Like many families, we pull down our Christmas bins and start to drape the house in red and green for the month of December. It's a tradition! We love it. The kids look forward to it, the white lights twinkle and are so nostalgic... My goal is always to pull everything out, share in the oooohhhhing and aaaaaweing with my husband and kids as the big stuff gets dragged around to the usual spots. We "work together" for about 30 minutes - then everyone loses interest, the house is a total wreck, and there is a mothball smell and fake pine needles, broken ornament and nutcracker pieces, and glitter everywhere. This is when I melt down, wonder why we are doing this, breathe, snack, then pull myself together to Christmas the house!
This year I promised myself that nari a bin would go back to the attic 1/2 full. If there is anything that I don't find suitable to Deck the halls with this year - it goes out the back door. After the living spaces were decked I was left with a big collection of random serving items, extra trees and wreaths, and several Santas.... I did it!!! Bins went upstairs empty and I set up a Christmas shop in the garage! In one afternoon I was able to sell almost everything and with this cash created some new dearly special decorations.....
Tray Chic Tree Decs
Dollar Store: 24 "silver" trays
Craft Store: Mod Podge & Assorted Scrapbook paper in coordinating colors
Photos: Several 5 x 7s - family Christmas memories
First, I cut paper to fit inside trays and serve as mattes for photos
Then I cut and sized photos to be framed in each matte - I used a cereal bowl to trace the rounds.
Then a quick Modge Podge application to both sides of the matte paper and photos....covering the entire surface with two coats. I used gloss - I might recommend a matte finish as the glow of the lights against the silver can glare of the photos as the right angle. I like the gloss.... Matte might be a personal preference.
The whole project was completed as my children sat and worked on homework. This was a super easy, low cost, personal, family tribute that I hope to add to over the years. I look forward to pulling out the newest "ornaments" every year and hanging them on the tree first before we add all of our eclectic ornaments that we have acquired over the years - kids crafts, events, vacations, etc.
Here is what the tree looked like before ornaments: