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