Make or Buy? This is not my first trip around the merry go round that is the holiday season, so I thought I’d share some of my tips and explain a bit of my thought process when it comes to making or buying my holiday decor.
If you’re like me, you can’t hep but be drawn to all the shinny things in the stores around the holidays. I think I may be part magpie. I love all the colours, textures, and smells of the season, especially when they’re at a good price. I draw much of my overall inspiration from Pinterest, but a healthy dose comes from what I see in-store. But is it better to make or buy your ideal decor?
Have a clear and coherent vision for the decor:
Do you want to stick to a certain colour pallet? do you want to focus exclusively on one room? What about how the decor ties-in with your existing style and settings? Once you know the answers to those questions, take a good look at your existing stock. Can anything be re-used in a different way? Is anything broken? I don’t recommend completely changing your look from one year to the next, but if you do, look into selling/re-using/donating your old stock.
These are all really important questions to ask yourself before you set-out on a journey to wrap your fridge like a gift, or put elves all over your house to terrify your guests. But for real, this elf game has gotten out of control people!
This year, more than a few items piqued my interest as possible craft projects, but when I did the cost analysis, sometimes it was less expensive to buy the items. Below are some of my Make of Buy dilemmas, and how I would resolve them.
Target’s Noel Marquee lights
This is the first project to pique my interest this season. I loved the marquee lights, and wouldn’t mind having some in a year round way. But I found Target’s 45$CA price-tag to be a bit much. For some reason I can’t find them online at the moment, but I know that’s the price (it could have been 25$ also…or maybe that was a flash sale. ugh confusing). Either way, I wasn’t sure if I could make them for less. The one pictured above from A Beautiful Mess can be found here.
After doing the math, the cost of production came out to be same as if I bought them, however it required know-how and tools to do complete (read costly and time-consuming). However, if I wanted to make something more complex such as the “merry & Bright” pictured in the gallery above, it would be less expensive to make my own. If you want to see how I did it, check out the tutorial here.
A hack on the project, would be to buy a big canvas, paint the words on, and thread the lights through the canvas.
I’m sure you’ve seen these around various stores, and they’re adorable! This is something I suggest you buy, as long as the price comes in under 20$. You can find bags of berries and ornaments for a really good price at your local dollarama or dollar store, and the foam tree can be picked-up at your local craft store for 5-9$ depending on how big a tree you want.
If you’re making them though, let me suggest you buy twice as many ornaments/berries as you think you need, and then add more. Unless you want to bust-out a mathematical equation to calculate how many you need (and even then, the count on the side of the bags is never fully accurate). The effort required to make them look as nice as the ones in the stores is substantial and comes with a lot of hot glue gun burns. If you have that time, and calluses, I won’t get in your way.
For a less expensive version, you can acquire the cone and some glitter paint. Although paired-down, don’t under estimate the power of glitter.
These lovely additions are also quite popular this year. I happened to get mine on sale last year, and wish I had bought two! They’re perfect to hang in doorways, above a staircase, or on your front door in lieu of a wreath.
They run 7-15$ in most stores, but can actually be made for far less. Most dollar stores have a form of the ball for 1-2$, and if you can find some berries or small red ornaments to glue onto the ball, you’re in business! You can even pick the ribbon of your choice to hang them. I’ve got a couple of balls kicking around, and will be jazzing them up as mistletoe balls for our holiday home tour. If you’re in love with this particular one, visit the How-To over on Martha Stewart.com.
Once you’ve decided what you can buy vs. make, start to piece together your decor room by room. If you’re like me and only have a couple of hours during the week to dedicate to this, I suggest starting with the rooms that will be easiest to complete. I’ve been getting most of my decorating done on the weekend, or between 10:30pm and 11pm during the week. Time has been getting away from me!
In the holiday home tour post, I’ll be outlining my decor choices and themes for given rooms.
What have your given themes or decor choices been for the upcoming season?