A Kid-Safe Christmas Tree With Paint Chips & Ribbons

That she blows! Or maybe I should I say “thar she glows!” Either way, we got ‘er up.

And this year the theme was:

    1. free stuff we already had (no getting in the car to go fetch anything, since we feared that would cost us another week to get things up)
    2. nothing pointy/hard/breakable (for bean safety reasons)
    3. color, color, color (just like our tabletop tree in the living room)

So yes, we gave our full-sized tree a whole new look (see what it looked like in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 here) using stuff that we already had in the house, like a bunch of leftover paint chips from my bin.

Yes, I save old paint chips to reuse them for things like this art project

… and this temporary postcard ledge arrangement (from our first house’s office)…

… and this year’s tree project:

First I cut them into strips (so I got 2-3 ornaments out of each leftover Benjamin Moore paint chip) and then used a hole puncher to make a hole…

  … which I then used to loop twine and string from my craft bin to hang them. I love that they’re like modern little colorful icicles that cover the tree. And of course the fact that they were all f-r-e-e didn’t hurt either.

The other main element of decoration on the tree is a few spools of ribbon from the gift wrapping closet (snagged on clearance from Michael’s last Christmas). We just unrolled them, found the center point and folded it over the top of the tree, so the same amount of ribbon dangled down each side of the tree in an upside-down V shape. Oh and the “tree skirt” is just three faux sheep skins from Ikea (they’re sort of a holiday tradition at this point).

I even had some leftover ribbon to make a little bow at the top. Aw, shucks. Our tree is definitely a gal this year.

Oh and you’ll probably notice two things from this picture…

  1. We had yet to “catch up” with our advent calendar when we took these pics (the second we got the tree up we excitedly snapped these photos) – but Clara and I have since hung 12 advent ornaments on the tree – so we’re back to one a day from here on out.
  2. We did some quick mantel decorating in the kitchen, let’s take a closer look:

I added some old feather trees on the floor (from Target, a few years back) along with two ceramic birds up on the mantel (like two white Christmas doves) from an estate sale a few years ago. I also added in the little thrift store rocking horse that I painted for Clara (more on that here). And of course I hung our stockings from Target a few years ago (backwards this year – just to spice it up)…

It might look like those three stockings mean that Burger didn’t get one… but of course he did! John and I actually share one (labeled “Mom and Dad”) and then there’s Clara’s stocking and Burger’s stocking:

I also stuck a basket full of gifts in the fireplace (actually they’re fakers, see how I made those here).

One of the most fun things about the new doorway between the kitchen and the dining room is that we can enjoy the tree from the kitchen too. See it peeking around the corner of the opening?

Never would have gotten to enjoy that view if the wall didn’t come down a little while ago. Yay, demo!

It’s so nice to see something festive in the dining room (the big tree), the kitchen (the holiday mantel), and the living room (our tabletop tree). Aw, Christmastime, how do I love thee. Let me count the trees, er, ways.

So that’s the inside of the house all decorated for ya. Well most of it (I still have a holiday frame gallery project to shoot and share with you guys). Oh yeah, and for the first time ever we decorated the outside of our house too! We’re talking lights and stars and even a homemade wreath and some bright red ceramic-looking reindeer. That’s right, we went all out. Pics to come as soon as we can snap them and write something up!

Psst- We’ll be back with a kitchen update tomorrow for ya! Lots of the stuff that we’re working on is extremely detail oriented (ex: cutting down an old cabinet to make a smaller one that “matches” the rest of the kitchen and houses a built-in microwave), but we’re moving just as fast as we can!


    • says

      We added a few sentimental ornaments (like a few Burger ones and Clara’s first Christmas ones to both trees – just to make them feel “real” and “authentic” I guess. Haha. We’re not really super sticklers for a theme, as long as you step back and it’s happy and sparkling we’re good! Love your Christmas decor!


  1. says

    Love it! Growing up we always had two christmas trees, one for my mother that was in the living room and had all of her good ornaments on it in her color scheme. The other one was slightly smaller in the family room and my brother and I got to decorate it and go crazy. The more sparkle and mismatched it looked, the better. This year, we may have to include a bow on top, love it!


  2. says

    Great job Sherry and John! I really like your idea to incorporate the paint chips as ornaments, and I know exactly what you mean about loving the ability to enjoy the tree from several rooms of your home. We put our tree up in the doorway between our living and dining rooms, so we can view the tree from most rooms on our first floor. http://www.oldtownhome.com/2011/12/2/Christmas-Tree-Traditions-Help-Make-a-House-a-Home/index.aspx It makes all the hard work worth it when you can enjoy it just a bit more each year. :-)

  3. says

    ShutupShutupShutup! I LOVE the paint chips idea. How fun and colorful. The ribbons rocks, too! I am big fan of ribbon running down the tree from the top. It add so much. Nice “free” tree work, guys!

  4. Lisa says

    It is cute. I like to keep our tree pretty much the same each year, but add new ornaments that have a special meaning for our family. So, it is fun to pull out the ornaments each year and talk about them. We have some from when my husband and I were kids and then we have ones for our kids. We have ones of a bride and groom that we got the first year we were married, etc.
    I guess we see our tree as more of part of our holiday traditions than a decorating opportunity! :)
    I do have a friend that puts up at least 4 trees in her house though…each with a different theme. Maybe you guys will move to that idea…a tree with your keepsake ornaments and then others that are more theme or decor related?
    Oh, and we put the non-breakable ornaments at the bottom of the tree so the kids can see them and they can play with them too…but they have to put them back on the tree when they are done! :)

    Happy Holidays!

    • says

      Oh we actually put our keepsake ornaments on both trees this year (adding some authenticity to each tree was really fun and special – and everything blends right in when you plug in the lights)!


  5. Chris says

    Paint chip ornaments are very cool, never thought of using them for crafting. Love the new mirror above the kitchen fireplace.

    • says

      The funny thing is we actually swapped that into the living room above the desk after taking these pics. It looks awesome with the rug and the curtains in there and now the round mirror that used to hang in that spot is above the mantel in the kitchen.


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