Christmas is a wallet shrinking machine! The number of people I buy gifts for seems to get larger each Christmas. I spend money traveling home, baking goods, preparing dinners, buying presents, buying Christmas cards, buying gift wrap, and purchasing outfits to wear for parties and church. On top of that, I have to pay for my normal groceries, dog food, car payment, car insurance, memberships, medical issuance, vet bills, cell phone bills, entertainment, dining out, etc…
See how the holidays can get stressful if you don’t budget? That is why I like to do a lot of DIY on Christmas, especially decorating!
I found an inexpensive tree at Target on sale for $50.00. It was pre-lit and 6 ft. tall which is perfect for an apartment. The 6 ft. trees at other stores were over $100 which is crazy for a 30 day set up! When we buy a house, then we will talk about getting a better tree.
Gingerbread men are my favorite. They are super fun to decorate and also smell great. That is why I chose to make them for my DIY ornaments.
To shorten up the time with these ornaments, I bought Pillsbury cookie dough. These were also the cheapest! You could make your own, but I like taking the easy way out.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
All you have to do is roll out the dough and cut out shapes as if you were making sugar cookies!
Make sure to flour the surface, or the dough will stick.
Lay the cookies on a baking sheet.
Pierce a hole in the top of the gingerbread man. I forgot to pierce a ton of cookies. It’s okay if you do, too! Just use a toothpick to make a hole after taking the cookies out of the oven.
Bake 10-13 minutes. It’s okay to burn them a little. I like the darker tint.
After taking the cookies out of the oven, let them sit on the tray until they harden.
You can also make other shapes with the leftover dough! I made stars and trees. They cook much faster.
As you can see I was getting carried away and made a huge mess. But a messy kitchen is a happy kitchen!
The mess even made its way to my floor.
After all of your cookies are baked, it’s time to decorate!
I had a lot of the decorations on hand already, making it much cheaper.
If you don’t have anything on hand, I would recommend getting a couple bottles of sparkles, twine, a paint brush, and squeeze paint. (Puff paint). You could also pick up some jewels to bedazzle your people.
Let the ornaments dry for 8 hours before you place them on your tree.
I still have a lot of cookies left to decorate. I will probably do something simple like adding sparkles and writing names on them.
Even though it is Christmas, you don’t have to make them all “Christmas-y”. You can make them pink and stick a candy cane in their hand and the whole Christmas vibe will reappear again.
This one used to be my happy little gingerbread man. I turned my back for a minute and caught Grumples gnawing off his leg. So I added angry eye browns and made the tragic accident work!
Here are a couple of my gingerbread boys. It’s really fun to use your imagination and just start decorating. Soon you get an idea of what you want.
I think kids would LOVE this project.
In 2nd Grade my teacher brought in a box of gingerbread ornaments for us to decorate which is where I got my inspiration for this project.
Decorations are usually $3.99-$10.00 a piece at stores. These (including the ones not pictured) came to only $0.39 per ornament! Personal ornaments are SO much better than the store bought. They make great gifts, too.
I also learned my lesson and placed the ornaments at the top of the tree. Grumples cannot be trusted!
After all of my gingerbread people were up on my tree, I sat down for a glass of almond milk eggnog! It’s truly beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Although, I’m only 10% done Christmas shopping.
Some of you were asking where I got my tree skirt! It’s the softest thing ever. I bought it at Home Goods on sale for $39.99