Challenge: decorate your Christmas tree for £5

It’s easy to get carried away and spend too much money at Christmas. Like stuffing ourselves with mince pies and watching rubbish telly, it’s part of the tradition for many of us, but it doesn’t have to be. So I set myself the challenge of decorating our office Christmas tree for £5.

The first place I thought to visit was Poundland, as it has a range of decorations for, yep you guessed it – £1, including Christmas tree lights. I wasn’t sure how tasteful a Christmas tree could look with such cheap decorations, so it was a nice surprise to find glittery snowflakes and pretty baubles that I would use on my own tree at home.

I checked out a few other stores as well, and found a lovely range of budget decorations at Wilko*. You can get 20 baubles for £2 and 50 baubles for £5, which is great value, and there are plenty that I want to buy for my own tree. As most are more than £1 though, for my challenge I decided to stick to the pound store decs.

Now this really was quite a challenge, as the tree is 6ft tall, and it was tricky to get enough decorations to cover it all with just £5. My solution was to place it near a wall, so I didn’t need to cover the back! I also made my own tree topper to save money, as these can be a little pricey. All this took was a printer, a bit of cardboard, scissors and glue.

If you don’t have a printer you can just cut a picture out of an old magazine or newspaper. Perhaps of an angel, or your favourite member of One Direction, or even your favourite MoneySavingExpert (we can’t show you until after The Martin Lewis Money Show goes live on ITV at 8pm on Fri 28 Nov, but I used a pic of Martin dressed as a pantomime dame).

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 x Christmas tree lights (20 pack) – £1 each
  • Snowflake decorations (12 pack) – £1
  • Gold matte and shiny baubles (16 pack) – £1
  • Red, white and blue baubles (10 pack) – £1

All these came from Poundland, and it has confirmed that every store will have a range of Christmas decorations, but they may not all stock the same products.

They look great hanging on the tree, but some of them feel a little thin, and the baubles dented easily. I’m not sure how long they will last, so if you’re going to buy them, you’ll need to store them carefully if you want to re-use them next year. Perhaps you’d save more money in the long run by investing a few more pounds in sturdier ones.

These cheaper decorations would be great though, if you’ve just moved house and need to make do for this year. Then you can wait for the January sales to get some posher decs at bargain prices.

I’m really proud of my decorating skills, and the office is looking very festive. Sadly I’ve been told I have to put the tree in a cupboard now until it’s closer to Christmas. Bah Humbug!

Our festive MoneySaving Christmas tree!


The snowflake decorations are my favourite – just £1 for 12