Christmas Tree: finished

I’m back with the post on our very first (and cheap) Christmas tree. After much debating and online inspiration searching, I decided to go with a green and white themed tree with punches of brown. Not sure why that took much debating; pretty sure that’s what most of my house is. Green and brown are to me what white is to YHL.

First things first: the garland. I knew I wanted to use some sort of sheer, wide ribbon flowing from the top of the tree instead of traditional garland. And maybe a little bit of a sheer green ribbon in between the white. After searching through the Christmas ribbon at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, Wal-Mart, Meijer, Target, and maybe a few other places, I couldn’t find the perfect ribbon. Then, while at Hobby Lobby, it hit me. The wedding aisle! Lo and behold, there was the perfect ribbon (actually tulle), and at a much cheaper price! They also had the perfect green wired ribbon, score.

Next came the ornaments. I wanted our tree to look finished without spending an arm and a half on ornaments. I decided that I wanted each ornament to be less than $1 apiece.

My first idea came at Michael’s. They had tiny poinsettia garlands on sale for 40% off, so for a whopping $6, I scored a garland of white poinsettias. I popped the poinsettias off of the garland, took some needle nose pliers, and squeezed ornament hooks onto the back of them.



Still not sure how many flowers there were on the garland, but I used about half of them before I decided that using any more would make my tree look like a giant cone-shaped flower.

Next, I knew that I wanted some traditional glass ball ornaments in green and white. I found these at Target’s website and calculated that it only costs 29 cents an ornament (and I can use the red ones around the house for other Christmas decor). I also picked up a few snowflake ornaments, white and green pine cone ornaments, glass icicle ornaments, and white reindeer ornaments for well under $1 apiece. I found and fell in love with some green, white, and brown striped ornaments at Michael’s that I got for half off, making it $2.50 for 6 of those, and got a box of 6 punchy brown ornaments at Hobby Lobby for $2.


All this would have been more than enough, but I completely and utterly fell in love with these rustic woodland creature ornaments from Crate & Barrel. Somewhere between $4.95 and $6.95 apiece, they completely blew my ornament budget, but were so worth it. I justify it in my mind since all my other ornaments were so far under budget. And they have gotten so many compliments already! I love em to death.

For the tree skirt, I grabbed a green and white plaid fleece throw from K-Mart for $3 and threw some pine cones around the base of the tree (from the Michael’s fall clearance section- only $1 for an entire bag of em!)

And here’s the result:


(Note: I have since fixed the strange bare spot on the bottom left part of the tree!)

In a previous post I mentioned that I was going to make my own tree topper. Well, partly out of laziness and partly out of “this isn’t turning out the way I had imagined it,” I made a simple white tulle bow for this year. We’ll see if the topper turns out later on…who knows, it may look great in the end! Right now I really like the way the bow flows into the rest of the tree and doesn’t steal all the glory.

So happy to have the tree put all put together- it really puts some Christmas spirit in the house!  Special thanks to my sister who helped me decorate the tree the weekend before Thanksgiving!

Your turn: any of you who DIY’ed your own Christmas ornaments to save money (or just because it looked better)? Do tell!


O Christmas Tree…in November?

A couple weeks ago I bought our very first house-sized Christmas tree. Before that we just had the dorm room-sized one…

Anyway, Chris thought it was ridiculous to buy a tree this year, since we are going to be gone for a week over Christmas, but I just couldn’t bear the thought of our first Christmas in our first house with no tree. So I convinced him that buying a fake one off of Craigslist was a great idea, since it’s cheap and we can use it year after year. $40 later, I have a tree sitting in our living room. The people who sold me the tree did not want to break it down or take the lights off.

Sidenote: We have no storage space in our house. If we want to store something, we have to break it down to bite-sized pieces and put it in the attic.

So, I decided that rather than store it, we would just start the Christmas season a little early. Ok, really early. So, as any Christmas fanatic does, I immediately started planning a theme for the tree. If we’re putting up premature Christmas decorations, they at least need to look good! No way am I having my entire family here for Thanksgiving and having a lit up, undecorated tree sitting in the corner. Thankfully, it seems that the retail industry has sympathy on us crazy Christmas fiends and immediately stock their Christmas goods as soon as the last kid on the block says “trick or treat.”

Of course I can’t be spending a lot of buckaroos on having a perfectly themed tree with gorgeous crystal ornaments. I had to find a way to do this cheap…and I’ve come up with a couple solutions.

1. Find items in nature (such as pinecones) and hot glue ornament hangers on them. Since I’m going for a “natural” theme on the tree with whites, greens, and browns, this works perfectly for me.

2. Buy things out of the ordinary and turn them into ornaments.

3.  Buy a bulkload of classic ornaments on the cheap! I got these ornaments from Target- 69 for $19.99. Turns out to be about 40 cents apiece. Fits well within my under $1 per ornament rule.


Anyone else have ideas for doing a classy, themed Christmas tree on the cheap? I’m also making my own tree topper…a post on that to follow.