to me, nothing beats red & white for christmas. it's just so classic, and so clean & graphic & typifies the season. more specifically... a candy cane. when you see a candy cane, you just can't help but think christmas!
i love cheap decorating with candy canes. i bought 3 boxes at wal-mart, 98 cents each for 12 candy canes. [i love bob's brand because they're just the right shape, color, and mintiness, if you decide to eat them after decorating!]
there's only one rule when it comes to decorating with candy canes... when in doubt, keep adding more. eventually there will be enough to make it look more like you did it on purpose & not like your toddler has been stashing them about the house.
really, you can do no wrong. mason jar + candy cane = insta-christmas-y & cute!
i originally wanted to make a bajillion paper snowflakes & hang them with candy canes until they obliterated the boring-builder light fixture in our dining room. unfortunately, the thing hangs so low that the face-smacking risk was high, so instead i stuck them in the hanging chain until i felt it was sufficiently covered. again, not crafty rocket science, but a little cute & colorful for a light fixture that i'm trying to ignore how much i dislike it.
boring light fixture:
light fixture with a little christmas spirit!
other fun things to do with candy canes: glue them around your candles or a wreath, or just set them in a vase.
all of the above also goes for little round peppermints: throw them in a bowl with some ornaments as a quick centerpiece
you could even use your friend the humble candy cane to make a gift! here's an idea. the dollar tree has some very plain, simple glass hurricanes/vases in the perfect height and shape for using with candy canes! all it takes is one vase, candy canes, hot glue, & a bit of ribbon.
just set the glass level on the table so that the candy canes are all even- you want it to still sit flat even with the candy canes around the bottom. then gently glue them hook-side down with a long strip of hot glue.
glue them all the way around, spacing carefully, until your vase is covered.
add a bit of ribbon & you're ready to use it as a centerpiece or give it as a gift to your favorite hostess-y homemaker! this one cost me all of about $4 to make, including putting a candle in it.
you could give it with a candle in it, or even some pretty red flowers. i've also seen it done with the hooks pointing upwards like this:
here's the full list of no-budget christmas decor ideas so far: