Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Big Christmas Tree Roundup

Time for the second half of my Festival of Trees photos: the trees!

We go to the Festival every year for inspiration, and once again it didn't disappoint:

Book tree! And check out the paper angel made with sheet music - potential DIY?

I'm really liking this color-blocking trend:
... even if I'm not so sure of those colors.

 So we can always have Paris:

 "Fabulous, Harry, I love the feathers."

I'm almost afraid to admit this Rain Forest tree was my favorite, because it looks terrible in my pictures:

It was all glittery coppers and emerald greens, though, with butterflies, iguanas, and tree frog ornaments. Here, this close-up will give you a better idea:

 Pretty, right? (It was, I promise!)

 I also majorly crushed on this "Letters to Santa" tree, with its rolls of parchment for garland:

I'm all about book paper ornaments and garland this year, so everything with writing on it is catching my eye. 

Ok, ready to see the weirdest tree ever?

 It was rotating, and it was double-sided, and it took me WAY too long to figure out the theme. (Can you guess? The back side was decorated with mops, brooms and woodland creatures.)

   The side shot is especially bizarre:
(Every single child reached out and petted the skirt. EVERY ONE.)
Although the baubles in the skirt were lovely:
 Did you guess yet?
It's Cinderella.
I think the turban is what threw me.

As always I'm fascinated by the different tree toppers:
Remember when we just put a little star or angel on top? Now we need bows and spriggies and branches and feather sprays and whatnot. (Not complaining, mind you. I love me some spriggies.)

Although sometimes these toppers DO get a little ridiculous:

It's like Wilson (the soccer volleyball from Castaway) got a glitzy makeover. (Right?)

This one's kinda like an upside down feather duster:

I love the idea of using a colorful lantern on top, though:

And this one's a bit much, but still kinda fun:

(I have no explanation for the bottles. Pretty colors, though.)

This next tree is seriously gorgeous - and according to the sign was made with mostly recycled materials:

The spikey sea urchins were toothpicks in Styrofoam balls, and the coral was plastic strips. SO. COOL. (I love the glowing fish on top, too!)

How 'bout hiding the Grinch in your tree?

Or putting all your action figures to work?

Or your favorite dolls?

I've discovered it is SO much easier to hang your garland this way, vs the traditional horizontal swags:

SO MUCH EASIER, seriously. And it looks awesome, too.

Not a tree, but this was the coolest table setup there:

Those tall vases were topped with a long mirror shelf, and the mirror faced down, which gave it that amazing optical illusion.

Remember how I said I'm loving burlap this year? Well, check this beauty out:


Cream and bronze and burlap. Dreamy goodness.

Couple of mini-tree cuties:

That crown topper is an awesome idea... but it needs more spriggies. ;)

Here's another crown - plus a giant scepter:

I feel like this should have looked better.

(LOVE the idea of making a crown with ice sprigs, though. So many DIY possibilities!)

Here's another tree that looked super gorgeous in person but falls flat on film:

(No, not the purple people eater. I don't know what's going on back there.)

Oh! Which reminds me:

(You know something's gone wrong when your Christmas tree is giving you the finger.)

Sorry, sorry. Here, I'll make it all better with glittery peacock feathers:

I am so tempted to get out the glue and colored glitter and make some of those ornaments. Spaaaaarkly.

And finally, ART:

I can dig it.

Hope you enjoyed our virtual visit together, guys! There are a few more I didn't post here, so if you'd like to see the rest just head over to my Flickr gallery.

Happy decorating!


  1. Great post! Love, Love, Love the book tree! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Your Aladdin reference made my day. I think of that every single time I watch a parade!

  3. Ahh, things of beauty! I've got to admit, though-- the one with the finger took me a long moment to figure out. I didn't realise it was a sports tree at first, and the hand just reminded me of the pointing-to-heaven symbol on so many old gravestones. "What a morbid tree theme!", I thought. u_u;;;;

  4. As a huge Magic fan, I got the tree right away. I see so many of those giant hands at the Amway that it took me a minute or two to figure out why someone might think they were weird, lol. Some gorgeous trees though!

  5. You need to make a visit someday to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan. Several football fields in size filled with all sorts of things Christmas. And they have themed trees everywhere! But if you ever do venture this way, bring your camera...and come in an off-season (NOT the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday but summer is nice)

    1. I live in that area as well... It's fantastic! :D

  6. I think the plastic bottle were like little bottles of bubble mix...there are a bunch of tiny balls that could be bubbles. It's whimsical, or somesuch.

  7. I always look forward to your Christmas posts! Your favorite is my favorite too, from what I can see.
    psst: Wilson in Castaway was a volleyball. :)

    1. Ha, I thought that right off, too. Volleyball, not soccer ball. Then I rushed off to the comments to see if there was an Epcot moment going on about it yet. ;-)

  8. When I saw that first angel on the book tree, I got really excited because that's exactly what we were looking for to make for our tree last year. But then I saw that lantern tree topper, and now my brain is screaming, trying to combine those 2 designs! I know what I'm doing the rest of the day!!!!!!!

  9. At first glance I thought the Cinderella tree might have been Effie Trinket. Ha! But these trees are lovely (well, except for the Magic one) and such a decoration inspiration!

  10. There must be something wrong with me. I hate almost everything about those trees. They just seem so gaudy. There are great individual things about all of them but my personal feeling is that the decorations should blend in as part of the tree. I do themed trees, mini trees. But our main Christmas tree has beloved family decorations collected through the years. Every year we add a new one. One ornament on there was made by my mother while she was in labor, and then finished during recovery from having me. 42 years ago. (:

    1. And I just wanted to mention, that I adore the fact you have a html cheat...
      Also, I'm so glad you're back! We missed you so much!

  11. That book tree was created by Amy Huber, who also sells her crafty wares on Etsy! Just a little plug for my friend!

  12. I love all the teal! So pretty!

    The action figure tree is a pretty kewl idea though I'm sure my inner 10-year-old would be too busy playing with all the toys to decorate it. ;)

  13. The tree with the lantern on top makes me think of the TARDIS would look great with blue decorations underneath

  14. I'm worried. Were the toothpicks part of what was recycled from that tree? Because ew.

  15. I feel like I say this every year on your Christmas tree posts, but... YOU HAVE TO COME TO MICHIGAN AND GO TO BRONNER'S. I would even show you around if you wanted (hint hint).

  16. Oh my. When I saw the tree giving us all the finger, all I could think of was Blue Meanies from Yellow Submarine and the glove that the Head Blue Meanie kept ordering to pounce on the people of Pepperland.

  17. Wow, what a range of themes - and colors - and styles! Thanks for sharing, Jen! I have to agree with you that the white/pink/blue/red combo tree is a funky color combination, but it made more sense to me after I read the title/theme: "Beauty Throughout the Seasons". Though I don't often think of bright pink when I think spring...

    At my house, our primary Christmas tree is filled with family ornaments collected over the years, but I have started to change up the "supporting" decorations - using vertical ribbon instead of tinsel or garland, adding glass snowflakes and icicles, etc. This year I'm creating a Minnesota Twins themed small tree, as well, and I'm having a blast gathering everything to put it together!

    To all you crafty people: How would I attach those curly doodads (the kind you can buy bunches of at the craft store) that I see inserted into several of the trees? They're an intriguing alternative to traditional tinsel, but I'm at a loss for how to secure them and make them stable.

  18. A friend of mine is a librarian at the local college. Her workers made her a mini version of the book tree for this year and left it on her desk Monday. Now I think I know where they got the idea :D

  19. I think the 'turban' on the Cinderella tree is supposed to be her hair swept into an updo for the big ball. :) That's how I took it, anyway.

    1. That's what I thought, too. Or maybe a powdered wig? Very 18th century...

  20. I'm going to our Festival of Trees this weekend, but it's held in an arena and the lighting is really bad for pictures. The one with bottles is the Tupperware Winter "Waterland" Tree. I just happen to see it on FB yesterday.

  21. I'm laughing like crazy--the toothpicks and styrofoam thing is exactly like what my family did for Christmas ornaments back in the early 1950s--only, if I remember correctly, we sprayed them with a light coating of pink or white "snow" and then sprinkled glitter on them while wet. We made an enormous number of them to sell at the church Christmas bazaar that year.

  22. Did anyone else see the pointing finger on the "Orlando Magic" tree and immediately think "Blue Meanies!!!"

    Just me, huh.

  23. Thanks for these, totally made my day. The Grinch tree is scary.

  24. Slightly ashamed to admit I kind of love the purple mini tree.

    Because, well, PURPLE.

  25. Some lovely trees there, especially the stripe one at the end! Only trouble is, I made some wreaths based on the last post, which my son loves, and he has now seen these trees. Guess who wants me to make him a tree now! :O

  26. Thanks for sharing all the beauty! I had fun looking through and oooohing and aaaahing at all the creativity. The book tree is my favorite!

  27. Several years ago my mom and I both had the flu just prior to Christmas. It wiped us both out and we just didn't feel like decorating the tree. So...we gathered up all our little stuffed animals (like beanie babies, etc.) and placed them on the branches. It worked! It was awesome! :D So, yeah, a unique tree is kind of fun. :)

    1. Wendy, my mom did that the first Christmas after her house burnt down. While the tree and ornaments weren't in the house during the fire, there wasn't a house that first Christmas. So she got a white tree at a yard sale over the summer and decorated it with small to medium beanie babies. My daughters loved collecting unique stuffed animals for grandma's tree.... It still gets put up most years - as a second tree.

  28. Are there trees under all that junk? Just ridiculous.

  29. I work for a university library, and it's become a tradition over the past few years to make a book tree. The one here next to my desk was made with recycled materials, including the books, which are being withdrawn from our collection.

  30. I haven't been able to find an angel I like. Most of the ones I see are well tacky or too over the top for my taste. The one I grew up with was simple and unique. The one made of sheet music is great. So I still have hope one I like exists.

    -Melissa R

  31. Burlap seems to be a thing this year. My artsy sister had us all crafting burlap ornaments after dinner on Thanksgiving, and then we decoupaged some other ornaments with book paper, with burlap ribbons tied to them, and then we gave up on the hard stuff and started doing framed button pictures with my mother's antique button collection, on burlap. After I left for the drive home on Sunday, they started in on felt swags. Crafty Thanksgiving!

  32. I loved this post. Due to going back to school, I've had to reuse my same decorations the last three years and I'm super excited for when I can buy something new. In the meantime, seeing posts like this and your lovely decorations tide me over year after year.

    I had to say that while I was browsing through these pictures, my husband came up and asked if this was "an ugly tree competition or something" right as I was about to point out my favorite one (the rainforest themed one!) Then, we scrolled through more pictures together and, I kid you not, he pointed to the sports one with the giant hand topper and said, "Now that's a cool tree."

    He was being completely serious, both times. Ahhh! :p

  33. That Orlando Magic tree just made me think, "two by two, hands of blue"!

  34. The Cinderella tree doesn't have a turban; that's her hair. All coiffed and fancy and white with stuff stuck in it a la Marie-Antoinette-French-Revolution-era style!


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