The holiday season is all about traditions, isn’t it? One of my new favs is Sarah’s Christmas Tree Party, so this is a rewind from a couple of Christmas’ ago. But it’s still one of my favorite trees.
As a little girl, hanging homemade ornaments and silver tinsel on our tree, I’d never have dreamed people would actually pay me to decorate trees when I got older.
It started 15 years ago when I worked for a craft store. We’d have as many as 20 different themed trees to showcase different ornaments.
I probably would still just be hanging ornaments and lights, if I hadn’t worked there. You see, to decorate a tree in a retail store, you have to cram enough ‘stuffs into the tree before you hang ornaments. Otherwise, when people take ornaments off the branches, you’d be left with a bare tree.
I was lucky. I didn’t have to hang lights or ornaments. My job was to create an overall theme for each product line.
It might be picture frames. Or bird cages. Or pheasant feathers. Or combinations of various non-Christmas items. And yards and yards of fabric. Anything that would fill up the tree and showcase the actual Christmas ornaments.
What was always amazing is the non-Christmas ornaments would always sell too. Like bird cages. And pheasant feathers.
Ah, the power of display merchandising! Unfortunately, I was paid hourly with bonuses of “Attagirl!”
Most of my Christmas clients want a more traditionally decorated tree, but one that still says “Wow!”
It looks small in this picture, but this is actually an 11 footer. Which explains all the various ladder size and shapes.
After hanging tons of lights – okay, not tons, but hundreds and hundreds – I draped the yummy fabric. Champagne satin and chocolate brown jacquard.
Since I’m a lousy photographer, you can’t tell, but the fabric is like delicious frosting, oozing in and out of the branches.
If you read my Fall post, you know I have a thing for ribbon. Next to fabric, ribbon gives you the most bang for your buck.
And, I just have a thing for ribbon. Shiny, satin, velvet, sheer. Doesn’t matter . . . I love it all.
It probably comes from hanging silver tinsel as a little girl. Tinsel . . . ribbon, ribbon . . . tinsel? Yeah, I think I actually have a need for ribbon.
Here’s how I work when I’m in a client’s house – all nice, neat & organized-looking. Even a drop cloth down on their carpeting.
Looks good, doesn’t it?
Notice you haven’t seen any pictures of my work area in my own home, have you? And you won’t, either.
At least you know my mother taught me how to act in other people’s homes.
Okay, let’s make some floral clusters. You don’t have to make clusters, but this was for a client. (For my own trees I just cram the stuff in there.)
Four loops of chocolate velvet ribbon tied with 22 gauge wire in the middle. (I just did a bow-making tutorial last week.)
Tip: to get floral tape to stick, pull it taut. I mean, stretch it as you go. Otherwise it’ll just unravel and you’ll want to throw it across the room.
Add a little gold pick thingy.
And, voila! a big ol’ floral cluster.
Now make about 20 more of them.
It’s a big tree, remember?
Then I stuck the clusters around the tree and draped the ribbon and the gold netting.
I love me some gold netting. If fabric is the frosting, netting is the spun sugar.
After the fabric, ribbon, netting and floral clusters, you don’t need too many ornaments. Unless you like hanging one, after another, after another.
Call me crazy, but hanging ornaments makes me crazy. That’s why you can call me crazy. Because I wind up doing it every year.
Yes, I could hire someone to do it for me. But I’m just enough of a control freak that that would make me even more crazy.
Now. Where was I? Oh yeah, the ornaments.
I hate hanging ornaments, but I like looking at them. They’re just like little jewels, aren’t they? And check out these hangers I found at Target. In copper too, no less!
I swear, I could ‘do’ Christmas all year ‘round.
For other people, that is. For other people that like different themes. For other people that like to pay me with more than “Attagirl”.
Then I could afford to hire a professional photographer who could capture all the scrumptious textures in this tree.
Be sure and drop by ThriftyDecorChick’s 2011 Christmas Tree Party for hundreds of ideas!
That is a very beautiful tree! I love all the fabric, ribbon and other embellishments that you’ve included.
The Mulberry Girl says
Oh my goodness, it’s just gorgeous! I hope you get paid more than “attagirls” for ones like this!
Farah Muzaffar says
Very beautiful Collen . I never saw any tree with a brown touch, it looks very different and beautiful…
I would love if you come and enjoy the fragrance of sweet potpourri heart at
Gorgeous!! I am going to try adding fabric next year! Thanks for sharing!!!!
Gina Alfani says
WOW that is a beautiful tree!!
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You are too funny – loved reading this post! The fabric frosting oozing in and out and the spun sugar netting – so aptly put! This color scheme is so pretty and untraditional. Thanks for sharing and for visiting my blog today!
I never realized how the fabric thing worked. Thanks for explaining-just stuff it in there! I found some of those hooks too in brown, gold and silver. They are so much prettier than the old kind. I love how this tree came out and it’s my colors too.
Robin Flies South
Very pretty, love the colors and the fabric wound through the tree.