDIC (“Bank”). Bank is not responsible for the accuracy of any content provided by author(s) or contributor(s).
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Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff

Kacie Goff has over five years of experience writing personal finance content for a wide range of audiences. She's always loved taking complex concepts and distilling them down so they're more accessible to others. As she creates content, she aims to educate and engage, helping people discover that successfully managing their money can be easier than they ever imagined. Over the last five years, she’s also covered personal and commercial insurance, home design, health and wellness, and more for publications including Bankrate, Freshome, The Simple Dollar, and websites of a broad variety of businesses. Her brand is Jot Content (

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