20 Alternative Christmas Trees

Some Decembers an actual tree just isn’t feasible. Maybe you’ll be gone most of the month and it doesn’t seem worth the trouble. Maybe your place is on the small side and space is at a premium. Maybe money is tight and every dollar is going toward your bills. No matter the case there are plenty of options for making your home holiday ready! Have a look at the twenty options below for inspiration and DIY projects that think outside the tree. (Sorry, I had to.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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3 Agate DIYs for the Holidays

 

Agate is one of those things that never really goes out of style. Case in point: I still remember the brown agate drink coasters we had on the coffee table when I was a kid! The banded stone has been back in the spotlight for a few years and I’ve been looking for a project that would make it the star. Here are three different ways to use agate and birch slices in your holiday season in three super easy DIY projects. I love how they all turned out and can’t wait to add them to my own festivities and gifts!

 

 

Supplies
birch slices (with pre-drilled holes)
agate slices
superglue
• permanent metallic marker
• string
• needle nose pliers

 

 

All three of these projects start the same way, by matching up the birch and agate pieces. Once you’ve done that work quickly to place a few drops of superglue on the wood before affixing the stone and pressing together firmly. Because we don’t need the pre-drilled hole for this gift topper, go ahead and cover it with the agate slice. I really like this DIY because sometimes a plain kraft box looks so nice on its own but needs something extra – the gift topper is a sweet little extra that the recipient can keep.

 

 

 

For this colorful birch and agate place card repeat the first few steps from above. Once the two pieces are firmly attached to one another use your permanent metallic marker to write out each guest’s name. I chose to follow the natural shape of the stone with my letters.

 

 

 

 

Again follow the first few steps outlined above, this time leaving the pre-drilled hole in the birch accessible. You may need to use a small nail or skewer to clear any wood pulp debris from the opening before threading the string and tying a knot. (Use a pair of needle nose pliers if you need a little help pulling it through.) I used 6-inch lengths of single-strand white thread to make it as invisible as possible.

 

 

 

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Buy or DIY: Stockings

What kind of stockings did you grow up with as a kid? Mine was the red felt kind that you can still buy literally anywhere, with my name written on the white part in glitter. I loved it and it still hangs at my Mom’s house every Christmas! Stockings are my favorite part of gift opening, so I thought it apt to do a Buy or DIY post dedicated to this very special holiday tradition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re Invited: Christmas Brunch

 

Does your holiday crew favor a big dinner on Christmas Eve or Day, or are you more into brunch like my family? I grew up for years with a dinner on the 25th, but at some point in the last decade everyone voted to switch over to a more casual brunch. There’s the chance that at some point I may inherit the event, so I’m always planning how things might play out in my mind – and usually here as well. The big thing of course is the menu. I like to have a close to 50/50 split of sweet and savory to make sure everyone is happy. Keep reading for some holiday brunch inspiration and check out past years – 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 – for more!

 

Christmas Greetings Garland // DIY Veneer Wood Chain // Front Door Wreath // Found Wood Sled // Glass Jug Lantern Candle Holder // Ivory Bottle Brush Tree // Libra Christmas Tree Stand // Lit Acrylic Starburst Tree Topper // Metal Bells // Metal Star Banner // Silver Tuscany Tinsel Faux Tree // Vintage Snowflake String Lights

 

Cranberry, Clementine + Rosemary Cocktails // Fresh Mint Cocoa with Matcha Marshmallows // Glogg AKA Scandinavian Mulled Wine // Holiday Spiced Tea // Persimmon Spiced Rum Old Fashioned // Pomegranate Cider Mimosas with a Salted Caramel Rim

 

18th Street Cereal Bowl // 20-piece Rush Gold Flatware Set // Crush Wine Glass // DIY Air Plant Wreath Place Cards // Green Glass Jug Vases // Hewn Teak Charger // Hibi Tumblers (Set of 4) // Holly Leaves Trivet // Jingle Bell Twine Napkin Ring (Set of 4) // Maebry Copper Punch Mugs (Set of 4) // Mango Wood Taper Candle Holder // Poplin Plum Napkins // Rose Gold Salt and Pepper Grinders // Mercer Dinner Plates // Wood Marble Tree Board

 

Chocolate Cheesecake Swirl Muffins // Goat Cheese Scrambled Eggs // Maple Oatmeal Biscuits // Pumpkin Spice Croissants // Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots // Overnight Caramel French Toast // Parmesan Crusted Delicata Squash // Potato and Apple Home Fries // Pumpkin Spice Belgian Waffles + Toasted Pecans // Slow Cooker Steel Cut Oats with Apple and Cranberries // Warm Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Pine Nuts + Sweet Onion Balsamic // Zucchini Herb Fritters

 

Cocoa Pot with Acacia Finish // Divided Oval Serving Bowl // Fishs Eddy Gilded Serving Platter // Glass Pitcher // Mango Wood Serving Bowl // Marble + Brass Cake Stand // Gold Mixing Bowl Set of 3 // Open Kitchen Handled Platter // Pattern 127 Serving Spoon

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Buy or DIY: Ornaments

 

Somehow, through no planning on my part, a magical window of time opened up the Saturday after Thanksgiving and I was able to decorate my tree. This is the first time I’ve ever had a white one and I’m very into the way all of my brighter colored ornaments pop against it. I have a great ornament project coming your way next week, but in the meantime here are twenty to buy and twenty to DIY!

 

1/ Cardboard Ornaments, Set of 2
2/ Agate Slice Ornament
3/ Beaded Eye Ornaments, Set of 3
4/ Budding Monogram Ornament
5/ Ceramic Open Ball Ornament

 

6/ Double-Dip Ceramic Moon Ornament
7/ Geo Tassel Ornament
8/ Glass Ball Ornaments, Set of 4
9/ Glass Candle Clip Ornament
10/ Glinted Houseplant Ornament

 

11/ Handpainted Ornament
12/ Jingle Bell Tree Ornament
13/ Luna Stars, Set of 6
14/ Metal Bell with Velvet Ribbon Ornament
15/ Mini Gold Reindeer Ornament

 

16/ Muted Metallic Ball Ornaments, Set of 4
17/ Rainbow Iridescent Ornaments, Set of 3
18/ Shiny-Brite Bird Ornaments, Set of 6
19/ Wooden Starburst Ornament
20/ Wooden Tree Ornament Set

 

1/ DIY Alcohol Ink Ornaments
2/ DIY Brass Ornaments
3/ DIY Wood Beads Wreath Ornament
4/ DIY Disco Ball Ornaments
5/ DIY Fresh Greenery Ornaments

 

6/ DIY Glitter Scallop Ornaments
7/ DIY Gradient Ornaments
8/ DIY Mini Wall Hanging Ornaments
9/ DIY Mini Wreath Ornaments
10/ DIY Need Felted Star Ornament

 

11/ DIY Modern Diorama Ornament
12/ DIY Paper Candle Ornaments
13/ DIY Reindeer Clothespin Ornaments
14/ DIY Wooden Modern Bell Ornaments
15/ DIY Wooden Ornaments

 

16/ DIY Minimal Wrapped Tree Ornaments
17/ DIY Geode Ornament
18/ DIY Scented Baking Soda Ornaments
19/ DIY Memphis Design Ornaments
20/ DIY Zodiac Rhinestone Ornament

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Buy or DIY: Wreaths

 

Have you decorated your entire place or not even started? Are you going all out or keeping things simple? This year I find myself in the DONE and SIMPLE categories and I’m 100% find with it. The first thing I did the day after Thanksgiving was hang my favorite wreath on the front door… because last year’s decoration boxes never got put away but rather sat at the top of the cellar stairs. (How’s that for Insta ready?!) During the holidays it seems you have to pick your battles, and some of them include whether you want to spend hours crafting or would rather place an order online. I getcha and I’ve got your back with this selection of wreaths you can either buy or DIY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Mega Christmas Sweets Roundup

1/ Almond Buckwheat Chocolate Brittle
2/ Apple Walnut Oatmeal Cookies
3/ Belgium Waffle Maple Fudge
4/ Caramel and Cardamom Kisses
5/ Cardamom Cake Mix Cookies with Saffron Sugar
6/ Caramel Apple Spice Thumbprints
7/ Cashew Filled Baklava Rolls
8/ Carrot Cake Cookies
9/ Chai Spiced Salted Caramel Macarons
10/ Cherry & Lime Macaroons

 

11/ Cherry Chestnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
12/ Chocolate Flecked Slice and Bake Cookies
13/ Chocolate Graham Crackers (GF)
14/ Chocolate Salted Caramel Cookies
15/ Chocolate Tahini Fudge
16/ Chocolate-Peanut Butter Marbled Biscotti
17/ Cinnamon Sugar Pie Crust Cookies
18/ Cranberry and Almond Oatmeal Cookies
19/ Cranberry Cherry Ribbon Cookies
20/ Cranberry Wafer Cookies

 

21/ Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Shortbread Cookies
22/ Dulce de Leche Cookie Bars
23/ Easy No-Bake White Chocolate Thin Mints
24/ Espresso Caramel Shortbread Bites
25/ Fluffy Vanilla Nougat
26/ Frosted Soft Sugar Cookie Bars
27/ Gingerbread and Honey Jumbles
28/ Gluten-Free Chocolate Dipped Gingersnaps
29/ Hazelnut & Caramel Cookies
30/ Healthy Almond and Cinnamon Christmas Stars

 

31/ Homemade Chocolate Bars
32/ Lemon Cranberry Biscotti
33/ Malted Hazelnut & Nutella Chocolate Chip Cookies
34/ Christmas Maple Sugar Cookies
35/ Matcha Oreos
36/ Lemon Shortbread Cookies
37/ Meyer Lemon Pizzelle
38/ Middle Eastern Millionaire’s Shortbread
39/ Nutter Butters
40/ Oatmeal Chewies

 

41/ Orange Chocolate Cantucci Biscuits
42/ Pecan Praline Cookies
43/ Pumpkin Ginger Sandwich Cookies
44/ Rosemary Chocolate Biscotti
45/ S’mores Bites
46/ Salted Caramel Cookies + Coffee Chocolate Drizzle
47/ Salted Dark Chocolate Chip and Roasted Pecan Cookies
48/ Peppermint Bark Cannoli
49/ Chewy Gingerbread Cookies
50/ Walnut Mushroom Cookies

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November Favorites

1/ 3 Pack of Assorted Mini Air Plants
After the sad little air plant (tillandsia) that never grew, but that I’d managed to keep alive for three years, kicked the bucket last month I picked up some new babies/victims. I also bought some for my Grandma as a Christmas gift because she’s another plant lover and had never heard of them! Now to keep those alive for at least a few weeks…

2/ 7 ft Pre-Lit Alberta Spruce Tree
I picked up this tree last year post-holiday season and love it! The lights are so bright that I don’t plan on using any lamps in my living room until I take it down in January, and the white branches create such a pretty canvas for all of my ornaments.

3/ House Bud Vase
If you haven’t checked out Target’s Hearth & Hand collection yet please do so, because it’s one of the best I’ve seen there in many years. Along with a few large vases and potholders, I picked up one of these house bud vases to add to my collection.

4/ Bombas Socks
I love a buy one/give one business model, so I couldn’t resist when Bombas asked me to check out their socks. My expectations weren’t all that high and I ended up being beyond impressed – no stretching out and no slouching down! Right now get 20% off using code COZY20, and returning customers can get 20% off any holiday product using FAVORITES20.

5/ IKEA 365+ Glasses
These short little glasses are perfect for so many things, though I uses them most frequently for wine. They’re safe for both hot and cold temperatures and can act as glasses or bowls, and for $3.99/6 pack you can’t beat ’em.

6/ Tatiana Loafers
Loafers are everywhere this autumn, and I couldn’t resist this burgundy suede pair. The first time I wore them I received so many compliments that I knew I’d made the right call. They’re also available in desert rose and metallic leather options. Right now ABLE is offering free shipping on all jewelry orders and all orders over $99.

7/ Case Study Planters
I’ve owned three of these for a few years now, but every time I water my plants I’m reminded of just how well-crafted and beautiful they are. The planters themselves are available in both black and white pottery while the plinths and stands have a light and dark wood option.

8/ Aera Diffuser
This is a new addition to my battle against having a home that smells like my pets. Since I started using it about two weeks ago my home has been smelling consistently good. Aera has an adjustable strength setting and is so quiet that I hardly notice it’s working. Oh, and it works with your smartphone!

9/ Trap Pitcher
You just can’t wrong with a simple glass pitcher. This one was a Black Friday purchase last year that I use for water, cocktails, and even as a vase. It’s just the right size – not too big and not too small – at about 9-inches tall.

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DIY Modern Cone Trees

 

I first made this ridiculously easy project a few years ago and can’t believe it’s taken me so long to share with you! This trio of DIY modern cone trees are a statement maker on their own or pair them with your other decor – I favor plenty of bottlebrush trees. I think they’d also be really pretty in any other color and the glitter would really pop!

 

 

Supplies
paper mache cones (the ones I used are 16-inch and 12-inch)
pearlescent white craft paint
• medium paint brush or craft sponge
clear craft glitter
• newsprint or something similar

 

 

Step 1. Spread out the newsprint or something else that will protect the surface of whatever you’re creating your trees on. (It’s the glitter that’s going to get messy, not the paint.)

Step 2. Do one tree at a time, start by painting with long vertical strokes. You can do either one coat of paint for a more textural look – the paper will show through a bit – or two for more coverage, but whichever look you prefer make sure the paint is still wet when we get to the next step.

 

 

Step 3. Rather than using glue you’ll be relying on the wetness of the paint to adhere the clear glitter to the cone for a pretty, snowy look. (You could also use regular glitter if that’s your preference, or mix the two together.) With the tree held horizontally over the covered surface, gently sprinkle the glitter as you rotate the cone. I went with about 50% coverage on my trio, so you gauge how much you’d like from that estimate.

Step 4. Allow to dry completely. If you’d like an extra layer of protection/glitter adhesive, you can add a coat of clear spray varnish at this point before allowing it to again dry completely.

Step 5. DONE.

 

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