How to decorate your (student) home for Christmas on a budget

How to celebrate & decorate your (student) home for Christmas on a budget

Hooray!!! Exams are now over and Christmas is next week! The first two weeks of December was exhausting catching up with class materials, revision and exam stress. I didn’t have time to take care of my house. So now that everything is over, I think my house deserves a make-over! It’s the time I brighten up my flat/home in preparation for the celebrations. However, I know that students have quite a tight budget, so here are a few tips to help turn your house Christmas-y without breaking the bank!

Also, though I know most people go home for Christmas, some of my friends decided to stay and celebrate their Christmas in Edinburgh. If you are one of those people, I’ve included some tips from my friend on how they decided to spend their student Christmas in Edinburgh.

1. Shop at a bargain store or a charity shop

My mini £1 Christmas tree!

No student could afford a tree for £25 and lack of space in our student dorms would not allow for a big tree like the one at your parents’ house! If you are in Edinburgh; Poundland, Poundsaver and the Edinburgh Bargain Stores is the place to look for when you need party supplies and decorations. Last year I got my mini tree (picture above) for £1 from Poundland! You can also get a bigger one for £5 at IKEA. Here is a list of cheap stuff you can buy in store for Christmas decorations.

2. D-I-Y your own decorations

Ready made decorations may be convenient and easy if you’re lazy, but they are quite expensive. If you really want to save, another option is to Do-It-Yourself or make some decorations yourself! In this day and age, it is very easy to find tutorials on the Internet like this and on Youtube like this one which teaches you how to make those classic paper chains !

You can also be very creative and save the world by reusing and recycling stuff you threw away, such as your lecture notes that you used for revision (now that the exams are over) and your old socks. Time to show off your artistic inner self to your flatmates!

3. Bake your own Christmas cookies!

Last year, I found this interesting marble Christmas cookie recipe on the Internet so I invited my friends over for an afternoon to bake them up together.

Before baking…

Before baking

After baking

Me & my baking team!

My friends and I shared the ingredients and they were as cheap as £4-5! The cookies also came out very nice. They not only taste good but are also great for decorations as well. Since there are so many cookies, I divided them into some gift bags which I gave to my friends as Christmas presents!

Nicely packaged!

So proud of our creations!

4. Home cooked Christmas meals

Our home cooked dinner last year!

I love to cook, so before Christmas I will invite friends over to my flat and whip up some simple roasted meals for my friends. They are simpler to make than you would think. For example, for roasted potatoes, you just cut up some potatoes, drizzle them with oil, put on baking tray and bake them at 200 degrees for 20-30 minutes. And of course, you can easily bake your own whole chicken (Check out this recipe from Jamie Oliver!).

5. Share the cost with your flatmates

Of course, even with all these measures, you might find it is still overwhelming to pay for all this yourself. It’s very easy to ask your friend to share the cost and help you cook/bake. In my experience, I found it’s very easy to get friends to help me out when planning to celebrate Christmas. No one hates Christmas!