The simplest ornaments ever! Flowers and Gift Tags

gift-tags-and-flowersToday I’m going to share with you my two best Christmas decorating tricks ever. Long time readers know I feel very strongly about my Christmas decorating methods, so when I say they’re my best, it’s saying something. They are both so simple that it felt like cheating to give each one its own post, but knowing them will totally change how you decorate. They are: 1.) If you can’t hang it, wire it. And 2.) Any cheap ornament can be fabulous. See? So simple. You probably had those same thoughts yourself. But! That’s why they’re my best tricks. Once you start using them and see how far they can take you, you’ll see how important they are. And today, I have a tutorial for each to show you what I mean.


flower-step-1To show you how gorgeous untraditional ornaments can be, I’m going to add some floral to my Nostalgic Home themed tree I’ve been sharing with you this week. I love using floral elements in a Christmas tree because it brings a whole new set of shapes and textures and scale to a tree. Sometimes trees can get a little too samesies with only hanging ornaments and round balls. (But a tree dripping in ONLY hanging ornaments or round balls? Gorgeous.) I picked a giant poinsetta and leaf that I want to use together without all the giant wires that they usually come on. Just pop off whatever you want to use.


flower-step-2Arrange the pieces together however you want them to lay.


flower-step-3Thread a piece of wire under all your floral pieces.


flower-step-4Twist the wires over and around all of the floral pieces until they’re well supported and secure, then twist the leftover ends together to use to wrap them around the branches.


tag-step-1 Now! As proof that any cheap old ornament can be fabulous, I’m going to take that black plastic gift tag up there and make it a gorgeous ornament. For starters, I used a silver sharpie to write a message. My handwriting is fine, not calligraphy, and I used it anyway. I’m a firm believer that for something as sentimental as a Christmas ornament, there’s nothing as beautiful as your actual handwriting to the people you love.


tag-step-2Then I doodled a little border. Dots in the corners and sides.


tag-step-3Connect the dots with dashes.


tag-step-4And add a couple more dots above those other dots. Dots and dashes, since I am not an avid doodler. I bet a zentangler could make something pretty spectacular.


tag-step-5Add a loop of gold thread through the top and then tie a bow with the prettiest ribbon you can find. I got this antique velvet ribbon at a store in New York I’ve been dreaming of going to since I saw it in the Martha Stewart magazine years and years ago. Whatever ribbon I bought at that shop had to be used on something special, and I knew a Christmas ornament was just the thing. I’ll get sick of a new dress, but a Christmas ornament will be a tradition.


tags-and-flowersSo maybe you’re thinking: Flowers and gift tags, big deal. But this is like the wax on wax off of Christmas tips. I wired a flower into the Christmas tree, but what *else* could be wired to a Christmas tree? Literally anything. Whatever thing is your favorite. Whatever you can imagine. A collection of sports trophies. Action figures. Open umbrellas. Shoes. At a design center I actually saw a BICYCLE wired into a tree. And it was surrounded in flowers and butterflies and picnic basket ornaments and it was the cutest thing you ever did see. Just think about how much you would love to have a Christmas tree customized to your very specific tastes. You can do that. The same is true for making any cheap ornament fabulous. Christmas decorating is expensive. It is a total luxury to go big with your decor. So if you can take something from the dollar store or the craft store or the thrift store and make it look like it actually did come from the department store, you get luxury on the super cheap. With sentimental details, sparkle from paint or glitter or both, and really good ribbon, you save yourself a fortune.