Mark Roemer image of a small apartment

Decorating Your Small Apartment on A Budget

If you clicked on this blog, then I, Mark Roemer, think I know your type. You are the type of person that starts playing their holiday music before Halloween. You most likely have a closet full of ugly sweaters to compete at the family or company “Ugly Sweater Contest” each year. You have watched more Christmas movies than you are willing to publicly admit – probably in the triple digits. In short, you are a person that loves the holiday season. However, you find it hard to unleash all of your Christmas cheer when your bank account and your apartment can barely accommodate a stocking. Well, don’t let space or money prevent you from celebrating the holidays to the max. This guide will help you deck the halls even if those halls are short enough to belong in a dollhouse.

With just a little planning and some great DIY tips from yours truly, you will be the talk of the town with your extravagant Christmas display.

Research the Christmas Tree Market

When it comes to trees, there are two camps – real and artificial. There are good reasons for both, but I will not discuss that in this blog. You will need to figure out what you have a budget for and make your decision based on how much money you have in the bank.

If you have opted for the original tree route, I will give you a few tips for that here. The first thing you are going to want to do is to locate your nearest place to buy a tree. Most every store has a selection of trees that you can buy. The downside to most of these is that they are wrapped up, and you cannot see what they will look like when they are standing up. Another alternative is to find the pop-up locations that are usually located in the parking lots of churches, drug stores, and supermarkets. They are in the business of selling great trees and often have them up for display. Look around at your different options and go with the one that fits your budget. Don’t worry if you have a smaller tree than you wanted. The point is to have the tree, not how big it is. Remember to get a tree stand that can provide water to the tree. There is nothing worse than your tree drying out before Christmas.

On the other hand, if you have decided on an artificial tree, you will have several options. You will need to determine if you want it to come with or without lights. You can also decide on things such as height, type of needles, and flocking. There are prices associated with each additional feature. The upside to getting an artificial tree is that you will not need to water it. Additionally, you can use it for different holidays. I have seen Halloween, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving trees before.


Ornaments and lights can be very expensive. Try asking your friends or family if they have any decorations they do not use anymore. I think you will find that many of them do have these supplies but store them year-round because they don’t want to throw them out.

If you come up snake eyes on hand me down ornaments, you could DIY some quite easily. I have seen everything from baked clay ornaments to ornaments made from old lightbulbs. There isn’t anything off-limits. In fact, just the other day, I saw a television show that showed people how to make ornaments out of the ends of wrapping paper. They used old toilet paper rolls and wrapped them like a Christmas cracker. A little glue for a string, and it was good to go.

Shop the Specials

The closer to Christmas it gets, the more stores want to get rid of their stock. The reason could be they don’t want to ship it back to their distribution center, or the ornaments have a date on them and will no longer be good next year. In either case, you should definitely take advantage of these specials.

Another great place to find deals on decorations is at yard sales. While this time of year may not be the greatest for yard sales, it will be a good time in a few months. While you are out walking your dog, make sure to take note of any upcoming yard sales. Go to them on the designated day and see if they have anything you can use. Remember, it does not have to look like an ornament to start, but you can DIY it into one.

More DIY

Ornaments are not the only thing you can DIY. There are many things you can make to celebrate the holiday season.

For example, you likely have Mason jars in your house for storing food. Sacrifice one of them to make a “snow globe.” There are plenty of websites on the internet that can show you how to do this. It boils down to some water, oil, and glitter. You will need some tidbits to put inside, but that is more of a personal thing.

Another thing you can do is make paper snowflakes. You will certainly be able to find a website that can teach you how to do this. All you will need for these marvels is paper, string or tape, and a pair of scissors. This is a great project to get the kids involved in as well.


I, Mark Romer, hope that I have given you some great tips on how to celebrate your holidays on a budget. Don’t fret, the money you save on Christmas decorations can easily be applied to gifts for your family and friends. If you don’t have money for that either, consider making some extra ornaments or holiday decorations for them. Remember, it is not the gift but the thought that counts. I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.