The festive season has almost arrived.
But although our plans for Christmas Day remain uncertain, some UK residents are already going all out on their annual decorations.
And leading the way to December 25 with an incredible candy-themed Christmas tree is full-time mum, Michelle Jollands.
Michelle, 40, used a collection of inexpensive decorations from The Range, B&M and Home Bargains to put together her seasonal centrepiece on a budget.
Speaking to money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, the mum-of-two from North Lincolnshire said: “I love crafting and making all sorts of fake food and decorations.
“I had all my Halloween decorations and props made but that wasn’t happening, so the next holiday was Christmas.
“I looked to America for inspiration as they always go all out for holidays and seeing some sweet decorations in B&M and Home Bargains, I had something to inspire me more.
“All the items were low cost, ranging from 99p to £1.29 each, from The Range, B&M and Home Bargains.
“I bought my tree second-hand from Facebook Marketplace for £45, the decorations I bought added to around £25 and the rest I made from most things I found around the house.
“The candyfloss was made with pillow stuffing wrapped and glued around a straw, coloured with pink eyeshadow, drizzled with PVA glue and sprinkled with glitter.
“Some of the gingerbreads were made by pouring plaster of Paris in a silicone mould and painted with acrylic paint.
“For the lollipops, I cut out circles in cardboard sandwiched between with a skewer, painted and glued on pipe cleaners in a spiral.
“The chubby lollies were made with Styrofoam balls with double-sided tape around the middle and painted.
“My advice for a fuller tree is a roll of organza, which comes from eBay and costs around £3.50 for 25 yards. It comes in all colours, and you can use pipe cleaners and twist on to the tree.
“Loop the organza as you go, making a zigzag effect, starting in the middle working down, and cut and repeat on both sides. This makes the tree look full even before decorations are added.
“Another tip is to bunch three baubles together with pipe cleaners and twist onto the branches.”
Michelle loves the look of her festive tree, and says you can still create the look even in lockdown.
“I’m so pleased with how the tree turned out and it certainly looks like I had pictured in my mind,” she adds.
“Nearly all items can be found online, from The Range, eBay, Etsy and Amazon if you are unable to visit shops. Get creative and enjoy!
“It’s been such a great lockdown project for all – we’ve all felt stressed, depressed and lonely most of the year and what a great way to ease the mind by getting creative right before Christmas.
“You can make it a family day or just make yourself feel better by creating something you can enjoy. I must also give my daughter credit who loved helping with the decorations!
“I’ve been so overwhelmed by the response since posting my tree online and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.
“It looks just how I imagined in my mind, and it certainly makes us all smile.
“Anything is achievable on a budget – most items can be made from things around your home and shopping at The Range, Home Bargains and B&M, who have such a great selection this year starting from only 89p.
“You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your tree look pretty!”
Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, comments: “This Christmas is going to be one of the strangest most of us have ever experienced, but even if we can’t enjoy a big dinner with family thanks to the restrictions of the pandemic, as Michelle proves, you can still bring the festive cheer home!
“By using bargain products from the likes of The Range, B&M and Home Bargains, and making the most of her craft skills, Michelle has created a stunning candy-themed tree without spending a fortune. Just looking at it is making it feel like Christmas already!”