Home for the Holidays: Rustic Christmas Tree

Welcome to the Home for the Holidays Christmas Tree Challenge with Decorator’s Warehouse. I am so excited to share this year’s elegant, rustic christmas tree with y’all!

Decorator’s Warehouse challenged 12 talented home decor bloggers to design a Christmas tree exclusively with decorations from the store. If you have ever shopped online or visited Decorator’s Warehouse in Arlington, Texas, then you know that the hardest part is choosing just one theme or color scheme. Consequently, there are so many different styles of Christmas decor from rustic to whimsical and elegant which can be found in a variety of trendy, traditional, or neutral color palettes.

Use code CUTERTUDOR for 10% off everything at Decorator’s Warehouse except Christmas trees and resin.

Rustic Christmas Tree

My decorating style is a combination of rustic and casual elegant design. For example, rustic feels distressed, aged or natural. Similarly, materials that exude a rustic feel include burlap, jute, weathered metal or raw wood. It may appear in farmhouse or coastal style homes. As far as the elegant side of the design, I incorporate a little sparkle into my home during the holidays. For instance, think velvet ribbon, glittered balls or stems and twinkle lights. However, I always want my home to feel relaxed and welcoming.

When decorating my home, I I love the look of neutral colors, such as beige, white and grey. In addition, I always gravitate towards cool colors like blue and green. This color combination feels very calming and approachable.

Consequently, my style has not changed from last season. I still love blue mixed with neutrals and creating a rustic elegant vibe that reflects my coastal style. Plus, bells are one of my favorite things to add into my holiday decor. Specifically, I used the large rustic jingle bells on my tree and mantle last year. You can find my previously decorated tree and Tips to Decorate a Christmas Tree, here.

I found these natural fiber deer and pair of trees in Decorator’s Warehouse.

How to Decorate a Rustic Christmas Tree

Basically, there are three things that I incorporate into decorating a tree: floral picks/stems, ornaments and ribbon. However, I used a variety of each to showcase different textures, colors and contrast.

Assuming your tree is pre-lit like mine, the first step is to fluff the branches of the tree. For example, make sure you touch every branch, pulling each towards you and spreading it out to fill in any gaps.

Start with the Spray Topper

Secondly, decorate the top of the tree with a ‘spray topper.’ A spray topper is an assortment of different artificial floral sprays and seasonal stems grouped into a bouquet on top of the tree. In addition, florals, bows, bells or seasonal elements can be added near the base of the topper. For this tree, I push frosted branches, pine and berry style sprays down the top center of the tree, as close to the pole as I can. Next, I add floral sprays in clusters. Lastly, I hang a set of three white washed bells off to one side. These bells have a round circle which I pushed through the tip of a branch before bending upward to secure.

For 9+ foot trees, I remove the top section, place it in a bucket, decorate it using tie-wraps to secure before returning it to the tree. Since, this tree isn’t too tall, I just used my step ladder.

Bells are one of my favorite things to decorate with during the holidays. I have collected many different styles and sizes of bells over the years. However, this set of white washed bells is a recent find from Decorator’s Warehouse. I knew when I saw them that I had to have them. They are so versatile to decorate with. For instance, I hung these on the top and side of the tree. Then, tied a pair on the garland hung on the fireplace mantle. However, they would look great hung on the stairwell or front door or sitting on the coffee or dining table for a unique centerpiece.

Weave Ribbon into the Tree

I prefer to use three different kinds of ribbon with at least one having a bold pattern or texture. For instance, I chose two shades of blue velvet ribbon in two different widths, but added the birch bark ribbon for contrast. Plus, it added another natural element to this rustic Christmas tree.

Wired ribbon is the easiest to work with. It allows you to ‘pop’ the loops out to create more depth. Plus, it can be rolled up and used year after year. Another key factor to working with ribbon is to cut it into controllable increments. For instance, most of the ribbon on my tree is cut between 2-4 feet long. I highly recommend viewing Decorator’s Warehouse tutorials on YouTube for excellent step by step directions to add ribbon to the tree.

Basically, ribbon is added with a series of loops and tails. To create ‘tails’, cut the end at an angle. However, I prefer a ‘dovetail’ by folding the ends in half and cutting a diagonal from the center to the outer edge. To create loops, leave a tail, twist ribbon to create an 8 inch loop to ensure the top of the ribbon always shows. Then, repeat to create either another loop or tail. Simply twist ribbon between the tree branches to secure.

These table top pine trees in galvanized pots look so real. When tied with velvet ribbon, they are a perfect mix of rustic and elegant.

Fill with Floral Clusters and Filler Sprays

Floral clusters are a bouquet of floral, textured, and leaf style ‘sprays’ or stems. These are the basic elements when creating a floral arrangement, as well. Decorator’s Warehouse has a beautiful selection of Christmas flowers in an assortment of materials, colors, patterns and sizes. I chose the grey sugar poinsettia, burlap faux fur edge poinsettia and a green velvet poinsettia with glitter detail.

For winter, artificial ‘leaf’ stems may be cedar, spruce or pine needles and frosted or snow covered branches. Textured stems are usually three dimensional and may include those with faux berries, pinecones, glittered balls or ornamental details. You can shop for both, here.

Therefore, layer at least 3-5 different sprays, including at least one floral, textured and leafy stem. For instance, place a poinsettia over a dewberry pick, frosted branch and pine spray. Then, hold in one hand and with the other, grab the end of one of the more flexible stems, and twist the bunch together. This will allow you to easily push the floral cluster along a branch on the Christmas tree while securing with a tree branch. Make at least one floral cluster per foot of tree.

Lastly, set aside about one dozen each of 3-4 different kind of sprays, as well. These individual sprays will be the last thing that you add to the tree. Basically, these are used to fill in any empty spaces and repeat color and pattern throughout the tree.

Add an Assortment of Ornaments

For a 7. 5 foot tree, Decorator’s Warehouse recommends to use 6 different styles of 5 balls. Then, add 12 different styles of three specialty ornaments. However, this is just a recommendation and you should always decorate in a way that you love.

When choosing ornaments, be sure to consider a variety of different finishes, colors, textures, and sizes. For example, select matte, shiny, natural, glittered, rough, smooth, detailed, big and small. If you enjoy a monochromatic color scheme, simply choose different shades of one color. If you prefer modern look, lean towards smoother textures and cleaner lines, but choose matte and shiny metallic finishes.

Therefore, I chose four unique styles of balls and hung a cluster of smaller decorative ornaments together. For instance, I placed the brown shatterproof balls deep into the tree and the show stopper 6″ blue glitter balls front and center for sparkle. For a touch of rustic, I love the flocked snow twig ball and birch ball ornaments. Find the ornaments, here, and shatterproof balls, here.

Decorate beyond the tree.

Continuing the same elements in the room is great way to make a room feel cohesive with the holiday decor. Last year, I styled a nine foot Belgium pine garland on my fireplace mantle. I loved it so much that I decided to do it again this year using the same beautiful ribbons, bells and floral, berry and leafy picks as the tree. Additionally, I decorated a wreath to hang above the mantle.

In addition, you can use floral picks and sprays for floral arrangements, centerpieces or garlands hung on the door or staircase.

Think outside the box.

If you find something you love, but it doesn’t fit your plan, can you make a simple change to create something perfect for you? Perhaps, you cut some of the larger sprays into smaller pieces for floral arrangements.

Or, like me, I found a garland of beautiful green glass ornaments tied together with jute. It was the same shade of green as the velvet poinsettias. Therefore, I untied the ornaments from the long jute and retied the ornaments in clusters of two. This allowed me to hang them on the tree as ornaments and repeat the color I love. Or, lay it across the coffee table for an easy styling solution with potted trees, like these I tied ribbon around.

Use code CUTERTUDOR for 10% off everything at Decorator’s Warehouse except Christmas trees and resin.

Looking for more holiday inspiration?

Take the tour to see the rest of the Christmas trees in the Decorator’s Warehouse Christmas Tree Challenge. You will find so many different ideas to decorate your tree in a variety of color schemes and styles.

Sami Riccioli | Hip And Humble Style | Dreaming of Homemaking | Tuft and Trim

Adventures in Decorating | Claire Lynn Home | Nissa Lynn Interiors | Refabbed

Cuter Tudor | Montgo Farmhouse | City Girl Meets Farmboy | Courtney Warren Home

Lastly, check out the 2020 Holidays Christmas Tree Challenge, here. Then, search this hashtag #DWChristmasAtHome on social media. Lastly, follow @DecoratorsWarehouse and me, @cutertudor on Instagram to see how I styled this rustic Christmas tree!

Antiquing Christmas Bells with Rub N Buff

Learn how I gave these inexpensive Christmas bells, found at any dollar store, a makeover. By adding realistic greenery, velvet ribbon, and the secret sauce to getting an antique finish, ‘Rub N Buff,‘ these bells went from cheap to antique.

Rub N Buff is available in antique gold, gold or silver leaf, spanish copper, European gold, Grecian gold, Autumn gold, ebony and pewter. Typically, I use the antique gold finish. Initially, the Christmas bells were a yellow gold and aged tin finish. However, I believe the warm, antique gold adds more character.

Rub N Buff is a wax based metallic finish that easily glides onto a variety of different surfaces, predominantly, but not limited to metal. Therefore, use it to update old light fixtures or furniture hardware. In addition, it works on glass, wood, and even some plastics. So, add an antique or metallic finish to furniture and home decor like wooden frames, mirrors or painted furniture.

What you Do to Antique Christmas Bells:

It’s demo day! To prep the Christmas bells, cut and remove the jute, tinsel like greenery, bow and unwind the burlap from the plastic ring. However, if your bells look different than these, just remove any unwanted or cheap looking parts.

  1. First, hot glue a life like sprig of faux greenery to the ring.
  2. Second, tie a velvet ribbon into a bow and hot glue the bow onto the greenery. Next, cut and glue 3 additional strands of velvet ribbon behind the greenery.
  3. Third, using a paper towel or finger, wipe ‘Rub N Buff’ onto the bells and ring. Then, buff to create a lustrous finish. When dry, hot glue bells to the bottom of the ribbon at varying lengths.

Tip of the Day: If you craft or DIY often, rubber finger cots will protect your fingers from paint, stain, inks, caulking, etc… Typically, I use my fingers to directly rub the stain on, and it takes a day to wear off. However, if you keep your nails manicured, these are handy and disposable.

Thank you for stopping by the blog to see how I transformed these Christmas bells in 3 easy steps with Rub n Buff. If you love antique finishes, be sure to read how I use vintage Christmas decorations in my home. Lastly, follow me on Instagram, Tik Tok or Pinterest for more holiday crafts and DIYS.

Vintage Christmas Decorations

Hey y’all! Today, I am sharing a few of my favorite vintage Christmas decorations. Then, telling you where I find vintage inspired decor, when I can’t find the real deal. Lastly, I have lots of ideas to use traditional decor and furniture to create a vintage inspired look for the holidays.

Vintage Christmas Decorations

So, I’ve rounded up the most popular kinds of vintage Christmas decorations, below. Consequently, this list has me thinking… did everyone’s grandparents have a lighted, ceramic Christmas tree? I know that mine did.

  • Bottlebrush or tinsel trees
  • Handmade stockings with felt, embroidery, needlepoint, beading
  • Lit ceramic Christmas trees
  • Putz cardboard houses
  • Vintage, mercury glass, & Shiny Brite ornaments
  • Retro holiday images, figurines, postcards or signs
  • Christmas, jingle and sleigh bells
  • Bubble lights or candle lights
  • Nutcrackers, train sets and snow globes
  • Holiday china, glassware and Santa mugs

You can look for real vintage Christmas decorations at antique stores, junk shops and vintage markets. However, you can find vintage resellers online at Etsy or Ebay.

My favorite Christmas antique find is a set of hand painted Santa mugs and punch bowl that my mother in law and I spotted at Cedar Chest Antique Mall outside Waco, Texas. Instantly, it reminded me of the ones that my husband’s grandmother owned and used every Christmas Eve. Therefore, the charming Santa face, perfect for homemade hot cocoa, made its way home with me.

Vintage Inspired Decor

In addition, vintage inspired decor, while not actually vintage, is an affordable option, too. Most home decor stores, like Hobby Lobby, Kirkland’s or Warmart offer some kind of vintage, retro or farmhouse inspired Christmas decor.

For example, the retro Santa placemats are from Hester and Cook, who make paper accents for tables. Even though, the postcards are reproduction prints, I styled them in vintage ‘flower frogs.’

Decorator’s Warehouse

Last year, I visited Decorator’s Warehouse, with over 60,000 square feet of holiday finds and 20 beautifully decorated trees. After seeing lots of inspiration, I decorated a vintage inspired coastal Christmas tree in my home.

These are a few vintage inspired pieces from Decorator’s Warehouse. For example, I styled the large jingle bells on my Christmas tree and tied a few to the fire place mantle garland, too. Lastly, I linked a few vintage reproduction favorites, like bubble lights and Grandma’s lit ceramic tree, if you have been on the hunt for those.

  1. Tin jingle bells in 3 sizes 2. Vintage inspired bell tree 3. Bottle brush tree in jar 4. Bubble lights 5. Lit ceramic tree 6 LED water globe
This vintage inspired fireplace mantle with large bells and garlands is my favorite that I have decorated.

Antique Farmhouse

In addition, Antique Farmhouse has an amazing selection of farmhouse style home decor, including vintage Christmas decorations. I love to shop there for lanterns, candlesticks & candles to add a little twinkle during the holidays. Here are a few that I love: 1. Chippy candlesticks 2. Clip on Candlesticks 3. Pinecone candles 4.Stripe Pillows 5. Galvanized Tray 6. Decorative oil lamps

Plus, Antique Farmhouse has a variety of architectural wall decor, like the lattice window that I have which is perfect for layering artwork or signs year round.

Traditional Antique Furniture + Vintage Decor

Honestly, I do not have many original vintage Christmas decorations. However, I do love the charm and nostalgic feel that vintage pieces provide into a home. Often, if you integrate traditional antique furniture or vintage finds with newer Christmas decor, you can still achieve the look that vintage Christmas decorations bring into your home.

  • Silver platters, vases or bowls
  • Wooden sleds, sleighs, skis, ice skates or rocking horses
  • Brass or copper – candlesticks, bells, pots
  • Architectural finds – gates, spindles, corbels, chippy fireplace mantles, frames
  • Wooden crates, old baskets, enamel buckets, postal boxes
  • Natural elements – fresh greenery, pinecones, antlers, dried fruit
  • Simple gift wrap – plain or brown paper, ticking stripe or gingham ribbon, sprigs of greenery or stamped tags
  • Lanterns – decorative, candle or vintage railroad

A fresh greenery wreath, from Lynch Creek farms, and art hang over a chippy gate. Next, a sled that a neighbor had given me when I was about 12 years old always makes its way into my Christmas decor. I guess I have always found the charm in vintage things. Basically, I love the juxtaposition of new and old, shiny and chippy together.

I found a reproduction wood and red sled, here and galvanized tabletop sleighs, here.

Ideas to Mix Vintage with New or Reproduction

A few years ago, I bought this amazing, light blue antique fireplace mantle with the original mirrored insert. By simply adding glass trees, which have the look of antique mercury glass, and winter greens, this display had so much character.

One of my favorite ways to display a wreath, is layering it over an antique mirror, chalkboard or architectural find. Therefore, you can add charm typically found in an older home by mixing new with older pieces.

In addition, it is a great way to show off any collections or family heirlooms. Below right, the writing desk belonged to my husband’s grandmother. So, it is one of our family’s most beloved heirlooms. It is flanked by a wall of vintage silver platters that my mother in law and I collected from antique shops, and handmade stockings for each family member.

Vintage Copper and Silver

Now, for an onslaught of holiday vignettes featuring my collection of vintage inspired or vintage Christmas decorations. Notice, the combination of copper, silver and gold. When used together, it’s hard to distinguish between new and vintage pieces. In addition, the miniature velvety reindeer are only a few years old, but have the vintage look that I love. Especially, when displayed with retro Santa Claus.

I love that bottle brush trees have gained popularity in recent years. It’s fun to add to my collection and mix the different styles. While I do not have any original putz cardboard houses, these reproduction ones were an affordable option about 8 years ago. Often, I will add one to a styled tray, or display the entire collection into one village. The newer houses include a battery operated light, so it’s a beautiful display at night, too.

Gingham Checks and Ticking Stripes

Another way to achieve a vintage look during the holidays is to use simple gift wrap. For example, wrap gifts with brown Kraft paper or solid colored wrapping paper. Then, tie packages with velvet, satin, or patterned ribbons which can be reused year after year. For a fun detail, tuck in sprigs of fresh greenery or hand stamped gift tags to each bow.

Patterns, like ticking stripes and gingham checks pair well together and add a farmhouse or vintage feel. Consider using it in gift wrap, textiles like pillows and table linens or paint stripes on the back of a cabinet. Finally, check out more of this blue and white winter table, shown below.

I hope you enjoyed learning how I use vintage Christmas decorations in my home. If you are new, and love home decor tips, simple DIYS, easy recipes and life in Waco, Texas, subscribe to the blog, here. Lastly, I appreciate any shares on Facebook or Pinterest so others can get inspired, too.

12 DIYs of Christmas: Gift Wrapping How To Tips

Christmas Gift Wrapping How To Tips

For the 10th DIY of Christmas, I am sharing my favorite gift wrapping ‘how to’ tips and a few DIYs, too. I love to coordinate packages with my holiday decor. Therefore, I chose ticking striped and checkered paper with ribbon in my favorite color, navy blue! I always add personal touches to gift wrapping without spending a lot of money, too!  Here’s how I do it!

 

Gift Wrapping Tips

Tip One: Gather an assortment of wrapping and tissue paper, gift boxes, ribbons, bows and gift tags.  Plus, tape and scissors.  Keep all of this together in a basket. When any family member needs to wrap gifts, it will be easy to find.

 

Tip Two: Color coordinate the color of paper for each kid or parties that you will attend. Between Santa gifts, visiting the in-laws, and gifts for friends or teachers, there are many packages in the house. To avoid any confusion of what packages go where, I wrap gifts in different wrapping paper. It’s a lot easier to say ‘honey, put the green polka dotted wrapped gifts in the car,’ when heading to my in-laws, rather than reading a bunch of tags and sorting through a pile of gifts.

When my kids were younger, I wrapped my kids’ gifts in different patterned paper without names on tags. Then, on Christmas morning, I told them which one belonged to each one.  This was to keep the kids from shaking the boxes till no end, or guessing what each one got before they were even opened! They are sneaky like that!

 

Tip Three: If you do not find gift tags that coordinate with your wrapping paper, search the scrapbook section at Hobby Lobby. I love the selection of paper. For instance, I found this farmhouse inspired paper with 20 different designs for $5. (Don’t forget to download your Hobby Lobby coupon to your phone when you are standing in line).

To DIY your own gift tags… first, cut paper in half; sheets are 4.5 x. 6.5 inches. Then, fold over paper and punch a hole into the top left of paper. Last, pull bakers twine or string through hole to attach the gift tags to bows.

 

Tip four:  Be creative with your embellishments. Not only can you DIY your own gift tags, but y0u can add an assortment of embellishments to your gifts. For example, use natural elements like pinecones, cotton stems, or fresh greenery, or shop the craft section for Christmas crafting supplies, like the wood word cutout below.  Include ornaments, jingle bells, photos, candy canes or wood letters on gift tags.

Here are a few ways to make DIY personalize gift tags, as shared in Modern Texas Living magazine last year.

 

For this  DIY idea, I wrapped green ribbon in the shape of trees around the package three times.  Next, I slid the gift tag cut from scrapbook paper between alternating rows of ribbon.  This is great when you need to mail gifts, so the bow doesn’t get squished.

 

Tip five: Use tulle for bows on packages when traveling. Tulle is very forgivable and can easily be fluffed if mashed.  Therefore, when we are traveling to see family, even a short distance, I wrap gifts with tulle.

To DIY a bow, wrap the package in tulle and tie a knot.  Then, take about three feet of tulle and fold into 8 inch loops.  Next, place the looped tulle above the knot and finish tying a bow like you do your shoelaces. The last thing to do is fluff by separating the tulle.  The added tulle will make the bow look fuller.

 

Tip six:  Think ahead for next year, and stock up on gift wrapping supplies when its on sale! The stores have already marked it down by Dec 20th. For instance, I have done this the past few years, and I am always prepared for the next year. I keep all my wrapping supplies together, (tip one), and often buy them on sale… so I have a nice selection without spending a lot!  I’m cheap like that, like a baller on a budget. However, I would rather catch the quality paper on sale, than buy the cheap paper that easily tears.

Plus, if you buy neutral supplies like striped or polka dotted wrapping paper, solid colored tissue paper or tulle, y0u can use it for birthday gifts throughout the year, too!

 

 

More Christmas DIYs and Gift Wrapping Tips

Here are some cute yet inexpensive ways to give gift cards, and tips to create a gift basket.

By the way, did you catch the other 12 DIYs of Christmas…

  • Holiday berry napkin rings for $1, here
  • Christmas countdown calendar here
  • Snow globe lamp, here
  • Christmas candy Tray, here
  • Home for the Holidays wood ornament, here
  • Beadboard ornament, here
  • Snow globe treat container, here
  • Tiered tray tips, here
  • Christmas card displays, here 

Happy holidays, y’all!

12 DIYs of Christmas: DIY Wood Ornaments

DIY Wood Ornaments with HART Tools

This holiday season, I am partnering with HART tools to create a fun DIY wood ornament for your Christmas tree.  The best part is that you can make these ornaments in any size or from different types of wood or metal. So, these can hang as ornaments on your tree or a smaller version can serve as gift tags on your packages.

 

HART power tools work on many types of materials. For instance, you can use a sheet of galvanized metal, weathered wood, or masonite wood panels.  I chose to use white beaded plywood, because it has a neat texture that mimics the stripes of treasured vintage ornaments.  Plus, it evokes a cottage Christmas feel that I love.

For this DIY project, I am using the HART cordless power tools with a shared rechargeable battery.  This includes the HART Reciprocating Saw to cut, the Multitool to sand and distress edges of wood, and the Rotary Tool for fine sanding and cutting a hole as the ornament’s hanger. It’s quick to swap out the battery from one tool to another.

 

Instructions for DIY Wood Ornaments

Step 1: First, draw or print an ornament template onto paper.  Then, cut out the template and trace the ornament shape onto the beaded plywood material.

 

Step 2. Next, cut out the outline of the ornament from the beaded plywood using the HART Reciprocating Saw. When cutting wood, use wood clamps to hold securely in place. Be sure to wear protective goggles when cutting and sanding wood.

 

Step 3. Sand the edges of the wood ornament using the HART Multitool and 80 grit sandpaper.  Then, distress the raised wood trim on the beaded plywood.

Step 4. With the rotary tool and drill bit, pierce a hole near the top center of the ornament. Then, use the sanding attachment to smooth.  Lastly, pull a ribbon to through the hole to hang.

 

 

Step 5. Hang ornaments on the tree and enjoy!

 

HART tools are great gifts!

P.S.  These HART tools are only available at Walmart and Walmart.com.  You can learn more about them by visiting HartTools.com.  There are over 300 products from hand tools, lawn/garden, automotive to power tools which will become available in the coming months! The HART power tools that I used for this DIY project will make a great gift for the DIYer, woodworker or home renovator on your gift list.  These tools are lightweight, compact and cordless.

 

Now, save this post to your ‘DIY Christmas’ Pinterest Board by tapping the red ‘pin’ on the top left of this image. Then, follow along all month as I share the 12 DIYs of Christmas, including the 5th DIY, a Home for the Holidays DIY wood ornament  and the 6th DIY Snow Globe Treat Containers!  Happy holidays and happy DIYing, y’all!