I love a challenge! Don’t you? Well, the good people at Michael’s recently gave me the challenge to create a Holiday Dream Tree. The only requirement was that I had to use products from their store…but the rest was completely up to me! How could I not accept a challenge like that??? So I got to thinking about this “Dream Tree” and a million ideas began to pop into my head. But I had to focus! (Which is not easy for me!) So I narrowed the “dream” down to three things I really wanted to do with this tree. I wanted it to be beautiful, I wanted it to be creative and I wanted it to be affordable.
Since Michael’s had generously provided a $500.00 gift card for this project I realized I had a problem. I couldn’t possibly spend $500.00 on ONE 6-foot tree! Maybe five trees…but not one. Problem was I didn’t have time to decorate five trees! What to do!???
Well, with the help of my daughter, Britta Marie, we came up with the Jillee Holiday Dream Tree Challenge: Create 3 different holiday tree themes with a budget of $100.00 each. Then the remaining $200.00 will be given away in a random drawing so one of you can then go and create your own Dream Tree! How does that sound? :-)
Today I am going to give you a “sneak peek” of some of the ideas I have been working on for the trees….then Wednesday will be the final reveal and I’ll announce how to enter to win the $200.00 from Michael’s to design your own Dream Tree! So exciting. :-)
One of the things I tried to do with this challenge was to think outside of the tree ornament box….so to speak. I did buy a good portion of the items for the trees from the Christmas decoration aisles of Michael’s, but I also wandered around all the other sections of the store looking for inspiration as well! It’s a lot of fun…try it sometime! :-)
Here are some “out of the box” ideas I came up with:
Cookie Cutters as Ornaments
This one couldn’t be any easier. I found these red and white cookie cutters in the shape of stars, snowflakes and candy canes in the baking section of Michael’s. They are darling all by themselves, but add the red and white twine and you have a super easy, super cute ornament for Tree #3. (That’s all the hint you get for now.)
Gift Boxes As Ornaments
Also found in the baking section of Michael’s….these red treat boxes from Martha Stewart Crafts. A few folds, a piece of ribbon (included) and some twine to hang…and you have another adorable ornament for Tree #3. (It might be fun to actually put something in them too. Didn’t think of that until now though.) :-)
Tricky Tree Topper
For Tree #1 I needed a tree topper that wasn’t too “fancy”. It seems like all the toppers you see in the stores are fairly ornate. So I took two metal star ornaments and hot glued them together for my DIY 3-D Topper! I aligned the two original holes where the wire hangers were and put a piece of wire through both holes. Then I just wrapped the wire around the top branch of the tree. Worked like a charm! Tree #1 now doesn’t have to go Topper-less!
Whimsical Wood Ornaments
Michael’s has about every unfinished wood shape you can imagine! I found these cute gift tag and button shapes in the wood crafts aisle for about .50 cents each. I also picked up these small bottles of holiday colors acrylic paint. Each shape took me roughly 30 seconds to paint and they dried within minutes! Then I just used some more twine as a hanger and look how cute they turned out! Perfect for Tree #2.
Tiny Terra Cotta – Two Ways
As I wandered the floral crafts section of the store I spied these darling little terra cotta pots. I couldn’t resist, I grabbed 10 of them. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with them…but they were just too cute to pass up. Well, it didn’t take me long to come up with a couple of ideas for these adorable little pots. In the same section of the store they had all sorts of different wire for arranging flowers. I decided to wire a simple hanger for each pot and then fill them with some holiday scented potpourri! Now Tree #1 will smell good as well as look good.
For Tree #2 I had a slightly different idea for the same hanging pots. I found these little battery-operated tea lights and thought they would look pretty “burning” in the little pots while hanging on the tree. I absolutely love how they turned out! The light is so soft and warm coming from inside the tiny pots. The little tea lights even “flicker”. I found myself spellbound for a few minutes when I first hung them up. :-)
DIY Ribbon Topper
I had another tree-topper dilemma for Tree #3. I just couldn’t find anything that would work. So taking a cue from the pre-made bows that Michael’s carries in their floral section, I decided to make my own ribbon topper. After examining one in the store, I realized all I needed to do was make several large loops of ribbon and secure them in the middle with some pipe cleaner (or floral wire would work too), then fluff! I love how it looks on top of the tree.
I have always made bows to put on my Christmas tree. I just love the look. And they are so simple to make…especially with the wired ribbon . Just pretend you are tying your shoes or tying your apron strings! Michael’s had a dizzying array of wired ribbon to choose from. Every color, design, width you could possibly think of! I ended up buying about 10 different rolls in total. I figure what I don’t use on the tree I will use wrapping gifts. :-)
Cupcake Wrapper Garland
This was so simple it’s almost ridiculous. Once again, I was taken in by the adorable factor and couldn’t resist these mini polka dot cupcake wrappers, which I made a cute little garland out of using that oh-so-versatile red and white twine. So perfect for Tree #3. (Is your curiosity piqued yet? I hope so!)
Another even SIMPLER garland idea…this one from the floral section again. A simple roll of burlap used in floral arranging makes a great rustic-looking garland for Tree #1. (oops…too much information!)
Au Naturel Ornaments
And finally, I grabbed several of these plain paper mache shapes from the paper craft section of the store and didn’t do a THING to them. I thought they looked nice just the way they are against the green branches. Perfect for Tree #1.
Hopefully one or more of these ideas will help spark some additional ideas for you and your tree this year!