AS the countdown to Christmas begins in earnest, households are turning their attention to decorating their homes, ready for the big day.
After a more low-key festive period in 2021, you may want to go all out this year.
But if you’re not careful, it’s all-too-easy to cause havoc when bringing a tree into your living room, sticking up cards, or spraying fake snow on your windows.
The good news is, there are lots of easy ways to look after your home during the festive season which won’t burn a hole in your wallet.
Kirstie Batty, decorations expert and head of merchandising at trade supplies company, GTSE, told The Sun about some of the cost-effective tricks you can use to avoid damage when decking the halls this Christmas.
Prevent baubles from losing their sparkle
There’s nothing more annoying than pesky baubles shedding glitter all over the floor or carpet.
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But one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to stop this is by using hairspray.
“Lots of people will already have some lying around the house,” said Kirstie.
“Spray the baubles with a non-aerosol version to keep the glitter in place before popping your decorations on the tree.”
Cost: Get a can of hairspray from around £1.50.
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Pick up some plywood to avoid weight marks from your tree
If you have carpets, and especially deep-pile ones, a Christmas tree and its stand can leave weight marks behind when you remove it in the new year.
To prevent this from happening, Kirstie recommends placing the tree on top of a sturdy piece of plywood.
“You can then use wrapping paper to hide the wood and stand,” she said.
“Also be aware that tree stands can easily scratch hardwood floors. To avoid this, place a non-skid mat underneath.”
Also, take extra care when bringing the tree into your house.
You don’t want to end up having to fork out big sums to rectify any damage caused in the rush to get the tree into place.
Cost: Pick up a piece of plywood from £9, or a non-skid mat from £7.
Alternatively, invest in a tree skirt to protect your floor. Prices start from just £3 on Amazon.
Try cable ties to avoid damaging your walls
When hanging decorations, you want to avoid using tools which could damage your paintwork in the process.
“You may be tempted to drill holes into walls but this will leave unnecessary holes,” said Kirstie.
“As an alternative, pick up some self-adhesive cable clips to help hook items up easily.
"Cable ties can also be a useful way to keep bulky decorations in place.”
For lighter decorations, try double-sided tape. Use this to stick items to the walls without leaving a mark.
“Also check out washi tape,” added Kirstie. “This is a type of masking tape which peels off very easily.”
Cost: Grab a pack of 100 self-adhesive cable clips for around £7, pack of 100 cable ties for 50p, double-sided tape for just over £1, and multi-pack of washi tape for less than £5.
Get clever with ribbons when hanging cards
Displaying Christmas cards often involves using lots of tack which can leave marks on your walls and surfaces.
As an alternative, Kirstie suggests using ribbons.
“Cut a piece of ribbon and apply craft glue,” she said.
“Then place cards in a vertical position against the glue, all the way down the length of the ribbon.
"Wrap this ‘bunting’ around your hallway banister or drape it over doors and tie where necessary.”
As an alternative, tie up a piece of string and add clothes pegs to display cards.
Cost: You can find craft glue for £1, and Amazon has bundles of ribbon from £2.
Pick up a ball of string from £1 and pack of pegs from £1.50.
Use glass cleaner to avoid damage to your windows from snow spray
It can be a lot of fun getting creative with artificial snow spray, but if you’re not careful, the spray can soon end up going all over the place.
“Before decorating windows, make sure you protect the floor and surrounding walls,” said Kirstie.
“Then, hold the can about 12 inches from the surface you want to apply it to.”
When removing the snow, don’t scrape it off, as this can cause a bigger mess.
“Instead, spray with a window cleaner,” said Kirstie.
“Take a paper towel and rub the cleaner into the snow until it comes off.
"If the paper towel starts to spread the snow, grab a new one. Continue to use the spray until completely cleaned.”
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Cost: Buy window cleaner spray for around £1-£2.
Or, for a more cost-effective option, make your own from warm water, a few drops of washing-up liquid and white vinegar.
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