Putting Together a Christmas Tree – the Effortless Way

 

Hi there!  I hope you and your loved ones had a bountiful Thanksgiving with great company, delicious food, and plenty to be thankful for.

Today I’m ready to talk Christmas trees.  I am by no means a tree expert, but I have picked up some tips over the years that I feel have really helped me to put up a beautiful tree each year, so I want to share my process with those who may struggle in this department.

1. The tree

First things first….the Christmas tree.  Faux trees have really come a long way over the years, but to be honest, even before they were as fabulous as they are now, I’ve always preferred a fake one over a real tree.  I never liked the thought of having to keep the tree watered and never mind worrying that it could catch on fire if it got too dry.  Ain’t nobody got no time for that!  Ha!  And I always felt like real trees make a constant mess with the pine needles falling off everywhere.  With my fake tree, I vacuum the floor immediately after putting the tree up, but I don’t really notice a ton of needles falling out every day after that.  So for me, fake tree for the win!

Another important topic when it comes to your Christmas tree is the price.  I have no clue what the going rate is on a real tree seeing as though I’ve never purchased one, but I can tell you that a really elaborate fake one can cost you a pretty penny.

But don’t fret my friends, as they make trees that go along with every budget.  I personally don’t care to spend a ton of money on my tree, but I like to embellish it in such a way that it looks expensive, you know what I mean?

We’ve had a our current living room tree for about three years now, purchased at the end of a holiday season, but I don’t really love the tree.  Hubby brought it home because he found it for a really great price, I’m talking dirt cheap you guys, so I’ve just made it work over the years.  The thing I don’t like about it is that it’s not quite full enough for me.  But I remedy that by adding lots of picks and stems to it, so in the end, it works.  Bottom line, find a tree that you love at a price you’re willing to pay.  And remember it pays to shop off season too.

2. The tree skirt

I’m all about using neutral tree skirts.  The sheepskin skirt you see pictured above is from HomeGoods, but for two years before I found it, I always used the sheep skin rugs I had bought at Ikea.  No one knew except for me that it wasn’t a traditional tree skirt, and honestly, no one really cares.  I think the reoccurring theme you’re going to see in this post is that it’s okay to use unconventional items.  Think rugs, throw blankets, fabric, even sheets of burlap; all of these items work as a tree skirt and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.  And sometimes these items will end up being the design inspiration behind your entire tree.

 

3. Picks and stems

In case you’ve been living under a rock and have no idea what I mean by picks and stems, here are a couple of visuals for you:

Image courtesy of Southern Hospitality

Image courtesy of the Krazy Coupon Lady

You can find these in abundance at Michaels and Joan’s over the holidays.  Buy them.  Lots of them.  I use these bad boys to fill in my tree in the areas that seem bare.  I weave them through tablescapes on my dining table.  Last year, I even used them along with some garland to frame my stairwells.  As you can see, I like the more natural looking ones, usually with pine cones and a bit of flocked snow on them, but these things come in all different sizes and colors and add so much interest to your tree. Don’t be afraid to add pops of color.

4. Ribbon or Deco Mesh

Once my tree is nice and full and I’ve added whimsical items like glitter flowers or poinsettias, I like to add the next element, either ribbon or deco mesh.  I never use both, always one or the other.  Again, in case you’re not familiar with deco mesh, here it is:

And generally when I select ribbon, I tend to go with a thicker width, something like this:

though the one I used on this year’s tree is a bit slimmer than this but it still worked out well.

Deco mesh looks beautiful on a tree, but it can be a bit more difficult to work with, as compared to ribbon.  I’ve used both and generally decide which one I’m going to use based on how much effort I plan on putting in that day. Ha!

5. Ornaments

There really isn’t much to say about ornaments.  Pick ones you love and that coordinate with the feel and theme of your tree.  The deer head ornaments mounted on the wood plaques are the stars of this tree.  I found these at Big Lots the week after Christmas last year and immediately fell in love with them. I was able to score 4 boxes of them for something like $5.00.

One other thing I would like to add about ornaments is, again, don’t be afraid to use unconventional items. The Let it Snow pieces you see hanging from the tree are not ornaments at all, but just a box of gift tags that I found in my holiday stash.  They added the perfect pop of silver to the tree.

6. Tree Topper

I have no fast or hard rules concerning tree toppers.  In years past, I’ve used a traditional star, an angel, even a bouquet of peacock feathers.  This year, I saved two of my picks from the body of the tree and stuck those in the top and called it a day.

7. Vignettes

The final thing I like to do once my tree is all put together is to create a mini scene or vignette under the tree.  This can be a series of wrapped presents under the tree with coordinating wrapping papers, a plate of cookies and milk for Santa, holiday stockings laid out, a spool of ribbon with wrapping paper, the sky is the limit. For this tree, I just placed a metal bucket with leaves and pine cones in it from HomeGoods off to the side of the tree and placed a large Merry sign underneath it with ribbon and pinecones.  The wood of the sign coordinated well with the wood of my deer head ornaments.  Easy peasy.

*Please note: you will notice there is no mention here of any tips or tricks to help you string lights onto your tree.  Not only am I a fan of fake trees, but I’m all about fake trees with pre-strung lights!!  Please search elsewhere if you’re looking for tips for stringing lights, cause’ this ain’t the place!

So there you have it folks.  I hope you found a few of these tips helpful and that your tree decorating process will be just a little bit simpler because of it. Happy decorating!

 

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