Thursday, December 8, 2016

Festival of Trees 2016: Fun New Tree Ideas & ALL The Sparklies!

So, you've been waiting to deck your hall until you saw this year's Festival recap, right? RIGHT? (Shhh. Let me have this.)

Ok, peeps, let's dive right in to my favorite trees from Orlando's own Festival of Trees, held at our local art museum a few weeks ago.

First up is the lobby tree:

 ... made from interlocking pieces of white foam board! How cool is this? A blue spotlight near the base gave it some color - but I'd love to see one with a color-changing light. In fact, I could see something like this working suuuper well on a smaller scale: at the end of the year you can just fold it flat for storage!

Let's move on to the more traditional trees inside:

Always love it when they make a whole room vignette. Those birch tree trunks in the background are more white foam board with simple painted splotches; easy to make, but oh-so-pretty.

And on the tree itself:

More big birch branches, shiny bronze acorns, and plenty of snow-dusted greenery. 

On the opposite wall:

 Boo to the ropes spoiling the photo, but otherwise: WOWIE. You can't even see the mantel through that garland!

And take a closer look at the tree:

 As always, I'm most fascinated by the tree toppers - and this one has a birdcage with a Putz house in it, plus LOT of floral bits. There are more houses in the tree itself, too. It's a bit crammed for my taste, but I'm digging all the peaches and pinks.

If you're wondering if the Mannequin Tree Skirt trend is still going:


These were just paper butterflies, but they're pretty paired with the glass rain drops in the skirt:

There's always an art-themed tree or two, and this one has some clever ideas to steal borrow:


 See the paint pot wreath in the middle? Here's a close-up:

 I also like the buckets with tissue paper "paint" spilling out, and the crossed paintbrush ornaments. I'd put the buckets at the top, then have colorful ribbon garland spilling out/down/around the tree.

K, you guys are going to laugh, but here's the thing: I kind of love this. 
It's like a crazy Dr. Seuss topiary, right? Hee!

And I don't think there's even a tree in this little sparkle explosion:


This little fawn topper was the cutest:

 There were more woodland critters tucked in the branches, and adorable felt mushrooms on the tree skirt:

Little fox! 

 From "into the woods" to "under the sea:"

Who knew an octopus could be the perfect tree topper?!

 The coral "snowflakes" are fabulous, too.

 Here's another birdcage tree topper - or at least, I *think* it's a birdcage:

  I like how it's filled with ornaments, anyway. Reminds me of a big snow globe.

I saw several trees using big branches for tree toppers:

 I think it works, right? And the fuzzy white boa garland is making me want to snuggle the tree.

Another mannequin tree - and definitely my favorite one:
 Boo to that guard rope again, but isn't this sweet? The soft peach and fern green are really darling together. There's soft tulle in between the layers of tree branches, too.

The closer I got to this next tree, the more I liked it:

Pretty calligraphy sayings, bold stripes, antique key ornaments, and fuzzy miniature snow boots.

 So good!

I've never considered myself a fan of colonial American style, but this skinny little number is pretty awesome:

 It's all in the details: orange peels, cinnamon sticks, popcorn garland, real candles, and big cow bells. I could see this in the American Pavilion at Epcot - and as a Disney lover, I mean that as high praise!

Still, it's the over-the-top sparklies that will always win my heart:


 Check out the little cage lights! EEE SO CUTE.

A little Nightmare Before Christmas tree:

 My favorite part are the skull bows: 

 Plus Jack peeking down from the top!

 Of course, there's always at least one head-scratcher/giggle-inducer at the Festival,

"Boss! We can't find the head for the mannequin! What do we do?"

"Uhhh...  put a hat on it. Maybe no one will notice."
I like the pine cone garland on this one:

 Plus the cute little reindeer next to it.

 If you don't mind a few thumb tacks in your ceiling, I am allll about suspended ornaments:

 I went the floating candle route, of course, but any ornaments will elevate (heyoo) your overall look.

 Raccoon in a tutu, because raccoon in a tutu.

Speaking of tutus, this pink tree is all things soft and floofy:
 I like the lime green ribbons, cupcake ornaments, and ballerina topper:
 Isn't she the sweetest? 

A somewhat creepy twist on the Mannequin Tree Skirt, plus the funniest "topper" of the Festival:
 Put the two together, and you've have one top-heavy toy soldier. :D

This next one used three tin bells for its topper, which I really like:


 Also crushing on all these different textures:

 Hydrangea bunches, sparkly weeping willow swags, raffia balls, birch logs, and more bells. Love it.

Some trees look more like an enormous flower arrangement than a tree:

 ... and I am NOT complaining. LOOKIT ALL THOSE SPARKLES.

 This one had a huge setup of all kinds of pretties:

The tree itself was a curious mix of paper roses, stained glass, and colorful beaded ornaments:

The topper is a little jeweled cone that looks like a party hat. Heh.

 This teensy little stick tree used vintage lace for garland:

 It also had enormous gold wings and harps tucked in the branches.

Another mannequin tree, this time in pretty blues:

I like the color combo, and how the big poinsettias are arranged like a garland. This would be fun to copy with your flowers of choice.

 I will always be a sucker for rainbow trees, and this one's really fun:

With a bonus sparkly sequin skirt! 

Those ornaments are so bunched up I think they might be wired together like a garland - which, come to think of it, would make decorating the tree each year MUCH faster.

 And finally, while I didn't have a jaw-on-the-floor favorite this year like last time (I still swoon when I think of that ombré citrus number), this one definitely elicited a gasp:

 Oooh. Aaaaah.

Even the presents are glowing. Talk about magical!

 And of course it's mostly orange. (Well, gold, bronze, and copper.) What can I say? I have a type.

Hope you guys enjoyed the tree tour, because we're not done yet! Stay tuned for my Festival of WREATHS post, coming soon!


  1. Love your festival of trees posts! I'm trying to convince my sister to go to the one in Indy when I visit her weekend.

  2. Reading this post I was thinking there MUST be something like this in Seattle, right? I mean, we GROW THE TREES HERE. And indeed, the internet tells me there was a Festival of Trees a few weeks ago and, yayyyy, there's a link to pictures of all the trees! But, I've got to say, the Orlando festival is of a completely different caliber! All of the Seattle trees were pretty, a few beautiful, but they just don't compare to the complexity and creativity of these trees you shared! So thank you for sharing! Now I've got lots of inspiration ... For next year. ;)

  3. Firs thing on thought on seeing the headless mannequinn - It's a Hannibal Christmas!

    1. First thing I thought was "creepy choice for the headless mannequin's tunic - that red splotch at the front.... was there a sabre somewhere hidden in the display? a hatbox?

  4. Yeeeaaahhhh.... the one with the headless mannequin (working at the workshop with the "hat" placed over the stump), that's some unfortunate red streaking in the shirt. I can't help thinking her head was cut off and that's the blood/carnage. Not the look they were going for, I'm thinking.

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one to have that thought...!

    2. I thought the same! I was looking around to see if the head was in a basket or something...

    3. Yup. Definitely looks like blood. So much blood.

  5. These are so pretty! I really like the rainbow tree.

    Also, I think your second birdcage tree, with the ornaments in the tree, is actually another mannequin tree. They make wire dress forms, and I think that's what that cage is.

  6. These are all absolutely stunning! Thank you for sharing them with us!


  7. hey, I don't want to creep anyone out, but the White Wire "Birdcage" tree topper with the ornaments inside, it looks suspiciously like it has a bust line - - Stealth Mannequin?
    - Michael

  8. I love these Christmas tree posts. Wish they did something like it where I am.

  9. I showed the under the sea tree to my roommate. He is now singing "Under the tree"

  10. The raccoon in a tutu is my new favorite ornament! But that nutcracker topper might give me nightmares tonight. *tries to focus back to the raccoon in a tutu*

  11. Well, I have to confess that I already did my tree this year...BUT I still love this post because it gives me ideas for NEXT year. :)

  12. These are lots of fun! I could totally see a white tree with those gorgeous paper butterflies and glass drops. I also really like the colonial tree and all the cascading garlands. Thanks so much for sharing these!

  13. These are so beautiful! I think of all the years you've been doing this, this year's trees are my favorite. I just love them all!

  14. To incorporate those wonderful stripes into your Harry Potter tree, you could add a little black and grey striped piece with a tiny dog charm inside (like the one with the key) for Sirius Black.

    And you could make a Sorting Hat like the Dr. Seuss one! :D

  15. Laugh?! That Dr. Seuss-witchy woman hat is my favourite thing in this whole post! Now... how can I make one?!

  16. I'm in overload with all the shiny, glitter awesomeness! But I have to agree with you, the citrus tree last year was the best.

  17. I need that big orange octopus plushie! I couldn't use him as a tree topper as my tree isn't even two feet tall but he could live on my bed to get snuggled as I sleep.

    1. I have that octopus! A friend gave it to me for Christmas one year. He's stiffer than he looks (ie, the tentacles aren't floppy but stay stuck out). I would never have thought to use him for a tree topper.
      (Sorry I don't know where he came from.)

  18. I love these! Thanks for sharing with us!

  19. A sparkly explosion with no tree? I'm all in! Sparkles are he best! (Well, second best. YOU'RE the best, miss Jen!!!!) <3 <3 <3
    Pinkie Welborne, 16

  20. Thank you thank you THANK YOU!!!
    So lucky to have found you & so glad to have immediately subscribed. Thanks for all the wonderful, weird, & wacky postings throughout this year. Love it all...can't wait for the wreaths!
    Love&Cheers 😄

  21. On the first tree, are those disks cut to look like sand dollars?

  22. I love the red shoes on the blue fairy mannequin-it adds a bit of realism to the illusion of a dress!


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