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Friday, December 8, 2023

How to Make Cheap Christmas Decorations Look Expensive

Elevating Thrift Store Christmas Swags: How to Make Budget-Friendly Decor Look Expensive

Transform ordinary thrift store Christmas swags into luxurious holiday décor with a touch of creativity and our secret weapon: Rub-n-Buff. Discover how to make budget-friendly ornaments look expensive, change colors effortlessly, and eliminate imperfections. Follow along as we elevate a $6.00 find into a high-end festive sensation, complete with rich gold hues and chic ribbon accents. Unleash your DIY expertise and turn overlooked decorations into stunning treasures. Get ready for a holiday makeover and explore the art of crafting elegance on a budget.

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How do you make Christmas decorations look expensive?

You are out and about, at the thrift store you see Christmas decorations, they look kind-of cheap, but the price tag is too tempting to resist at just $6.00. What do you do?

Despite my initial hesitation, I decided to give those seemingly basic ornaments a chance, pondering the potential of transforming them into high-end holiday delights.

Luxury Christmas Decor: Unveiling the Potential

Upon a second glance, I opted for not one but two of these budget-friendly swags. While the overall appearance wasn't too shabby, the gold-green hue of the ornaments didn't quite align with my taste. Determined to make these holiday decorations shine, I contemplated tearing them apart for other projects.

However, a change of heart led me home with a plan to enhance rather than dismantle. The solution? Enter Rub-n-Buff, my secret weapon for adding a touch of opulence to DIY projects.

I have been talking about and using rub n buff for many years, for those unfamiliar, you may be asking what is rub n buff and how to use it?   Rub-n-Buff is a metallic wax-based paint renowned for providing a rich, authentic-looking finish without the need for metal plating.

Upscale Christmas Decorating: A Rub-n-Buff Transformation

Armed with an assortment of colors, I choose Antique Gold to breathe new life into those lackluster ornaments. Carefully applying the Rub-n-Buff, I transformed each bulb one by one, ensuring a beautiful antiqued gold hue that exudes sophistication. Opting for a small brush this time (I usually use my fingers), I navigated the branches with precision, steering clear of any mishaps.

You may be wondering can you change the color of ornaments? The answer is a resounding yes, and the transformation is evident. Compare the before and after - one ornament boasts a deeper, richer tone, while the other looks a bit green around the gills. Call it picky, but certain colors matter, and the Rub-n-Buff trick saved me from potential regret.

Exclusive Seasonal Embellishments: Eliminating Imperfections

Spot a scratched ornament? Rub-n-Buff to the rescue once again. A layer of this magical metallic wax not only changes colors but also conceals imperfections. The scratched gold bulb undergoes a seamless makeover, emerging flawless and ready for the next phase.

How do you make ornaments look old? Rub-n-Buff has you covered, it is like the hero of home makeovers, I am telling you. 😉

How do you make ornaments look old?

Chic Holiday Home Accents: Adding the Finishing Touch

Now satisfied with the rich gold color and flawless ornaments, it's time to elevate these budget-friendly Christmas swags further. How? By adding a touch of ribbon to the branches and bobbles (enlighten me, I am tapping into my English heritage today, saying that in my most British accent). A chevron metallic red and burlap ribbon, purchased from Walmart, turns into simple, elegant bows that truly make these swags shine.

How do you paint over ornaments?

Prestigious Yuletide Ornaments: A Festive Makeover

What's the verdict? Do you prefer the after to the before? Regardless, the scratches are gone, the ornaments radiate a rich gold color, and the budget-friendly Christmas swags are ready for their grand debut in our foyer.

What paint is best for ornaments?

Speaking of changes, in the coming weeks you will be seeing some new ones here... a bathroom remodel is on the horizon for this cozy cottage, scheduled and on the books to boot.  Yikes, I know!  Sometimes I enjoy a change up, but big ones  like this really make me nervous.  Stay tuned... I'll be the one sitting on the edge of my seat chewing my nails to the quick.

Today proves, if you get a head start on the holidays, you can find some really good deals.  Also, you can take your time in getting ready if you plan ahead.  Imagine that, the gal who flies by the seat of her pants, planning ahead, ha!  

In the past, I would see all of the Christmas in July ideas, and then wait until the end of October to get started.  Guess what?  Every year, I would find an unfinished Christmas decor list of things I never completed, and one thing is certain, I really despise unfinished lists.  How about you?

Don't Forget to Pin for Later!

Happy Holidays!


Would you like to comment?

  1. Cara , this is beautiful and the perfect way to up style inexpensive greens. I love the touch of gold you have added. I sure hope you are enjoying the last two weeks before Christmas.

    1. I was so happy that I changed my mind and went back for these budget friendly gems! I was even more excited with how they turned out in our entryway. They will be easy enough to change up year after year too. Hope you are enjoying yourself too, and Merry Christmas.

  2. Wow, I was so happy when I hit publish and did not get an error!!!! Woo hoo!!! I am celebrating over here.

    1. Ahh.. thank you Wendy for trying again, yeah for success! Thank you again my friend. <3

  3. I wish I was better at decorating my apartment for the holidays, my husband and I seem to have lost some inspiration for it over the years so seeing this is really helpful. I love the green and gold and the easy way it can be created. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. I can understand losing inspiration for the holidays Molly. I did a few years ago, and felt blah. I felt even worse when Christmas came and went, and I did not decorate. Our decor is slim this year because we have a big project happening and I did not want to add to the stress of more clean up, but I have to say, I feel less "sparkly" this year since everything is not all dressed up for Christmas. I am so happy you found inspiration here, you just made my day!

  4. These turned out so great! Gotta love Rub-n-Buff! That stuff is like magic! Instant transformation! Happy Holidays!

    1. I am a big fan of it too. It never disappoints, and always looks great once applied. Did I mention easy? You have some awesome projects using rub-n-buff too.

  5. Great minds think alike, Cara! I did this same thing on our garland and a wreath we picked up this season too. It really does give holiday decor and ornaments like these new life. Rub n Buff steals my heart every single time. Plus it's ready to use which I always appreciate. Big hugs, CoCo

    1. We do in deed! I saw your ornaments and they look spectacular CoCo! My mom introduced me to rub-n-buff in my early 20's and I never looked back! I love all of the things you can create and do with it. I feel like it really elevates every craft from simple to elaborate.