hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | decorating ideas

by | Nov 23, 2021 | Decorating, Holiday, Winter | 18 comments

I got my Christmas tree decorated over the weekend!  It has been hanging out with just lights, a star, and a skirt while I thought about how I wanted to decorate it this year.  I don’t do things dramatically different from year to year, but my main tree slowly evolves.  A few new ornaments and decorative elements come in and a few leave.  This year I decided to use my living room mantel as a springboard to create what I’m called a “hydrangea & homemade” Christmas tree.

I started out by getting rid of any ornaments that were tired, broken, or were just generic and I wasn’t in love with them any longer.  I wanted to nudge the Christmas tree this year into mostly homemade ornaments, my Wallace Sleigh Bells, some velvet ribbons, and dried natural elements like dried orange slices and hydrangea blooms.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

The first thing I did to create this “hydrangea & homemade” Christmas tree is to add some draped ribbon.  I always like to add something to the tree that creates either vertical or spiraling lines.  I usually do this with ribbon, bunting, or garland.  To me, it adds more visual structure to the decorations than just using ornaments alone.  This year, I used some velvet ribbon from Hobby Lobby and just let it drape.  It comes in three-yard spools and I used seven full spools (purchased on sale.)  I pinned all seven of the ribbons together, tucked them into the top of the tree, and then arranged the draping ribbons, tucking them loosely into the branches.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | ribbon garlands | miss mustard seed

It was a very quick and simple way to add a vertical detail to the tree.  And, the best part is that I didn’t cut the ribbon at all, so I can use it again next year or use it for other projects.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

I also wanted to add ribbons to all of my Wallace bells, ball ornaments, and any other ornaments that could use a pretty blue/gray ribbon.  It just felt like time to swap out all of the twine that I’ve been using for years.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

chunky crochet snowflake pattern & tutorial | blue velvet ribbon (my color is r3-355) 

I love how such a simple changed gave these mercury glass ornaments a fresh look.  I bought these years ago on clearance from Pottery Barn.

velvet ribbons on mercury glass ornaments | miss mustard seed

And all of my Wallace Bells got ribbons, too.  I ordered the ribbon last January to use for just this purpose!

wallace sleigh bells | miss mustard seed

You can buy past Wallace Sleigh Bells on Etsy & eBay | 2021 Wallace Sleigh Bell

I also used some Jacquard ribbon from my stash for ornaments that could use a little pattern.  These are wooden ornaments painted in MMS Milk Paint Shutter Gray.  You can find that tutorial HERE.

handmade wooden ornaments with Jacquard ribbons | miss mustard seed

And, of course, I needed to add some dried hydrangeas to my “hydrangea & homemade” Christmas tree!  These are Annabelle hydrangea blooms I dried out this summer.  You can find the tutorial on how I did that HERE.  I wish I would’ve thought about using them for Christmas and I would’ve dried a few more.

I just nestled them gently into the tree, making sure they were evenly dispersed.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

I did add a few store-bought ornaments this year.  I loved these gold birds from Anthropologie.  I just added some of my blue velvet ribbon for that homemade touch.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

And I added on lots of homemade ornaments for the homemade part of the “hydrangea and homemade” Christmas tree.  Homemade grain sack stockings and stars.  Balls I coated in blue German glass glitter and dried orange slices.  Chunky crocheted snowflakes and stamped clay ornaments.

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

felt monogram ornaments 

I love how this “hydrangea & handmade” Christmas tree looks homespun but elegant at the same time.  It feels intentional, yet homey.  I am planning to make a few more ornaments this year to add to the tree, although I am running out of real estate!  I always think I’ll go a little easier on the ornaments each year, but then I can’t help adding more.  I just like a full tree!

hydrangea & homemade christmas tree | miss mustard seed

Under the tree, I added an antique French laundry basket filled with quilts and some vintage hatboxes I picked up from a consignment store last year.  Having a few things under the tree looks nice and hides the stand and cords, but it also has a practical purpose.  The kitties were wrestling under the tree and the basket and boxes interrupted that!  Now, they use it as a hiding place.

I’m planning to get our smaller dining room tree up today…


  1. Anna

    I love the texture and color variety! Beautiful!

  2. sandi m

    Funny that Jenny is looking at the tree. I think she approves!!
    Tree has a serene feel this year…Lovely!!

  3. Beverlee Lyons

    You are doing your best work now, and I am thankful to have seen so many beautiful things over the years. It is all beautiful.

    • Nancy Johnson

      I agree! This is the best iteration of your living room yet. I’m inspired.

  4. April

    This is all so stunning Marian! I love ALL of your decor, throughout the year, and then the Christmas season! But this is absolutely my favorite of your trees, so far! So lovely! I can’t say enough about the whole setting!

    Thank you for sharing your gifts/talents with us & I hope you & yours have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving!

    PS will there be a Parson family song for Christmas this year?

  5. Babs

    Your tree is lovely! You and your family (including the cats, of course) will enjoy it all during the Christmas season. You are creating such a warm home for your family…such a refuge from all the chaos outside.

  6. Kimberly Carnegie Bruhn

    Wondering what that teeny little enamel sign “156” is….and what is it’s significance? I love stuff like that on a tree! Love your tree….and it just makes your new family room even cozier!

    • Marian Parsons

      I have a few of them and they are antique ceramic German tags. I’m not sure what they were originally used for, but I loved them and decided to use them as ornaments.

      • Addie

        I was thinking they were hotel “key tags”….???? maybe???
        When I saw only one…I was thinking it was the key tag from your Honeymoon Suite!!!!!!

    • Mona

      I want to know, too. 🙂

  7. Irene Kelly

    I too collect the Wallace SS Bells and have for many years. They keep so nice from year to year when I keep them in their original boxes. Just love your ideas for Christmas decorating esp in your blue color scheme. I use lots of ribbons on everything all during the year. They call me the bow lady !

  8. Cynthia

    Beautiful tree, Marian!

  9. Karen K from Buffalo

    Marian, you got me hooked on the Wallace Bells last Christmas. My grandsons have their own & after the holiday I kept searching & found ones for my daughter & her husband. I’m glad you shared a link for the 2021 bell as I purchased that for my husband & me. You are such an inspiration & I thank you for sharing your ideas with us.

  10. Addie

    Lovely glorious tree!!!! Your room will look sooooo bare after it all comes down!!!
    Miss Jenny is giving her approval.


    Marian, your tree is just beautiful! I love homemade ornaments, bows and ribbon on a tree. It just make it so special!

    Thanks for sharing. You always give us so many great ideas!

  12. Diane

    thank you for the suggestions. great ideas all. im going to Michaels today so I will pick ribbon for our ornaments. my daughter and I had already decided freshen up our ornaments wo buying new. your tree looks so nice! I really like!

  13. Kimberly Williams

    Where do i purchase the star on top of tree??
    Thank you so much 💓

  14. Karen B.

    This is stunning. I really love the simple unifying ribbon. I started my collection of Wallace Christmas bells a few years ago when you shared how you were using them. I’m waiting to find a bargain on the 2017 bell and then I will have one for each of my grandchildren.
    Have a wonderful weekend.
    Karen B.


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Marian Parsons - Miss Mustard Seed

I’m Marian, aka Miss Mustard Seed, a wife, mother, paint enthusiast, lover of all things home and an entrepreneur, author, artist, designer, freelance writer & photographer.  READ MORE to learn more about me, my blog and my business…


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