This time of year holiday catalogs fill our mailboxes. Unfortunately for a lot of us, decking the house for the holidays with gorgeous items from Pottery Barn, West Elm, Crate & Barrel and Williams- Sonoma just isn’t feasible. What I try to do every year is browse through the catalogs and get inspired to create my own decorations and replicate the store’s classic style for much less than retail!
Twine Wrapped Tree
If you browse through my other posts, you’ll see that I love to decorate with twine by wrapping it around things. I love the texture it creates and the organic look of it. Recently, I was flipping through a West Elm catalog and saw these modern trees (above) and thought, what a great thrifty craft! And can be made for SO much less than the sticker price!
What you need:
- craft spray glue
- styrofoam tree form
- jute twine
- hot glue gun
Here’s what you do:
- Create a workspace with newspaper.
- Secure twine to the top of tree with a spot of hot glue.
- Apply spray glue in 2-3 inch sections and wrap twine around form of tree, making sure twine is taut and avoiding gaps between wraps.
- Finish by securing twine to bottom edge with hot glue.
Note: It is important to start wrapping from the top of the tree, as wrapping from a larger to smaller diameter direction can be frustrating – the twine will want to roll toward the smaller diameter area. So, start from the top!
Cost: $5! Twine was purchased from the 99 cent store and the styrofoam tree was purchased at Michael’s with a 40% off coupon for $4. That’s a savings of $45 from the West Elm retail!
Red Berry Tree Topiaries
Decorating with red berries during the holidays is one of my favorite looks. Unfortunately, good quality topiaries can be hard to find, especially if you like to shop the after Christmas sales for your holiday decorations – oftentimes, berries are missing, chipped or scratched. Here’s a way to have a beautiful topiary, on the cheap, with little effort! Comparable topiaries (like the one on the left) can be found at Target for up to $29 per tree!
What you need:
- wire cutters
- tree topiaries
- red berry picks
- silver (or gold) spray paint
- bright green reindeer moss
- terra cotta pots
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
Here’s what you do:
- Use wire cutters to remove berries from their stems. Make sure to save one berry with a 3/4 inch of stem for the top of the tree.
- Place sole berry with stem in top of tree, leaving 1/3-1/2 of an inch visible.
- Secure first layer of berries below top berry with hot glue, making sure to place them as close together as possible, eliminating as much of the background as you can.
- In sections, starting at the edge of your most recently placed berries and working outward, cover rest of the tree with berries.
- Spread newspaper to create a large workspace.
- Use spray paint to coat terra cotta pots, using short strokes and spraying another layer (after first coat dries) until pot has a uniform coating. Make sure to flip the pots after waiting for them to dry and spray the upper rim.
- Place berried topiary in newly painted, dry pot.
- Attach reindeer moss with hot glue in sections to exposed areas of base.
- Display and enjoy!
Cost: less than $10 per tree, not bad! AND you have leftover silver spray paint for other holiday projects!
Tip: Michaels has wonderful sales throughout the month of December – most things holiday are often 40 -60% off! I purchased my red berries at a 50% off sale, so each pick was only $0.49 (I used 17 picks total for two trees). Spray paint and pots were cheapest at Home Depot – only $5 for everything. An even less expensive, and less time consuming, way to do it would be to find silver pots that you like at discount stores like the Dollar Tree or 99 cent store. And don’t forget your 40% off mailer coupons at Michaels for things that aren’t on sale! My reindeer moss (which is the same color and look of the stuff they’re selling at Pottery Barn for $14 per bag!) was only $3 with my coupon. Thrift and discount stores (like Tuesday Morning) are also wonderful places to find craft materials for pennies on the dollar – I actually found my topiaries at a thrift store for $1.99 each!