Should I Make My Own Christmas Decorations Or Buy Them?
Updated: Jan 5
22nd July 2021
To make your own Christmas decorations or buy them, that is the question! I guess the simple answer to this question depends upon what you are trying to achieve.
If you want to save time, definitely buy your Christmas decorations. Making your own decorations does take time. You'll need to research for inspiration; purchase the products you'll need if you don't already have them; set aside time to make the decorations, bearing in mind that depending upon what you decide to make, you may need to leave things to dry or to bake or to cure before you can finish them (will you still have the enthusiasm to finish them at that point?).
If you want to save money, making your own decorations is definitely an option, but decide in advance what you intend to make and check whether you already have the necessary materials or whether you'll need to buy them. Unless you are a crafter or have children with lots of craft supplies, it's likely that you'll need to buy at least some products, but you can cost those out in advance before starting the project. Also, if you are surfing through Pinterest to get ideas for making your own Christmas decorations, you'll quickly find that DIYs can actually be quite complicated nowadays, a far cry from making quick and easy paper chains as a child. When purchasing your supplies you might need to exercise self-constraint to avoid getting carried away with the variety of options.
Alternatively, if you aren't a 'maker, and buying Christmas ornaments is the route for you, get organised and start purchasing them well in advance of Christmas. There are lots of places to purchase Christmas decorations all year round nowadays and many stores start bringing their Christmas decorations in around August time. Buy purchasing them well in advance or over several months, you are spreading the cost, rather than having a lump to pay out nearer to Christmas when you are also spending on Christmas food and gifts.
Creating a family activity & Christmas traditions
If you want to create a family activity, then making your own Christmas decorations is definitely worthwhile. Plan in advance what you want to make, this can involve each family member choosing what they might like to make. If your family has children spanning a vast number of years, choose a number of different projects with different skills levels. A younger child will need a simple project which won't take too long to avoid them getting bored; whilst an early-teen will need a more advanced project. Finding the right activities for the different ages and skills levels will determine the success of the family activity. If you intend to make this an annual event, creating your own family Christmas tradition, you can enjoy looking back each year on your previous makes and when your children are grown up, you'll have created a treasure trove of their decorations to cherish.
Having the desire to make your own Christmas decorations
If you just fancy having a go at making your own Christmas decorations, then I say go for it! But plan in advance and set aside a specific amount of time to do the 'making'. Don't fall into the trap which I did for many years - I would save off hundreds of ideas from Pinterest, magazines etc with the intentions of having a go at making them myself. Afterall, what can be more rewarding than having a beautiful decoration in your home which you have carefully and lovingly made yourself. However, I used to save the ideas and often times I wouldn't have half of the items needed and so I would put off the making part. Or, by the time I decided to have a go, it was too close to Christmas and I just didn't have the time. Therefore, my suggestion would be to choose a quick, simple project to make for your first attempt and see how you go. Getting a quick win under your belt always maintains the initial enthusiasm and it will also build your confidence.
Starting your own collection of Christmas decorations
If you are wanting to start a collection of Christmas decorations, or evening just increaseor update an existing collection, making your own is great place to start, if you have the time.
When my hubby and I spent our first Christmas together at our home, we didn't intend to have Christmas decorations as we didn't have any money. At the last minute, we hosted some friends and decided to buy an artificial tree. It was just a few days before Christmas. The shops had little in the way of stocks left. We bought a display tree, the last piece, and it was on sale. The shop threw in the ornaments that had been on the tree, really because they wanted to get rid of them, but we were glad to have them and avoid buying ornaments, even though they didn't match and weren't our taste. Our strategy was to buy a few new ornaments each year to gradually build up our own collection.
Particularly, if you are investing in heirloom or branded pieces, decorations and ornaments can be very expensive, so a purchase of one or two choice pieces each year might be the way forward for you.
If you are creatively-minded, and starting out, making your own decorations will be rewarding. Or, if you have tired/damaged pieces in your existing collection, making your own replacements can be fun.
If you are being conscious about sustainability, getting creative with 'making' can be great fun. Increasingly this is becoming a hot topic at Christmastime and there are lots of different ways of 'doing your bit'.
Choosing an artificial tree over a real one. Artificial trees can be resused year-after-year-after-year. Nowadays, scentsicles hung on the tree can provide the smell of a real tree.
Upcycling products to make a Christmas tree - let your imagination run wild.
Hanging lights around an existing plant instead of having a tree.
Making gifts, such as soaps, jams, jewellery or chocolates.
Instead of using wrapping paper for presents, wrapping the gifts in a tea towel or item of clothing which the recipient can also use. Or presenting the gifts in a reusable box or perhaps a basket which the recipient can then make use of in their home.
Making ornaments out of dried fruits.
Making ornaments and decorations by repurposing items in your home/garden.
There isn't a right or wrong wrong answer to whether you should buy or make your own Christmas decorations and ornaments. Whilst making your own ornaments can be time consuming and won't necessarily save your money, you can have fun doing it and the satisfaction of having your own hand-made piece(s) to enjoy in your home.
Purchasing Christmas decorations is definitely the quickest route and the best option for those who aren't creatively minded and being organised with your shopping you can spread the cost of Christmas decorating.
Christmas At Gateway Art Sales LLC
This year we are going even bigger for Christmas! For Christmas 2021, Gateway Art Sales' Christmas collection includes:
Christmas ribbons (Pre-order)
RAZ Imports Christmas 2021 collection of decorations and ornaments (pre-order)
I would love to know if you make your own Christmas decorations and what type of things you make. Let me know in the comments below.
Written by Jenny Hunt
Founding Partner & CEO, Gateway Art Sales LLC & FORBES' Top 100 Most Influential Women In The Middle East