Our Pinterest board on Christmas Window Displays has examples of some of the best window displays from around the world.  Sometimes the ideas require more time and money than what most small retailers can afford.


So for ideas on fabulous, yet budget friendly holiday displays we asked visual merchandiser Linda Cahan, the author of 100 Display Ideas for Under $100.

Here are are some fun things she suggests you can do at the last minute  that don’t cost much, yet will give you a lot of bang for your buck. Yes, they will cost more than $50 but consider it part of your advertising budget. Plus, you can put them in the basement to scrounge for next year!

1 When you buy décor and trim, think about using it for at least 3 -5 years and how you’ll add to it each year to freshen it up and make it look new. For example, if you buy some good fake pine garland with white lights you can add different things each year to make it look different.


Or, you can add an element a year to make it look more full. For example: Year 1– lights, Year 2 – red ornaments, Year 3- white branches and Year 4 – candy canes. In Year 5 you’ll have a full, pretty garland! It also will be an exceptionally dusty one unless you get the dust off in January every year by putting your vacuum on “blow.”


2 . Cardboard metallic stars say “holiday” without being specific for Christmas. Hanging different sized metallic stars from the ceiling at varying heights will create a magical feeling as the stars twirl and catch the lights.


Don’t skimp on the stars. The more you have, the more the window will capture customers’ attention. Consider using only one or 2 colors. Add some hanging LED white or red lights as well to really attract attention.

Look at Oriental Trading for great prices on the stars and your local big box discount stores for the tiny LED lights.

3 When you want your store to have an updated traditional holiday look, look no further than your local nursery or crafts store. Using inexpensive plastic planting pots and old wood or glass shelves, create a pyramid going as high as you like – or dare.


4 Buy poinsettia bushes or bunches either live (requires maintenance) or fake from a floral distributor or large retailer such as The Christmas Tree Shops or Michael’s.

Mass them out on the shelves so the pyramid looks like a solid triangle of flowers. If you have a see-through window – use hot glue and arrange the flowers so the triangle looks great from the front and back.

The poinsettias you choose can be off white, pink or red. They don’t have to be the traditional red if you want a change of pace. But remember, red says “shop and buy.”

Another option is to buy a few less and put some products in-between the flowers that would be good holiday gifts (along with some jewelry.)


5 Make a huge star or tree (or several of each) out of chicken wire. It should be at least 4’ high and wide. Cover it with white LED lights, securing the wire over the chicken wire frame with small plastic ties. Hang it in the window, plug it in and wait for the applause – or at least some attention. It will glow into the street.


As you can tell by the photos we selected for this post, we are partial to window displays that have mannequins them.