As promised, today I am sharing how I made some of the cute homemade decorations I made for the tree at my office. These were so easy to make, and under $20 to make enough for a 6 foot tree!
First of all, I paid a visit to my local Dollar Store. So many people stick their nose up to the Dollar Store, but there is a wealth of neat stuff there…and it only costs a dollar!! I found some plastic candy canes—6 of them for a dollar! Score! Then I found a pack of 9 gold jingle bells. I was trying to find smaller jingle bells in a larger pack, but at my Dollar Store, the 9 pack was all they had. I was actually much happier with the 9 pack of larger bells.
Next I went to the local fabric store…(well, actually, I went down into the the abyss at my house that is my unfinished basement and found some homespun fabric in red and green), but I would have gone to the local fabric store to get some fabric if I hadn’t had it at home! Homespun fabric is woven in a way that is similar to how prairie women would weave the fabric they used to make clothes. That’s why they call it “homespun”. It has tiny imperfections and have no front or back side to the fabric. It is usually found in a plaid or checked pattern. I adore homespun fabric! It just seems homey to me! I knew had some homespun fabric at home because I use it to make country or prairie clothing for American Girl dolls. You can usually find it for around $6.99 a yard, but I always try to buy it when it’s on sale (do you remember me saying I’m cheap!??!). I also grabbed some quilt batting that I had on hand because I use it in the iPad cases I make and sell in my Etsy shop.
To make my little quilted hearts and stars ornaments, I searched for a template for a heart and star. I printed them out and used them as a pattern. To make it easier and faster, I laid a piece of the fabric down, then laid down the batting on top of it, and another piece of the fabric on top of those two. It looked like a little fabric sandwich! I put the pattern down on it, pinned it down and then cut it out. I did this with the stars and hearts, using both colors of fabrics. Then, I used cross stitch thread and very quickly did a running stitch about 1/4th from the edge all around the outside edge of all the little fabric sandwiches. Once they were quilted, I tore some fabric into little squares and laid a button on top and sewed those down. I had a bag of assorted buttons that were so very cute and country—they were perfect! I then added a twine hanger to hang it on the tree. So. Easy.
I can’t stand the cuteness!!
I next moved on to the jingle bells. I didn’t want shiny jingle bells….I wanted rusted jingle bells, but they were so darn expensive! It’s one of those mysteries to me…like ripped jeans…why would I spend that kind of money on bells that are rusted?!? So, I bought the cheap ones at the Dollar Store, threw them in an old Tupperware bowl and poured white vinegar and salt to cover them, and put the cover on the bowl. I let them sit over the weekend. When I took the lid off 3 days later, the vinegar had taken some of the finish off the bells—perfect! I then got some twine and hung two on the twine and tied them at the top to make a hanger. Then I took a strip of the homespun and tied it around the string. This is how they turned out…
And how they look on the tree!
The next ornament I made was the fabric covered candy canes. I tore some strips of the homespun fabric into about 2 inch strips, dabbed a little hot glue at the end of the plastic candy cane, tucked the end under the strip and just started wrapping the fabric tightly around the cane.
The last thing I “made” were pinecone clusters. The pinecones I got for free, so that was a bonus! Most people will tell you that you need to bake the cones to kill any critters that are inside them. I have never done this and have never experienced an infestation (unless that’s how the mice came in…lol). When I gather them, I just give them a good shaking out. To cluster them, I took some floral wire I had laying around, and wound the wire around the bottom of the cone and twisted the ends together. Then I took 3 at a time and twisted all 3 wires together. Then I just wired them to branches on the tree. I also put some pine garland around bulletin boards and put these pinecone clusters onto those as well. They look SO pretty!
When decorating the tree, you start with the grapevine garland first. It was fairly easy to work with but very messy and a little rough on the hands! I have scratches all over my hands and arms from putting it on, but it was worth it! It unwraps very easily. and just winds naturally around the tree. I used four 15 ft lengths of the grapevine garland. This was a small tree (6 ft) and I probably could have sufficed with 3 lengths, but I liked how full the garland was so I’d still get four of them. Once I had the garland where I wanted it on the tree, I started spreading it apart. It comes on a roll and is tight. Once you place it, you can spread it apart so it looks kind of “branchy”…love this look!! After the garland, I added the pinecone clusters, then put up the ornaments. I probably could have made a few more ornaments, but honestly, my fingers were killing from all the hand sewing and pine clustering! I did add some red shiny ball ornaments that we had on hand from last year. I put them on the inside of the tree to catch and reflect the light from the tree lights. It adds a bit of depth to the tree! I put about 4 of the clusters of pinecones at the top of the tree, and added 2 bunches of red berry clusters that I had at home. I just stuck them in the top and let them fall open at the top. I really liked the looks of it! To finish it off, I added some burlap fabric we had left over from a bulletin board and just bunched it around the bottom of the tree to cover the base. I then just tossed a few pinecones over the burlap for a nice finishing touch! Voila! My country Christmas tree! I really want to do this with my Christmas tree at home!
The tree and the topper. I loved how the red berries look so festive!
Close up shot of the burlap tree skirt.
Close up of the pinecone clusters.
To tie all the decorations together, I put pine garland around the edges of all the bulletin boards and added some pinecones and plaid ribbon…Doesn’t it look cute?
Another shot of the garland on the bulletin board. The garland cost me $1 at an after Christmas sale, and the pinecones were free!! You almost can’t be that!
And that’s how I decorated a Christmas tree for very little money! What do you think of my “country Christmas”???