O (tabletop) Christmas Tree

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!

west elm david stark twine wrapped tree craft

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
  • newspaper
  • styrofoam tree form
  • jute twine
  • hot glue gun

west elm twine wrapped tree christmas craft

Here’s what you do:

  1. Create a workspace with newspaper.
  2. Secure twine to the top of tree with a spot of hot glue.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!

west elm twine wrapped tree christmas craft

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

red berry tree tabletop tree topiary craft

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

red berry christmas tree topiary craftred berry christmas tree topiary craft

Here’s what you do:

  1. 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.
  2. Place sole berry with stem in top of tree, leaving 1/3-1/2 of an inch visible.
  3. 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.
  4. In sections, starting at the edge of your most recently placed berries and working outward, cover rest of the tree with berries.
  5. Spread newspaper to create a large workspace.
  6. 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.
  7. Place berried topiary in newly painted, dry pot.
  8. Attach reindeer moss with hot glue in sections to exposed areas of base.
  9. Display and enjoy!

Cost: less than $10 per tree,  not bad! AND you have leftover silver spray paint for other holiday projects!

red berry christmas tree topiary craft

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!

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West Elm taste on a Goodwill budget

west elm

I heart west elm. In fact, I love the whole Williams-Sonoma/Pottery Barn/west elm family. Classic, yet modern, luxurious, yet casual…and oh, the quality!

My husband and I recently moved into a little beach shack and had purchased a silk dupioni blue duvet/bedskirt/shams set for our bedroom from Linens N’ Things during a “Store Closing” sale. So the style wasn’t quite what we were looking for but we didn’t want to spend a ton of money – $30 for the whole thing – what a deal! Well, in this instance, we got what we paid for. After two months, the underside of the duvet grew little nubs on it and everytime I got in bed, I screamed , “I hate this comforter!”.

I’d been dreaming of a soft and cozy west elm duvet/shams set, but my frugality kept me from splurging. One day I saw the perfect set in the perfect Glacier Blue color for the rock-bottom, clearance section price of $49 including tax and shipping! Deal!!! Only problem was, it was a king and we have a queen sized bed.

organic lattice duvet cover and shams west elm

Well, the thrifty crafter that I am, I thought, “How hard could it be to convert a king-sized duvet cover to a queen?“.

Turns out, it wasn’t hard at all! I looked up some measurements on About.com, then double checked by measuring my existing comforter and my existing duvet.

The king was 90 x 108 and I cropped it to 84 x 86.

Here’s what you do:

  • Turn the duvet inside out.
  • Measure 11 inches off of each side and 6 inches from the top (these measurements may differ depending on your actual comforter size).
  • Iron the edges to keep things flat, pin it and sew away!
  • Turn right side out and enjoy!
glacier blue

Tip: If you prefer, you can cut the excess material. I kept it intact for two reasons: 1.) in case we buy a king someday I can rip the seams and convert it back, and 2.) the extra material inside gives it a heavier, more enveloping feel that makes you yearn for more bed time!

The whole project took me about an hour to complete and I couldn’t be happier with the result!

Cost: $29.99 for duvet (marked down from $119!), $3.99 per sham (2) (marked down from $19 each!)

Savings: $130!!!!

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