Inexpensive Christmas Decor

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Inexpensive Christmas Decor

We have lived in our home for 22 years and have watched both our family and home transform over the years. From one child to two, then add in three adopted siblings. Watch a daughter get married and leave home and a son go away to college.  Changing rooms and purposes and hearts in the process.

Our home is evidence of the love we pour into our family, the struggles, joy, heartache and grace.

With every home project we tackle we make memories and experience life together. As we find solutions to problems (both in our physical home and the craziness of relationships), we allow our children to observe and experience problem solving and compromise. Thank you to all those readers who enjoy and visit our home projects and also allow us to share our hearts with you.

On to our mantel problem. The problem? No mantel! No fireplace. No nothing. The solution for me (as I discovered with our fall decor) is to decorate the top of our piano like a mantel with some inexpensive Christmas decor.

This year I totally redid my “mantel.” Usually I take my nativity collectables and let the kids just arrange them in any old way. Not this year!

I chose my favorite nativity set and used them as the centerpiece, setting them inside an empty picture frame.

At one end of the piano I used one of the many glass containers we had for Rachel’s wedding and filled it with ornaments and tied it with a bow.

Surrounding the main pieces was greenery with pinecones I sprayed with Glitter Blast by Krylon.

If you look at this post you’ll see these exact candles, stands and burlap in my fall decor. I changed the ribbon and that was it! They fit in perfectly!

I bought a ton of these wooden words at Michael’s one year after Christmas for $.10 each and sprayed the word faith with the glitter spray to give it a little bling. I like bling. Can you tell?

Other than the glitter spray (60% off coupon at JoAnn’s) and a strand of lights (NOT on sale. Sad.), I didn’t buy anything new for my “mantel.” I just pulled out all my Christmas supplies and started throwing things together. I love the result (won’t tell you how long it took, though) and it filled my need for creativity and frugality at the same time!

How do you save money on Christmas decorating?

 Would you like to see more of my favorite Christmas projects? Here’s my 2013 Christmas Home Tour,

2013 Christmas Home Tour

my fence board Christmas tree,

Fence Board Christmas Tree from Marty's Musings

and my rustic Christmas tablescape.

Rustic Christmas Tablescape - Marty's Musings

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  1. Sandra @Beneath this Roof, Within these Walls says:

    Your “mantel” is very beautiful. All of it is just lovely, and I really like your nativity, the colors are so soft and pretty.
    That Glitter Blast is amazing stuff, just perks everything right up.

  2. Jane Bowers says:

    Love your “mantel”! Think I need to buy a couple of cans of Glitter Blast now…
    On your question of how to save money on decorating??? Most importantly, I re-use things every year and sometimes just change location of certain deco’s. I also shop good ole Dollar Tree and latch on to some great finds to either perk up an older piece or create something new. In the past, one of my favorite things to do was go in search of bags and bags of pine cones to make wreaths. I mostly gave them away but still have my very first one I made 30 years ago!!! It’s got a place of honor on my small front porch…tattered and weather beaten but full of memories.

  3. Hi Marty! I love your non mantel especially your candles. They are gorgeous, I had to pin them!

    I’m having a, “It’s a Social Hop like Crazy” party. I’d love for you to hop on over, grab a button and link up your blog.

    Have a crazy beautiful week!

  4. What a great idea, I don’t have a piano to use, so I have to resort to the entry foyer table as my mantel. In Florida, fireplaces just aren’t popularโ˜บ Your display is gorgeous!

  5. I use my mantel . . . and my piano . . . and any other flat surface to decorate for Christmas. ๐Ÿ™‚ My Nativity Set goes on the mantel. My Christmas Village goes on the piano and the living room bookshelves. Candles go here, there, and everywhere.

    I was going to decorate this past weekend. We then had a death in the family (elderly, but I had to go out of town for 2 days), and now I am down sick. I sure wish my Christmas decorations would magically appear. Maybe I can get my 16 year old to put some up tonight. They would brighten my mood (despite my swollen glands, fever, and aches). If I’ve got to be sick, I might as well be surrounded by beauty, right?

  6. Wow, you are one clever lady! Thanks so much for sharing this! I’m so glad you linked up this project on our homemade holiday party! Don’t forget to come and cast your votes for your favorite 5 (and have your friends come out and vote for you too!)


  7. Stopping by from WFMW. I love what you’ve done with your piano! I think I may have to borrow some of your ideas. It’s truly gorgeous! Blessings from Croatia: Rosilind from A Little R & R:

  8. It looks very pretty, Marty. I love how you used the empty frame to contain the Nativity. This is the first home we’ve had in many years with a fireplace and mantel — small & shallow, but a mantel never the less. In our previous home, when we turned our back patio into a sunroom, The Man built a mantel that was quite large & had a super-size mirror (from a wall behind a bar that we took out in the family room) attached to the wall above it. It was a delightful place to decorate for all the seasons. My way of keeping costs down during Christmas decorating is to keep using the same things I’ve used for many, many years and just displaying them in different ways.

  9. Beautiful…too bad I have neither a mantel or a piano. Doesn’t keep me from enjoying this though, just lovely.

  10. totally gorgeous! I use a shelf as my fantel! Wish I had a piano to decorate because yours looks awesome!

  11. It looks amazing!

  12. It looks beautiful!

  13. Lovely! I don’t have a mantle either and I use another piece of furniture as a mantle. Works great for us! Enjoyed the post!

  14. Very beautiful, you did a great job!
    Saw you linking at Whimsy Wednesday.
    Debbie ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. Your “mantle” is beautiful. Love the lights, it gives it all such a warm glow!

  16. It looks beautiful, Marty! I love the tip for using the frame, too.
    Thanks so much for sharing at the link party,
    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  17. Beautiful!
    I have a fireplace but no mantel so like you, I substitute other surfaces, mainly the ledge in my kitchen.

  18. This is beautiful, everything flows really nice.
    Thanks for sharing at the Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Adorned From Above,
    The Busy Bee’s,
    Myrna and Joye.

  19. GREAT ideas! We also have no mantle, so I’m looking at using our piano in a similar fashion this season!
    Followed you over from Five Days 5 ways! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Thanks for stopping by Marty’s Musings and my Christmas mantel post. Go for it with the piano! In case, it’s not being used anyway ๐Ÿ™

  20. Great decorations! We don’t have a mantel either, and no really place we can use as a fake mantel. We do have an open wall in our kitchen though, so I’m thinking maybe I’ll put a shelf up so I have somewhere to decorate! Thanks for sharing at The Fun In Functional!

  21. SO pretty! Glad to know I’m not the only blogger in the world without a mantel…haha. Thank you for linking at Shine on Fridays!

    • Amy, you are certainly not the only blogger without a mantel, but I admit I do drool over some of the one’s I’ve seen this year! Thanks for liking my “no mantel” post!
      [email protected]’s Musings

  22. We didn’t have a mantel in our old house and I was always sad. I used to decorate the stair railings with our stockings and the dresser top where our tv sat as our “mantel”. I love that you repurposed your decorations! Thanks for linking up at A Crafty Christmas!

  23. it all looks beautiful! love the wrapped candles!

    • Thanks, Cassie, for visiting my Christmas mantel (or lack of one) post. I love the wrapped candles, too, and they were ridiculously simple!
      [email protected]’s Musings

  24. Beautiful! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home and have a Merry Christmas!

  25. Marty,
    This is so beautiful and a very creative way with no mantel. Thanks so much for sharing at Wednesday’s Adorned From Above Blog Hop. This weeks party is live. I hope to see you there.
    Debi @ Adorned From Above
    Joye and Myrna @ The Busy Bee’s
    Linda @ With A Blast

  26. Great job! This is all lovely and festive. I love the way you use the top of the piano like a mantel–it looks just right!

    • Thanks, Richella, for always hosting each week. I’m glad you enjoyed my Christmas decorating!
      [email protected]’s Musings

  27. Looks beautiful!
    Thanks for coming by to link up to the Christmas Mantel party at Embracing Change!

  28. Great idea, as someone who does not have a mantel, I really appreciate this! I showed this off this morning!


  29. so precious!

  30. Looks Very Cute!!! I have a little foe fireplace and love to decorate it up! ๐Ÿ™‚ Would you share this on our blog hop?

    xoxo, Jordan.

  31. Pretty! And yes, there are always ways we can decorate our house, even if not in obvious places ๐Ÿ™‚

  32. We have the same problem, no fireplace. BUT we do have the same solution! Time to pretty up that piano!

    • Yeah for pretty pianos! Thank you so much, Diana for visiting Marty’s Musings! I love Christmas decorating! Hope you have a blessed holiday!

  33. Great idea to decorate your piano! I’m thinking about decorating a side table. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Thanks, Bethany, for visiting Marty’s Musings and my (pretend) mantel post! I say decorate every surface you can find! Which is basically what I did! Have a blessed day!

  34. Hi Marty,
    Visiting (and following you now) from Homemaker on a Dime. I can totally relate to your comments about changing homes and families : )
    Your “mantel” is just lovely. I don’t have a fireplace right now either, but I created a little “faux mantel” in my bedroom for my electric fireplace, and I’m also using the top of our piano in the main living area. Hoping to have a post on that by tomorrow (wish me luck-haha). Merry Christmas!
    [email protected]

  35. you definitely made the most of what you had! Great ideas on decorating your “mantel”

  36. It’s beautiful. Who needs a mantel when you have a piano? : )

  37. I love those candles! Everything is just beautiful.

  38. Your mantel looks wonderful. I love the nativity and candles. Very beautiful.

    • Hi, Ruth! Thanks for visiting my mantel post on Marty’s Musings. It’s been fun to do something different this year and experiment! I hope you’ll stop by again soon.

  39. You did a great job with your “no mantel mantel.” and it looks so lovely! I really like the nativity sitting in the frame. I keep seeing the results of that Glitter Blast and will have to try some next year. I do buy a few things each year, but I have and use things that we’ve had since our early years of marriage (that’s 43….lol!). I use the same things year after year, but I seldom use them in the same place or the same way, so it usually gives them new life, and we get to enjoy the memories in lots of different ways.

    • Hi, Cas. Thanks for the sweet comment on my mantel post at Marty’s Musings! I love the fact that you’re using decorations for your years (many ๐Ÿ™‚ of marriage. I love using things that have a story behind them. They truly delight me and I can tell they do you as well. Have a blessed Christmas!

  40. You did a fabulous job! Everything looks so beautiful! Visiting from A Glimpse Inside. Have a Merry Christmas!

    • Thanks, Kathy, for stopping by my blog and commenting on my mantel post. I appreciate you visiting and taking the time to live a comment. Hope your holiday season is blessed and restful!
      [email protected]’s Musings

  41. Thanks, Shelby, for visiting my (fake) mantel post at Marty’s Musings. Us mantel-less girls have to stick together! Have a blessed Christmas!

  42. Very pretty especially the nativitiy and the candle pillars!
    Thanks for linking up this week!
    Stacey of Embracing Change

  43. I love what you did. I don’t have a mantle but I do have a piano. Great job! visiting from My Front Porch.

  44. Beautiful! Love the nativity figurines!

  45. We love your crafty idea and appreciate you taking the time to share it with us in the Crafty Showcase. Stop back in to see who gets featured on Friday.

    Merry Christmas,
    Susie, Sandy, Sarah & the Bowdabra Designers

  46. Your piano top looks as beautiful as any mantel. You did an awesome job and it’s all just amazing.
    Over from The Charm….

  47. Those candle sticks with burlap are wonderful. Such a great way to create a mantel.
    Merry Christmas!

  48. Nice sloution to the problem! ๐Ÿ™‚

  49. It’s really a great and useful piece of information.
    I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us.

    Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

  50. Love your mantle Christmas 2012. PLEASE let me know where you found those white
    candle holders. I understand that you had to paint them . I REALLY would like to
    know where I can find them or some similar,
    Thank you,

    • Hi, Juanita. I don’t know you wanted to know where I found those candle holders but unfortunately it was at a yard sale! I wish I could help, but thank you for commenting!

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