Do they even SELL artificial pine garlands anymore?
December 7, 2011 2:02 PM   Subscribe

Where can I buy classy holiday decorations in NYC/Brooklyn that aren't inanely expensive?

In previous years, I've mostly shopped at a combination of Duane Reade, Target, Ikea and the Container Store, but I'd really like to avoid the big chains this year if I can. There are so many fantastic local businesses here in Brooklyn -- surely one of them can help me fancy up the apartment for our holiday party next week?

Our place isn't very big and we're only decorating inside, so I can afford to splurge a little bit. But I'd like to keep the total cost under $50 if at all possible.

(As for what I need, the basics really -- garland, some nice ornaments, electric candles for the windows, classy plastic cups, that kind of thing. More snowflakes and pine fronds, less Santa and snowmen, if that makes any sense.)
posted by Narrative Priorities to Shopping (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Having just invested in decorations for my place, I don't think you'll get very far for $50 without becoming a little crafty.

I think the key to classy decorating is to choose a color palette to stick to. Do you want to go cool with blues, silvers and whites? or do you want something warmer, like golds and reds? Whatever you like, pick something and stick to it. I would go to the dollar store, craft store, or local hardware store and pick up inexpensive items like pinecones, non-fancy glass/plastic ornaments (round or in a nice shape), other wooden/plastic/whatever ornaments, and paint them (like with a metallic spray paint) or add glitter. You can also use stamps or stencils, or tape for simple lines.

Pick up some nice colored paper (or recycle some) and make your own ornaments. Here's a link to some nice DIY paper ornaments. Here's another. This is my favorite though. Here's a nice wreath made from buttons.
posted by lizbunny at 3:24 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Hmmm -- to be clear, when I say "Classy" I mean "Not a cardboard Santa Clause covered in glitter." My bar is not actually that high!

I suspect I will have to get pretty crafty to make this work, though, so thank you for the tips lizbunny!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:12 PM on December 7, 2011

It's less about expensive vs inexpensive and more about what you choose. So pick a colour palette and then mix large and small, matte finish and shiny, globes and other shapes, maybe some garland or ribbon if you like. If you do this, you can have a lovely tree without having to spend a fortune.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:40 PM on December 7, 2011

Sorry, not 'tree" I mean you can have a lovely "room."
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 5:42 PM on December 7, 2011

Best answer: I had to get crafty while decorating for my October wedding because I'm super cheap and didn't want to spend money on stuff I wouldn't use again. My big go-to neighborhood was the Flower District on West 28th St. They have lots of cute stuff (tiny forest animals made out of woodsy materials like pinecones and straw), wreaths, ornaments for less than what you pay at chain stores. Just get off at 6th Ave and walk west, hitting up stores along the way. Some stores are better than others, and remember to go upstairs or ask an employee where the holiday items are.
posted by zoomorphic at 6:29 PM on December 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

One option is to ask a Christmas tree guy at one of the stands for the extra branches they cut off for customers. You could probably get them for free and use them for decorating windowsills, bookshelves, a mantel, or whatever.

You can get ornaments and electric candles at the 99cent stores for practically free! I mean ornaments to fill out your collection; you'll still want to pay more for really gorgeous ones. But I've picked up plain glass balls at bargain stores that look pretty once they're out from among all the crap. Antique/junk stores are another great place to look.
posted by torticat at 9:19 PM on December 7, 2011

MECA (Maine College of Art) has a big street window filled with various sizes of white and pale aqua yarn balls. The quantity and the limited color scheme make it awesome. For home, add some silver and aqua ornaments. Last year, they filled a window with paper chains made with white (recycled) copy paper, strung around and in heaps. Lots of white paper garland would look awesome. Good links above, too.
posted by theora55 at 5:27 PM on December 9, 2011

Response by poster: Still working the details of this problem out, but for the record, in case anyone else in Southern Brooklyn runs across this later -- you can get perfectly nice little artificial trees at the discount gift shops on 5th ave (around 39th street) for $10-$15, as well as inexpensive tinsel garlands and bulb ornaments. The flower shop near 5th and 40th had real pine wreathes for $15, which I am told is a very good price, as well as surprisingly tasteful holiday flower arrangements mixed in with the tacky nonsense.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 9:59 AM on December 13, 2011

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