Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to decorate for Easter with $15!

Growing up, my father always decorated to the fullest extent for every single holiday. St. Patrick's Day, Halloween, Easter, Birthdays, Christmas, Valentines Day, you name it. Waking up in a festively decorated home, no matter our personal reality, created a childhood filled with euphoric memories. Now that I myself am a mom, I do my best to decorate for the majority of holidays, with a few swept under the rug only to save money. For example, I don't actively decorate for Valentines Day, but my son and I have our own traditions by creating something for us with arts and crafts, then going out for a dinner of his choice. Creating unique memories is something I aim for, but for the big holidays I add a household, decorative touch without spending a huge amount of money. Easter is no different. We have our personal traditions and we decorate with our decorations we've had for a few years now, which we both treasure. The best part? Everything we have for Easter is personalized and cost less than $15 for our entire apartment to be decorated!

Now, many of you may be "anti-Dollar Tree", due to their "cheap" products that may or may not work, but when it comes to decorations, I truly feel you can't get any better. Granted you could always up your game and go buy the "trendy" decor they sell at Target for $9 EACH, but I think Dollar Tree more than suffices. A few tips for not spending a huge amount on Easter - or any holidays - decorations are creative DIY's and thrift stores. 

When we went to the Dollar Tree, they were selling these adorable little white trees, with bendable branches. Directly next to them were adorable little eggs that hang, a pack of solid glitter, and a pack of swirl glitter. Yes, they probably designed it that way so you'd buy both, but this is a prime example of how to be creative! Each pack had two of the same color, so we bought one solid and one swirl, dividing the colors up evenly. We then purchased two potted branch trees, and hang half swirl and half glitter on each tree. One for the living room and one for the bathroom. The two most visited rooms in the apartment, therefore the only two rooms with Easter decor. 

We also found adorable little eggs on "shish kebab" sticks, which seem to be for the garden. Seeing as how we don't have an outside to stick them into, we bought an Easter tin and some Styrofoam. I cut two circle pieces out of the Styrofoam. One small circle to fit on the bottom of the tin and one to sit towards the top, that way I could stick each stick through both circles to have them standing exactly how I want. I added a little fake grass and it turned out to be a really cute decoration piece. In the picture, I didn't put the grass, only so you could see where the Styrofoam fits. 

My son loves garland and decided he wanted an "egg garland". Instead of purchasing one at Target for a price I was SO not willing to spend, I bought a pack of plastic eggs at Dollar Tree, used some regular white sewing thread, and began threading each individual egg to create a long train of eggs. Each egg has a tiny hole on the top and bottom, making the threading possible. (If you decided to repeat this, try to leave a little bit of room in between each egg. If you push them too tight together, they will begin "popping" open.) Once I finished threading each egg, I tied some yard to the ends of the string, creating a "loop" so the DIY garland could be easily hung. Underneath our garland, instead of going extremely extravagant, we just placed a simple little bunny "head" that we purchased at, you guessed it, the Dollar Tree. The wall itself is pretty bare, but with these two together, it made a simple but festive "Easter wall".

Another little trick I used to decorate, was by putting the rest of the fake grass I already purchased, into a basket I found at a thrift store for $1, placing a stuffed Easter Beenie Baby on top. I'm quite fond of stuffed animals in general and I felt like adding this little guy by himself just wouldn't do him justice. So I placed two eggs in the basket with him and put next to the TV, making him almost the center of the entire apartment. Since the holiday is mostly decorated with the use of bunnies.

My last decor piece is my favorite. At the Dollar Tree, they had this medium sized plastic egg that opened, allowing you to put candy inside. They were also selling a pack of six decorated, plastic eggs, that were slightly bigger than the regular ones. The decorated eggs are big enough to put a few surprises inside each one, allowing him to find "goodies". I usually put a few jelly beans or chocolate eggs, a "blind bag" from the lego store or Target, and a few stickers. He loves it and it's inexpensive. My only problem was that I didn't want these beautiful eggs to be stored away until the Easter bunny could hide them the night before and I didn't want to have a plastic egg, visibly filled with candy, sitting on the table. So I decided to put the six decorated eggs INTO the medium sized plastic egg and BOOM! A really cute center piece that's minimal and functional. The night before Easter, each egg is just filled and placed. Plus it makes storing them much easier. 

Overall, I think we did (and do) a good job at decorating. I spent a total of $13 plus tax, which is why I rounded it up to $15. For us, it really isn't about the decor (although my euphoria definitely kicks in every time the decorations go up and the festiveness shines through), but how we actually celebrate the day itself. I want my son to be able to celebrate without feeling like that's the celebration, plus I don't enjoy spending money on decor that's stored for majority of the year. Christmas on the other hand, man....we go to TOWN on that! We've saved up things from over the year, but literally everywhere you walk, Christmas is in your face!!!!!

Also, you should always check on Pinterest for cheap DIY's. They have "pins" for every single holiday you can possible imagine! I've made a few mini cake stands (just like cake stands, but smaller. All you need is a small plate and candle holder. Boom, $2 mini cake stands that could even be used for jewelry or perfumes), DIY wreaths for Halloween and Christmas, and even how to make my own Christmas tree that is EXTREMELY budget friendly. 

The moral of this story is that when it comes to decorating for any holiday, you don't need to go out and purchase the greatest decor you can find at Target, Party City, Michael's, or Walmart. Thrift stores ALWAYS have decorations for super cheap, Dollar Store has great options, AND if you wait until AFTER the holidays, stock up and get everything 70-90% off!!!!!!!! That's how we got our Halloween and Christmas decorations incredibly cheap! So enjoy the holiday and don't worry if your Easter bunny is bigger, better, and gold. 

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