Happy February! 2020 is already flying by, and the first festive holiday is already almost here – Valentine’s Day! I usually don’t decorate much for V-day, but when a few of my Instagram followers were requesting to see my heart themed decor, I set out to go outside of my comfort zone and decorate for the day of love – but on a major budget! Why? Because while I’m willing to spend a little more for big holidays and seasons like Fall and Christmas, I’m not willing to shell it out for smaller holidays, like V-day, 4th of July, and Halloween, whose festivities (and decor) only really last a week or two. So today I bring you the fruits of my efforts – my budget Valentine’s decor! (And if you love all things on a budget, go check out my sweet friend Kristin’s post on Budget Bathroom Organization , too – you won’t be disappointed!)
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My first task was to create these amazing cornstarch and baking soda heart ornaments that I then strung onto twine and made into garlands. I was able to make 5 full garlands (3 batches – 35 hearts total) and spend a whopping ~$8! You can watch the video below for the quick tutorial, but the basic recipe is:
You then heat over medium to high heat and mix constantly until the mixture is like pasty mashed potatoes and pulling away from the sides of the pan. Remove from heat, allow to cool for about 5 minutes, then roll out to about a quarter inch thick and use your heart shaped cookie cutter to make your hearts. Use a toothpick to create small holes for your twine. Bake at 175 for 1-2 hours (depending on thickness), flipping every 20-30 minutes.
Once your hearts have been made, you can get creative with twine, yarn, rope, etc, to really make the garlands your own. You could also use these as individual ornaments (or even homemade Valentines)! I used pink and white yarn on two of my garlands, and kept the others simple with just twine.
My next big secret for budget decor – Trader Joe’s flowers (particularly roses and eucalyptus because they dry beautifully). If you decide to invest just a bit more money, I’d go for on sale faux flowers from Hobby Lobby – they last forever, so I can always justify a few faux flowers in my life! But for this project, I used the real deal, and it all turned out so beautifully!
For an extra romantic touch, I hung roses upside down along the mantel garland, placed some flowers and eucalyptus on either side of the mantel itself, and matching flowers on the dry sink in order to pull the whole space together and keep it cohesive. I bought about $35 of flowers from Trader Joes, and they went a LONG way. They have dried now and still look lovely.
Finally, I decided to make the paper scroll from butcher paper we had in the garage. I rolled it and taped at both ends, ran some twine through the top roll, and googled a few images of sketched roses that I liked. A couple pencil sketches later, I used a Sharpie to make things permanent, and voila! FREE statement art for V-day that I don’t have to feel guilty about spending a ton on and only using for a couple of weeks! Oh, and the glass candle sticks are all thrifted!
So my mantel and stair wall are decked out with the fancier of the two of my five garlands and all of my florals, so I decided to go simpler in other ares of the home (because heart overload is a real thing :P)! I added two plain garlands to my kitchen and one to our bedroom. And that is pretty much the extent of my budget Valentine’s decor! It was easy, fun, and all in all, cost less then $50, and the garlands I can use again year after year.
But now for the real juicy stuff… want to know my hack for making my budget Valentine’s decor work for EVERY other holiday?!
BUY MORE COOKIE CUTTERS AND GO TO TOWN!
Seriously. Can you imagine these cute garlands made with pumpkin shapes for Halloween? Or stars for July 4th? You can even bust out your food coloring to color your dough – red white and blue stars anyone!? Or how about green trees for Christmas? Or four leaf clovers for St. Patrick’s Day? The possibilities are truly endless. And if you’ve got kiddos, this project is so fun to do with them – what a fun “mini” holiday tradition, too, right? Decor doesn’t always have to be expensive in order to be festive friends! (Which when it comes down to it, is what I promote through every POST here – thrift it, DIY it, repurpose it – and ultimately save yourself a whole lotta dollahs!)
What do you think friends? Are you going to try your hand at some romantic Valentine’s decor this year knowing that it can be totally budget friendly? I totally recommend it – because it’s all about celebrating the little things! Now go pop some champagne and celebrate the day of love!
And don’t forget to check out my girl Kristen’s post too!
Until next time,