Tuesday, November 20, 2012

61 Our Dreamy Christmas Tree

I know some think it is nutso to put up a Christmas tree before Thanksgiving, and honestly, we never have before.  But I have to say, I feel this awesome sense of relief that one of our biggest holiday traditions is always taken care of!  That will give us more time to focus on all of the other fun hustle and bustle that the holiday season tends to throw our way!

I am not sure I would have hopped on the tree train so quickly this year, had I not been contacted by Michael's, however, they let me know they were working with a group of bloggers and hosting a Dream Tree Challenge.  Heck YES!  I was in!

They popped over a pre-lit tree for us to use, and said it was up to me to check out their store to select my favorite items to dress it up in style!


There are few things you should know about me:  I love to spend time with my kids.  I love to paint and craft.  I love pops of pink.  I love to make things harder than they need to be.  I must have taken this challenge uber seriously because I did all of the above!

If you follow along on Instagram, you may has seen bits and details as this tree making process unfolded...


I took all three boys to Michael's to pick out items from the store.  Sure, I could have gone straight to their holiday department and gone hog wild gathering up pre-made decor, but that wasn't my goal this year.  Been there, done that.  I wanted to make memories with the family.  I wanted the tree to be special and have meaning.  I wanted to put our own personal touch on it.  And I was in the perfect place to go craft crazy!

So, the boys went through the different aisles and picked some of their favorite items.  From there, we indulged in a few of the super pretty ornaments that Michael's offers that I knew my talent level just couldn't replicate.  Let me tell you, their holiday section is AMAZING and it was a good thing that I didn't head there first or I would have made my way home with beautiful dazzling ornaments and a tube of craft paint.

Over the weekend, we spent two whole days around our kitchen table, stringing garland, painting bulbs, sticking to stickers, blinging out the floor with spilled glitter, mod podging, stamping, attempting to open spray paint cans, laughing at some failures, praising our successes, realizing hot glue and yarn don't mesh, learning how to DIY a bow and most importantly, just spending time together.

So without further ado, here is our completed tree!


Simple, charming, colorful and bright!  Just what we love!


No two ornaments are identical.  All 50+ are unique in some way, which is what I love most, because they still all work so well together.

I will post tutorials on how we crafted and created majority of the ornaments next week, but until then, here is an up close and personal look at some of our favorites!

Of course a J monogram had to grace the branches.  This one was a simple wooden letter that got wrapped in twine.


Pretty glitter hearts...


Pearly paint...


Gemstone stickers and vase fillers on thread....


Pearls....


Sparkle ribbon...


Polka dot, Polka dot, Polka dot?  Maybe this should be called the Circus Afro tree?

 
Gems...


Jewels....


Clusters of shiny beads...


And silk screened snowflakes...


I didn't make these pretty glitter floral ornaments, but they sure do make my heart race!


Under the tree was looking a bit bare and sad, so to stay with the playful theme, we added a train track on a "snowy" hill {a.k.a. faux sheepskin rug}, surrounded by yarn wrapped "pine trees".



We have traditionally always done a ribbon tree topper, but this year I found a tutorial for making your own bow at home.  I love it!


Such a fun sight to see when you walk into the abode!


How about you?  Are you a before or after Thanksgiving tree decorator?  Real or fake {I am talking trees here friends}.  DIY or store bought?  Or maybe a little of both?


Supplies mentioned in post provided by Michael's Craft Store.

61 comments:

  1. Your tree looks amazing Jen, and the best part is that you and your boys all chipped in to make it special. I think the train track is also super cute and great for young kids to enjoy.

    Thanksgiving was last month for us, but I'm waiting because this year's tree is going to be real! I can't wait. :)

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  2. This tree is soooo beautiful!! Thumbs up!! I love the train underneath^^ How did you come up with so many ideas for ornaments?
    xx

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  3. Great job on the tree! What's your trick to keeping the ribbon curled?

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  4. We put up our christmas tree on 23rd December. It will be a real tree which we have already chosen in the wood two weeks ago. It's an important date for uns every year when we go and chose it. It will be felled for us a few days before christmas.
    We bought new christmas ornaments and ribbons last year and will use them again, in cream mainly and green. I only bought a few bird ornaments yesterday that we will add this year.
    We add a little bit of this and that each year so the tree is always different. Our daughter will have another tree upstairs in her playroom and she got turqois and other very colorful ornaments. That will be fun to decorate, too!
    We are looking forward to christmas already!
    Jule from inside 9B

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  5. Oh my gosh, Jen! This is amazing!! You are SO creative!! I love how unique each ornament is, and what a great idea to make it a family activity & add to the special holiday memories!! Totally inspiring -- I want to give our store-bought ornaments a facelift right now! :)

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  6. OMG! ABSOLUTELY lovely and special! Congratulations!! :)

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  7. I think the train set-up under the tree is my favorite part - Love it! I bet your boys loved helping you put this together.

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  8. Love the train tracks around the base...think I may have to steal that idea this year for my train loving son!! I can't wait to decorate our tree this year.

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  9. So pretty! I love how your boys don't inhibit your girly-ness! The train and trees underneath are my favorite part! :)

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  10. Your crafts and eye for lovelies are inspiring! If I had enough time, money, and elves to help me, this would be a super fun project! Alas, my puppy is more likely to chew than glue, so I'll have to postpone for now.

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  11. I love it! And good for you for making those memories. Those memories are so special and you can definitely see that in your tree. :)

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  12. Ha! I just saw several pictures of the blogger's trees on Michael's facebook page and I saw THIS tree (before I read this post, of course) and thought for sure it belonged to you. I recognized your table, lamp and baskets...ha! The tree is gorgeous, of course!

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  13. Beautiful! Love those glass ornaments you decorated.

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  14. I love your tree, but I have to say I love the "Afro Circus" reference even more!! lol

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    Replies
    1. I couldn't resist! That movie has been a fav around here lately!

      xo,
      Jen

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  15. I love it! You did such a beautiful job!

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  16. Thanksgiving is way earlier in Canada, I started decorating for Christmas last weekend. I like part DIY part bought. Great job, your Christmas tree is beautiful!

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  17. It's beautiful! I love the garland and all the different ornaments! And I LOVE your tree skirt!

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  18. It is beautiful!! I love how you added the boys' train and track under there. I had fun seeing your pics last weekend. :) My tree went up last Friday. LOL I have been left with my oldest daughter's two cats when she moved out a few months ago. They having not seen a Christmas tree, and we looking for a smaller tree that didn't swallow up the room, went shopping for a new artificial one. It fits perfectly. The cats are slowly learning to leave it alone (after being squirted with a squirt botttle a multitude of times). Friday I will dig out the ornaments and we'll decorate it. I have lots of homemade ornaments. I spent quite a few years, the kids and I, painting those plaster ornaments you can get at Michael's. I have lots of those and the school made ornaments.

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  19. Beautiful! I love homemade ornaments. Our tree has quite a few of the homemade preschool variety, and I have to say, they are my favorites! I really like your frame with the snowflakes hanging behind the tree. Very clever! I just watched Madagascar 3 for the first time with my sick kids last week who have been singing Afro Circus all week so I cracked up at your reference. Thanks for the laugh!

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  20. I love your tree. The ornaments are perfect! We usually do a fake tree (1 real in the past) and the decorations are greens, reds and golds, plus ones for the kids. We buy them a new one for each year. A fun tradition.


    A new follower! :)
    http://housewifewilhoit.blogspot.com/

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  21. Gorgeous tree! I'm definitely a fake tree girl x

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  22. I'm a die hard "celebrate one holiday at a time" kinda girl, and I have to say that the way Christmas continues to push Thanksgiving out of the way makes me sad. Your tree is beautiful, though. We always chop our tree down in the woods where the national forest has designated areas to be thinned. And we wait until the second week of December. When Christmas comes, it still feels magical for our kids because the tree is still a recent addition.

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  23. Your tree is beautiful and I love the fact that your whole family spent time decorating it together! What wonderful memories for you boys xx

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  24. Love it! We've been meaning to get ours up soon so we can check it off our list. I love underneath with the rug and the train. For some reason as a child it was my DREAM to wake up to a train going around the bottom of our tree- just such a Christmas movie type thing to have. :-)

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  25. we are an after thanksgiving tree puter upper family. haha. most of our ornaments are plastic canvas ornaments made by my husbands grandma for him. every year as he was growing up, she would add to his collection. very precious. also when we first got married i was lucky enough to get invited to an ornament exchange group. i have some very precious ornaments from that.
    jen your tree is amazing! i love that you did it together!

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  26. Michael's ornaments are always glitter galore so I love them! I love the idea of an entire tree decorated with all DIY ornaments, especially if everyone pitches in! It makes it so special. I was reading the article in Better Homes & Gardens this month and the mom in there said her family makes all new ornaments every year as part of their tradition. How cool! We've been a decorating-after-Thanksgiving family and I love it; it gives you something to look forward to after the food's been eaten and the out-of-town family's gone.

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  27. I love your Christmas tree. The ornaments are so festive and beautiful.

    I decorated last weekend. Crazy I know. I just love the time from Thanksgiving to New Years so much I can't wait to take it all in! And adore looking at the tree while smelling the Thanksgiving turkey in the oven.

    Have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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  28. I want to know about the garland. Did you make it or was it bought and if it was made, what was it made from and how? Our tree goes up the 2nd weekend of December. We too have a tree where no 2 ornaments are the same. I like unique ornaments and I definitely like some of the DIY ones you have up on the tree.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Liene!

      The garland was made by purchasing the foam sparkle vase fillers/spheres and stringing them with thread.

      xo!
      Jen

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  29. Soooooooooooo pretty!!!! I ADORE the yarn-wrapped trees! Can't wait for the tutorials.

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  30. Love love love your tree!! I especially like the garland going around it! Did you get it from Michaels? Cannot wait to see your tutorials

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    1. Hi brittany!

      The garland was made by purchasing the foam sparkle vase fillers/spheres and stringing them with thread.

      xo!
      Jen

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  31. Love your tree! It is gorgeous!!!

    We always put up our tree the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday). We used to do a real tree but now have an artificial. When I move into my own house (eventually) I want to have a real tree again! =)

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  32. This is so pretty! I like that it's simple but still really fun. It looks like it should be in a magazine :)

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  33. Your tree is amazing, I love all the selfmade ornaments! I'm a little bit surprised, that you arrange your christmas tree so early. Over here in germany, we arrange it only some days befor christmas or even first on Christmas Eve. As every year, it's going to be a real tree this year again and I plan to have some selfmade ornaments besides bought ornaments. I love trees that aren't too colourful, I choose two or three colours and try to use them in the whole decoration. This year it's going to be raspberry red, silver and white because I have a wallpaper in our living room that has the same colours :)

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    1. I probably wouldn't have done it so early if I weren't participating in a challenge, but it does feel great to have it done! :) Now I can focus on holiday countdown activities, other decorations, volunteering and all of the other fun things that come up as Christmas day approaches!

      xo,
      Jen

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  34. Your tree looks amazing! Love the bow on top, too! Do you have a link for the tutorial for the bow by chance? I think I might have to try this, because I can never find tree toppers that I love. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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  36. I love your tree, although I will forever be stuck in my ways that Christmas doesn't come until after Thanksgiving. We usually set up our tree the week after Thanksgiving and we have a fake prelit tree only because both my husband and I are allergic to the pine needles of the real trees. We have a mixture of store bought and homeade ornaments from our childhood, and eventually will have more homeade ornaments from kids in the future. Have a happy Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas - can't wait for some of your ornament tutorials...

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  37. Well, you've inspired me. I have three bare cone shaped pieces of styrofoam that I'm going to cover and put under my fake, tabletop tree. I'm at an age where I don't want to mess with falling needles and crawling under trees to water them. I remember when my mother went to fake, tabletop... I was horrified. Now I understand. Your tree is lovely and I'm so glad to hear that you and your family worked (and played) together to create it.

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  38. Very nice tree and the concept for its decoration - involving the children, creating and sharing.
    I also would like to ask how did you keep the ribbon curled and if you remember where you got the wood train from?

    Happy holidays (any and all of them),
    georgia

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    Replies
    1. It is a Thomas the Train setm Walmart, Target, Kohl's...really everywhere has them. There are cheaper versions that aren't Thomas and just as cute though every as well.

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    2. Typos! I'm on my phone- fat fingers

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  39. I love the handmade ornaments. Especially because they are simple, yet pretty. We usually decorate the week of Thanksgiving. Could be a few days before or the weekend after. I love having my home decorated for the holidays!

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  40. What a dreamy tree indeed. What's most important is that it seems to accurately represent your personality. So much fun! You did well Jen.

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  41. LOVe it! Obviously do not have "Little littles" anymore. How about decorating ideas with a Baby gate around the Christmas tree to protect a very busy 15 mth old? ( : Ok, I will have to save this inspiration for another season! Love it!

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  42. So cute! I LOVE the yarn wrapped cone trees at the bottom. Those would be awesome for a centerpiece too!

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  43. I grew up with the tradition of putting up our Christmas Tree the day after Thanksgiving. I have continued this tradition with my children (now 20 & 18) who still look forward to the day! Our tree is always a Frasier Fir because that's what my Grammy would send Grampy and us grandkids out to chop down for her house in New England. Every whiff I get of that tree reminds me of them, especially the holiday fun. =)

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  44. As always Jen, your creativity shines through. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  45. Beautiful, as always! This is on my list of things to do this weekend. Wish I had it done already!

    http://shortcakeandorange.blogspot.com/

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  46. Your tree looks amazing! I love the color's that you choose and the handmade ornaments are great! This is something that your children will remember for many years to come.

    We put our tree up on Thanksgiving morning while watching the Macy's parade on tv. We use a fake tree because it is just much easier but we put out the candles that make the house smell like a real tree is nearby :-)

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  47. This is so cute! We're putting our tree up this weekend and I usually don't put too much thought into it, but maybe I'll spruce it up a little more this year! Great ideas, and the size of that tree is perfect. Not huge, not small. :)

    http://www.buggieboolove.com

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  48. This is so cute! We're putting our tree up this weekend and I usually don't put too much thought into it, but maybe I'll spruce it up a little more this year! Great ideas, and the size of that tree is perfect. Not huge, not small. :)

    http://www.buggieboolove.com

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  49. I love the train, I want one for the bottom of my tree. I was so bare last year when all the presents were gone. I am going to wrap shoe boxes this year, lust for decoration.
    Great Job, tress looks beautiful
    J
    http://lifelovesand.blogspot.ie/

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  50. Oh, I love every single bit of this! Especially all of the DIYed ornaments... how cool that you & your family could create them all together!

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  51. I adore this tree and the memories that were made...Blessings

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  52. I adore this tree and the memories that were made...Blessings

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  53. Your tree is beautiful! I especially like the playful touch with the colorful cones and the wooden train. You totally inspired me to try and do something more with the bottom of our tree than just put the presents there.

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  54. Hi-Where did you get the faux sheepskin rug? I want!

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    Replies
    1. I found it IKEA a few years back, but I believe they still sell them?

      Happy hunting! :)

      xo,
      Jen

      Delete

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