Do you love minimalist decor AND Christmas? And are you looking for frugal solutions? Check out this post to learn how to decorate for Christmas in a minimalist home decor style, while doing it in a budget-friendly way!
Minimalist Christmas Decorations: The Solution to A LOT
The holiday season can be a LOT of just everything. It’s not any wonder we often find ourselves more than a little worn out at the end of such a festive season.
However, one way I’ve been able to fight the Christmas time exhaustion that is soon to come is a pre-emptive strike – that is, start simple from the beginning.
Simple schedule, scaled back baking, trimming away the extras that drain a lot of energy but don’t actually add that much to the meaning and celebration of Christmas (and for me, namely, Jesus’ birthday).
One area that has been the most beneficial – but also the hardest – has been to pull in the reigns on Christmas decorating. Not only can it end up being an expensive endeavor for a relatively short period of time, but it’s can also be over-stimulating and stressful.
If I’m speaking your language, keep reading. Today, I want to share some of my favorite ways to have a minimalist approach to Christmas decorating, while doing it on a budget.
I’m not talking sterile or stark, but practical, pretty, and frugal – while at the same time, being meaningful.
Almost all of these ideas I’ve personally used in my own home.
The Basics of Minimalist Decor
When you’re thinking of minimalist decor, generally speaking, you want a clean, clutter-free area. That doesn’t mean empty or sparse. It means that each piece is thoughtfully and carefully chosen – and loved. That is the essence of a minimalist lifestyle.
Typically, the decor contributes to a functional atmosphere and ever piece has a purpose, even if that piece is just meant to be enjoyed.
Clean lines, simple patterns, focal points without too much busyness… those are the ideals you want to incorporate into your Christmas decor using minimalist principles of decorating and it’s the perfect way to keep things simple and uncomplicated.
And you don’t need to be Martha Stewart to pull it off. Trust me on that, lol!
Scandinavian Vibes for Christmas Decor
By design, Scandinavian decor is more minimalist, so I definitely encourage you looking through some of these Scandinavian Christmas decorating ideas to create mood boards. Many of the ideas I’m going to share below lean slightly toward a Scandinavian home style, but not exclusively.
However, many of the ideas incorporate a mix of minimalist and modern Christmas decorations, as well as some more rustic and nostalgic concepts, without being too cluttered.
The best part is that these creative ways to decorate are budget-friendly and frugal, many of these different ideas are even free!
DIYs are always a must for budget-friendly decor. Many of the ideas below are DIYs that I’ve done, and you can check out all of my easy and budget-friendly Christmas home decor projects here, with full instructions!
Cozy Minimalist Christmas Decor Ideas
1| Use Nature in Your Decor
Using natural materials can be done in so many beautiful and frugal ways.
Think of fresh greens like cedar, juniper, and pine (Christmas tree lots will often let you pick up the scraps on the ground!). You can also include pine cones, holly branches and berries, and even dead branches, which look amazing as is or painted white.
You can fill a basket or bowl with fresh greens or hang them in front of a window. Add dried orange slices if you wish!
Creating a table garland with fresh greenery is always a classic look!
Make a live wreath with fresh greenery also!
Place branches in a planter and hang Christmas ornaments on them!
And don’t forget about pinecones! You can find the tutorial for the pine cone project shown below right here!
2| Use food in your decor
Yes, different types of food are also natural elements you can incorporate! Think about dried orange or citrus fruit slices to add to garland, wreaths, baskets, and bowls (see #1 for those examples!).
You can Christmas cookie cutter ornaments using applesauce and cinnamon – they look darling as garland as well and smell amazing!
Add cranberries, orange slices, cinnamon sticks, and rosemary to a garden bowl and mason jars along with floating candles for gorgeous centerpieces (and then put them in a pot on the stove for a simmer pot when they are close to expiring).
Using food you already have on hand can be a smart way to use them for double duty.
2| DIY Luminaries
These luminaries are such a simple DIY! Just wrap a mason jar (or an old food jar) with your favorite ribbon or ribbon scraps and add a piece of winter greenery – real or faux. Place fairy lights or battery-operated tea lights inside for a magical glow!
You can put these on shelves or place several of them in a row as a Christmas tablescape.
3| Simple Christmas Trees
There are several ways you can go a little rogue with minimalist Christmas tree ideas.
First, to keep it minimalist, you can scale down the size and choose a small tree. It doesn’t matter if you choose a real tree or fake. Many artificial trees are less than $100. Then, you can keep the decor simple and just buy one set of coordinating ornaments.
Or, you can skip the ornaments altogether and just go for a tree (with white Christmas lights and/wood bead garland if you chose!) for a simple, charming and natural look.
In this scenario, the tree itself is simple, so you can choose a large or small Christmas tree.
Individual flocked trees or a cluster of mini trees also can work well in place of a traditional Christmas tree.
You can even fill a jar with tree branches for a mini Christmas tree rather than a big tree! This is an especially creative idea if you are limited on floor space.
4| Use a coordinated set of ornaments.
Those big containers of ornaments can go a long way, as far a decorating goes. Think beyond a Christmas tree and how you can use them in other parts of the house. Place them in a dough bowl and set on a table in the dining room or the living room.
You can hang them from the ceiling or a light fixture.
You can stack them inside of lanterns and hurricane vases.
You can also take a paint pen and draw on little Christmas trees and branches on white ornaments! Cheap but stunning!
5| Create simple vignettes
If you don’t want to go crazy decorating the entire house, choose a few areas to create a simple vignette.
Filling a tray with a few simple things that speak ‘Merry Christmas’ is also another way to create a vignette – a small Nativity scene, a pop of color, candy canes in a festive mug…whatever makes your heart smile and gets you in the holiday spirit.
You can also create a small vignette on a side or console table or maybe a small corner of your kitchen countertop.
6| Use tiered trays
A tiered tray is one easy way to add Christmas decor without it taking over the entire house. These are not just for coffee bars! You can also place a tiered tray on a dining table, kitchen countertop or coffee table.
Similar to a vignette, a tiered tray is a small space with Christmas decor, without feeling like your entire home is swallowed up in winter wonderland.
7| Clean and crisp shelf decor
Shelves are another space that you can decorate for Christmas in a minimalist style. Generally, you want to group objects togethers in groups of 3 or odd numbers, so even having just 3 well-placed items on a shelf can add Christmas cheer.
Even lining up a series of candle holders and candlesticks on a shelf can have a magical effect. A fireplace mantle is also a perfect place for a line of candles of all sizes.
8| DIY Christmas Wreaths
Adding a wreath to your front door or even inside of your home is a great way to add holiday cheer without going overboard. A wreath made a wooden bead wreath form or metal hoop can be an easy and minimalist project.
Usually, you will only add simple Christmas decorations and greens, so by nature, it’s minimalist. They are a fast project as well, so it can allow you to quickly get back to enjoying this special time of year with your family as soon as possible.
Even a plain green wreath with some bells added is wonderfully minimalist and classy.
This is a super easy project and one of my favorite hacks for cheap Christmas decor! Find some pretty wrapping paper (or take Kraft paper and make your own) and wrap up some old cereal and food boxes to look like Christmas gifts.
You can place these under a beautiful tree or on the fireplace hearth or stacked on the bottom of a console table! This is a fabulous way to recycle and repurpose, and it has a charming nostalgic effect!
10| Simple Centerpieces
You don’t need much to create a centerpiece for your Christmas dinner table.
An a pine cone wreath or a cluster of large pine branches with candles looks amazing festive on a table as a centerpiece.
A dough bowl filled with greens and ornaments is perfectly simple and inexpensive as well.
A garden bowl with cranberries, oranges, rosemary and floating candles look gorgeous as well.
A cluster of just candles is stunningly elegant and simple as well.
The idea is that you don’t need a complex Christmas tablescape. The good news is that one focal point or tray is more than enough!
11| DIY Paper Snowflakes
This is another DIY project that I just love – making snowflakes from paper bags!
This project is so, so easy, and the neutral color scheme are perfect for a minimalist holiday decorations t lifestyle! I love how this looks, and you can even keep it up for winter decor! This was one of my favorite projects from last year and it’s such a festive decoration.
12| Advent Calendar
This is practical but absolutely can double as Christmas decor! Advent calendars can be inexpensively made by printing off free tags and placing them on a pretty bulletin board or pallet.
Again, this is functional, which minimalists love, and can also be decorations as well.
You can check out these posts for 30+Advent Calendar DIYs and for 30+ Free Printable Activities & Fillers to use with them!
13| White Lights & Candles
You don’t need over-the-top decorations to create a magical effect.
Hanging strings of white lights vertically from a curtain rod is a simple way to add twinkle to your home with needing a lot of decorations to go with it. I especially love this idea if you are hosting a Christmas party – it’s pure magic on a budget!
There are so many places you can add white lights that just add so much elegance and warmth.
Candles are instant warmth and coziness, and they are so easy on your budget. You can get candles easily and cheaply, and candles by themselves just look fabulous!
14| Blankets and Throw Pillows in a Basket
Nothing says cozy more than pillows and blankets.
While not overtly ‘Christmas’ (though you can certainly purchase Christmas specific pillows and blankets), any blankets that are cozy and simple will add warmth to your home and can definitely be considered Christmas decor. And, you can use them all winter long.
They are also practical, because who doesn’t like to snuggle with a blanket and pillows? Relaxing with hot cocoa, snug in a blanket, with family nearby is the best thing about the Christmas season.
Or, you can use them in basket as well!
15| No Sew Placemat Pillows
Speaking of pillows, you can inexpensively make your own, which are often the perfect size for a basket! All you need are some Christmas placemats! Check out the full tutorial here, but it’s as easy as tearing the seam, stuffing with filling, and gluing it back up!
16| Bargain Finds
So much of what you see in box stores can feel generic as far as decorations go, but thrift stores and flea markets are great ways to add a personal touch to your decor. They are also a great place to score from vintage pieces that are truly unique.
The idea is to use pieces that you truly love, and these types of stores often have treasures that you can’t find anywhere else. Spending a little time shopping at these places will not only help you find a bargain but leave you smitten with what you come home with.
This also agrees with the minimalist lifestyle in that you are choosing what you truly love, not just adding extra ‘things’ to your home.
17| Printable Wall Art
This is also another favorite Christmas decor idea on a tight budget. Many printables are free or can be purchased for just a few dollars.
You can print them on your own computer and put in a Dollar Tree frame, or have it enlarged at Walgreens or another store for a large statement print or focal point.
Shameless plug! My Etsy shop has a whole section of inexpensive printable wall art for Christmas, including the ones you see below!
18| Put Gift Bags in Frames
This is another hack that’s right along the line of using printables – gift bags! You can often find a coordinated set of bags, and by putting them in various sized frames, you have a gorgeous simple shelf display or a simple wall gallery!
It’s an inexpensive way to cover a lot of real estate – literally and figuratively!
19| Matching Stockings
Another way to have a simple display using stockings is to keep them in neutral colors and use all the same color or pattern. Stocking of all different varieties can look a little busy sometimes, so having softer neutral colors, simple patterns or uniform patterns keeps a serene flow.
The exception would be if your stockings are sentimental. By all means, go for personal significance over a certain ‘look.’
20| Repurpose and Reuse
Before you even start, take inventory of what you already have. Do you have candles that would work for Christmas? Jars and vases? Baskets? What do you have that could be painted or upcycled and given new life?
Just by ‘shopping your own house,’ you may find you hardly need purchase anything and have an array of anchor pieces at no additional cost! This is especially useful if you’re working with a tiny space and don’t really want to bring more ‘stuff’ into the house.
For example, I had these Christmas icicles that I repurposed into wreaths for my window.
These bottles, tobacco basket, and candle holders are pieces I use almost every season somewhere in the house!
21| Use Christmas Cards as Christmas decor
I love this idea because it’s so practical! Not only are you decorating, but you have a smart way to put all those Christmas cards you get in the mail to good use! There are so many way Christmas cards can double as decor in your home – and do not even need to spend one cent! The decor will come to you!
How Can I Decorate for Christmas Minimally, on a Budget? Answered!
I hope you loved these ideas for a cozy minimalist Christmas! These decorations are easy to incorporate and easy on the budget! Perfect for frugal families who still want the coziness for Christmas!
If you want to see more Christmas DIYs, more Christmas decorating ideas for the entire home, Christmas Home Tours… be sure to check out this Ultimate Christmas Guide, with every single one of my Christmas posts in one place!
And if you’re looking ahead to winter decor, check out this post for minimalist & cozy winter decorating ideas!
More thoughts? Leave a comment below! I’d love to hear them!