Showing posts with label Christmas Trees. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas Trees. Show all posts

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Six Easy Christmas Tree Alternatives

Alternatives to Standard Christmas Trees


There are alternatives to putting up a fully decorated Christmas Tree. When time, health or motivation gets in the way of decorating the way you used to, check out these options:

1. Christmas Tree Art Drapes

You have to check these out; they're gorgeous. These drapes are full floor to ceiling curtains featuring 3D holiday scenes. The entire drapes are an art canvas, except instead of being on canvas, the art is on cloth. If you have a large window or sliding patio door, remove your existing drapes and put these up for the holidays. 

2. A Tabletop Christmas Tree

A tabletop tree is the easiest way to bring a little cheer into your home during the holidays. One of ReviewThisReviews writers, Dawn Rae, provides several creative suggestions here. Of course, tabletop trees can also be used to accessorize a fully decorated home. They also make an excellent hostess gift.

3. Freestanding Cardboard Christmas Trees
When you need a simpler
decorating plan

Of course, this particular choice is better utilized as party decor. However, there are several ways to incorporate cardboard trees into the home. For those who like to feature multiple trees but don't have the energy to go all out, these fun designs are an alternative. Also, you can use them as a way to add a safe festive feel to a child's room or playroom. 

4.  Christmas Tree Wall Decals

If you have a little more energy and enjoy decorating the walls, then you'll love this idea. Wall decal Christmas Trees are a fun way to add festive art to a room. When the holidays are over, simply remove them. Since they have more of an artsy animated look to them, they're ideal in a room where the kids tend to gather, even their bedroom. How nice would it be to read holiday bedtime stories with a fun Christmas Tree decal front and center in the little one's bedroom?

5. Pull Up Christmas Trees

These are an absolute must for people who don't have time for anything elaborate during the holidays! They fold completely flat into a storage bag. You may have to buy the storage bag separately. When the holiday season rolls around, unzip the bag and pull up the pre-lit, even pre-decorated Christmas Tree. That's right, most of them come fully decorated. A couple of these trees will eliminate a ton of work yet still give your home or office that lovely holiday feel.

6. Christmas Trees or Decor Featured on a Rug

If the wall, a tabletop, or draperies are out of the question, how about a bit of the holiday spirit on the floor? These holiday-themed area rugs feature various scenes that you can easily incorporate into your home. The nice thing about a carpet is the ease of taking it out and putting it away. Feature a festive rug in your foyer, one in the kitchen or living area, and add a small table-top tree or Christmas tree ornament, and your decorating is finished. You've decorated without a lot of effort. With a rug, there are no boxes to unpack or carry; store it in a closet or under a bed until the season is upon us.

As we get older, decorating the way we used to can become challenging. Our hearts may want to go all out, but our bodies won't let us. So don't hesitate to seek out something easier that works for you and your life. These days, there's something beautiful about going 'small.' It's like getting back to the basics and focusing on what Christmas is really about; love.



Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, November 27, 2017

How to Make Easy Christmas Tree Ornaments

Today I am reviewing an easy way to make beautiful Christmas tree ornaments using tri-beads. This is a great project to make with children. 

The best ornaments I've ever placed on my Christmas tree over the years were these ornaments made by my children made in school and given to me as gifts. The ornaments were special because they were made by my children. They were beautiful then because they were made by children's hands. They are beautiful still today because of the sparkling colors.

Yes, I wrote that they are beautiful still today. These ornaments are durable. I still have those ornaments from years ago. I loved these ornaments so much that I have replicated the project with the students at work. Over the years, I've sent many children home with these ornaments as gifts for their caregivers.

Now I'm sharing the step-by-step instructions how to make these incredibly simple ornaments with the children in your life. Or perhaps you want to make your own ornaments. I have to admit that sometimes I make these ornaments when I'm alone and have used them for decorations when wrapping gifts. There are many ways to enjoy these easy-to-make decorations. 

Finally, remember that the best gift you can give this season is the gift of your time and attention. Especially when you are spending time with a children. 

Materials:
plastic tri-beads 
pipe cleaners (either tinsel or chenille)
1/8" wide ribbons (optional)

Tools:
heavy-duty scissors
pliers 




Instructions:
Gather your beads and pipe cleaners. Ribbon is options (but preferred by the children).

Gather your tools. Heavy-duty scissors or wire cutters are needed to cut the pipe cleaners. And pliers to bend the wire tips are optional but highly recommended.

Be aware: Take care when cutting pipe cleaners. This project is extremely easy, with the exception of trimming the pipe cleaners. The wire is sometimes difficult to cut and the tips of the pipe cleaners are "pokey". Younger children may need to be supervised closely to ensure they don't poke or scratch themselves.


Candy Cane Ornament Instructions:


1. To make the candy cane bead ornament, knot the end of the pipe cleaner and pull the knot tight.

2. Carefully cut the end off; just below the knot. If a sharp end remains, bend it with the pliers or your fingers toward the knot, tucking it into the bulk of the knot (in order to be safe for little fingers)

3. Allow the child to slide beads onto the pipe cleaner; snugging the beads up against the knot. The tri-beads fit together beautifully and create a "round" shape. Some children like the traditional red and white candy cane stripes. Some children prefer psychedelic colors. Have fun with it.



4. Fill the pipe cleaner to the desired length; making sure to leave enough material to make a knot.( make the knot shape loosely then work to snug the knot up toward the last bead in order to hold the design together snugly).


5. Note the knot is snugged up to the last bead. Check the end for any sharp points and bend it up, out of the way, if needed (a point is visible in the photos. It is probably not unsafe to leave it, but I prefer to  bend it out of the way - just to be safe.

Finish the candy cane with a bow if desired. The ornament can be hung in the tree by the hook of the cane. Or traditional ornament hooks can be purchased and added. Occasionally, the children choose to use the ribbon for a loop at the top of the candy cane for hanging. 



Wreath Ornament Instructions:


1. Making a wreath is similar to making the candy cane except, Do Not knot either end. Thread the beads onto the pipe cleaner and gather them in the middle of the pipe cleaner.

2. Leave approximately 2" or more of empty pipe cleaner at each end. Bend the ornament into a round shape and begin to tie a know at the top (as though you are tying the first portion of a shoelace knot).

3. Pull the ends together, twisting lightly to form a single pipe cleaner from the two ends.

4. Bend the end down to form a loop; wrapping the very end around the portion of the pipe cleaner that is holding the bead. If there is a point piece remaining (as shown) use the pliers, or your fingers, to carefully wrap it more tightly around in order to hide the end.

5. Add ribbons as desired.




And with that, you have the finished products. Happy Holidays to you and yours. And remember to give the gift of your time and attention.

Note: This article was previously published elsewhere. The instructions and photographs are by the author.


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Monday, December 12, 2016

Tabletop Christmas Tree Reviews

'Tis the season to decorate. The problem is that you may believe that you do not not have sufficient time or space to bother with decorating a full-sized Christmas tree. Perhaps, you are feeling as though you are lacking in Christmas spirit. I am happy to let you know that there is always time and space for a tabletop Christmas tree. In this review, I will share some of my favorite small Christmas tree decorating ideas.

Because I am very busy, live on the third floor, and have an empty nest I have not put up a full-sized tree for years. There have been years that I haven't put a tree up at all. But when I do, as I have this year, I lean toward small trees for convenience. I tend to pay close attention to how others utilize tabletop and small floor stand Christmas trees. The following trees are a few of the best choices for small spaces. 


Lighted, Ceramic Christmas Trees

Lighted, green ceramic tree

I remember these lighted, ceramic, tabletop Christmas trees from my childhood.  I loved the green ceramic tree with the multi-colored bulbs that my grandmother had on the table most years.   She also always had a fresh cut tree, often reaching to the ceiling. But as a child I always thought there was something magical about Grandma's tiny tree.

Over the years, these ceramic trees were sometimes painted with white glaze. Or were painted green with a spray snow added to the branches. Some of the trees have white lights. But my favorite will always be the green trees with multi-colored bulbs. Trees such as this can become a family heirloom.


Charlie Brown's Christmas Tree


14" Charlie Brown tree
One year a friend's parents gave my friend a Christmas tree.  It was a Charlie Brown Christmas tree complete with one ornament on a spindly branch and Linus' blanket wrapped around the trunk.  I fell in love with that little tree and have always planned to get one for myself. I have not yet done so. 

Every time I see a little Charlie Brown tree, warm and fuzzy childhood memories come back - Charlie Brown and friends gathered together around their tree.


Lighted, Fiber Optic Christmas Tree


36" tall fiber optic tree
Fiber optic trees are great for small spaces. They come in many heights and colors. Whether or choose a green tree or a white tree, you will love the ease of set-up.  I own a fiber optic tree and have set it up over the past several years. It only takes a few minutes to pull it out of the box, spread the "branches" back out, and set the tree on the base. My particular tree plugs in to an electrical outlet. Other fiber optic trees require batteries. The brightly colored fiber optics change colors and cast a subtle, pretty glow. 

With the lights built-in to the tree, you don't have to try to untangle cords or work at spacing the bulbs on the tree.  You can add ornaments if you wish but don't have to since the changing lights are pretty enough on their own. 

I did not originally think I'd like a fiber optic tree, but I really did. The only reason I didn't set it up this year is because I wanted a live tree this year.


Live, Potted Evergreen Trees


photo credit:  FotoJet and Pixabay
This year I chose a live, potted evergreen.  I chose it thinking that I would plant it on my land in the spring.  I brought the tree home then did some research. Oops.  Potted evergreen trees (meant for planting outdoors later) do better if they are brought indoors for only a matter of days. The change in temperatures in cold climates from the nursery, to inside your home, and back outdoors is often too shocking. Or, if the plant is kept indoors until spring, it is not easy to keep it from becoming too dry after being exposed to the heat of your living space. 

If you want to buy a potted evergreen in order to plant it outside, please do some research. Many people do plant their Christmas trees successfully after the holiday. Better Homes and Gardens has a helpful article that you may want to read so that you are prepared. 

Fortunately, my tiny potted tree is in a very cool section of my apartment, so there may be hope even though I plunged in without the helpful information.

There are many reasons to buy a potted Christmas tree. These are a few:

  • the qualities of a fresh cut tree - including fragrance
  • possibility of planting after the holidays
  • an enormous selection of sizes, shapes, and tree varieties
  • pre-decorated selections - matching almost any decor
  • a large selection of mini-lights and ornaments so you can decorate your own tree


Mini lights and Ornaments for Potted Christmas Trees


I have been tempted by the many, very pretty pre-decorated trees. But this year I wanted to decorate my own in silver.  I purchased a string of 50 white mini lights, a pack of silver jingle bells, and one "full-sized" glittery snowflake ornament.  I strung the lights, hung the jingle bells, and used floral wire to attach the snowflake to the top as my "star".  

No matter your tree decorating preference (country, sparkling, minimal, loaded) or your color preference, you will easily find small ornaments to meet your needs.


"Old World" mini ornaments

If you have time, space, and Christmas spirit to spare, you probably already decorate with table top trees in addition to a larger tree. And already have your own favorite type of tiny tree. But if you have never tried a table top tree, maybe this is the year to do so.


Related Article:

Our own Review This! contributor, Barbara Tremblay Cipak, reviewed time- and space-saving Pull Up Christmas Trees. These pre-decorated trees store in a flat box or bag and "pull up" to 
a standing tree in a matter of moments. If you prefer a slightly larger tree, but need the smallest storage space possible for the remainder of the year, these pull up trees and the fiber optic trees mentioned above are very good choices. Both of these options eliminate the extra storage of lights, ornaments, and accessories.



Introduction photo design courtesy of FotoJet and Pixaby


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Sunday, December 11, 2016

Christmas Tree Alternatives

Christmas Tree Wall Decal - A Fathead
More Here
Last Sunday we talked about the convenience of Pull-Up-Christmas-Trees, and this week's feature is another Christmas Tree alternative that's even simpler...Christmas Tree Wall Decals.

TIME - The Gift We Give Ourselves

How many times during the holiday season have you heard someone say, "I'm so busy, I don't know how I'll get everything done"

If you haven't heard it yet, congratulations, you're surrounded by a bunch of calm people!

Christmas is just around the corner, and I personally know a few people who will either skip putting up a tree or are still undecided.

There's no need to skip the holiday season entirely: Christmas Tree Wall Decals are an excellent alternative to putting up a standard tree. Best of all, they're not expensive, making them easy to feature throughout the home.

Most Wall Decals Go Up Easy, and Come Down Easy

Although most decals go up easy and come down easy, one of the better brands is manufactured by a company called 'Fathead'.

Fathead's are a superior graphic that use a low-grade adhesive making them easy to remove without the worry of wall damage.

They're also made from tear resistant high-grade vinyl. However, you will be paying more to get this kind of quality, but they're still reasonable in comparison to putting up a fully decorated tree.

There are other manufacturers, styles, designs and price-ranges to choose from. When you visit the link under the above photo, you'll be taken to a page that features several other artsy choices.

Find a wall, put up a tree, then store it away til next year .... doesn't get much easier than that!

Have a Merry Christmas NOT a Harry Christmas!


Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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