Decorating for Christmas on a Newlywed Budget

Christmas Decor on a Newlywed Budget

It’s a joy-filled, sunny day in our neck of the woods. Christmas is only ten days away and my little heart can hardly stand it! 🙂 This is our second Christmas as a married couple and it has been enjoyable in every way — what a blessed, love-filled month it has been!

One of the difficulties many new brides (and single folk too!) experience is decorating for Christmas on a budget. We fret, stress and grumble remembering how lovely our childhood Christmas’ were; we want our homes to be as cozy and festive as the one’s left behind. Can any one relate? Or am I alone in this? 😉

Thankfully, creating a beautiful, cozy holiday home does not need to break the newlywed’s budget. Join me as I show you eleven of my favorite affordable decorating ideas for Christmas. (This is an excellent excuse for me to browse Pinterest … cue the hot coffee, chocolate and Pinterest marathon!) 😉

DIY Advent Countdown

Isn’t this Advent calendar delightful? Start with toilet paper rolls, ribbon, tape and paper and end with something you can hide treats in. I love it! (link here)

Handmade Ornaments

Cinnamon ornaments smell yummy and add a rustic charm; I’ll be making some of these this week! (link + recipe here!)

Isn’t this little nest so sweet? Our tree is very reflective of our home and personalities; I have a few birds nest tucked away and several berries springing out of branches; this little nest would be a perfect addition! (link here)

Delightful Decorations

chr 6

Stop by Lowes and ask if you could have the pine branches left from the tree cuttings. Branches are a delicious (free!) way of bringing the natural elements of the winter season  inside. (link here)

Wrap a few miscellaneous boxes in scrapbook paper or pages of books you no longer use (if you have the heart to rip up a book!) 😉 I think these little, hanging gifts would be enchanting above a kitchen sink. (link here)

Use your library to add a unique, quirky “tree” in your home! I loved this idea and made three “trees” in the school’s library using various green books — I just love how bookish and Christmas-y it looks! (link here)

Smells for St. Nicolas

There are so many affordable, natural ways to make your home smell delicious for the holidays. Toss some apple or orange peels, cinnamon sticks and sprinkle various spices to get a yummy November smell or add pine and evergreen for a fresh Christmas smell. (link + recipe here)

Chalkboard Creations

I love Callie’s Christmas décor and her chalkboard is no exception! (link here)

Isn’t this chalkboard by Dear Lillie a delight? Add personal charm to your Christmas home by lettering a unique phrase or bit of Scripture you love. (link here)

Wreath Wishes

Again, Callie’s Christmas coziness inspires me! I love her wreath above the dining table and even the branch in the pitcher. So adorable!! (link here)

Finally, this set of wintery wreaths delight my Christmas-loving heart and have me wishing for inches of snow and never ending coats and mittens. (link here)

The wonderful thing about each of these pictures is that the sort of coziness oozing from them is available to even the tightest budget. If you crave a welcoming, wintry haven but are on a tight budget rejoice! You have the perfect excuse to use your hands and make something beautiful with them.

How do you decorate on a budget? Have you ever known a holiday where finances were tight but your inspiration abounding? Share with us, dear, and let’s grow together in grace and beauty!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

p.s. Here’s some of my own Christmas inspirations!

Our Christmas tree is very earth toned — it simply delights my heart! Glittery pinecones, bird nests, white berries and fruits of the Spirit written on log slices make it truly unique to us! <3

Of course the quirky, uneven string of lights add to the mood of sweet fun in our home. And leftover Thanksgiving pumpkins sit happily beneath the limbs; I couldn’t bare throwing them out! 😉 Naturally, Braveheart would be an excellent companion to such a wintery day.

Organizing a Library on a $0 Budget

You sweet readers already know about my latest hobby and opportunity working one day a week as a librarian. It has been such a delight serving in a school which promotes character and has the love of Christ in it’s center. I am truly blessed.

Our library houses many books for children grades pre-kindergarten to sixth grade; in total we have seventy-eight students roaming our halls. Seventy-eight young people who love to read! 🙂

The library has several good, sturdy shelves, a bulletin board and five computers (ancient beasts! 😉 In previous years the library was staffed with volunteers, those wonderful folk who give of their time and energy!! (Where would we be without volunteers?) It is their effort that I build upon making me a very lucky woman. Because of these people a majority of our books had been entered into our online catalog, labeled, and given a shelf

I spent a recent Saturday going through the books and ensuring hey are properly alphabetized and in the correct Dewey Decimal System order. 🙂 I couldn’t stand knowing some were out of order. Of course I know the little hands will forget to check each label but in the mean time it is nice knowing everything is in its place!

I love to feature books in the center of the shelves ad especially underneath my white frame. It’s the perfect centerpiece and the kiddies love checking out the new selections.

I’ve strung fabric leaves over the side shelves dividing the library from the teacher’s lounge area. In this library we do whimsy, seasons and cute!! (Can you tell? 😉

My current pride and joy are the Dewey Decimal System cheat sheets I designed and printed. I love being able to glance across the room to ensure I’m looking in the right direction. It’s so fun knowing that wild animals can be found in the 595 section while pets are in in the Technology section (600). Can you tell I love this place?

At the beginning of the school year I asked several different paint stores if I could please have handful of paint sticks. So many generously gave (thank You, Father God!). I painted the ends of the stick and then labeled according to the needed letters and numbers.

So, what are two ways you can organize a library with a $0 budget?

  1. Design and print your own charts, décor and posters. My next project will be about book genres. 🙂
  2. Get creative with book dividers by using free paint sticks. It makes finding and reshelving books so much easier!

I’m still looking for ways to make our library more kiddo-friendly, welcoming and organized. A beautiful reading space is incredibly important to me!

How do you keep your life organized? Have you found affordable ways to get organized without going over budget?

Tell this new teacher your secrets! 🙂

With lots of love, coffee and books,

Frannie

diy: Recycled Frame Project

diy recycled spray painted frame

I love recycling old things into new treasures. I also love sharing my silly, fun finds with you!

This spring, Dalton and I joined the whole city in “junking.” It’s an amazing thing where everyone tosses out their old, sometimes dilapidated, furniture, clothes and such onto the curb to be picked up. We didn’t set anything out (I recycle things too often to have junk lying around! 😉 ) but we did set about the city looking for finds that could be made beautiful again. We had so much fun and at the end of our search we had gathered wood for D’s whittling, a beautiful (brand new) basket and 3 large, empty frames.

I’ve been itching to repaint a frame and did just that last week.

With a can of gold spray paint I already had on hand I repurposed this to-be-tossed frame into something we can’t get over. What do you think?

diy spray painted frame

I’m just crazy about it! I thought it was going to be too large for our living space but it seems to fit the entry wall perfectly. I recently added a burlap banner I made last fall. Isn’t it just the cutest?

What “junky” project have you made beautiful lately? I’d love to hear about it!

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Spring Around The House // Bunnies, Plants and Eggs

Spring has sprung around our little place and with it comes new beauty, fresh greenness and plenty of song birds.
 
Oh, and a heavy dose of spring fever.
 
I’ve been itching the last several weeks for the colder days to pass; while I wait, I have been making tiny adjustments in our apartment. I think wiping the dust from our homes, airing out rooms and decorating in simple ways is an excellent way to usher in the joys of spring.
 
 
In the kitchen, two bunnies (Mr. Salt + Miss Pepper) have found their way on the bakers wrack. A little jar is filled with flowering weeds a little friend gave me a few days ago.

 
While I wash dishes the (deliciously yummy!) scent of eucalyptus wafts from the front window. I found a bunch for $2.99 at Trader Joes. 🙂

 
Tiny spring touches have come to the living room. Do you remember the spray-painted branches I made in February? They are now “blooming” with yellow and white tissue paper blossoms.
 
(Heeheehe, you may also see dirty laundry waiting to be watched. Ooops! 🙂

 
A little rocking chair was recently given to us by sweet friends … I love my new seat as it is perfect for my height! (No more tippy-toe rocking for me! 🙂 The chalkboards have phrases like “Alleluia” and “Abundant Mercy” scribbled over them in an effort to bring Resurrection Sunday to mind.

 
The rest of the living room is decorated with tiny pastel colored eggs from Hobby Lobby. Dalton enjoyed tucking them into different places around the house. He is such a cutie. 🙂

 
Out the door our flower bed is beginning to grow — since this is our first spring here I am unsure as to what will be coming up but I think we have some roses, daffodils and tulips among the mix.
 
Last week I enjoyed laying new mulch over the dead leaves. Our neighbors (who are avid gardeners) were so kind in offering their bags of mulch and soil. Lord willing, D and I will try to grow some veggies in containers along the small driveway.

 
Does anyone know what this little beauty is?

 
Look closely and you will see our friends Miss Dove, Mr. Squirrel and three different feathered ones enjoying the bird feeder my daddy gave for Christmas.
 
I would *love* to see how you are ushering springtime into your homes and lives. Are you spring cleaning? Redecorating? Finishing finals? Trading in hot drinks for summer time treats like iced coffee?
 
Tell me what’s going on — I’d love to know!
 
With lots of love, blessings and hugs,

Gratitude + Flowers

 
 
 
 
 
 

 
The green beads were a clearance item I bought from a road side thrift store three years ago and the carnations … well, they stole my heart last week while grocery shopping. I was thankful to see the flowers still in mint condition — smelling fresh and creamy white. Since we were going out of town tomorrow (honeymooning!) I thought they would make the perfect thank-you for family  storing our car and sending us off at St. Louis’ airport.
 
How do you like to show gratitude? Are you one who writes beautiful notes? Or maybe you find cookies to be an enchanting way of expressing gratitude. No matter what, I’d love to hear all about it!
 
Love, coffee, and tood-a-loo!
 
(As in, see you when I fly back to the Midwest!)