My favorite tree decorating tips

December 13, 2009


I showed you our family room tree last year, but I got a new tree for a steal after Christmas last year, so I have to show you again. It’s much taller and much skinnier, and I got it for $12 at Goodwill! I just wish I could find tall and skinny for $12 at Goodwill. The only place I can find that is in our basement on the treadmill. Drats.

I like to call this tree my ballerina tree, because the skirt looks like a phoofy tulle skirt. ;) I start with some fluffy stuff to keep the floor protected, then I add some soft felt stuff to add some volume:


I also had to add some magazines under one side, because the tree was leaning precariously for some reason. I do not have luck with trees the past couple of years.

Then I add the tulle and just fluff like crazy:



Ummmmm, OR, I add a fat cat who has now determined this is her bed and lays here about 23.5 hours of every day. The little stink also likes to drag it all around so it’s just so.

I had a friend make some bows for this tree a couple years ago, (now I can make my own, yippee!), and this year I attached a couple of them together to make one bigger bow for the top of the tree. I am quite obsessed with running ribbon throughout the trees too:



This tree is only in silver and white, and I’m always on the lookout for additions. I scored some GORG ornaments at our annual ornament exchange this year. They are perfectly perfect! (Said in a sing song voice.):

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Good thing I pulled a good number so I could steal them from my BFF. Yep. I did.

Our pretty ballerina tree!:


I have an issue with ornaments…they can’t hang and lean into a branch. Do you know what I mean? Like all wabberjockey? They have to hang perfectly into a nice little open spot. So to get them just the right length so they do this, I will curl up the hooks like so:


I can get them to whatever length I need that way. :) Issues. So many.

Our living room tree is the main one and is always a live one. And I am always cursing the live tree every. single. year right around January 1. But, I just can’t live without it. There is nothing like a live tree, there just isn’t.

This tree is always a bit more fancy and I have always used lovely red and burgundy and gold ornaments throughout. It just so happens that these colors go perfectly in that room.

I’ve always used fab ribbon for this tree, but this year I eyed the gauzy stuff at Hob Lob for the 40th time and finally just got it. I got two packages and cut them into three lengths, so it would be enough to go around the tree.

The only color they had left was a pretty red/gold mixture, and I LOVE it! It’s so full and pretty in the tree! It practically glows. I used my ribbon that I used to drape around the tree to make a new topper this year. I only had pieces of it, but I just used the bowmaker like I normally would, and I like how it turned out!

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My favorite part of this tree every year is the variety of poinsettias I stuff in here and there:


They are perfect for adding texture and depth. And you can fill in the odd spots on a real tree – the big empty places that you aren’t sure what to do with. :)

This is the “fancy” tree, but one of my favorite additions last year was our Santa boot. It’s adorable. And this year I added my clearanced sparkly snowflakes as well. I just nestled them into the branches here and there:


I’m taken with anything sparkly lately, and if you’ve seen my decor this year, you know I’m lurving the RED!

Again, my tree skirt is just faux red silk fabric draped around, with gauzy burgundy fabric laid over the top:


Cheap. Easy! You can use just about anything for a tree skirt! Fabric, drapes, a real skirt even!

This tree is about two feet shorter than what we usually get, but after the tree that tumbled last year, I wasn’t going to push my luck. ;) But this one is much fatter, and he is just positively jolly in his chubbiness. I lurve him.

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Ho! Ho! Ho!


Three of our four trees!:


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  1. Your trees are gorgeous! I'll just have a little tree to post tonight. More to come later. I can relate to the cat. Mine thinks she owns the house and I think she definitely owns my husband!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  2. Absolutely gorgeous! I'll add mine up later this week!

  3. Love all your trees! They're beautiful :)

  4. Sarah,
    Your trees are beautiful! I love the real trees too, but I don't have one this year. I hope to have two trees next year, and one will be real! Fo sure!
    Thanks for sharing,

  5. Your trees are great! Thanks for hosting ths fun party!

  6. Your trees are so pretty! But! Where did you get the snowflake for the window! I need 4 of them!

  7. You may not even know it, but you may have just changed my life tonight!! I was like, "Um, what's Live Writer??" So, I just yahoo!'d it, and, yes, I think you've just changed my world! The things I am clueless about. Oy. Off to check it out some more!!

    LOVE your trees! I'm not much of a burgandy person AT ALL, and when you said burgandy & red together....I was worried. But it really is just absolutely gorgeous! LOVE! I'm all about the red, white & silver.

    And would you believe that I haven't taken detailed shots of my tree yet to prepare for this party!?? What a slacker. Of course, I should start by printing out some pictures to put in all of the lovely frames hanging on my tree, huh?

    {psssst, you should bump my link higher to the top when I finally enter!} :)

  8. Beautiful trees! I have done the same thing with the poinsettias this year. They add a gorgeous touch!

  9. Your trees are stunning! I really enjoyed seeing each one and I feel the same way about how each ornament is hung. They have to hang in an open area which takes some strategic placement for sure!

    I LOVED how you captured a photo of you cat during a nap! It made me miss the cat I used to have. One year I had a cat that climbed the tree and pulled it down onto the glass coffee table and the ornaments smashed while I was picking up my dad from the airport on Dec.24th. Not so much fun but no matter what they do you still love them to bits! ;)

  10. You trees are gorgeous!!
    I can't believe you do 4 but I love it!
    I used to work in a shop where we always did 9 trees and boy was it a lot of work.

  11. Why do cats love Christmas tree skirts???? Mine is so full of cat hair it isn't funny!

    The house looks great! Thanks for hosting the party!!

  12. I just accidentally found you, sugar, and want to show my tree but it's pre-scheduled for thursday the 17th! Aaaaaackkkk. I can't change the date but will you pop over and look at what I did on that day. I think you'll find it fascinating also. I did it on the cheap so you'd be proud of this old lady, chickee! Love your blog!!!
    :-) <-------ME smiling at ya, sweetpea!!!

  13. I have a main tree post that I will put together and link up later this week, but I wanted to add a couple extras today. ;) THANK YOU for doing this!! Your photography is stunning and your trees simply perfect. You're always such an inspiration to me. I appreciate YOU.

  14. Sarah, that first photo just stopped me dead in my tracks...gorgeous!! I love your fluffy bows. Your cat is so Pomeranian likes to sleep under the tree too. I think it makes her feel closer to Nature. ;) Thanks for hosting the party! :)

  15. ALL of your trees are gorgeous, I love the "ballerina" tree! Thanks for hosting us!

  16. Kitty is hilarious. I just made a Christmas tree skirt and when I was trying to photograph it for my blog, my cat was being just impossible.

  17. absolutely LOVE looking @ all of the trees people are linking too.

  18. your trees are so pretty I need to learn how to photograph mine real life its so pretty but in a pic it looks so dorky...LOL

  19. G.O.R.G.E.O.U.S!!!!! I love them all. Can't wait to see Bub's tree. ;)

  20. Four trees in one house! And they are all so gorgeous. I am happy to be able to have one tree in the living room. Our house is just not big enough for more trees. I love those gorgeous bows. And I could use a few of those poinsettas too.
    Thanks for hosting this party!

  21. Beautiful trees and beautiful pictures. What a wonderful way to get in the holiday spirit.

  22. Thanks for hosting this party! Your trees are gorgeous (we wouldn't expect anything less from you)! I know what you are saying about the ornaments. Try using green pipecleaners. You can hang the ornaments snug to the branches and little fingers and clumsy husbands can't knock them off... Plus they blend right in, I use them whenever I can.

    Best wishes,

  23. Your trees are so pretty. Part of me misses doing trees like yours, but the other part of me is content in watching the joy decorating brings my daughter...

  24. Your trees are gorgeous. I can't wait to see the one in the playroom. I'll have to show pictures of our upstairs one later. No pictures yet. I know what you mean about the ornaments haging right. It drives me batty. Thanks for hosting such a fun party.

  25. How beautiful each of these trees are. You did good !
    My hubby scored a tall, thin tree at Salvation Ladies Auxiliary Christmas sale in November that he got for $ a great stand and with hinged branches..he wanted something different this year so our tree is also done in white, silver and clear decoration and I made a white ribbon topper.
    Our two trees look so much alike it's incredible !! L O V E your blog.

  26. SOOOOO gorgeous!!!! And I LOVE your photography! Just wonderful wonderful work! :)

  27. Those ARE gorgeous trees! Oh my! Are they pretty! Love that kitty too. Perhaps I'll decorate my tree and post photos of it....maybe. LOL! It's gotta be done sooner rather than later.

  28. So pretty! Just love the details! And I love the "present" under your tree :-)

  29. I love the tulle tree skirt idea!!

    And what a fun party...but I can't look because it will make me cry! :P

    We aren't putting up a tree this year because I won't have time to take it down before the movers come. I miss it! :(

  30. Sarah your trees are so gorgeous!
    Love the fullness and the pretty tulle! Your "glow" is amazing!

    I didn't realize you had 3 cats. One of them looks just like my big guy Chestnut. Too funny! Yes Chestnut has parked himself underneath our trees as well and bats at ornaments all day. Yikes!

    I have my tree post up now as well! I would link up to your tree party but apparently I don't know how. I was just deleted from The Nester's and I'm afraid to try another since you would probably delete me. Sigh...;(

    Enjoy this joyous season!
    ~Warmly, ~Melissa :)

  31. Absolutely beautiful! I especially love your cat in the tulle :) I would so hook up if I had a tree up! I hope you are doing well with all that your family is going through..big hugs. Merry Christmas!

  32. Sarah, all your Christmas trees are beautiful!! Fantastic look for all of them. I added my Home tour party post with my tree! Merry Christmas to you!

  33. Gorgeous tree, Sarah! Love the cat. Our cats like to sleep under the tree, too. Perhaps it's because they think they are God's gift to humans. Or maybe they know, as all girls do, that soft lighting enhances their natural beauty. ;) Actually, I'd be tempted to sleep on all that fluffy tulle myself.

  34. They're all beautiful, Sarah. I like the live one best. Because I'm with you on having a live tree. It's great to have a some fake ones just for show, but the "real" tree has to be a live one for me. Ain't no substitute.

    I LOVE your red! Yes!! Red and Christmas just go together!

  35. Love all your trees! I have one more to share too {one of two little ones in urns I got at Goodwill}. It is going to take me for ~ eva to get through all these links, but I will definitely enjoy it!

  36. Your trees are absolutely GORGEOUS!! Thanks for the inspiration...can't wait to see the one in the playroom, too. :) Merry Christmas!

  37. Beautiful trees. My cat, Sam, thinks I put up the tree just for him .. he spends his afternoons curled up under it. If I put a bow on him he would look like a present!!

  38. Sarah I linked up to your tree party and I think I did it right! If you have to delete me I'll just close my eyes. Boo hoo! He! :)

    Have a wonderful day and thank you very much for hosting this! It's always so fun to visit and get new fresh ideas.

    ~Warmly, ~Melissa :)

  39. your home looks beautiful! i think i am going to have to copy the tutu tree skirt! love it! i linked up to the party! thanks for hosting such a fun one!

  40. Such lovely trees! You have such a gift. :)

    I have the exact same NOEL stocking hanger set as you. But in our house, it's always being rearranged to spell LEON.

    The kids think it's hysterical.

  41. Sara! it's all GORGEOUS!!
    What camera do you use? lens? settings? your pictures turned out GREAT!! I had a very hard time photographing my Christmas decor


  42. Thanks for hosting this Sarah, I'm visiting several of the links.

  43. I have one of the same issues that you have with ornaments. They have to hang, not lean!

  44. Those trees are all so LUSH and gorgeous looking!! And I love how you shot them with the lights aglow. :)

  45. They look so lovely with all the pretty lights. :)

  46. Wow, Sarah! I can't believe you have so many trees! It took me so long to decorate ONE!!!! Amazing! Thanks for hosting, have a lovely Friday!

  47. I love your tree...but I especially love that sweet little lump of a cat! They are so funny! I am a cat mom, and they just crack me up with the things they choose to spend their time doing!

    Merry Chirstmas!


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