Homemade Christmas Tree Finale

Hey hey!  How is everyone’s holiday prep going?  I am LOVING the holiday season this year but have to admit, I am ready to be done making ornaments and trees and move onto some other things.  I’m feeling just a little Christmas ornament crafted out, if you know what I mean.

But, first I have to sincerely thank the Mega Crafty Christmas Tree Challenge for kick starting me into the holiday spirit this year.  With a budget of $20 we were challenged to decorate a tree at least 4 feet high and this challenge was the perfect way for me to get a little Christmas going up in here.

I will recap everything I’ve made at the end of this post, but I want to first show you my scrap tree topper.

In my very first blog post evah I explained how I make Driftwood Christmas Trees and I was able to use little pieces of scrap 1/4 inch wooden dowels left over from that project to make this.
I cut 10 segments of the dowel about the same length and spray painted them red.  I first wanted to make it so the ends of the dowels overlapped and were exposed and the twine was used to connect the segments in a rustic way.  But to say I had some trouble with that strategy would be an understatement.  I don’t think the dowel segments were long enough to overlap, and I kind of lost my way on the way to making a star shape…
Uhhh, that’s going to be a star, right?!?  And yes, I started this project the same night I made the beaded star snowflake.  Somethings just take longer to come together, you know?

It was at this point that I unwrapped all the twine and decided I might have better luck hot gluing each of the points together and then just covering the glue with twine for effect. So, I glued the star shape together right before I went to bed,
and woke up to this.
Isn’t she cute?  😉  Luckily, (for her and the star) she hadn’t laid on it until the glue was dry so with a little extra glue support I was ready to re-wrap the twine.
In the end, it all worked out.  I love that it’s an open star so it doesn’t totally overpower the whole top of the tree.  The driftwood tree peaks through and even a little glittered sea shell.

And here’s how she looks all put together.
Everything on the tree (including the tree) is either made by nature or handmade by me, except for the lighting.  That statement makes me happy.  🙂

Now for a little trip down handmade Christmas tree lane…

I first went on a little “shopping spree” to gather supplies and came home with things like this,
and explained the whole experience here.  $0 out of the budget, $20 remaining.  🙂

While I pondered ideas on what to do with all this goodness I got distracted one night while organizing and made one of my favorite ornaments out of a few cards we had gotten at our wedding, I posted about it here.  This was the first time that I used the silver glitter that I had bought specifically for this challenge for Nafl 6.35 which equals $3.57. $16.43 remaining in the budget.
Then one day when I was working out on our patio a little bird’s nest literally blew right up to me so she found her way onto our tree, more on that here.   $0 out of budget, still $16.43 remaining.
Continuing to use some of the sea urchins I had found at the shore I made some cutie patootie snow(wo)men here.  This was the first project that I used the table salt and white paint.  The salt cost me Nafl 1.46 which is $0.82, and the white paint was Nafl 2.70, $1.52. Bringing my remaining budget down to $14.09.
I then played around with a few ideas that turned into my One Hit Wonders, a beaded snowflake, book page star and light bulb turned ornament.  No budget used for any of these guys.  Booyah!
Then the girls got a little tree representation with these dog bone ornaments made from a mushed up egg carton.  Again, $0 spent on these.  Still $14.09 remaining.  Woop woop!
After multiple attempts I finally came up with some salt dough starfish that were tree worthy.  You can read all about the troubles I had here.  I used the salt, white paint and glitter again here, but nothing new out of the budget.  I’m noticing a trend.  🙂

The last ornaments I made were beglittered sea shells and baubles, I really love the combination of natural element and sparkly glitter.  More on these here.

I then accessorized the tree with some sea glass and white and green sea urchins just scattered here and there.

Clearly this is not a traditional tree and stringing traditional lights doesn’t really work with the driftwood design.  With your usual pine tree you lose the green light wire in the tree when it is strung.  But, with the driftwood the wire just sticks out like a sore thumb, so I used tea lights.  They are just the right touch of light without all the stringing mess.

Now I don’t know exactly how I am supposed to calculate the cost of the items I had previously purchased and used in making some of the ornaments. My “ingredients” list includes:

    1. black paint, red rope ribbon, raffia and gold ribbon scraps for the Sea Urchin Snow(wo)men
    2. beads, wire, silver ribbon scrap and red wrapping ribbon for the One Hit Wonders
    3. red paint and red wrapping ribbon for the Dog Bone Ornaments, Salt Dough Starfish and Glittered Shells
    4. red wrapping ribbon and raffia for the scratched bauble fix.
    5. red paint and twine for the Star Tree Topper
    6. tea lights for lighting purchased for the tree but lighting doesn’t count in the budget, right?!?

Yes, I will haggle with anyone over pricing.  😉

Update:  I have to add the old baubles used for number 4 to the ingredients list.  Duh! How do you fix an old bauble without actually using the bauble?  Sometimes the brain just doesn’t connect all the dots, you know.

Truth be told, the cost of the Driftwood Christmas Tree was Nafl 4.90, $2.75 and the tea lights cost Nafl 7.00, $3.93.  So, if you add that to the total spent on supplies this year my total total spent was $12.59 (including tree and lighting).  That leaves $7.41 left to allocate to all of the scraps that I ended up using.  And, I would argue, that if you look back at the original price I paid for the items and amortize it over the life of said item and calculate depreciation…

Woah!  That’s even a little much for me, but you get what I’m sayin’, no?

I’m under budget, I just don’t know by how much.  🙂

Now, I really did think I would make a lot more different ornaments.

I thought I might try to make something like this map pine cone ornament that Barb over at Turtles and Tails made.  I could use a Curacao map and I’m from Maine.  A Curacao map pine cone ornament, seriously, how appropriate is that for me?!?  Love the idea, maybe someday.
And I had all of our Christmas cards out from last year.  I didn’t want to do exactly what I did with the wedding cards and I just never got the idea that got me crafting.In recent years I have cut the pretty pictures from each card and used them as gift tags. If I don’t come up with a creative ornament idea I can always do that again.
I pulled all of the petals off of a red rose I got here and let them dry.  I could make some kind of our ornament out of them, right?!?  I suffered from a little crafter’s block here too.  :/
Now, you know I’m going to get the perfect idea in like March. Isn’t that how it works? Ohhh, maybe if it’s February it could turn into a Valentine’s Day idea.  One can hope. 🙂

And just because, here’s another picture of our little homemade driftwood coastal Christmas tree and the projects I actually DID accomplish.
I love how it turned out.  I’m glad we have a tree representative of where we are in the world and where we are in our lives.  I do think there are plenty of ornaments on the tree as is, it’s nice to give the driftwood tree itself some room to shine.  And I’ve had a blast gettin’ Christmas crafty and again can’t thank Meg at Mega Crafty enough for giving me the Christmas kick in the butt. I am definitely in the holiday spirit and heading out to spread some cheer.

So, do you have all your holiday deco up? Have you been done forever already? Waiting until the 24th? Either way, I hope you’re loving every minute of it. Happy Holidays everybody!!  🙂

I am sharing this project here, here, here and here. Check ém out!

Leave a comment


  1. It’s absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Holy Cow… I LOVE it…. please ship me one!!!! : ) And I cannot get over how well you did on the budget because the cost of the tree and the lighting didn’t have to be counted against the $20 budget!

    I am so so happy that you participated in this challenge with me. Not only was I excited to have found a new wonderful blog to read, and another wonderful crafty blog buddy, but I also got to see this amazingly creative tree come together and I enjoyed every minute of it! Your creativity and ingenuity with this whole project was inspiring! Thanks for really staying true to the spirit of the whole thing!

    I’d love to show some of your ornaments and a your finished tree in a round up that I’m doing of participants. Let me know if that’s ok with you. I’ll of course link back to you. : )

  3. P.S. you should submit the whole tree to dollar store crafts…. I think they’d love it!

  4. Wow! It looks great! I especially love that red star topper. The anemone snow man is adorable too.

  5. That bump you’ll hear tonight is me sneaking in to steal that fab tree!

  6. Love driftwood and this tree is amazing! So beautifully decorated!

  7. I’m still so very much not ready for the big day next week 🙂

    LOVE your driftwood tree. Thanks so much for coming by again this week for Pin’Inspiration Thursday. You are very appreciated.

  8. What a great and creative tree, thanks so much for linking up!

  9. Wonderful! I’d love to invite you to link to my Things I’ve Done Thursday link party! http://bearrabbitbear.blogspot.com/2011/12/things-ive-done-thursday-15.html


  10. I love everything about this, love the tree, love the ornaments, love the theme, I’m pinning this to show all my family in Maine, they’ll love it, too!

  11. WOW! I absolutely love the tree! All the ornaments are so unique and creative! Awesome job! Thanks so much for linking up with us over at Passionatelyperfect.com

  12. Ohhh I love the driftwood tree and the star AND your other lovelies. Glad to find you from the linky party 🙂

  13. What a fantastic Christmas tree. You’ve done a beautiful job! I love how you thought completely out of the box. It’s perfect!

  14. Wow!!! What an awesome tree!!! So creative! And I love all the ornaments you made for it. Great job!!

  15. Absolutely beautiful! I love that everything is collected from the beach! Se creative and wonderful. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

  16. WOW! I love this tree!!!!! How clever and thrifty (great combination)! Thanks for the inspiration!

    Merry Christmas!

  17. Wow! Since the little black cat keeps eating the tree (although MAY have finally solved that this year…)–and, artificial tree does not digest—enter the vet–2-3 times–I may have to try your version! I see you have an assistant as well! Thanks for sharing! Blessings, Sharon

    • Thanks Sharon! Yes, I have a couple of “helpers”, they’re always right in the middle of things. I hope your cat is doing well, artificial tree digestion problems don’t sound fun for anyone. Happy Holidays!

  18. Your tree is so cool! Thanks for linking up! ~Jen

  19. So fun! What a fantastic idea!!!

    Creatively Living

  20. Love the driftwood tree. The snowman ornament is my favorite. Too cute!
    Dropping by from BNOTP. Happy holidays.


  21. How rustic and lovely! Great job..I’m super impressed. Thanks for linking to Things I’ve Done Thursday!


  22. This looks amazing. It looks like it to a lot of time and craftsman ship. Well it really paid off, it looks great! Nice job!

  23. Hands down the best scrap wood tree I have seen. Would love love love for you to share this at our party going on now http://space46.blogspot.com/2011/12/co-hosting-pinteresting-link-party-week.html. Happy holiday! My

  24. So glad you got our card! 🙂

  25. This is probably the most beautiful, original Christmas tree I’ve seen. Great job.

  26. Love your driftwood tree and all your ornaments!! I would love it if you shared this at my new party!!

  27. Wow! What an amazing tree! You did an awesome job.

  28. I am so glad you could share this at my party! I love your ideas!

  29. Ooh, this tree turned out fabulous!!
    I just wanted to let you know that you have been featured at today’s {nifty thrifty sunday}!
    Stop by and grab a button if you’d like!
    Have a merry Christmas!
    Vanessa @ {nifty thrifty things}

  30. Great posting in Homemade Christmas Tree Finale the space between. I loved reading this article. If you want, please visit my website.

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