With all the drama that was last year, I didn’t film my process of decorating my tree, (but you can see me clean and restore my grandmothers old tree here), so this year, I thought I’d make an active effort to at least share my thought process with my tree this year.
You may remember my pink tree which I really wanted to decorate this year but somehow, I ran out of time, my mental health needed a break and it was a struggle to get anything done yet alone decorate a second tree. I got as far as putting the wrapped up tree still in it’s box in the area I wanted to tree to be and my decorations nearby but it never got further than that. I’m hoping next year I will give it a proper go.
Christmas can be a time of mass consumption and waste; every year we spend so much money buying more and more decorations which we probably don’t need and it becomes easier to replace rather than rethink and reuse. I’m sure we all have a box or bag of decorations or baubles that we don’t really reach for and every year we sort of avoid or pick through certain pieces and leave some decorations alone. With new trends and styles coming out every year, we are accumulating more and more stuff so my challenge this year was to spend as little as possible, reuse as much as I can and use as many natural items as possible.
My theme/inspiration for my green tree came from a tree I decorated with my aunty more than 7 years ago. We pulled our inspiration from the Victorian era with a woodland vibe and a natural vibe. My tree will be adorned with natural decorations and tones of bronze, brown, orange and green. I’m very excited to hear your thoughts on my tree so please let me know in the comments below. As always, I like to share this experience just incase someone wants to decorate their tree with me so we’re not alone.
I started by ordering some biodegradable glitter in tones of brown, brown holo (any holosexuals here?), and bronze tones. I went for a mix of ultra fine and chunky glitters in order to add dimension to the whole look. Once the glitter arrived, I went through all my baubles that I hadn’t used in a while and set up some small pyrex dishes and filled them with glitter and one bowl with pva glue. With a movie on in the background, I went about coating the baubles in a layer of pva glue using a paintbrush and then spooning glitter over the bauble. I thought it would only take me and hour or two but it certainly took me many more hours than I expected. I set up a cardboard box and stabbed wires into it so I could hang up the freshly glittered baubles without them smudging or scuffing.
For my more natural decorations, I got some pine cones, acorns, cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices. I shopped around and found everything I needed from various small businesses and I made sure to shop within Australia. If you are in Australia and choose to buy your dried orange slices online, make sure you buy from Australia and Australian customs do not allowed orange peel to cross the boarder (I learnt that when some tea I bought in Canada was confiscated due to orange peel). If you choose to dry your own orange slices, there are heaps of tutorials online and I use this one. In order to make the orange slices hang on my tree, I used a packet of decoration hooks that I already had, pushed one end of the wire into the top of the orange and tighted it by giving it a light squeeze.
Now to downside of using natural items is that most natural items do not come with loops or hooks for easy hanging on tree branches. The easiest item to put together was the cinnamon sticks; using a piece of coloured twine, I wrapped the centre of four sticks together, tied a knot and left some twine dangling so I could tie it to my tree’s branches. Everything else, the acorns and pinecones, were a little more time consuming to put together. During my last Christmas crafting project, I took the loops off the top of baubles which left me with a couple left over loops; these were the easiest to attach to the pinecones (especially the ones with little or no stems) and all it took was a little superglue. Using whatever Christmas wire hooks I had left and some superglue, I wrapped the stem of the leftover acorns and pinecones with the wire as securely as possible and then I squirted a few blobs of superglue and left everything to dry. When I eventually ran out of wire hooks, I used some pieces of floral wire which worked fine even if it was just a tad more flimsy.
Overall, getting all these pieces together took several hours but I kind of enjoyed the quiet time and a chance to watch a few Christmas movies. I’m going to be honest and say that glitter got absolutely everywhere. EVERYWHERE. This is not a tidy process and it took a couple of rounds with the vacuum cleaner to get all the glitter out of the carpet…and the couch … and our clothes … and all the furniture. And once I decorated the tree I had to vacuum again.
When it was finally time to decorate the tree, I started with white lights (i didn’t think coloured lights would work with the look I was wanting) and then began adding baubles. Oranges were next and I think they looked incredible next to the lights as they had a soft glow to them. Pinecones were next, followed by acorns and a few older decorations (such as picks) that I already had from previous years. To carry through the woodland theme, I did purchase some fake mushrooms which came with a wire on the stem which you can use for crafting and decorating.
When I was much younger and my grandmother was still alive, she had some mini mushrooms as decorations on her tree and she gave me one. I still have it on my tree and although it’s top is a bit floppy and its certainly falling apart but I absolutely love it and I would give up all the decorations I own just to keep this one. These mushrooms are still made and are a bit more sturdy than my old vintage one; not to mention you can get different colours and sizes. I stuck with two different sizes (small and medium) and got a load of red mushrooms because they’re oh so cute! To add a little more cute, I added some little bird ornaments and I think that was just enough. The finishing touch to my tree was my Christmas pickle ornament.
It must have been two or three years ago now, I covered a white tree top star with some chunky gold glitter so I used that to top my tree. I added my tree skirt to cover my tree’s stand and cords and to add a little bit of modern vintage styling, a Christmas tree train (very much insisted upon by my mother who just wanted to be a part of the process). We’ve had this tree train since I was young so it was nice to add a little nostalgia to my Christmas. Not to mention the tree skirt was my old cat’s favourite one to sleep on so putting it out reminds me of him and how much I miss him.
Overall, I love my tree this year and really want to do this theme again soon. I really loved how all the colours and tones tied together, not to mention how delicious the tree smelt with the oranges and cinnamon just hanging around. Next time I do this theme I will add a few bigger baubles and some gingerbread biscuits. It may sound odd but this was a very common decoration in Eastern Europe and is still done today. The other thing I would add are ornamental apples to match the apples in my original inspiration image from 2014.
I’ve really enjoyed decorating my tree this year and this is an idea I’ve had for so long so I’m so excited to finally make it a reality. It was sad not putting up any of my Disney ornaments or anything overly colourful but I am very happy to give some old baubles a new life. I’ve gotten lots of great reactions to my tree so as I continue with this theme next time I do it, I am excited to add a few more elements along the way. As i decorated my tree this year, I thought about all the changes that have happened in a year and where I felt I was in life. So many things fell apart this year but looking at everything, now that its said and done, it feels as though its falling into place. I’ve got so many things planned for the new year and I’m excited to keep growing, discovering and sharing. I still have many things I need to straighten out or fix before some things come into being but I’m ready for a new year and to end this one with reflection, a calm state of being and a large cup of tea.
If you are struggling this holiday season, please check out all my mental health help links here.
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