Christmas Trees 101

By Amelia Summers 

a.     There is no way of getting around getting around a tree. You just need one to anchor the Christmas spirit. Plastic is the best option for most students, and you can get them really cheap at the after Christmas sales and save it for next year, or shop early and hit up the first plastic tree sales of the season.

                                               i.     Beautiful ornaments are ridiculously expensive, so skip the insanity and buy in bulk. Get 2 contrasting colours of the assorted packages (silve/gold/red) of ornaments, and make them unique for only a few pounds.  Don’t forget to decorate the tree in layers. Put undecorated metallic ornaments all the way back to the tree post, and work your way out with more and more ornate ornaments to the edge of the tree. This will give your tree a more evenly decorated look and had a lot of depth when you turn the twinkle lights on.

1.     Layer white feathers down the long, thin ornaments with hot glue and tie a small bow around the neck of the ornament to conceal the feather stems at the top.

2.     Glitter is also a cheap way to make a huge difference. Cover the round metallic ornaments in a thin layer of glue and thoroughly cover in glitter.

3.     Pinecones had great texture to a tree. If you want a more natural, rustic look just fasten a ribbon to the top of the pinecone with hot glue. If you want a more chic tree, dip your pinecones in white paint, shake of all the excess, and wait until the paint is tacky. Then roll or sprinkle the pinecone in glitter.

4.     A key to making your plastic tree look complete is adding a tree skirt that ties in with your theme. They can be quite expensive so this is a cheaper way of “getting the look” can be by just getting some fabric from a fabric store that matches your tree theme and wrapping it around the base of the tree stand. If you have a rustic theme going, you can even get two types of material like a burlap and a red fabric that you can layer to add texture.

                                              ii.      Ribbon is fairly cheap and can had so much to your interior decorations. If you buy two rolls of 3inch think Christmas ribbon in the same colour(s) of your ornaments, you can really tie your Christmas theme together. Red and green works best for a rustic theme, and silver and/or gold paired with red or green works best for a more elegant theme.

1.     Ribbon wrapped around a tree can start to look less like a Martha Stewart tree and more like a kindergarden project if it isn’t done right. That’s why this year you should try vertical ribbon. For a full sized tree, measure the ribbon to twice the height of the tree plus a foot and use the extra foot to tie a bow in the middle. Do this 2-5 more times depending on the size of your tree, but knot the bows to the first bow so that you are left with a shape that if spread out would look like a wagon wheel with a massive bow in the middle. Fasten the bow to the top of the tree and spread out the long ends of the ribbon evenly around the tree.

2.     Spice up store bought or homemade wreathes with ribbon bows and fasten with a tack or more ribbon.

3.     Deck the halls with double ribbon bows. Take contrasting coloured ribbon and use both colours to make one bow (about 3 feet of each coloured ribbon to make 1 foot tall bows). Fasten to the outside of all the doors in your flat with a square of double sided tape or a tack.

i.       Wreaths are the easiest way to make your whole flat Christmasy. Have an empty wall? Hang three side by side evenly spaced to fill the wall. Hang a real wreath on the outside of the door to the bathroom to no only make your house smell like a real tree, but also to mask an odor.

1.     To make a chic theme wreath is take a foam wreath shape, rap one or two white feather boas around the shape to cover the foam, and again had a ribbon bow to hang or just to tie it in with your tree.

2.     To make a rustic theme wreath, take a foam wreath shape and hot glue fake or real cranberries onto the shape until all the foam is covered. If you foam shape has an angular cut, cut it round with a knife before you start. Once your cranberries are attached, hot glue or tack in two real or fake evergreen sprigs horizontally to the top of the wreath and attach a ribbon bow from the top middle of the wreath where the two sprigs meet.

3.     The same idea can be applied to jingle bells that you can get at your craft store. Hot glue them to a rounded foam wreath shape and hang on the inside of your front door. You will hear a nice, happy jingle every time you come home and anytime someone comes through the door.

4.     Don’t forget that you can use wreaths to finish off a center piece. Fill 1-3  tall glass candle holders with ornaments, decorated pinecones, and battery operated twinkle lights for a chic look, or fill with pinecones, acorns, cranberries, and evergreen sprigs for a rustic look. Then put a small wreath on the table and place your filled candle holder in the middle.

ii.     Don’t underestimate the atmosphere that can be created by including candles. Have your favorite large scented candles or wall pug-ins for Christmas smells, but pick up unscented coloured candles that match your theme at the grocery store or Primark to work into your Christmas displays. You can get packs of candles for very cheap and they add so much to the Christmas ambiance.