Creating Unique Christmas Tree Themes
by Julie Ann Bennet
Uniquely themed trees that break from tradition have grown in popularity the past few years. They are a fabulous way to bring a touch of whimsy to holiday celebrations.
Your Christmas tree can be used to reflect special hobbies such as doll, angel or teddy-bear collecting, ballet horses, boating, skiing or golfing. A theme like this creates a very personal holiday decorating scheme.
Current interests, activities and family events can be a source of themes that will add to family memories when viewed in the photo albums in the future. A wedding or baby theme can reflect the events of the past year or the year ahead. A special vacation can also inspire a fun theme such as a Disney character tree or fishing tree with lures, little fish ornaments and netting.
Themes can reflect where we live such as a nautical theme for a home near the water or a western theme for those in that area of the country. Such a theme can be created from fairly inexpensive materials: natural raffia bows, straw cowboy hats, red cardinals, dried chili peppers, and red bandanna print ribbon. Use strings of mini hurricane lamps for the lighting. For a topper add a spray of long pheasant tail feathers.
The following theme ideas can be implemented or used as a spring board for your imagination.
Red glass balls, loads of candy canes, red velvet bows, snowflakes, and gingerbread-man cookies or dough ornaments, accent it with white bead garland or icicle-look garland. Top it with a Christmas themed stuffed white teddy bear, these can often be found at the goodwill or thrift shop.
New arrival Celebration:
This would be an especially fun theme if you are going to be having a baby shower during the holidays. Pink, mint, lavender and blue frosted balls, plastic baby rattles in different shapes and pastel colors, knit baby booties, wooden alphabet blocks (you might want to spray paint them in a pastel color), baby bottles and pacifiers can be hung on the tree with pink and blue ribbons. Accent it with pastel colored plush toys, such as teddy bears, if you have them. Top it off with a poofs of pink and blue netting and a cherub and use a pretty baby blanket or quilt for the tree skirt.?
The Secret Garden :
This is a great theme to use if you are really into gardening. natural raffia, dried hydrangeas, fresh salal or ivy (it will dry naturally in the tree), flower seed packets (glue a bit of ribbon on the back to use as a tie), gardening shovels and tools can be tied with a raffia bow, and your tree skirt can be made inexpensively out of gardening burlap. To give an old world effect look for old fashioned skeleton key ornaments or find the real thing at a thrift or key shop and tie on with fabric ribbon. Your topper can be a gathering of branches accented with a bird nest and some forest birds. Branches and birds can also be used throughout the tree. The tree shown featured acrylic “crystal” look hummingbird ornaments that were hung to look as if they were drinking nectar from the hydrangeas.
Unique but traditional this theme celebrates the popularity of snowmen this season. It features rustic snowmen with gold accents to give it some glamour. To tie in with the gold we have added gold and white patterned ribbon, gold bead garland and matte gold balls. Snowflakes add texture and continue the winter look.
A theme like this offers various options for color schemes. I have done it in copper and silver, gold and silver but it would also be very pretty in greens and blues. Whatever color theme you choose most of these ornaments are easy to find and can be spray painted to match- never underestimate the power of a can of spray paint! It is one of my favorite Christmas decorating tools. Look for star fish, seahorse, shell and sand dollar ornaments or use the real thing if you live near the water…if you use real shells tie them to the tree with gold or silver cording. Paper mache’ clam shells make a great accent. I like to trail pearl bead garland coming out of the open clam shells. Look for a netting material or ribbon to wrap the tree with and add clear glass balls to create the effect of bubbles. This year I found some stunning large gold leaf gold fish to compliment this theme.
Julie Ann Bennett is an award winning designer and president of Holidays, a premier holiday display design firm in the Pacific North West.? Holidays’ client list includes the largest building on the West coast, The Columbia Tower in Seattle and The Hotel Monaco which was featured on a list of “The World’s Hippest Hotels” by In Style Magazine last year.