First of all, I hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving! By now, of course, just about everyone has shifted into Christmas gear. After a stretch of warm, sunny weather here, it's cold and blustery today, so now it finally feels like the holiday season has officially arrived.
This year, I thought I'd try making some of my own decorations. I've always loved the "tabletop trees" that seem to be everywhere now. I'm particularly fond of the glittery ones, like these Gold Trees from Crate & Barrel ($29.95 for a set of 2), but Target's curled wood version is pretty fabulous, too ($24.99).
At these prices, they're not going to break the bank or anything. Yet being the penny-pincher I am, I thought to myself, I bet I could make something like that for half the cost. Plus, it could be kinda fun! So I started searching for materials to make my own conical creations. Here's what I found:
23" Christmas Craft Tree - Hobby Lobby (40% off): $4.79
17" Christmas Craft Tree - Hobby Lobby (40% off): $3.59
itsy BEADsies bowl and vase filler - Hobby Lobby (2 bags @ 50% off): $4.99
18 ft. True Silver Holiday Garland - Target (2 garlands): $7.98
So the garland from Target wasn't exactly a bargain, but it was the perfect size for this project -- nice and skinny, so my tree wouldn't be all shaggy. Making the garland tree was pretty simple. All I did was wrap the garland around it, starting at the base and keeping the rows packed tight. I dabbed some hot glue on it every so often to keep the rows in place. Total time: about 20 minutes.
The beaded tree, however, was a bit more tedious. First, I covered the cone in gold wrapping paper, which I already had on hand. Then, I hot glued the beads on one by one, starting at the bottom. They were actually a little bit squishy, which worked out well when I was trying to squeeze them together as close as possible. Once I started, I realized it was going to take awhile, but I had to see it through to the end... which came about two hours later (including a couple breaks to rest my eyes and straighten my hunched back). Yikes!
And (drumroll, please), here are my completed tabletop trees in all their glimmering glory!
What do you think? I have to say I'm pretty pleased overall. The silver garland created a super-sparkly effect, and I love the texture, too. I wish there were fewer gaps in my beaded tree, but there really wasn't much I could do about that. I didn't save quite as much money as I had hoped; however, I do still have some leftover garland and beads for another project. There's also something to be said for the feeling of accomplishment you get when you can say "I made it myself." I may even experiment with more tabletop trees made with other materials... flowers, feathers, ribbon... oh, the possibilities!
More Christmas decorations coming soon... Yippee!