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How to decorate your house for Christmas, student-style

Deck the (student) halls


I'm sure I don't have to remind you that a little something called Christmas is coming up. Mince pies, Christmas songs, maybe some snow – what's not to love?

However, there is one drawback to the most wonderful time of the year, which I'm sure we're all familiar with. As the temperature plummets so does the balance in our bank accounts. For many, this is enough to taint their festive spirit, leaving instead a deep sense of dread at the thought of spending all that money on gifts, Christmas food and festivities.

Usually, the tight budget means complete neglect of Christmas decorations at your student house. But fear not, we're here to save the day and give you some tips and tricks about how to break into the Christmas spirit, without breaking the bank. Because after all, how are you expected to get that warm Christmassy feeling when the closest thing to a seasonal decoration is a mouldy tomato in the corner of your kitchen that has half turned green?

We will start simple – DIY. There are so many easy and cheap ways you can get artsy and decorate the house.

Beer can Christmas tree

Grab a couple of six packs of beer, preferably red or green, and get drinking. Heineken, Red Stripe, Carlsberg and Budweiser are a good shout. Grab some glue or sellotape and stick them together in a pyramid style. If you're feeling extra festive, add a gold tinny on the top for the Christmas star. Easy.

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Paper Chains

Easy, festive, and they take up a large area of the room, so won't be underwhelming.

Paper snowflakes

This may be a major throwback to your primary school days, but are actually way more fun than you think. Plus, you probably already have some scraps of paper lying around that you can use.

Cotton ball snow

If you really want to go all-out, this is what you have to do. It makes a cool selfie backdrop as well if you want your Instas to stand out. Grab a needle and some thread (preferable invisible thread but any will do), and stick the needle through the middle of the cotton ball. Do a loop around it and back out the bottom to ensure it doesn't slip. Then leave a gap and repeat with another cotton ball. Make the distances between them vary for a natural look.

Snowy pine cones

K's market on Portswood (or Amazon) sell snow spray which isn't too expensive. Grab some pine cones and give 'em a spray for an au-naturale winterly look. If you can't be bothered to do this yourself, the Union Shop sell them pre-sprayed.

Wine cork reindeer

If you're a wine drinker, don't throw away the corks. Grab some small sticks fro the common and you can make these cute lil guys.

Book Christmas Tree

Let's face it – you're more likely to be using your textbooks as coasters at this time of the year than actually reading them. Why not put them to good use and make a Christmas tree?

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Hartley have put up a book tree (it looks much smaller in person though)

Beer bottle lights

If you already have small fairy lights, wash out the inside of a beer or spirit bottle (unless you want your lights to smell gross for the rest of the year) and fit them in.

Accessorize everything

Depending on what you have in your house, you can accessorise easily. Print out baubles or Christmas hats to stick around the place.

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This "wall of heroes" was dressed up in style for the season. Ron Swanson is lookin' fineee.

However, if DIY isn't your cup of tea, there are still plenty of other options. Poundland do decorations really cheap, as do the thousands of charity shops down Portswood. Here are some key purchases that will set you on the right tracks:


You can't decorate without tinsel. End of story. At least it's cheap.

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If you can't afford a tree, grab some tape and stick them on the windows.

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Christmas characters

Who wouldn't want a giant ginger elf staring down at them for the last two weeks of term? This was from Poundland and is big enough to take up a lot of the wall, reducing the need to buy anything else. Plus, you can give them a bit of personality by making them dab or giving them a red stripe.

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Fairy Lights

You probably already own these, and they're a great way to make your house feel cosy. Dim the main lights, and let these guys do the talking.

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A little extra

Check our our article for cooking a Christmas meal on a budget (it can be done). Also, Aldi do Mulled wine for £2.79 a bottle, which serves six people. It actually tastes pretty decent, too!