Posts Tagged ‘christmas decor’

Top 3 Christmas Tips That are Game Changers

I have been married for 22 years and have been collecting Christmas decor way before I was married.  I have learned some tips over the years that have really come in handy.  In this post I’m going to share my top 3 Christmas tips that were game changers in my Christmas decorating.  I think you will really benefit from doing these things in your home as well.

Save everything including, pieces of scrap ribbon from year to year.

Save Everything

Once I started saving everything it really helped.  I save every piece of ribbon I cut.  I try to keep everything organized.  You may have your own system for how things are organized in your home.  You can check out some of my organizational tips here and more will be coming in January.  I wised up about 2 years ago after getting so frustrated with my attic.  I had so much holiday stuff and decor that I was buying duplicates because I wasn’t able to see what I had anymore. I found a clever way to display the majority of my stuff. Pictures of my attic will be coming in January.

Other things I keep are pieces of my artificial tree and garland that fall off as I’m fluffing it.  I used to just chuck it right in the trash.  Then I found myself buying these exact pieces and picks from Michaels to use in vignettes and holiday trays when I could easily be using the extra pieces that fall out of my arrangements. You never know when you just need one or two of something to make it perfect.  This could mean holly pieces, leaves, berries, pinecones, pieces of fruit, etc….

I try to save ribbon, berries, pinecones and anything else I can think of to use in various decor for Christmas.

Ribbon Changes Everything

If you don’t have the money to change your ornaments every year, but you want a different look, I would highly suggest investing in ribbon.  You can think about your theme ahead of time and find some great ribbon on sale.  Right after Christmas you can find designer ribbon on sale at Dillard’s and Macys, and then of course craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and other floral stores.  I invest in neutral colored ornaments like mercury glass, silver, gold, clear, and white then I change out ribbon and I have a completely different look every year.   The goal is to think of using the stuff you have and shop your home first.  Then if you want to go out and purchase a couple nice things to add to your collection every year you will end up with beautiful holiday decor over time.  Just remember it is not something that happens overnight.  I have been married for 22 years and am still enjoying putting together new Christmas themes.

Coastal Christmas tree done in gorgeous blue, green and natural elements.

I got this ribbon from Dillard’s at the end of the year sale.  I’ve used it in this coastal themed tree, a peacock tree, and a blue and pink angel tree as well.  Just let your creativity run wild.  You can recycle your supplies to use them in many different ways.  I used to store my ornaments by the tree I was going to use them on.  Then I started storing them by color. This gave me the freedom to change how I was grouping my colors and create new combinations in ways I had never even thought of before.

You Can Alter Things From Their Original State

This one is HUGE.  It took me so long before I realized it was “ok” to alter things.  For example, this year I bought a bundle of greenery from Michaels.  At the time, I wasn’t sure what I was going to use it for, but I thought it was interesting and it might come in handy.  It is literally one of my favorite pieces I used in my tree this year. It was the exact texture I was looking for to pull off the softness in my white tree pictured below. However, I would never have used it as the bundle it came in on a Christmas tree.  It was bulky and would have looked horrible.  I’m so glad I didn’t pass it up due to not being able to see past it in the bunch it was sold in.  I have never once regretted a decision to cut a ribbon or pull a pear off an arrangement to use in another place.  Go with your gut.  You know what your decorating needs are and in all honesty, most pieces can be wired back in or glued.

Lots of texture was used to create the elegant look of this tree.

Hopefully these tricks and tips will help you this year when you’re thinking about your decorating.  Look for great sales and continue to collect quality pieces over time.

Yours Truly,



The Best Way to Decorate Your Tree Step-By-Step

Creating a Christmas tree that you love is easier than you think.  It is a labor of love, but you can create one that looks just like the professional trees you see in magazines and on tv shows. You can achieve this look by layering your tree with lots of different textures, ornaments, and ribbon.  I will break this tree down as I decorate to show you the steps I take in decorating my trees.  My trees may look different every year, but the process is always the same.

 Breaking down the steps to decorating this gorgeous Burberry Plaid tree.

Start by taking all your boxes out of storage.  You need to be able to see everything you have in order to decorate at your best.  This step is very important. Don’t skip it.

Bring all your Christmas stuff out of storage before you start decorating.

I’m lucky to have a walk in attic that gives me quite a lot of storage space.  If you don’t have that space you could use your garage, a closet, a storage locker, or shed if you need more room.  Lay out all your ornaments, sprays, and picks so you can see what you have.

Spread out your ornaments and floral supplies so you can see everything as you decorate.

Now it is time to actually put your tree together (if you’re using an artificial one.)  My husband is allergic to real trees so this is what we use. I actually like them, because you can put them up any time you’re ready and they can be manipulated very easily.

Now it's time to put your tree together.

Fluffing your tree before you put the ornaments on is the step I hate the most.  I would definitely advise you to wear a long sleeve shirt while doing this.  I learned the hard way. Stringing lights and fluffing trees in short sleeves can leave cuts on your hands and arms for weeks.Adding lights and a stomper make your tree go the extra mile.

If you buy a tree without lights then you need to add them at this point. You usually need 100 lights per foot.  For example, if you have a 9 foot tree, you need 900 lights.  Make sure you buy lights that have a cord that is the same color as your tree.  For example, if you have a green tree then the cord needs to be green.  If you have a flocked tree then your cord should be white.  Also, cut the tags off the cords.  You don’t want those showing through your tree after all the hard work you put in. I felt like my tree didn’t have enough lights so I added a string of lights around the tree and then I put twinkling lights down the center to give it a hint of sparkle for that wow factor.

I make a bag every year of much have supplies.

At the end of the season I put away my most used supplies in a bag or box and put that at the top of all my stuff.  I usually include my wire cutters, different colored wire, ornament hooks, scissors, tape, and a couple different pens.

Put the tree topper on before your ornaments.

If you use a tree topper I attach it or create it before I start putting anything on the tree.  It usually requires me to be on a ladder so I don’t want things falling off the tree as I’m trying to manipulate the top to get my topper on.

Put your large picks and floral items in before the ornaments.

If you are going to add picks and florals to your tree, you need to put those items in next. They are large items that fill in your tree.  They are space fillers and they change the shape of your tree dramatically.  You do not want to try to put these in after you add your delicate glass ornaments. I usually put all the fillers near each other to make a bigger impact.  On this 7 1/2 foot tree you can see that I used 2 types of snowy picks.  I put approximately 20 large snowy picks on the front of my tree.  I do decorate the back of my trees, but not to the extent as the front. I add more picks as final fill ins when I do my vignettes in a later stage.

Now it is time to add the ornaments to the tree. yourstrulyjenn.comNow it is time to add your ornaments. I usually put the bigger ornaments on the bottom with the medium in the middle and the smaller ones on top. You can create depth and add drama by putting ornaments from the inside out.  There are several different ways to add ornaments to a tree. You can add by doing one color at a time to disperse them evenly.  You can group them in sets of 3 to do cluster groupings. You can decorate by creating lots of vignettes all over your tree. This is why setting out all your ornaments in an earlier stage comes in handy so you can see everything.

Create small vignettes all over your tree that you keep repeating until the tree is decorated how you want it.

At this stage I like to create small vignettes in 36″ sections around my tree to make it look symmetrical.  It is also a good way to spread your items out instead of using them all in the same area.  It gives you a much more unified look. At this point I like to use a variety of ornaments and use the rest of my picks and berry sprigs.  Some people put ribbon on in the beginning stages, but I like to add it on in the end.

Burberry Plaid Holiday Home Tour -

  Try these steps when decorating your tree. I think they will help you achieve the look you’re going for.  I always end up changing things as I get further into the process.  Stepping back and looking at different angles will help you see if there are any spots you missed or if anything needs to be changed.  At the end I always style the bottom even if it is just some ornaments or packages on the skirt.

I hope these tips were helpful in showing you the process of how I do my tree during each stage. I would love to see your trees on Facebook and Instagram.  Please tag me if you share so I can see how wonderful they look.

Yours Truly,



Decorating Your Christmas Tree

Follow along with me as I show you step by step how I decorate my trees.  Each tree has a different theme and different ornaments, but the steps generally stay the same.  I finally have tree decorating down to a great formula that works for me.  I hope it can help you out too.

This is the first year I am using a flocked tree.  I LOVE IT!!!!  I have always wanted one and I finally took the plunge and invested in one.  I decided to go with the woodsy, rustic theme.  I had already collected the ornaments for the tree a while back.  I was just waiting to find the right tree.  Being patient was hard, but I found my tree at Balsam Hill.  I am not affiliated with Balsam Hill, but I will say I will always buy their trees.  I was able to set it up from start to finish by myself.  It was easy and it looks ahhh-mazing.  It was everything I had hoped for in a flocked tree and they have my business the next time I need to invest in another tree.

7 1/2 FOOT PERFECTLY PLAID TREE–  This tree in my kitchen, is one I’ve changed this year.  I usually do it red and green, but I was excited to change the colors and theme a little.  Here are the steps I took in order when decorating this tree.  I will also list the materials and where I got them from incase you are interested in this look.

Frosted tree picks

Materials for the Plaid tree


  1.  Place frosted greenery dispersed throughout the tree to give it the look of a real tree.  It also lightens up the tree.
  2. Add all berries, sprigs, and twigs next.  This layer adds a lot of texture to the tree.  It also fills in the sparse spots of the tree.
  3. Adding your garland or ribbon is the next step.  On this tree, I decided to wind the ribbon around the tree in a messy in and out pattern.  Wired ribbon is easier to manipulate.
  4. The big ornaments come next.  Place the bigger ornaments (pinecones, mercury glass balls, and larger ornaments) next.  Try to place the ornaments in the holes and layer from the middle out.
  5. Use the smaller and clip on ornaments last.  Fill in where you see bare spots.  Try to mix colors, patterns and shapes throughout the tree.
  6. Stand back and move things around as you see fit.

The materials on this tree are:

  •  frosted greenery, berry sprigs, antler sprigs (Michaels)
  • Red and white striped ribbon (Michaels)
  • Black bulbs (Dillards last year)
  • Red and Black Buffalo check ornament (Pottery Barn)
  • birch wood stars and mercury glass ornaments (Pottery Barn)
  • Black and Red Reindeer (Pottery Barn)

Plaid tree half done

Plaid tree with ribbon

Plaid tree with ornaments

7 1/2 FOOT FLOCKED TREE/BALSAM HILL– This tree is in my library this year.  I love it so much that I think I will put it in a more prominent place next year so I can look at it all the time.   I had already gathered the ornaments for this tree way before I actually had the tree.  The ornaments give this tree a log cabin type feel.

  1. Place frosted twigs in places where you see holes.
  2. Weave Pom pom garland around tree starting at the top.
  3. Place ribbon on the tree starting at the top.  Weave in and out using a wired ribbon for easier use.
  4. Place Noel saying on the tree.
  5. Place biggest ornaments on the tree like the glittered pinecones and the large houses. Most of these will be from the middle toward the bottom.
  6. Finish up with smaller ornaments like the woodland animals.

Flocked tree picks

The materials on this tree are:

  • Brown Velvet Ribbon (Dillards – last year)
  • Most woodland ornaments from Pier 1, Kohls and Pottery Barn
  • Pom Pom Garland (ETSY)
  • Frosted Twigs (Michaels)

Flocked tree picks and ribbon

Flocked tree with garland

Flocked with ornaments

9′ WINTER WONDERLAND TREE- This tree has all white ornaments on it with silver and clear accents.  This room is done with all things to do with winter.  This is my mom’s favorite tree each year.

  1.  Put in the twigs with the little white balls.
  2. Put in the silver leaf picks.
  3. Put on the icy picks.
  4. Weave the silver wried ribbon on the tree.  This is a new ribbon I bought for this year.  I didn’t like the one I had been using.  I love the way this ribbon made the tree look. The other one I used last year was transparent and I didn’t like the final look.
  5. Add the big clip on flowers.
  6. Put on the large ornament.
  7. Add the small ornaments.
  8. Fill in with the the transparent stars and icicles.

winter wonderland with ribbon

Materials are:

  • White ball picks (Michaels)
  • silver leave picks (Michaels)
  • Icy Picks (Michaels)
  • Silver Flower clip on (Michaels)
  • Gray wired ribbon (Michaels)
  • large white ornaments (Pier 1)
  • smaller white ornaments (assortment over the years)

winter wonderland picks

Winter wonderland picks and ornaments

winter wonderland full tree

I hope you got some ideas on the format of how I decorate my trees.  I tried to go with items I had already purchased, but there were several items I added to my collection this year. I always start at Michaels and see if they have what I’m looking for before I head to a department store.   I also like things that not everyone else is going to have. Local boutiques and smaller stores may have decorations that fit with your motif.  Don’t overlook those stores either.  I hope you are checking things off your to do list as Christmas is almost here.  Leave a comment below about how you will spend your holiday this year.

Yours Truly,



My Christmas Trees

It is the most wonderful time of the year! Putting up the Christmas tree is the best part of decorating for me. I love the anticipation of putting up my traditional trees and then thinking of how I might change a couple to give them a slightly different look. It is all so exciting to me. Is it a little crazy that I already have a couple ideas for next Christmas swirling around in my head? It used to be the most nerve wracking part of decorating, because the trees really are the show stoppers. They take center stage in a home. I have always wanted to be good at decorating my trees, but it really is an art form that takes some practice and skill. I finally have a good formula for decorating my trees. I’ve also been collecting my ornaments for about 30 years. It is definitely not something you can just go out and purchase in a year or two. I personally believe you need to spend your money on a good Christmas tree first and then start collecting the ornaments for the look you’re going for.

It always makes me so sad when I see an estate sale with tons of ornaments they’re getting rid of. Not only did they have sentimental value to the owner, but costs thousands of dollars. You can acquire ornaments by going to garage sales, after Christmas sales, using coupons, and going to the dollar store. If you want a certain style tree, I would not settle. I would wait patiently and set out to find exactly what you’re looking for. Start with an amazing tree and fill in the ornaments as you find them. You can also change your tree drastically by just changing up your garland or ribbon. This is a cheaper way to get a different look without changing all your ornaments.  I have found using the wired ribbon is the way to go.  It is much easier to manipulate and place where you want it to go.

Below you will notice all my trees are very different, but all look uniform and done in the same format.  I will show you my trees in this post.  The next post will break down the materials used step by step and how I decorated the tree.  Keep in mind, all of my trees are artificial.  My husband is allergic to the real deal so we haven’t had a real tree for about 18 years.

black and red plaid tree Collage

My perfectly plaid tree was my favorite to decorate this year. I just love the colors and the ornaments.


white tree Collage


woodland treeCollage

These are my three main trees and I love each and every one of them for different reasons. We also have a 9′ family tree that my kids decorate with their Hallmark and homemade ornaments.  I featured that tree last year.  The lights are starting to go out in certain places on that tree and will be replaced next year.  Wednesday’s post will give you a play by play on how I decorate these trees and what specific items I use to decorate each tree.  I also specify where I purchased the item so if you’re interested in picking something up you can check it out.  I would love to hear all about your trees in a comment below.  What is your theme this year?

Yours Truly,


Christmas Home Tour part 2

I hope you saw the first tour and decided to come back for more decorating ideas.  There were just too many pictures to add so I decided to make this a two parter. If you’re new to my blog, welcome! I thought it would be fun to add some frequently asked Christmas questions as well. In my next holiday post, you will specifically see my trees and it will be broken down into how I decorate each tree step by step. Snuggle up and enjoy the last part of the tour.

Plaid table setting

My MIL gave me this centerpiece years ago. I just added the plaid ribbon.

How did you decide on your theme for this year? I found several pieces of inspiration such as a plaid box, a buffalo check pillow and a great ribbon and decided to use these items to build a plaid theme for this year. I was so excited because plaid seemed to be everywhere even in a ton of fall looks. I had no trouble finding everything from plates to wrapping paper. I had a blast creating the look I was going for. I hope you like it too.

Williams Sonoma Plaid plates

I love the Plaid plates from Williams Sonoma.


Traditional red and green with plaid

Sometimes I just love to go back to traditional red and green.

You should never overlook details like setting a gorgeous table. You don’t have to have fancy dishes. White works well and then spice things up with colorful napkins, table runners and place mats.

Traditional table setting

I did the table a couple different ways, but this look was most traditional.


gold reindeer table setting

This table setting was a more glam, glitzy look.

What is your best Hosting tip? Do things in advance like setting your tables and moving furniture. This will give you time to attend to the smallest of details which your guests will surely appreciate.

Glam table

Use flowers to adorn your table. It gives the table a beautiful look.


2 dozen red roses

Two dozen red roses definitely add a special detail to this table.

What is the entertaining rule you live by? Shop your home first and see what you have. Most times you already have what you need and can mix and match things from other holidays to create a beautiful look.

gold reindeer

I got these gold deer from Target. They also had them in silver.


snowflake ornament

I put the snowflake ornament on everyone’s plate. I think it adds a nice touch.


coffee vignette

Set up a little coffee station vignette to give your kitchen that Christmas touch.

Favorite Holiday Tradition? I always make Christmas breakfast and then we eat lunch at my mom’s house after we open gifts. I love that we’ve done that for years.

mirrored chest

This mirrored chest is in my mudroom. This is the fanciest it has ever looked. My husband usually uses that dough bowl for his keys.


cranberries for Christmas

Using cranberries in your Christmas decor is quite easy and inexpensive.


beautiful packages

Beautiful packages can really make your decor stand out.

What is the secret to trimming a perfect tree? Fluff the tree first. Once it is out of the box fluffing an artificial tree is the most important step to making it look more realistic. Also, if you have an artificial tree, stick some real branches in bare spaces.  This makes your home smell really nice and gives the look of a real tree.


I love how this look came together in my upstairs hallway.


Metallics in decoarting

Metallics were very popular for decorating this season.

I hope you made it to the end.  Thank you for stopping by.  If you didn’t see part 1 of my Chritsmas tour, you can check it out here.  Also, I did a collab with my friend Michelle and you can check that post out here.  Please leave me a comment telling me one of your family traditions.

Yours Truly,


Yourstrulyjenn Perfectly Plaid House Tour

I’m so excited to participate in Jennifer Rizzo’s Holiday House walk party again this year. If you haven’t seen the amazing line up of homes on this tour, you need to go to day one and check them out at the link above.

It’s my favorite time of year and one of my favorite posts to prepare.  I think I have pulled the best of my holiday pictures to create this house tour for you.  If you are new to my blog, welcome!  I hope you enjoy what you see and will stick around for some other holiday posts.

holiday house walk party

Perfectly plaid tree

This was my favorite tree to decorate.  In the past, I have done this tree in traditional red and green.  I already had the red ornaments, but wanted to do something different this year.  At the end of last year, I started collecting black ornaments knowing I was going to try something a little different.

Birch wood

The rest of the idea for this tree came when I found this plaid box and the buffalo check pillow.  Then I had my theme for the holidays.  I knew I was going to do this tree in red, black and plaid.  I love how the bottom of the tree looks as well.

Two tiered tray

This two tired tray from Painted Fox is one of my favorite things to decorate each season.  I leave a couple things in it all the time and then change out the seasonal items.  The mercury glass candles and buffalo check appetizer plate came from the dollar spot at Target.

one kings lane plates

These plaid salad plates came from One Kings Lane. I knew as soon as I saw them they were perfect for the look I was going for.

Gold centerpiece

I love how this red striped ribbon pulls in the table setting with the Christmas tree.  It’s amazing what a good wired ribbon can do for your decorating.

Cupi & white tree

Someone hopped in to smell Santa’s cookies and milk.  It made the cutest candid shot near my white tree.

white tree with cookies

This tree is done in all white and clear ornaments.  The ribbon is the only thing that is silver.  I felt it needed a little something so I added the silver this year and I really like it.

Plaid centerpiece

My Mother-in-law gave me this centerpiece years ago and I have always loved it.  I just spruced it up with a plaid ribbon this year so it would match my theme.

williams sonoma plaid plates

The plaid table runner and plates came from Williams Sonoma.  The polka dot napkins came from Pottery barn.

glam deer table

I decided to do my table two different ways this year just to give you two totally different looks.  This one is more glam and glitz.

red rose table

I put a gold snowflake on everyone’s plate,  It was definitely missing something until I added this little detail.

lenox dishes table setting

The gold deer from Target go beautifully with my gold rimmed glasses and Lenox china.

coffee station vignette

Everyone needs a little Christmas in their kitchen.  This coffee station matches my theme with  mercury glass and a hint of plaid.

mirrored chest vignette

I love all the frosted white and green in this vignette.  I didn’t really know what I was going to do here at first.  I just started and it came together somehow.  I love using cranberries.  They are so easy and inexpensive to decorate with.

metallics and packages

Decorating with metallics was trending this year.  This was the last place I decorated and it was one of my favorite looks.  Remember, you don’t have to always use red and green in your Christmas look.

black, white and metallics

I had so much fun showing you around my home. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.  Please come back and read other holiday posts.  You can see part 1 of my holiday home tour here.  This is my favorite time of year and I have lots to share with you. If you like holiday decor and inspiration, you are in the right place. If you haven’t seen the bloggers on Jennifer’s holiday house walk you must go look at that now. Thanks again for stopping by.

Yours Truly,




Holiday Home Tour 2015

I have been looking forward to sharing this post with you for a long time. I love looking at other people’s Christmas decor and home tours. They are some of my favorite posts.  I decorate early in November because it takes me a couple weeks to get the house the way I want it and we travel for Thanksgiving.  My goal is to have the house ready when we get back. Then I can spend my time shopping for Christmas gifts without getting too stressed.  The holidays are about enjoying your family and being in the moment. That is my goal this year.

I have fluffed so many things my arms look like I have been attacked by a rabid animal.  I have also photographed and edited so many pictures that it is starting to feel like a Christmas blur. Finally, I just had to start picking and narrowing down photos.  I hate getting rid of good photos, but you can’t post everything.

My theme started with a plaid box I picked up from Target in October. I based my table settings, Christmas tree, and packages around that theme.  I usually will get some kind of inspiration each year and run with that throughout the house.  I hope you like plaid because you will see a lot of it.  Grab a blanket and a cozy seat and let’s jump into part 1 of the holiday home tour.

Holiday Home Decor

Perfectly Plaid Tree

This was my favorite tree to decorate this year.

The red and black plaid box was my inspiration for this year’s theme.  It’s funny how something so small can give you an idea for your packages, ribbon, and ornaments.  I call this tree the Perfectly Plaid Tree.  It has black ornaments I picked up from Dillard’s at the end of last season. The buffalo check ornaments are from Pottery Barn.  It also has some very inexpensive plaid ornaments from Michaels.

Red and black tree

Check out my Christmas tree post later in December to get more details on how I decorated this tree.

Plaid tree

The red and white wired ribbon is one of my favorite details of this tree.

This 9′ tree is full of white ornaments that bring such sparkle and magic to my living room.  This tree is done completely in white except for the silver ribbon.  I decorate this room as a winter wonderland with mercury glass, romantic white flowers, and live garland.

Winter wonderland tree

Someone else is interested in Santa’s cookies and milk.

white Christmas tree

This is my mom’s favorite tree out of the six I decorate each year.

two tiered tray

My two Tiered tray from Painted Fox Treasures is one of my favorite things to decorate each season.

I leave this two tiered tray in the kitchen and change it around depending on the seasons.  It is one of my favorite things to decorate.  Mercury glass candles, the greenery, and the buffalo check appetizer plate were inexpensive decor items I picked up from the dollar sport at Target.  You don’t have to spend a ton of money to come up with cute decorating ideas.

Plaid Dinner plates

I was able to use the plaid theme in my table setting with dishes from One Kings Lane.

Gold candle votives

Gold candle votives make a beautiful centerpiece.

Kitchen table setting

I used the same ribbon on my napkins to match the ribbon in the tree.

Flocked Tree

This is my new flocked tree from Balsam Hill.

I was so excited to purchase a flocked tree this year.  Even though it was a little messy, I had a blast decorating it.  I decorated it in a rustic, log cabin theme.  I used woodland animals, brown ribbon and a pom pom garland to give it the look I was going for.

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my home tour.  Come back next week and see more of my home.  I will be showing you some vignettes and my dining room table settings done two different ways.  Also, follow me on Instagram as I update my decor on that feed daily.

For unto you is born

this day in the city of David

a Savior, which is CHRIST the


Luke 2:11

Yours Truly,