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Party on a Budget {Christmas Ideas by Kelsey Taylor}

Today, I'd like to welcome local event planner and blogger Kelsey Taylor to share her ideas on Christmas party decor that are not only beautiful but budget-friendly. See her introduction to three great ideas below.


With Christmas right around the corner, we’re not only looking for last minute gifts but last minute decorations for our holiday parties and family gatherings. {Hello, in-laws! So nice to see you! See, my house isn’t a wreck!”} So here’s my gift to you ~ a few last-minute, money-saving décor ideas to make your house or holiday party merry & bright.

Pine Bough Taper Centerpiece
You only need a few materials for this project – 5 taper candles (cut to varying heights), floral foam disc, pine boughs, jute string, and a hot glue gun.

Directions ~ Push the tapers into the floral foam disc and hot glue in place; make sure the tallest taper is in the center. Once you have all the tapers in place, start filling in with the pine boughs. Make sure that none of the pine boughs are tall enough to reach the wicks of the candles. {Let’s try and not craft a complete fire hazard here!} Once you have filled in the main part of the centerpiece sufficiently, cut short pieces of pine bough and glue around the edge of the disc to cover it. For the finishing touch, take the jute string and gently wrap it around the middle of the centerpiece 4-5 times and tie the ends together to hold in place. One of these at either end of a dining room or buffet table would look great…not to mention, they also smell pretty darn good. I had a few of the materials already, but this project only cost me about $6 total. A burlap runner is also a nice and completely inexpensive touch too!


Magnolia Wreath
The materials you will need for this project – magnolia leaves, a quilter’s hoop, and a glue gun.

Directions ~ Begin by grouping the leaves in clusters of three and gluing together. Then proceed to glue each cluster onto the quilter’s hoop, working your way around and layering the clusters to overlap one another. You can finish by adorning your wreath with ribbon and berries like I did or anything else your little heart desires. This project cost me about $2, which was the cost of the quilter’s hoop. Everything else I had or rustled up in my backyard! {You could pretend you are helping your neighbor clean up their yard by picking up those magnolia leaves!}


Hot Chocolate Station
Have plenty of mugs and spoons on hand! Set up a hot chocolate station for party guests - this idea can work great for both kids and adults. {For adults, have Bailey’s and Kahlua on hand!} Fill containers with various mix-ins, toppings, and stir sticks. The possibilities for all the hot chocolatey goodness are endless!

Here are some of my suggestions:

whipped cream
crushed peppermint
chocolate shavings
chopped Andes mints
cinnamon sticks
candy canes
chocolate syrup

I hope everyone enjoys these easy, affordable holiday ideas. Now if we could only get some snow on Christmas in Memphis this year!


-Kelsey Taylor / email kelsey.w.taylor [at] gmail.com / ph 1.901.515.7622 / web / twitter

///Thanks so much Kelsey and have a great weekend everyone!

Photos by Kelsey Taylor


  1. Love the hot chocolate bar! What kind of containers are those that you are using for the mix-ins? And where did you find them?

  2. The hot chocolate bar is fantastic! I had to share on my holiday cocktail round-up. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  3. I like the low light in the photos. Twinkling lights in the background are great.

  4. My daughter is getting Married feb 14. It is a rustic wedding and she wants this hot chocolate bar outside the bar area. Where did you get those buckets. Love this idea!

  5. You’ve given some great ideas to organize a party with a low budget. I’ll be using some of these tips for my son’s birthday party going to be held at one the cutest and amazing San Francisco venues. He’s going to be 5-years-old in a few days, and I’m organizing an amazing party for him. I’ll certainly arrange the hot chocolate station for the party like you’ve mentioned.


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