I'm behind on Christmas decorating this year, I usually like to have it done by the day after Thanksgiving, but out of town visitors, the flu, another round of the flu, things just didn't get done. So, this year I'm scrambling. After my two week long fight with my pre-lit tree, you can read about that here, I have finally completed the decorating, just in time to enjoy it for five seconds before I have to take it down. UGH. That's why I like to have everything done early, it's such a shame to work so hard to put a tree together, and then turn around and take it down.
I often get asked how I decorate my trees, and I'm flattered, but I am not a professional. It's mainly trial and error. Sometimes they look cute, sometimes not. This year I hit the Black Friday sale at Michael's, that started on Thanksgiving Day at 5:00 pm. I went to get this bad boy....yes, a $199.99 Cricut for only 59.99, THAT ROCKED!
While waiting in line with my new cutting treasure, I noticed some purple flower stems that were marked down for the sale. I gave up my space in line, grabbed a cart, and picked out a bunch of hydrangea and poinsettia-ish looking stems. They were regularly $5.99, but I snagged them for $1.99. The ribbon and Christmas picks were also marked down. The creme ornaments I used are about twenty years old, the green and chocolate ornaments were on a SICK DEAL at Walmart where an entire box of eight glittery ornaments is only $5.00. The Walmart bulbs are plastic and look super cheap close up, but once on the tree, I thought they looked fairly upscale.
Once again, I'm not a professional tree designer, I've just figured out how to do this myself over the years. I have tried many different methods to decorate, but have found that it's easiest to do the garland first. I know some people would disagree with that, but I think if the garland goes up last, it covers ornaments. I knew that I wanted a big ribbon at the top, with streamer tails coming down. This little gal that works in the craft store was tying them up in a fury one day, and I asked her if she would tie mine. She was happy to oblige but the price was $79.00 plus the ribbon. Uh, no. Now, I've tied bows before, but not in a LONG time, like fifteen years. I pulled up a couple of tutorials on YouTube and figured it out. I actually don't like how my ribbon topper turned out, the ribbon is too sheer, but after fiddling with it for an hour, I was over it, and I guess I saved $79.99 by doing it myself. I used a pipe cleaner in the same color family as my ribbon to tie the bow, and to secure it to the tree.
The tails coming down the tree are looped in haphazardly. I'm all about using the branches to fasten the ribbon, but one could use paper clips, twist ties, anything really. I would suggest using wired ribbon, as that is easy to secure to the branches, and holds it's shape better.
Once the ribbon was secured, I cut my flower stems down. I had a difficult bringing myself to cut them because I always worry that I might want to use the long-stemmed version for something else later. But, I figured I had gotten such a good deal on them, no big deal......that's how I talked myself into it, it's all about justifying things to myself. I pealed the leaves off and then trimmed the stems to about 6 inches with wire cutters. I just 'stab' the floral pieces into the tree in places that have the biggest bare spots. I'm not a fan of fluffing trees, so this one had quite a few 'holes' to hide. I started with one type of flower, attached all of those first. I try to be strategic so that the colors are evenly disbursed. It's important to always 'stand back' and assess your progress, I inevitably find that I put two similar things too close together. I repeated with the other flower types until the tree was covered. I thought the tree looked pretty cute with just floral, and even debated about hanging the ornaments. I had the new WalMart pretties though, and wanted to try them out.
Ornaments are the same as flowers as far as my method. I do all of the same color/style at once. I think this is the best way not to have too many like ornaments in one spot. I do not like the ornament hooks to be visible. I have found that if I manipulate them around the branches a time or two, they don't show as much, it looks nicer. Don't be afraid to move branches and adjust lights, ornaments, etc. I find myself doing that as days go by, it's part of the fun of Christmas.....the constant fussing with the tree.
This tree is in my front room, so I was kind of trying to match it to the rest of the colors in the room. I don't know if I like that or not, but it is what it is. The entire tree revamp came in at under $50.00, which isn't toO shabby. I spent entirely way too much energy on this tree, the light snafu, etc., but now that it's completed, I guess I'm pleased with it. Three more to go!