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Affordable Christmas Decorations, by Matilda Sturley

Decorating for Christmas can be an expensive task. There’s the tree, the garland over the fireplace, the outdoor lights, the festive table… we could go on, but I’m assuming you know what Christmas is about.

With Christmas decorations costing around £3.99 to £25 per bauble, the cost for making your home look beautifully festive is often pretty expensive. Granted, you buy a bauble and you’ll keep it for years, and yet it’s usually the little costs that end up adding up.

So, we at Tat tasked ourselves with decorating an affordable Christmas table. We used a lot of what we already had at the Tat flat, including the hand-painted napkins by Studio Botanico and the Christmas wreath by my sister, Poppy Sturley.

I scooped up the beautiful potted hellebores from Alexander Hoyle at the Interior Boot Sale last weekend and bought the two amaryllises at a local flower shop.

We used dried oranges, trailing green ribbon, fresh oranges and pears and big gold bells were thrown down the table as additional decoration.


Paper Baubles

We were inspired to make the mutli-coloured paper baubles by Sean Pritchard. They are really simple to make and really impactful once hanging over the table.

Mine, however, aren't as neat and tidy as Sean's. Not to be a bad workman blaming tools, but I was using a regular pair of scissors as a left-handed person - tough stuff!

To make these, cut your multi-coloured card into circles, fold each of them in half and prit-stick one side of the circle onto the next piece of card. Before you glue together the final piece to form the circle, lay a piece of string over the centre of the bauble and glue up the final piece.


Painted Place Cards

I taught myself to paint by painting oranges. Brown, orange, white - that's essentially all you need to paint one of these place cards.

First, paint an orange circle and blend a brown semi-circle on the left-hand side. Then do the same with white, but slightly smaller on the right.

On the side with the brown, add the brown shadow underneath, making it a little darker directly underneath the orange.

Finally, for a little extra colour, add a brown stalk and green leaf on the side with the shadow.


Hand-Painted Candles

Painted candles are great, but can be really expensive. Given they are usually hand-painted and many often have very detailed designs, their price is completely justifiable. But at £25 for two, painting your own candles is a far more affordable way to jazz up your festive table.

We opted for stripes and spots on honey-coloured tapered candles, but you can be as ambitious with your designs as you choose.

You’ll need to make sure to get non-toxic, water-based acrylic paint for the candles and make sure to wait several hours after painting before lighting the candle.


Paper Angels

These little paper angels are so sweet and definitely the lowest cost element of the festive table. I used plain white paper to make these, which are framed by one of my sister's beautiful wreaths.

In a bid to make things slightly easier to follow, this tutorial on YouTube shows how to make these.


Party Hats

During Christmas lunch, it’s one of my favourite moments when everyone puts on their Christmas cracker crown. We couldn’t decide between the cones or the newspaper hats, so we opted for both!

We used multi-coloured paper from the same pack as the baubles and for the cone hats, click here to see how to make your own. For the newspaper, we opted for the FT for its colour and hopefully, its cross-party reporting avoiding any family arguments. We followed this video tutorial.


Huge thank you to Tildy, To Follow Her Click Here!


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