With the first week of December upon us, it is time to head to the attic and pull out the boxes of Christmas decor! So exciting, right? What? Not so much, you say?
Are you finding that some of your decorations are leaving you feeling a little less than inspired? Does thinking about the time it takes to deck out the house leave you wanting to curl into a fetal position on the couch?
Take heart sweet friend! Even the most devoted, Christmas decor loving, traditionalist has times when they are either craving a little (or big) change or just need to find a way to make the job easier. Our mission, then, is to figure out ways to change your look within realistic time constraints and without sacrificing your budget!
This year I have approached Christmas decorating at a slower pace. As the demands on my time have increasingly taken me out of the house, I find that am feeling the need to experience the time savings and soothing effects of a more simple approach to Christmas in our home. So instead of breaking out every treasured Christmas item I own, I am editing my efforts to keep the task more manageable. Less time to put up also means less time to take down.
Today we are starting with ideas for changing out the Christmas tree without breaking the bank!
Step 1–Choose a primary inspiration component for your Christmas tree theme!
This could be a new color scheme or a particular ornament or tree topper idea that strikes your fancy.
Because I like to spend part of my budget on fresh greens I try to keep spending in check for other Christmas related items. However, this sign won my heart from the moment I saw it because of both its simple, nontraditional color scheme and its content! In fact, having grown up on a Christmas tree farm shaped my design plans for this year’s tree in multiple ways!
If a change in color scheme is your goal, you can keep it budget friendly by changing just one color from what you used the prior year. Last year our Christmas decor was made up of turquoise and green. By continuing to use green this year many of last year’s elements like glass ornaments and wrapping papers can still be used which keeps my pocketbook very happy! A few splashes of black and white creates a finished look that is completely different than that of previous years!
(Hint: simple glass balls can be found in hobby and craft stores very early in the season for great sale prices. They provide a lot of shine and color pay off for very little money!)
Step 2–Look around your house for items that you can add to your Christmas tree’s theme for little or no cost!
Keep in mind that these items could be anything! Do you collect something that could be used as ornaments? Do you have a treasure trove of faux flowers or ribbon? Perhaps you have something hanging around that you bought for a different purpose, but never used? Anything is up for consideration!
In our region, it is quite common to see wild trees along roadways decorated for Christmas. Although I originally thought of using the tree farm sign as a stand-alone piece or in a wreath, when I started thinking about putting together the tree on a shoestring I realized it would be the perfect jumping off point for a creating a “tree standing in the field” look! The goal was to make it look as if it was a tree along the lane leading up to the tree farm.
A little foraging through my decorating stash produced bird’s nests, glass seed pods, ribbon, raffia, an unused set of Christmas cards, and the green glass ornaments. The next step was to head out to the yard to find the small branches to add to the tree to make it look like it was still standing in the field directing customers toward the Christmas tree of their dreams!
Step 3–Woohoo! It’s time to decorate your Christmas tree!
I find it easiest to start at the top of the tree and work down. By positioning the topper first (in my case the giant bow with streamers) you can see exactly where there are spaces to be filled with subsequent items. After the tree topper is positioned, I start adding each type of adornment individually from top to bottom. While this requires a few more trips up and down the ladder, I find it helps me get each type of embellishment spread evenly over the tree the first time. Start with the largest items working down to the smallest.
To say that I am a huge fan of using giant bows as my tree topper would be a total understatement! They can be put together in so many different ways, are inexpensive, and the bow signifies the star that led the wise men to Jesus. I had picked up the “Merry Christmas” ribbon on sale early in the season intending to use it on packages. Black satin ribbon and raffia are staples around here because of their versatility! Let’s face it, even a small bow makes anything look more thought out and finished.
(Hint: Raffia gives anything you tie it to a slightly more organic, less fussy look!)
Because of its size, the tree farm sign was the obvious item to be positioned once the topper was in place. Simply thread a medium gauge wire through the hanging brackets and wire into place on the tree. Placing it in slightly cockeyed fashion lends to the informal feel of the tree!
These sprays of glass “seed pods” have proved useful for many different fall/winter situations since I first found them several years ago. Because they are on long branches and I only have three of them, they got put into place next.
Next, the nests got nestled in where they had multiple branches to support them. Just like they would be found in nature! (Did you know it is good luck to find a bird’s nest in your Christmas tree?😊)
These sweet glittery birds where cut from Christmas cards that I bought during the after Christmas sales a couple of years ago. I loved the color and design and always planned on using them either in decorating or as gift tags rather than as cards. Their subtle glitz adds the perfect sparkly element to the tree and the jute twine hanger and small satin bow makes them look more like “real” ornaments.
The traditional glass ornaments were new last year. Hanging them in pairs is one of my favorite looks! Since they made up the largest percentage of my ornamentations, they were put on last.
Step 4–Add one last uniquely personal touch!
Trees growing in the wild typically have different forms of grasses and branches that grow up through them from the base of the tree. On the farm, we would trim this away during the fall so that customers were greeted by pristine pine trees. Since I wanted our tree was to look like it was still standing in the field, I needed one last finishing touch to give it that extra wild look. While the raffia and seed pods add to the field fresh look, one last natural piece with a magical Christmas twist would seal the deal!
Enter these small tree branches collected from the backyard and adorned with glittery flowers made from book pages!
(This post contains some affiliate links. Find my full disclosure policy here.)
They are super simple to make and add just the right final touch to this wild, in the field tree!
Using leftover strips of book pages from my book page wreath project, I got to work.
A) Cut the strips to the appropriate size based on the size of flower needed.
B) Fringe one edge of the strips using these fringing scissors.
C) Roll the fringed strips up and pinched the bottom of each flower to hold it in a place.
D) Fluff out the ruffled edge with your finger.
E) Dip the ruffled edges in Mod Podge and then in glitter.
F) Once the glittered flowers are dry, attach them to the small tree branches with a glue gun.
I made all of the flowers in one evening while watching a Hallmark Christmas movie, of course. They were glued to the branches the next night and they were ready to stick haphazardly throughout the Christmas tree!
I cannot lie! I am totally mesmerized by this tree! Gazing at it just makes me happy!
It would seem that I am not the only member of the family who finds the tree soothing! 😊
Just a few more touches and my simple Christmas will be finished. Up next–hanging the fresh greens!
Hugs ’til next time!
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