Well, it’s yet again, the most wonderful time of the year. If you’re like me, you want Christmas all around you, all the darn time. Yes, you of course want to decorate your home with joy and cheer, but if you work a full-time job or have to be out of your home most of the time, it’s a shame to just leave it at that. I personally get a pretty long Christmas break to be fair, but that’s not for three whole weeks! In the meantime, I spend at least 8-9 hours a day away at work, and then I get to enjoy my tiny home wonderland (okay it’s not that elaborate yet, but I do have an adorable tree which I will show you more of soon) for only a few hours each night before bed (with your furbabies, perhaps?)
So, my solution? Make my office a wonderland as well! The only limitation is, my job kind of has a low budget for decorations for the purpose our own enjoyment. We have to be smart about our money so that we can serve our students well. But don’t worry, keeping décor to a small budget and making sure to DIY each craft is my specialty. I was born for the challenge.
I present to you some great DIY ways to decorate your office on a budget. You can express your creativity and spread holiday cheer without buying a pre-lit tree for hundreds of dollars. It IS possible, and I’ll show you how!
- “Chalkboard” Christmas (or Christmas break) Countdown
There are two ways to approach this craft. I have been very much into creating a “chalkboard” look in my crafts using black poster board from the Dollar store and white puff paint or metallic pens. With this method, I can make a sign look any way I want to. It has also given me a lot of practice with using puff paint pens so that my lines get straighter and more even every day. (Hint: drag the tube upward instead of down because, for those of us that are right-handed, your hand likes going from down to up or left to right better. It comes more naturally.) It is a much more difficult and time-consuming method, but man it is super cute when finished!
The other method is for those of you that aren’t great with painting or creating things from scratch, or you simply don’t have the time, but still want this adorable countdown sign. All you have to do is print this free version, put it inside of a frame and write the number of days left until Christmas on the glass with a whiteboard marker every day. Easy peasy and looks professional!
Source: Unskinny Boppy
2. Minimalist Tinsel Garland Christmas Tree
If you can’t afford or don’t have the time or space for a full Christmas tree, your best bet will be a tinsel garland tree. And hey, it doesn’t have to look lazy or cheap – with the right touch, it actually looks quite modern and minimalist and quite intentionally adorable.
Just add a couple of touches such as a tree “topper” at the top with a big shiny bow or star, as well as a little tree skirt and small present on top. Oh, and did I mention that all of these things can be found at the Dollar Store?
3. String Lights Tree
Aesthetics: 5/10 (it’s likely more beautiful as a large outdoor décor)
Okay so technically, this one is not inside my office. But it’s right outside of my office, and it’s so simple and cool that I just had to include it. Instead of buying a ginormous fake or real tree, especially because our college campus has a lot of stone and metal instead of large trees naturally growing, our school decided to instead make the flag pole into our Campus Christmas Tree. It has become a long-standing tradition, and everyone now adores the light tree. At night it capitalizes the part that makes Christmas trees truly beautiful– nothing but the lights.
You could use the same idea with a smaller version on top of your desk or from a pole you have in the yard or neighborhood. The length of the pole will of course determine the cost of the lights that you will purchase. If you have a “centerpiece” that can stand as a pole on your table, you can likely use 2 feet strands from the Dollar store (and as many as you want!) If you are trying to make your basketball hoop or street lamp into a light tree, you will want to buy 20 foot light strands like this on Amazon.
4. Stockings by the “Fireplace”
This one has gotten me so many compliments! I’m not saying that to toot my own horn, I just wanted you to know how many admirers you will likely have if you attempt this beautiful masterpiece on your cubicle wall.
First, pick a spot where most of your co-workers can see it and relish in its glory. After all, the whole point is to bring the office together so that they can all have their own stocking and feel special.
Next, purchase this awesome brick wall tablecloth from the Dollar Store! When I saw it there, I just couldn’t believe it. I passed it and immediately grabbed it, intending to use it for an eventual Harry Potter Marathon Party to add a Platform 9 & 3/4 logo, but when I thought of our office stocking tradition, I knew I had to use it as a fireplace. Sadly, they do not have it up on the Dollar Tree website. *tear* You will have to venture to a few Dollar Trees and see if it is in stock. Or if you are okay with spending a little bit more money, they do have a couple of bigger (and probably better quality or thicker material on Amazon.
Next, pick your favorite stockings from Dollar Tree. They have quite a few really cute and fancy ones that go together really well!
Then, practice your puff paint skills. You will use the white one the stockings with red top trim and the black one for stockings with white top trim (whichever will stand out more!) I used this font as a template to try to copy, but I did write them free-hand. You can use a more simple font with just straight lines or your own cursive, it will still be cute all the same. I just know for me that I can make something much more beautiful if I am looking at a beautiful example instead of going from the picture in my mind.
Lastly, tape or tack the brick wall tablecloth up on the wall and tape or tack or hang the stockings on hooks at the top of the bricks. Voila, all of your team’s stockings are hung by the “chimney” with care! We added a fun little element because we have a Secret Santa exchange – we wrote our wish lists of $10 gifts on a piece of cardstock and then put it inside of our stocking when we were done. Now, the person who is assigned to get us a gift has to slyly go up to the stockings and take a picture of their gift receiver’s list before someone notices which name they drew. Try to keep it all a secret while looking at their list in front of everyone!
With these simple and adorable Christmas decoration ideas, you can enjoy your long workdays and even pretend to warm yourself by the fireplace. There is no need to wait until you get home to kick your feet up by the Christmas tree. (Okay, you probably shouldn’t kick your feet up at work, but you get my point.) Both budget and time cannot stop you, so go ahead and treat yo’ self!
Have you ever tried a similar Christmas decoration? Will you try one of these ideas (or all of them?) Will you use one of these ideas at home instead of the office? Let me know in the comments!
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