Holiday Decorating for the College Student Made Easy


It’s not easy decorating for the holidays when you’re on a college budget, but there are many ways to add  small, cheap festive touches.

Christmas tree.  My roommates and I found a perfect sized, $30 Christmas tree at Walmart. We decided to save money on buying an unlit tree and add the lighting in ourselves. We liked the idea of buying a snowy tree that already looked “full” so we wouldn’t have to buy garland. We made a bow from ribbon we already had as our tree topper and used ornaments taken from storage to decorate.

Lights. With a ladder,  tacks, nails, a hammer, stringed lights and a little Christmas music, we created a starry night in our apartment. It was refreshing to try and zig-zag the lights across our ceiling instead of hanging the lights around the perimeter of our walls like you usually see. I used tacks that matched our wall color and hammered the tacks to make sure the lights were secure and then hammered a nail as back-up. We have not had the lights fall on us once yet (knock on wood). We bought three packs of 300 count, white stringed lights at Walmart for $8 a box.


Handmade snowflakes. It may help that  I have an art major roommate who creates the most beautiful hand-made snowflakes, but there is something special about some homemade Christmas crafts displayed in your home. Snowflakes are as cheap of decor as you can get. All it takes is computer paper and scissors. We have a designated snowflake wall.


Picture wall. You’re not a college girl if you’ve never had to make a picture wall. We created a holiday themed picture wall in a few easy steps:


 What you need:

  •  Tool
  •  Curtain rod
  • Small hooks
  • Ornaments with hooks
  • Glitter ribbon
  • Tissue paper
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Masking tape
  • Scissors
  • Ladder

 What to do:

  1.  Tie the strips of tool to the curtain rod.
  2. Add the ribbon on top of the tool to create a more full, colorful look.
  3. Hang the curtain rod up with small hooks.
  4. Hook the ornaments on the tool.
  5. To create the tissue flowers, fold the tissue paper like you’re making a fan. Tie the pipe cleaner in the middle and fold the paper out layer by later. It looks like they take a long time to make but they are done in minutes. Make tissue flowers in different sizes to help when taping to the wall.
  6. Use the ladder to help you tape the tissue flowers to the wall. Mix up the different sizes and colors.


Fireplace wall decal. For only $6 on Amazon, you can put a fireplace in your home. Add stockings and garland for a three-dimensional feel and your place will warm up in no time. Well, maybe not but you can use your imagination.


Other quick, small details you can add are poinsettias, garland and holiday throw pillows.

Happy holidays!


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