12.04.2009

Frugal Friday: How to decorate a Christmas Tree for under $5

Hello all my lovely readers!! Happy Friday!!


Let me start today's post by explaining a little bit about this year's Christmas at The Shabby Nest. As you may know, we are moving. Well, here's the kicker...we're moving out BEFORE Christmas. Yes. BEFORE Christmas. (note to self....never move at Christmas time again.) We will be spending the actual holiday with my in-laws which will be absolutely lovely, but in the meantime things are a bit, shall we say, chaotic. Still, I couldn't let a house with four kiddos go without a Christmas tree now could I?


So this past Tuesday, we made our annual trek with the Hubby's family to a Christmas tree farm about an hour away (the same place his family has been going for the last 37 years) to get our tree. I told the Hubby that since we are moving, I was not pulling out the regular Christmas decor, and I wanted a small tree. We found the perfect little tree.


Once we got it home and put the lights on it, I explained to the kiddos that we were going to do something a little different this year. They were fine with that as long as there were still Christmas lights involved...because to them, that's all that really mattered.


Inspired by these two trees in the PB catalog (yes, there's that old PB catalog again)...


Photo from Pottery  Barn
Photo from Pottery Barn

we created this sweet little tree. I'm calling it our Family Tree...



I printed out a bunch of black and white family photos (wallet sized) and simply punched holes in them and added twine to hang.


This is my favorite engagement photo outtake of me and the Hubby- notice "the Rachel" hairdo...circa 1995



That was the end of day one (and the tree was not done). The next day, the Toddler Demolition Team and I made a trip to Walm*rt and purchased a package of stencils. The kids thought I was a little nuts, but they humored me. I punched holes in the cards and added twine as well.




We used some snowflake ornaments purchased last year at the dollar store (I tried to avoid getting them out, but the kids spotted them in the box when I was getting out the lights, and hey, it's Christmas, and they're kids.)

Instead of a tree skirt, I just wrapped the base in some pretty black and white damask fabric that I had in my stash. It lends itself well to the color scheme and adds a bit of elegance as well.


Finally, to top it off, Mr. Two fell in love with this funny star (also at Walm*rt for $1) and had to have it for the tree. I wasn't too jazzed about it, but I bought it anyway. Then I hit upon the idea of combining the book wreath project with the star to make something fitting for our Family Tree. I just rolled up pages from an old book and hot glued them to the back of the star. I. LOVE. IT. Mr. Two couldn't figure out why I would glue "sticks" on the star, but when I told him that the "sticks" made the star extra special, he went along with it. :-)

It must be noted too that aside from putting on the lights, and the star, I let the kiddos decorate the tree by themselves (and I only moved a couple of things afterwards...I couldn't help myself...it's an illness, really.)


So here's the $$ rundown...


Lights............ free (already in our Christmas stash)

Tree skirt....... free (from my fabric stash)

Photos........... free (printed right off the computer)

Twine............. $1 (dollar spot at Tar-jay)

Stencils.......... $1.49 (Wally-world)

Star................ $1 (Also at Wally-world)

Snowflakes..... free (in our Christmas stash - but purchased at the dollar store initially)



Grand total....$3.49



There's some frugal decorating going on here, oh yeah! And you know, I think this may just be one of my favorite trees yet. Everyday I get to look at the faces of those I adore smiling back at me from a tree that celebrates the most wonderful season of the year. Isn't that what it's all about?


Have a great weekend~

51 comments:

debra said...

That looks great! You would never know it cost so little. What would be do without the Pottery Barn catalog for inspiration??

Julie said...

What a lovely tree! I love it, and it has such a wonderful meaning! Beautiful! Have a wonderful weekend! xoxo

pk said...

pk @ Room Remix
OMG! I just did a post with the same idea of stencil ornaments AND the pottery barn photo! :-) Your tree looks ADORABLE and I LOVE the star topper. I like your stencil better than mine too. Have a good weekend!

Holly said...

OOOOOHH!! It is absolutely adorable!! And,...so wise.:)

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

WOW this is great! I love eveything about it. What a fabulous idea.

Thanks so much for sharing!
Kate

Stephanie Lynn said...

That tree is amazing - I love it! I just read the Room Remix and saw the stencils too - LOVE LOVE LOVE it! Great job!

Shannon said...

Thanks for sharing this! I love the way the tree looks! $3.49, that is unreal! Have a great Friday!

Lindsay said...

Wendy I LOVE your tree! I love all your Pottery Barn inspirations...I too flip the seasonal catalog and recreate things in a frugal manner. We just bought a house and escrow closes December 20th. Way to think it out huh? I'm not in the Christmas spirit yet because I haven't decorated to take it all down in two weeks. I may just follow your lead :)

Where are you moving too? Hugs!

Our really empty nest said...

WOW your tree is adorable! I have got to get that PB catalog, great job to your kiddos too! Sue

Stacey @ The Blessed Nest said...

Very very very cute! I'm loving all the photos! :)

steffany said...

Very nice tree, I love your simple, yet beautiful ideas.

sweetpicklesandchocolate said...

wow I can't beleive that is all you spent. It's just as nice as the PB tree too!

Dena

elisabeth bova said...

i must go and get me some of those stencils! oh, the possibities! thanks for the tip! love the tree!

Barb said...

love it....Barb

Single Stone Studios said...

The photos are the perfect touch!

Katrina Chambers said...

Creative idea! So easy and looks like lots of fun!

Carmen said...

How cute! Great job!!!! I wish you a stress-free move this season. Well, as close to stress-free as it can be. :)

Jen said...

Looks very class and I love how you used pics of the family! I am doing something similar! http://goldfishcrumbs.blogspot.com/2009/12/photo-garland.html

Sherri @ Design2Shine said...

Your $5 tree decor beats my $20 decor budget!!! But I had so much FUN trying to come up with ideas and make everything. So KUDOS to those of us, thinking outside the BOX, being frugal and ENJOYING the simple homemade Christmas ideas!!! Thanks for sharing. Beautiful post, gorgeous tree.

arkie said...

That is a wonderful tree!

Vanessa said...

How creative! I think it looks great! Love the idea of the b&w's! Thanks for sharing! We just moved at the beginning of October and it was CRAZY! I can't imagine moving at this time of year! God bless your soul! Have a great one!
Vanessa

Tiffany said...

Wendy, this is so funny because we just got our tree this week and it is decorated with white lights, a fabric garland, and black & white family photos. I just knew we were kindred spirits! : )

We aren't moving but my little man is 16 months and a maniac so I didn't want to put all the little ornaments and hooks and stuff on tree.

I guess great minds think alike, huh? : 0 I put cardboard on the back of mine and hot glued red ribbon to the back to hang them with. I love the result.

I am loving the stencils though. Such a great touch! Thanks for sharing your beautiful tree!

julie said...

great job! it looks wonderful! i might have to copy! and i love the book wreath! xo

Shannon said...

OH, I just love it! It's so pretty!

Anna said...

good luck with your move! Your tree looks great, I love the black and white pictures

TheOldPostRoad said...

Way to go! I am admiring your frugalness!
-Trish

Andrea said...

I love it!! The stencils are just the right touch along with the B&W photos!

Laura said...

I love that in the midst of all the moving craziness you & your family are going through, you created a beautiful, special memory for your children.
It looks fantastic!

Astrid said...

Beautiful tree! The stencils add such a neat touch.

Good luck with the move!

Tammy @ tinselshop.com said...

This might be the best tree I have seen decorated in blogland! I have a 5ft tree in the family room where my 3 little ones play and have opted not to add ornaments so I don't spend the day saying "STOP TOUCHING THE TREE"! I love this idea and think I will do the same. Thanks for the inspiration!

Best wishes,
Tammy

Misti of Studio M Designs said...

Hey, your tree looks better than most glitzy, all decked out trees! I love it! My husband works out of town and I printed out pictures for his little tree. Such an inexpensive idea and even more meaningful! Yours looks fabulous!

~Misti

LuLu said...

I'm so happy i finally have a moment to get caught up... i stopped here first and you just lite up my day!!!! OH i think it is the cutest ever.... and because i've been so busy with my sale we haven't decorated our family tree yet! This has given my a huge idea to add to our tree... hee hee
Thanks for being so wonderful and sharing all your amazing ideas!!You've given me so much courage to try my dream.
xo,
LuLu

Angie said...

I think it looks wonderful and so special! You are so creative!

seanymph said...

Sigh........ Im doing the very same thing. Im moving before Christmas and staying with my bfs folks till we find a home which most likely wont be till after Christmas. So this yr I dont have a Christmas :(

Even harder, my kids and grandkids are here and wont be up there where Im going. My closing will be in a week or so, so I dont have any decor out and Im going nuts here.

Its like someone cut off my arm, I cant see it but I still feel it. I will never ever move this time of yr. again. Well most likely I wont be moving ever again anyway. Im older and I said this new house will be my last home. But its sure frustrating to see all the blogs going on about the holiday and such great ideas and wanting to do it all......only Im packing instead of unpacking my holiday stuff. Sigh~

Lainey-Paney said...

Love it.

Richella said...

This is wonderful! Your tree looks gorgeous. I love the fact that you didn't forgo the tree, even though you're about to move. GOOD FOR YOU. And good for us, because we get a glimpse at how wonderful it can look for so little money! Thanks for an inspiring post.

Perfectly Pleasant said...

What a great tree!

Vera said...

How WONDERFUL! I haven't read all the comments & maybe someone has already mentioned it, but wouldn't this be fun to do with sheet music? "Silent Night", or maybe the Hallelujah Chorus?

I'll be moving Christmas week, but I see a project for next year!!! Thanks for sharing!

Robyn said...

OHHH LOVE it! I did some dollar store decorating too this year! Your tree is lovely and so FULL of memories!

M.O.T.B said...

Did you print the photos on special paper? I love the picture tree idea!

Wendy @ The Shabby Nest said...

Hi MOTB...hope you drop by again...I just printed the photos on cardstock. Nothing fancy, but nice and thick.

xoxo
Wendy

Heather said...

Love your Christmas trees, these are some great tips!! Thanks for sharing them! Merry Christmas!

sweetjeanette said...

Fabulous!!! I love, love, LOVE the family tree!!!!

Thank you for the tour!

Come to my Christmas Goodies Recipe Exchange and link up Dec 15

Michael, Trisha, Grace, and Anna said...

♥ it! Your house looks fabulous!
Blessings~ Trisha

Mrs. Nepper said...

Absolutely love your tree. So original, and I love the price tag!

Cha Cha said...

Cute tree, great idea. GOD BLESS AND MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Erica said...

We just moved to our new house Thanksgiving week. In my last move I got crazy and threw out all my old shatterproof ornaments to force myself to redo the tree this year. Well, it's less than 2 weeks to Christmas, and my tree is still bare. Thanks for the great idea! I think I'll start on it this afternoon!

Angie @ The Shabby Chic Cottage said...

WOW!!! Great job!

Gabby said...

Your creativity deserves a moment of silence.........

Well done Master Craftswoman!

Rona's Home Page said...

I'm really enjoying the 2009 Christmas Home Tour. Many of you are so talented and creative.
I love your use of twine. I recycle Christmas cards ~ punching a hole and tying a ribbon. I'll definitely use twine next year.
Your decorations are so beautiful!
Thank you for the tour.

Heather at Happy Chippy Junk said...

Holy DARLING!!! Oooo I love it!!