Monday, 10 December 2012

Easy and cheap DIY Christmas decoration ideas - studentbeans article

It's nearly 1am as I write, I've just finished working on an essay about the German Democratic Republic in the 1950s and I'm rather tired, so I'm going to keep this opening spiel pretty concise.

My latest article for is up, in which I reveal a load of ways to make your own Christmas decorations and jazz up your home without having to splash a load of cash - "15 cheap DIY Christmas decoration ideas." And c'mon, who wouldn't want that? Exactly. You would. In fact, you do. I can tell. There's more to a student-friendly Christmas than Primark's finest tinsel, that's for sure, so don't let a limited budget stand in the way of a festive few weeks of joy!

Here's a cheeky lil extract for my lovely blog readers:

"So, it’s Christmas time, and you’re at uni. All the beloved decorations from your childhood Christmases past are at home with the rest of your family. What’s a broke student to do?

Well, having a decorationless Christmas isn't even an option, that's for sure! Just look at all the simple ways in which you can Christmasify your house/hall without breaking the bank…

Crank up the Mariah Carey, whack out the mince pies and get all your mates involved. Aww. Students making Christmas decorations together - I think we all know what next year's John Lewis Christmas ad should be, don't we?

1. Paper chains

Minimum effort. Maximum Christmas impact. You can buy special paper chain-making kits with pre-prepared strips of paper if you’re feeling extra lazy, but why not save money by making your own: cut strips of paper (Christmas wrapping paper is perfect) about 2cm wide and as long as you like - the longer the strips, the bigger the loops will be, obviously. Curl one strip into a loop and secure with sellotape, then do the same with the next strip but loop it through the first one before sellotaping, then just keep going like this. With all your housemates involved, you’ll have enough to cover the whole house in no time.

2. Pinecones

Pinecones have a really festive feel to them. You could buy some from a shop, but why spend the money when you can find perfectly good pinecones for free in the good old outdoors (bird poo can totally be washed off, after all)? Give them a wash if needs be, and whack some in a nice bowl as a pretty table centrepiece. If you’re feeling particularly keen, dip the tips of the pinecones in gold or silver paint or glitter for an extra festive touch.

3. Christmas cards draped over ribbon

Or if you’re feeling like a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to splashing out at Christmastime, string will do the job. Use pins or blue tack to stick it to your walls, then proudly display all your Christmas cards (hang them sideways). Not only are you adding Christmas cheer, you’re also letting everyone know just how popular you are. Or not, as the case may be. It’s probably because you’re a Scrooge.

4. Paper window stencils

These are surprisingly easy yet really effective. All you have to do is draw a silhouette of a festive shape on to a piece of paper, cut it out and stick it on to your window with a little blue-tack. Particularly pretty when it’s dark, these are lovely for passers-by to look at (and any visitors will obviously be impressed.) If you’re lacking in artistic talent, find a picture online and either print it out or copy it.

5. Tree branches

The whole tradition of Christmas trees started off with the ancient Egyptians bringing palm leaves into their homes to mark the winter solstice, so if you can’t afford an actual Christmas tree, why not take a leaf (see what I did there?) out of their book and find a spare branch outside to bring in. Cover it in tinsel and no-one will know the difference."

So for ten (yes, TEN!), more fabulously innovative ideas of how to turn your home into a Christmas wonderland this December, I'd be honoured if you'd click on through to read the rest of my article here. The above ones will also make more sense with the pictures on the website as well. 

PS. If you like this type of thing, you may very well like my previous blog post in which I reveal the 20 best ways to decorate a student room.

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