It’s a DIY Christmas

This past week I put up my tree, complete with the DIY ornaments I’ve been working on for a few weeks now. I got a lot of positive responses  and questions on how I made each kind of ornament, so I figured I’d let y’all know how I pulled this off!

(Bonus: Everything I put on the tree, plus the tree itself was all under $100!)

This is our first Christmas as a married couple, so we needed to buy a new tree for our apartment. We purchased this one from Wayfair and it arrived 21 hours after I ordered it! Vickerman North Valley 7.5′ Spruce Artificial Christmas Tree


This tree is NOT prelit. My parents bought a prelit tree about 10 years ago and after a few years of flawlessly plugging in the lights and fluffing the tree, strands started going out. When a strand goes out, you either have to cover up the dark section with another strand that may or may not give off the same amount of light as the others, OR you have to untwist the old strands from the tree (usually wrapped around each branch individually) and start from scratch.

Either way, we opted for unlit and it took us all of 10 minutes to wrap some lights around it!

After the lights, we placed my handmade pom pom garland. I used this tutorial from Pinterest: Pom Pom Garland


I love how it turned out! I used red and white/grey yarn and strung the finished pom poms on the leftover white/grey yarn. I suppose if you wanted a more ‘floating’ look you could use dark green yarn or fishing line to string them together. Making the pom poms was the most time consuming part of decorating, but totally worth it!

Now for the ornaments! I’d say about 50% of the ornaments are from a fallen sycamore branch I found at my grandma’s house. Here is the tutorial I used: DIY Birch Initial Ornaments

I had my dad cut them and Taylor drill the holes. I stamped them with Christmas/wintery stamps and strung them with some red ribbon. I love how some are perfectly circular and some are really knotted.

I bought the alphabet stamps at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 with a 40% off coupon and borrowed the rest from my mom. I decided to stamp both sides of the wood in case they turned on the tree. Pictured above are some of my favorites. (Bonus: you can also use these as a cute decoration on a gift!)

My next type of ornament is clay based. I tried a salt dough recipe first, but I wasn’t happy with how the color turned out. This tutorial makes a much whiter ornament: Better Than Salt Dough Ornaments

I doubled the recipe and got about 20 ornaments out of it. I had a gingerbread man, tree and snowflake cookie cutter, but the snowflakes are my favorite. Most of the other ornaments I made were dark, and these really brighten up the tree!

Moving right along! I hesitate to choose a favorite type of ornament because I love them all so much, but if I had to it would be these thumbtack ornaments. Here is the tutorial: DIY Thumbtack Ornaments

These were super easy and cheap! I got everything I needed at the Dollar Tree. The thumbtacks came in boxes of 300 (I used about 250 per ornament) and the styrofoam balls were 3 for $1. I opted not to spray paint them because I like the shiny metal look.

The easiest ornaments I made took about 3 minutes. I pulled out some cinnamon sticks I’ve had in my cabinet since sophomore year of college…and hot glued them together! Tutorial: Cinnamon Stick Star Ornament

They smell terrific and look great next to the sycamore ornaments. I only had enough cinnamon sticks for 2 ornaments, but I want to get more and decorate other parts of the apartment with these cute little stars.

The last type of ornament I made was sort of spur-of-the-moment. I bought some scrabble tiles from Amazon for another craft and had quite a few leftover. I saw this on Pinterest and decided to go for it:  Scrabble Tile Ornament

Confession: I did not follow this tutorial at all. I saw the photo and just ran with it. I think my way is much easier 🙂 I glued the scrabble tiles to a scrap of felt and cut around them, then glued a piece of twine to the back as a hanger. All done!!

No tree is complete without a tree topper. I searched and searched for one in the stores and just couldn’t justify spending over $20 on something I didn’t love. So guess how much I spent? Oh just about $0.25! Here’s the tutorial: Woven Star Tree Topper


I used red paper, because I didn’t think glittery gold would go well with my tree theme (and because I despise working with glitter down to my very core). It was much easier than it looks and took me about 10 minutes to make!

So there you have it! My 95% DIY, under $100 Christmas tree! Any other ornaments you see on the tree are store bought. Taylor and I have gotten each other an ornament for Christmas every year we’ve been together, and I picked up a couple I just couldn’t resist at Hobby Lobby. (Bonus: The tree skirt is one I found at the Dollar Tree for $1)

If you try out any of these tutorials, let me know how it goes and send me a photo of your finish Christmas tree masterpiece! I had a blast making all of this stuff and love looking at my pretty tree 🙂

Merry Christmas and happy decorating!