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Thrifty Mum Reuses & Recycles To Create Stunning Christmas Display For FREE

November 17, 2021, 11:00 AM
  • Katie Whitehurst, 38, wanted to give her house the wow factor but didn’t want to splurge
  • She collected old trees, chicken wire and lights from friends to create a stunning free display
  • Katie says she can reuse her creations year after year

If the price of Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands are making you break out in a cold sweat, be inspired by this thrifty mum.

Katie Whitehurst, 38, a mum of five and NHS team leader from Stoke-on-Trent, wanted to wow passersby with festive cheer, but didn’t want to spend a fortune on trees, wreaths and lights.

After seeing garlands costing over £300 online, she decided to ask friends for old bits and bobs destined for the dump.

Katie ended up creating an incredible Christmas display without spending a single penny on materials.

Katie told money-saving Black Friday app: "I came up with the idea as I really wanted a wow factor outside my house but after looking around the price was way out of my price range.

"I had an old tree heading for the tip and thought ‘I wonder if I could make something with this myself’.

"My friend gave me some chicken wire that she had no use for and it was just in her way, so I asked if I could take it off her hands.

"I made the top at first and then thought ‘I need more trees to carry this on around the whole door’.

"So I asked around if anyone was throwing old trees away and I got another three.

"I attached the chicken wire to my wall with wire clips, and then cut the trees up with wire cutters and weaved the branches through the chicken wire.

"To finish, I had an old set of lights I had no use for that I added to it.

“My top tips would be to be prepared and have patience.

"Get everything you need before starting.

"Before you cut the chicken wire, work out how thick you want the wreath to be and cut to size before you clip to the wall.

"Add an extra couple of centimetres for stretch as the branches go in the holes of the chicken wire.

"Start at the top and work your way down each side.

"Fluff the branches out before adding to get the fullness you are trying to create.

"Check where you're going to plug your lights in and start from that side of the wreath when adding the lights.

“Don't worry if it doesn't go right the first time - you can mess about it with it to get it right.

"If you want to add decorations, go for it!

“It's your masterpiece, your personality and your home.

"I was absolutely thrilled to not only have saved myself a huge amount of money, but also that I’d saved these items from ending up in a landfill.

"It was a win win all around.

"When I had been searching for a garland for my door, some were over £300 and nowhere near the size I have made mine.

"I really enjoyed the time and love I put into making it and how proud I felt at the end result.

“It took me around five hours, however that was my first attempt and I was learning as I was going.

“I think now I know what to do, it would take me around three hours next time.

“I love it - it's just the wow factor I was trying to achieve.” 

Katie is thrilled with her stunning creation, and says not only has she saved a fortune this year, but that she’ll keep saving for years to come as everything is reusable.

“I'm so proud of it and I’ve had lots of compliments,” she adds.

"It cost me £0 as I saved things heading to the tip which is always a win win.

“Someone's trash is someone else's treasure and this is certainly my treasure.

"The best bit is that I took it all down and it's all waiting for me to put back up again this year so it is something that can be reused each year!”

Tom Church, co-founder of the money-saving Black Friday app, comments: “The amount of waste sent to landfill sites is a very serious problem, so I applaud Katie for this amazing festive effort.

“Not only has she saved herself hundreds of pounds thanks to not buying a brand new display, she’s also reused materials in a very clever way to avoid adding to the landfill problem.

“Plus, it’s great that everything is reusable, so she can keep pulling out these beautiful decorations year after year!"

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