How: A whimsical winter Christmas tree

It’s no secret that I love decorating a Christmas tree. My mom loved Christmas decorations when I was growing up, and after she passed away, I slowly started my collection of decorations, which has now grown to several trees, wreaths, wreaths, centerpieces, and more.

Since it’s just my husband and I at home, there are times when I wish others could get the joy out of decorating like I did when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong. I decorate my house because I enjoy it, not for others. But after hours and hours of love and work and glitter, sometimes I think it would be great to share it with more people. I also love finding new trees every year, but there is a limit to how many trees I can put in my house…and we are definitely close to reaching that.

Late last year I heard about an event here in Louisville called The Festival of Trees and Lights. This is a display of holiday ornaments for sale or auction, with proceeds benefiting Norton Children’s Hospital. I’m not a professional designer so I wasn’t sure if I could participate, but after a few emails I was invited to decorate a 7 foot Christmas tree. I was so excited to donate the supplies and time to design a tree (which they provided).

The festival is this weekend at Slugger Field. If you’re local and want to go, you can buy tickets on their website. You can also view and bid on products online on the same site.

How I designed this Christmas tree

I only had about 5 days to figure out what kind of tree I wanted to design. The trees in my house are mostly designed around fairly specific themes. My goal with this tree was to be traditional enough that it would appeal to a wide variety of people, and also special enough that people would think it was well designed and worth a higher price. I want it to raise as much money as possible for Norton Children’s Hospital. I also wasn’t sure what color tree I was going to have, green, white, or green with herringbone, so I needed something that would work on all of them.

With this in mind, I decided to base the design on a 4″ ribbon I found that I hoped a lot of people would like. I went to my favorite local(ish) store for holiday decor which is House by JSD. I say local because they are in Lexington, but this is where I have purchased most of my high end jewelry over the years. I was already planning to visit the House to add to my personal collection, so it was perfect timing.

I found some pretty checkered high quality 4″ ribbon and some coordinating 2.5″ ribbon. As I continued to browse the store, I found a tree that had fun elements that I knew I could use on this tree. Spinning/curling blinkers that were the same green and red in the bands.

Tree at House by JSD

Christmas tree ingredients for a winter treat.

Some of you mentioned on Instagram Stories that you wanted to see how this tree was put together from start to finish. Let’s start with the ingredients.

Standard tree elements I usually use are ribbon, flower stems, and unbreakable balls. The ratio of each can be changed depending on what you want your emphasis to be. I leaned into this one with a pretty heavy tape.

For this 7.5 foot white assembled pre-lit tree I used:

  • 100 yards of tape.
    • 20 yards 4 inches from home
    • 20 yards 2.5 inches from home
    • 60 yards 1.5 inches from home (20 yards) and home (40 yards)
  • 36 picks/stem
    • 8 rotating red sparklers from House
    • 8 spinning green glitters from House
    • 6 red and green curly glitters (for tops) from House
    • 14 white berry stems in “Home”.
  • 93 shatterproof ornaments from At Home.
    • 9 Extra Large (150 mm/6 inches)
    • 64 Medium (70 mm/2.8 inches)
    • 20 large (100 mm/3.9 inches)
  • 44 foot cluster LED lights/1300 lights by Raz (these are a splurge, but my favorite lights.)
  • Christmas tree skirt from Target
making bows

I bowed with a lot of tape, but if that’s not your bag, definitely cut back on the tape and add the rest of the ingredients.

I’m really happy with how it turned out and I hope it finds a home with people who will really enjoy it. The auction just opened as I write this, so if you want to find the listing, here it is.

I did my best to wire each element tightly as it is meant to be shipped fully assembled. Everything should stay in place, and if not, it should be easy to re-foam the straps or fix the temples.

Questions about decorating trees? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to help. Also, be sure to follow my Instagram Stories for the decorating frenzy over the next few weeks! I still have 7+ trees to go.

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