Tuesday, December 6, 2011

tree trimming tips and diy ideas.

It makes me sad when I see a poor Christmas tree not properly arranged. He's there. He's bear. It's disheartening. Here are 5 quick tips for layering, filling and displaying ornaments so your Christmas tree can stand proud and loud over the holidays.

1. Pick a color palette. Not saying all of your ornaments need to follow suit but choose a palette that will be consistently displayed throughout the tree - mainly through filler bulbs and an occasional decorative ornament. In my case, I kept it traditional with red, green, lime and metallics.

2. Vary shapes and sizes. In my humble opinion, Christmas trees can look a little dull if all the ornaments are the same size and shape. Plus, there will be a variety of nooks and crannies you'll need to fill along the way. Trying to stuff a giant bulb in a tiny hole or ignoring the fact that the hole exists should both be non-options. For mine, I have a giant mis-mash of things from small bulbs to big snowflakes to icicles to animals. The more variety, the better position you'll be in. Not sure where to shop? I've gotten ornaments from all over. Target has a great selection of bulbs, Michaels is bulk snowflakes and World Market has an incredible selection of separates.

3. Mix old and new. As if I'm not sensitive enough, I get all Sentimental Sally over the holidays. Thinking of family, great memories and new beginnings. It probably gets really annoying to those that aren't the same way. With my tree, I try to choose ornaments to give off those same feelings. Man, I'm such a sap.

For the old, I've been fortunate enough to inherit my +grandmother's snowflake ornament collection along with some other, more random decorations that were my favorite growing up. I've also collected the old metallic bulbs my mom used to decorate our Christmas tree with when I was a tot. While I use them as fillers, it reminds me of just how particular I was even at a young age.

For the new, I make it a goal to buy at least one new ornament a year that reflects a certain milestone or memory within that year. This year I picked up a stellar mosaic tile bulb from The Sarah Center Holiday Sale and a San Francisco trolley car from our family vaca earlier this year. I also have a Ruby slipper
from the year I got pup. Awww...

4. Get your craft on. On top of the new purchased ornaments, I decided to make a few extras because of some DIY ideas  posted to pinterest. I made glitter dear compliments of a Martha Stewart tutorial and glitter bulbs compliments of the same tactic. I saw a couple other ideas for glitter bulbs I liked but, being heavy handed with the glue, they looked awful. Visit my pinterest board for loads more DIY ornament ideas.  

 5. Trim in order of shape and size. Lastly but probably the most important, get prepared to trim the tree. The goal for trimming? Fill those holes! Start out by organizing your ornaments according to shape, size and purpose (filler or show pieces). For those that use garland and/or sprigs of berries or other decorative trimming, be sure to add that first so you can make sure it's evenly distributed and resting on the tree instead of an ornament.

For those going straight into ornaments, I typically start by hanging my small, circular bulbs first. I distribute evenly across the tree (don't forget the back!) in the most noticeable holes, varying the depth of placement to allow room for layering. Next, I hang the bigger bulbs and assign to the larger holes that still aren't fully filled in. Usually this are hung within the inside of the tree since the branches are naturally less full toward the trunk. From there, I hang my more decorative fillers (oblong, icicles and colored snowflakes), continuing to fill and evenly distribute across the tree. This is the point where a lot of stepping back, switching locations and swapping ornaments happens.

Finally, I take all my one-of-a-kind ornaments and arrange in the places they can be most easily viewed. My favorites go front and center and the rest go on the sides.

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