Category Archives: Christmas

Twelve Handmade Christmas Trees

Christmas trees. I love them. And most of the time, I enjoy putting them up…except for the year that our tree lights went out. Twice. Needless to say, we had a dark tree that Christmas.

I enjoy little tabletop trees and colorful vignettes made up of little trees. Perhaps I love them for their ease and simplicity of set-up. I don’t know. I think it boils down to the fact that I just like seeing Christmas decorations. Yes, that sounds about right. It has nothing to do with my laziness and everything to do with loving Christmas decor.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉

Here are twelve of some of my favorite handmade Christmas trees, perfect for a tabletop or nestled in a festive collection in your home.

12 Handmade Christmas Trees



1. Paper Scrap Christmas Tree

Paper Scrap Christmas Tree

{Glue Dots}

What a great way to use what you have and not be wasteful. You’re creating something beautiful out of what most people would have tossed into the garbage long ago. Hang onto your paper. You never know when inspiration may strike.

2. Twine Christmas Trees

Twine Christmas Trees

 {DIY Crafty Projects}

Here’s an easy project using just a few supplies. You can really change up the look and texture of these trees by adding different embellishments and string or something similar. Love this.

3. Coffee Filter Trees


{I Heart Naptime}

Don’t you just love coffee filter crafts? This little white Christmas tree is made out of just that—coffee filters! I think that natural rippled effect of the filters only add to the charm and detail of the little tree. Too cute…and easy.

4. Nuts and Bolts Christmas Trees

Nuts and Bolts Christmas Trees

{Left Brain Craft Brain}

These little beauties are pure genius. It never ceases to amaze me the crafts that people come up with common, household items. This was an engineer’s craft challenge for her child’s fine motor skills. Surprising, huh? What a great idea and such a fun (and educational) holiday craft for small kids.

5. Fabric Christmas TreesFabric Christmas Trees

{The Creativity Exchange}

These handmade cone trees are darling, are they not? This is another great use of repurposing scrap materials into something festive and beautiful. The color schemes and embellishment possibilities are endless.

6. Rustic Stick Treea6e84086dd4cbd332988b31a80224e38

{Bower Power}

This little tree certainly has a charm all of its own. While this craft may require some scrounging for sticks and twigs in your yard, it would not be difficult at all to glue together. This would be a fun one to have kids help out with, like a puzzle.

7.  Ribbon Loop Christmas TreeRibbon Loop Christmas Tree

{Making Lemonade}

These are gorgeous little knock-offs from a West Elm inspiration. I think that they turned out great. Again, like many of these craft inspirations, this would require just a little work cutting and gluing the pieces of ribbon. How easy is that?!

8. Book Page Christmas TreesBook Page Christmas Trees

{My Blessed Life}

I find these vintage book page trees delightful, but maybe that’s the bookworm in me. The little silver trim adds interest to the simple trees and the red bells add a splash of color to this craft.

9. DIY Pallet Christmas TreePallet Christmas Tree

{Redhead Can Decorate}

I thoroughly enjoy rustic decor. Mix rustic and Christmas, well, I’m hooked. This was a brilliant idea to form and decorate a Christmas tree on a pallet. I know that this look is not for everyone, but is it not completely pretty all lit up? I think so.

10. Plastic Spoon Trees


Plastic Spoon Christmas Trees

{One Project Closer}

Most would never guess that thses trees were made out of spoons at first glance. You could either use the plastic spoons in the color of your choice or simply spray paint it the preferred shade. There are so many options and patterns available with this particular project.

11. Ombre Felt Trees

Ombre Felt Christmas Trees


The lovely felt trees just scream cozy and winter to me. I love the ombre detail and the color choices pictured above are exactly the ones that I would choose. Gray is my favorite.

12. Cereal Box Christmas Trees

6983480831_a5bd5522f3_z {Beautiful Matters}

This eclectic forest of trees steals the show. Made out of cereal boxes? You just won me over. The various textures of the cone Christmas trees make this such an interesting vignette. I’ll take all of them….and the antique they’re sitting on. Just lovely.

Doesn’t that make you want to make a tree or two? If I get started, I’ll probably end up with an entire forest lining my halls. I should just play it safe and only make my top favorite…or three. There’s always next year, right?

Phooey, I hate making decisions. It’s so hard to choose…………

Happy crafting.


My Frugal Holiday Living Room

I love looking at holiday decor. Store window fronts, festive vignettes, home tours—I enjoy seeing them all. And I would be remiss if I left out the king of inspiration, Pinterest. Wow. There are some really creative minds out there.

Sometimes I think to myself, what could I possibly have to offer that hasn’t already been shared? People are probably tired of looking at Christmas trees and mantles weighed down with boughs of garland and pretty, glittery bulbs.

my frugal holiday living room

If you are of this mind, please forgive me and just overlook this post. However, if you are like me and you could seriously gaze at Christmas decorations until the cows come home, well then, here’s one more room for you.

This is my version of “decking the halls” where the budget is small and the children are many. In other words, welcome to my cheap and kid-friendly holiday living room.

Holiday room tour details

This is the second year that I have purchased a real wreath for my front door. I loved it so much last year that I purchased two this year, one for the front door and one for the inside of my back door which is in my kitchen.

Home Depot runs a special on Black Friday for $5 wreaths and garlands. As I already said, last year I bought one wreath but this year I branched out (pun intended) and bought two wreaths and one garland. I love having the real greenery. Sure, there may be some needles, but I don’t find them overly messy.

The wreaths both came with velvet bows that were somewhat crushed from being packed in the warehouse and were looking a tad pathetic. So I whipped together a burlap and lace bow from my stash and replaced the old bow with this beauty. I love the combination of the two ribbons.

In an effort to not waste and also to just have fun, I stuck the bow on the front of our minivan. (Recycling can be awesome.) The girls were quick to notice the bright flutterings as the walked by the van in our driveway. Who knew that decorating your car to this small degree would bring such smiles?! They loved it.

(Recycling the pathetic wreath bow was perfect for the car, a place where the wind would only continue to destroy it.)

Frugal Christmas details


2014 Christmas room tour

But enough about bows, let’s go into our home, shall we?

Holiday Room Tour 2014

Welcome to my cozy, little living room decked out in rustic Christmas decor.

Holiday Living Room Tour

I love it. I am a traditional girl at heart and love to embrace the red and green. Don’t get me wrong. I love a good flocked tree with lots of Christmas whites and metallics. They are beautiful and some day I may try a different color scheme, but for now—for this year—the true colors of the season are what speak to me

Who knows what I may try next year? (And yes, I feel like I say that every year.)

Christmas 2014 Room Tour

My pinecone wreath is still going strong. This was a Smith and Hawken (from Target) after-Christmas clearance from three years ago. I love being able to display it throughout both the fall and winter seasons. Last year I tried hanging it in our hallway. Bad idea. The poor thing got knocked down so many times that it’s a wonder it’s still in one piece.

pretty Christmas decorations

2014 frugal holiday room details

The crystals that lightly frost the entire wreath are probably my favorite detail. So pretty.

Christmas room tour details

Another set of items that get moved around quite a bit are my huge lanterns, also from Target and also a tremendous clearance find. My candles are purely decorational. I pull them out every year. Is it odd that I never burn them?

Perhaps I take my mentality of reusing everything too far. I don’t know.

Christmas living room tour

Here’s a full shot of our little music corner with our eleven dollar artificial tree that we’ve now used for twelve seasons. That’s less than a dollar a year now….not too shabby.

Even Charlie Brown can’t beat that price.

christmas living room decor

My tree is a mix of different ornaments. Some fragile ornaments like these that I bought during Target’s after-Christmas sale (at 90% off) for eighty cents.

I bought this for Nate on his second Christmas. It didn’t have a year, so who’s really gonna know that I didn’t give it to him for his “1st Christmas” other than me? And now you….who?

Nobody. It was a year late, the price was right and the ornament adorable, so I bought it. Nobody’ll know, I promise. One year off is no big deal.

christmas living room

How about nine years late? I also fell in love with this ornament for “Our first Christms”—which obviously it wasn’t. Again there was no year printed on it and I just loved the little guy with his miniture bottle brush tree.

I clearly don’t follow any rules when it comes to ornaments.

living room  Christmas 2014

And if I can’t find ornaments that fit my need, I make them. Here’s Zip’s annoucement ornament from 2008. I’ve made one for each of my children, marking the day that we found out about each new little family member on-the-way.

I have six on my tree now, one for Bunny, Fuzz, Zip, Pop, Van and our sweet little Angel baby.

Favorite Christmas decorations 2014

Ornaments like these make me smile as well. Aren’t kids creations simply the best ones on a tree? I think that my kids would tend to agree with the that statement.

free gift wrap

I’m still in love with wrapping with paper grocery bags and shopping bags. The thickness of the paper can’t even begin to compare with what you typically find on a roll and I rather fond of not spending money on something that my kids (and Hubs and myself too!) are simple going to rip to shreds come Christmas morning.

grocery bag gift wrap

As evidenced in the photo below, I have quite an assortment of printed bags recycled into wrapping paper under my tree. Pottery Barn Kids, Gap, Baby Gap, Trader Joes and Whole Foods Market just to name a few.

(I’ve even started using the paper grocery bags as our “stockings” . We brought four handmade stockings from Pennsylvania when we moved here and I just never got around to making more for our growing family. The bags are working just fine for now.)

frugal Christmas decor 2014


There you have it. My traditional and rustically-eclectic holiday living room. I reuse as many elements as I can from year to year. To be honest, there’s something heart-warming and nostalgic pulling out some of those worn, dusty pieces every year—even our old tree. Bunny was really bent on using it for one more year.


I was rather fond of seeing it one more time as well. (Initially I wanted to try a real fir tree this year. But not getting one kept our holiday decor cost down to a bare minimum.)

Here’s my cost breakdown. 🙂

my Christmas mantle

How about you? Are your halls all decked? Do you decorate with traditional colors or have you dabbled with a different colors this year? Ever buy specific occasion ornaments years later?Have one well-worn nostalgic seasonal item that you love? Growing up, it was our old well-loved (read well-played with) and rather chipped nativity scene. It was a favorite. We kids fought over unpacking and arranging the set every year. And I do mean every year. Ahhh, memories of the season.

Thanks for stopping by,







A New Twist on Christmas Gift Wrap

Hello and welcome back.



We have seen some really, wonderful Christmas ideas this week and all of them have been on a budget. Well, my simple inspiration is just as frugal. It was free in fact. I was able to reuse something in my home and I love it. This is what I used:

(I apologize in advance that my pictures are not the best. Rainy, cloudy days are not a photographer’s friend, so waiting then resulted in nighttime shots.)


Trader Joes paper grocery bags


Don’t you just love these? This past year I began shopping a bit at Trader Joes. Let me tell you, I was hooked. For a “natural” grocery store, I found their prices to be very reasonable. It is no secret on this ol’ blog that I am a die-hard Harris Teeter gal; however, Trader Joes is giving them a run for their money. I have met some extremely sweet people that work there. Love it.

Anyhoo, I had been saving these paper bags because I really liked their vintage drawings and durability. They are made very well. (Never had a handle rip off yet. Knock on wood.) I believe that they even have a Christmas print, but I didn’t have any in storage since I usually bring my own shopping totes. If you use your own bags, you can enter your name in for a gift card every week. And if you follow me on facebook, you know that I love winning giveaways. Haha!  🙂

I wanted something different…and frugal this year. This ended up being the perfect solution. 🙂


frugal holiday gift wrap



gift wrap supplies


I also went up in the attic and rummaged out my cheap tape from Target. I found a new love: handbands. I got a tremendous kick out of just getting pieces of tape. Really pathetic, I know.

Seriously, it truly did make wrapping the gifts a tad easier. Not saying that I’d ever purchase one at full price… but when you can stock up at roughly a quarter a piece, you don’t mind trying something new. (Subtle reminder: Don’t forget to look for tape deals at Target’s after-Christmas sale at 90% off…even in the office supply aisle.)


wrap time


I shared with you guys last year about our “four gift rule” for our family. This is Zip’s “something to read” gift. Can I just say that I love these book deals from Walmart on Black Friday? This is the second year that I’ve bought them. Five dollar hardback children’s storybooks is a great price in my opinion.


wrap time


Back to the wrapping….

Once you’ve cut the bag to a flat sheet of paper, you are all set to begin taping,… I mean, wrapping. Be sure that if you are displaying the printed side, that you cut and wrap it according to the graphic that you want to be on most visible on your package.


fun stuff for gift wrap


Now comes the fun stuff. I picked up some craft ribbon at Michaels on Black Friday for 70% off  (and used an additional coupon at checkout). Awesome prices and yes, reusable. I also grabbed my craft gift tag set and had a blast stamping away. (This craft was way too much fun with all the taping and stamping. 😉 ) Another really neat idea would be to create a small monogram glitter tag like how Brown Sugar Toast shared on Wednesday. Wouldn’t that be festive  and adorable looking?! I think so. Now I really have to make her craft.  🙂


rustic gift wrap


Here’s one all finished. I love the rustic feel that the brown paper gives, not to mention how the colors go perfectly with our Christmas decor. I can’t seem to get away from traditional Christmas colors: red, white, silver combined with natural textures and touches of burlap, feathers, pine cones, pine branches and yes, brown paper.


stamped gift tags


It turned out just how I’d hoped.


assorted gift wrap ideas for my tree


I wrapped one gift {book} with the paper printed side down. So if the printed paper isn’t your cup of tea, you could simply wrap using the back side of the paper bags. This also give you more color options for ribbons and embellishments. The felt gift box that I picked up last year (and Target…and on clearance of course!) fit right in and added a new texture to my under my tree. Tie the bow and you are good. I like simple.


CYMERA_20131205_221139 (1)



Holiday wrapping at its finest. Free. I hope that this has inspired you to think outside of the box as you wrap your gifts this year. Christmas doesn’t have to be extravagant and costly. Let’s keep it simple this year. Shop your home and yard…and yes, perhaps even other people’s castoffs  (like their trash or thrift items) to create our seasonal decor. Let’s dig down and find our frugal roots once again and catch a glimpse of a simple and quiet Christmas. If we do, if we step away from the hustle-bustle, we will have more time to reflect on the things that matter most: faith and family.

If we had planned an underlying theme or subtitle for our Home for the Holidays series, it would certainly be this. (We didn’t by the way. However, it just seemed to be an additional tie binding all of our series together, at least in my eyes.)

Reuse. Recycle. {w}Rap.  Let’s do it. 🙂

Do you enjoy recycling? Ever shopped at Trader Joes? Wrapped your gifts in grocery sacks? Tell me. I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading.

Simple Christmas Mantle

Hey, y’all.  I’m finally ready to show you guys my Christmas mantle.  Whew!  It’s been up for a while now and I’ve just been adding touches here and there over the past few weeks.  We have the hustle and bustle of the the Christmas cantatas over with at our church and life is beginning to settle down a bit.  I’m glad.  They were fun, the choirs were excellent, and the message of Christmas was clearly given.  As the wife of a music pastor, this meant that the past few weeks have been super busy {read many late nights and more than our share of fast food}.

It was nice to come home and collapse snuggle on the couch with Hubs. Twinkling lights, candles, and fresh greenery have a way of soothing your weariness away.

Christmas mantle


I absolutely love the string of lights (from the sneak peek here) that I scored for free with a gift card at Target.  They were a random leftover from summer decor on a clearance shelf marked at 30%, but rang up at 70% off.  It always pays to ask an employee to check the price.

Christmas mantle


I hooked my pine cones from my simple pine cone garland onto my faux greenery garland.  So easy.  Why did I not think of doing something like that before?!!

Christmas mantle


I had planned on going completely natural this year in my color scheme- just white and silver with burlap and fresh greenery.  However, red is a determined Christmas color and slipped back into my decor again. I don’t mind. I like having a spot of color here and there in all of the natural elements.  I took a strand of red wooden beads off of my tree and strung it up with my garland.  It helps tie the two, my tree and my mantle, together.

Christmas mantle


I am loving burlap ribbon.

Christmas mantle


Seeing that lit tree in the background does my heart good.

Christmas mantle


Several weeks ago, I spotted two huge lanterns on clearance at Target.  It’s my new favorite hunting ground.  They both had  “repackaged” clearance stickers.  I guess someone decided not to keep them and returned them.  Their loss was totally my gain.  They were now 70% off.  I love how they look with my mercury glass and crystal star candle holders from Pottery Barn {more clearance love}.

Hubs grabbed two red pillar candles to bring some more color to the mantle and I nestled them in some faux snow that I picked up at Pottery Barn two years ago.  I was able to grab three bags of the snow for 97¢ each (reg. 12.00) after Christmas.  Just a heads up to those of you that may be interested in looking for some in the after-Christmas sales.  I love being able to reuse them year after year.

Christmas mantle


I clipped several kinds of fresh evergreens from the woods behind our house and stcuk them in the garland.  Not only do they add to the layers of textures but they also provide a nice pine scent to the room. I’m especially enjoying this since we use an artificial tree.

Christmas mantle


How about you?  Do you enjoy decorating a mantle or another special place for the holidays?  All of the hustle and bustle winding down for you guys too?  Use an artificial or real greenery and trees?  In love with Target?  Share and share alike.  I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading,