14 December 2011

[Mostly] DIY Christmas Tree

[contented sigh]  Christmas time is here again and I love it.  We finally completed our tree last night, just in the nick of time, and it was so worth all the time and effort.  There is something truly nostalgic about the warm glow of those tiny lights, I could honestly lay on the sofa for hours and just stare, letting my eyes go blurry so the lights twinkled like stars.  I don't discriminate, I love all Christmas trees, but I've been wanting a monochromatic Christmas tree for years.  I am not a Christmas tree scrooge... for the most part.  I want my children to have fun decorating, use colored lights, wonky ornaments, Corn POP garland, etc.  So, in the spirit of savoring my last years of "designer" Christmas tree-dom, I carefully plotted and planned my tree and I am so pleased with the results.  I did this on a budget of course.  Here's how...

First was the skirt.  I had seen this magnificent ruffled linen tree skirt on Pinterest via Miss Mustard Seed's blog.  You can follow the link to get to her tutorial, but my mama made mine a bit different.  Miss Mustard Seed used a glue gun to fasten the ruffles, BUT we live in the hottest city in the US and that glue would surely melt come July.  SO, we used a ruffler foot for the sewing machine and ruffled the linen strips that way.  This took quite a long time and more fabric then I want to divulge.  (hours; roughly 11 yards)  I then cut some broadcloth fabric (you can use canvas too) into a circle.  I cut a circle out of the center and one slit.  My mom then sewed the ruffles around and around... and around.  Pictures below:

1.  Cut the linen into roughly 4 inch strips.  2.  Ruffle the strips using a purchased foot for your sewing machine.  3. - 5. In whatever way makes sense to you (!!) , cut a circle out of your canvas or broadcloth.  6.  Cut a small circle out of the center of that circle.  7.  Cut a slit so that you can get it around the base of your tree.  8.  Fasten the ruffles to your circle of fabric.

Because we did the skirt this way, it wasn't really on a budget, per se, BUT I still saved money by waiting until Jo-Ann's had a 50% off coupon in their mailer.  I then used that to purchase the fabric.  You could save even more money by either (a) lowering the setting on the ruffler foot to make a looser ruffle OR following Miss Mustard Seed's instructions.  

Next, the ornaments.  I gathered pine cones from my yard, which was 100% free, and I sprayed them metallic gold, rotating after each coat.  Then, I had some red ornaments that I've used for a few years.  I hung them on a string and sprayed them ivory. 

In addition to the Christmas tree accoutrements above, I also purchased some gold, beaded, pear-shape ornaments from TJ Maxx for $19.99.  When I found them, I was unsure what color family I was going to use for the tree, but these gold ones decided for me.  If you have some silver or red ornaments around, go with it and use the scheme you have on hand.  While at Jo-Ann's buying fabric, I found some ribbon on clearance.  The entire scheme is below (minus the purchased ornaments):

And finally, the fun part.  I got to decorate the tree!  Here is the finished product.

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