Whether you are starting this Christmas with zero ornaments, or you have some ornaments but would like more or you have an abundance but want some new additions, THIS POST IS FOR YOU.  Let’s be real, the ornaments at the store ARE beautiful, flashy, and glimmery.  You imagine them on your tree.  You think about what lights would go well with them.  You start getting all pumped to decorate and start to put them into your cart.  Until you see the price tag. OMG THAT MUCH FOR THIS??? It’s pretty disheartening.  It can be enough for even the most Christmassy of people to become a scrooge.

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Despair not because there are ways to get Christmas tree ornaments for cheap!

Tip #1

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Ask older relatives or friends. This might sound weird, but honestly, it’s how my husband and I got most of our ornaments.  We were fortunate because quite a few family members volunteered Christmas ornaments because they were downsizing, or no longer had kids, or wanted different ornaments.  That made it easy for us in the Christmas tree ornament acquisition.  If you know someone well and they no longer have kids or are in the process of downsizing, they may be wanting to part with some ornaments.  There is no harm in asking.  You could simply say, “Hey, my Christmas tree is looking pretty bare this year, you wouldn’t happen to have any ornaments you were thinking of getting rid of that I could have, do you?”  You could even ask that people buy you Christmas tree ornaments for a gift for Christmas.  I know, perhaps that sounds desperate, but hey, if you’re really in a pinch, why not?

Tip #2

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Buy 2nd hand at thrift stores, exchanges, yard sales, and so on.  There is no need to have brand new ornaments.  People only use them for one month out of a year, so chances are the 2nd hand ones that you come across are probably still in pretty good condition, but for a WAY reduced price. For even greater savings, if you go the thrift store route, find out when their sale day is and go then.  Most thrift stores have certain days where everything or certain items are 50% off.  

Tip #3

Look to nature!  Go foraging for some pinecones and add some sparkle to them with paint and glitter.  You could also dry sliced oranges, apples, or lemons.  Add some spices (like cinnamon or nutmeg) or essential oils to them for a more aromatic ornament. There’s ideas on Pinterest to make ornaments with twigs, leaves, and wood slices. My grandma made ornaments with sand dollars, sea shells, and starfish.  My grandma also would save the shells of nuts to make ornaments!  She was very creative and frugal.  Raid your kitchen or go outside and see what you can find! 

Tip #4

DIY!  Obviously, tip #3 is technically DIY as well.  What I mean for this one though, is buy some materials, or use materials you have on hand, and start creating some ornaments. Don’t say you don’t have any materials, there are LITERALLY ideas on Pinterest for making ornaments with toilet paper rolls.  Start saving those rolls and create some ornaments!  I literally made our Christmas tree topper with a toilet paper roll, paper, paint, and glitter (see the above photo). If you are handy with a needle and thread, you could sow your own ornaments. They don’t require much fabric since they are small, so you could use scraps from clothing you own that are too holey to be mended anymore.  You could also buy some old handkerchiefs for cheap at a thrift store or yard sale to use for fabric.  Add a few buttons or sequins to it from a Dollar Store and you have your own ornaments!  My grandma would use old sheet music, tassels, and metal cookie cutters to make ornaments.  My kids and I have literally used paper plates, bows we saved from gifts, and markers to make ornaments. Now granted, they aren’t going to win any prizes for being beautiful, but they ARE ornaments, they cost us next to nothing to make, and the kids had fun making them.  You could even use pipe cleaners and beads that you can buy at the Dollar Store nearest you.  There is a multitude of ideas for ornaments like that on Pinterest.  When I was a kid, my sister and I would make ornaments with flour, water, and salt.  My sister and I would roll the dough, cut out the shapes we wanted with cookie cutters, cook them, and paint them when they were cool. Ribbons can be tied in bows at the end of the tree branches. The options are endless!  Browse Pinterest and see what inspires you.

Tip #5

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Wait until they go on clearance after Christmas.  Now granted, with this tip that means your tree will be looking pretty bare until after Christmas.  Also, there may be slim pickings on what’s left after Christmas.  But, they WILL be super cheap. The store doesn’t want to hold onto the old Christmas ornaments and other decorations for a whole year.  If you’re not picky, stock up on what’s leftover.

Tip #6

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Hit up your nearest Dollar Store!  I feel like this tip is probably fairly obvious, but at the same time when I was first starting out in my journey of acquiring ornaments I spaced on looking there.  So, for anyone else who is feeling overwhelmed by the holiday madness, don’t forget the Dollar Stores!  Usually there are budget friendly ornaments there. They may not be as glamorous as the ones in a department store or Target, but they are ornaments and they are cheap so who is complaining?  

There you have it!  My 6 tips on how to get Christmas ornaments for cheap.  Are there any tips I forgot that I should have included?  Have you already done some of these tips?  If so, which ones?  Are there any tips you are excited to try?  Please let me know in the comments below.  

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Rebekah
Written by Rebekah
I'm a vegan homeschooling mom of 4, DIY addict, & natural health advocate.