Year: 2015

Tips for Decorating a Christmas Tree {to Give it a Layered Look}

Last week, a lovely reader asked me to provide specifics on how I decorated my Christmas tree.  If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably know that I love the layered look when it comes to decorating, but I had never realized until the reader mentioned it that my Christmas tree has a layered look, too!

So here’s my step-by-step process for decorating a Christmas tree.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree with Pearl Garland 2015


Step 1. Lights

Now, my Balsam Hill tree came pre-lit, but normally, I have to put the lights on my tree and I have a very specific process.

  1. Start at the top and work your way down so that the end of your plug is at the bottom of the tree.
  2. When adding lights, think “Inside-Out” not “Around”.  You want to wrap each branch with lights starting near the trunk and working your way out to the tips.  Once a branch is covered, move to the inside of the next branch.
  3. Periodically as you’re putting on the lights, stand back and squint your eyes and look at the tree.  By squinting your eyes, you block out the tree and can get a better view of the lights to make sure you’re not inadvertently leaving any unlit areas.


Step 2. Snow Branches

Since I wanted a French vintage look to my tree, I decided to soften up the look of the green with some snow-covered branches to give it a faux flocked look.  I literally tucked the snow branches all throughout the tree {just laying them in} and then again, stood back and squinted so that I could better see if I had arranged them evenly in the tree.


TIDBITS&TWINE DIY Faux Flocked Christmas Tree with Snow Covered Branches


2. Large Antique Gold Ball

I like to only work with one type of ornament at a time so that I can better ensure an even distribution of each type.  I always start with the biggest ornament that needs the most space to hang, so for me, it was the large antique gold balls.  I specifically placed these ornaments on the outer tips of the tree so that they would mimic the silhouette of the tree itself.

Tip: Be sure that your hanging ornaments have enough space to hang straight up and down {meaning that they don’t hit a branch and tilt to the side} for a cleaner look.



4. Mercury Glass Birds

I used two types of white ornaments on the tree – mercury glass birds with white shredded linen tails and pure white decorative birds.  After the antique gold balls, I added the mercury glass birds next because their tails were long and needed space to hang.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Mercury Glass Bird Christmas Tree 2015


5. White Decorative Birds

I added the white decorative birds next, making sure to distribute them evenly around the tree and to add a pop of white to any area that seemed a bit dark.  As it happens, these aren’t even ornaments, but I thought they were pretty and so wanted to use them!  These are actually birds that I found near the floral section of the craft store.

Tip: Always check the floral and wedding departments of craft stores, as they often have items that look beautiful on Christmas trees!

TIDBITS&TWINE White Bird Christmas Tree Ornament 2015


6. Gold Ornaments

To balance out all of the white, I added a few more gold-colored ornaments.  I chose antique gold frames that I filled with French book pages, as well as a more rustic-looking gold bird.  I sprinkled these around the tree wherever I felt there needed to be a bit more color to offset the white.

TIDBITS&TWINE Gold Frame Ornament with French Book Page

TIDBITS&TWINE Christmas Tree with Gold Christmas Bird and Vintage Books


7. Tiffany Blue Accent Ornaments

Once all of the gold and white ornaments were only the tree, I added just a few bits of blue to the outer edges of the tree, again, making sure that I had evenly spaced them.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Blue Frost Christmas Ornaments 2015


8. Tucked Ornaments

You’d think I’d be done by now, but no!!!  Once all of my main ornaments were on the tree, I went back and looked for spaces that seemed empty.  I didn’t need any more center-stage ornaments, so instead, I tucked additional ornaments deeper inside the brances of the tree.  By tucking them in, they took up space without detracting from the main ornaments.  I tucked in gold pinecones, large brown snowy pinecones, gold glittery balls, and even a few more rustic gold birds.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree with Snow Covered Branches 2015


10. Pearl Garland

Once all of the ornaments were in pace, I added the pearl garland around the tree.  The garland sits on the outside of the ornaments with one exception  – any areas where it impeded an ornament from hanging properly, I pulled the ornament forward and the garland behind.  And I might have added a few bit of garland under the tree too for added decoration… :)

Tip: The wedding section of a craft store carries more formal garland year-round, so don’t limit yourself to just what is available in the Christmas section.  This pearl “garland” isn’t even garland – it’s Halloween flapper costume necklaces that I’ve draped on the branches.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Blue and White Christmas Tree with Trophy and Pearls


Once the tree was fully decorated, I moved on to decorating underneath!  A faux fur throw acts as a tree skirt and then I added lots of goodies including a sled, nutcracker, teddy bear, birch logs, more ornaments {including additional blue ones}, a vintage trophy, and lots of tattered old books.

TIDBITS&TWINE-Christmas French Vintage Christmas Tree with Faux Fur Throw and Vintage Books




And that’s how I gave my Christmas tree a French vintage layered look!  Thank you so much to the kind reader for asking the question!  I always have to guess as to what you might like to read about so I appreciate your questions because they help me write posts that will be of more interest to you.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree at Night 2015


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Decking the Walls {A Christmas Gallery Wall}

Last week I shared my home all dressed up for the holidays {post HERE} but didn’t provide too much detail about my family room.  So here’s part 2 of my Holiday Home Tour and it’s all about decking the walls!

I just can’t help myself when it comes to updating my TV gallery wall with new pictures, artwork, and items and so when I came across some cute Christmas wall decor at HomeGoods, I knew right away I wanted to create a Christmas gallery wall!

You might recall that I created a gallery wall around my TV {details and tips HERE}.

TIDBITS & TWINE Collected Gallery Wall


With one exception, I used all of the same nail holes and just replaced and/or updated the artwork for Christmas!

TIDBITS&TWINE Christmas TV Gallery Wall 2015


Lots of whimsy, pops of red, and as always, a mixture of art and items now adorn the wall.  {Plus look!  I finally got a cord cover!}

TIDBITS&TWINE Christmas TV Gallery Wall with Pops of Red and Boxwood Swags



While I did add some new holiday-themed artwork to the wall, I also left other items in place and simply added decorative ribbon and ornaments to them.

TIDBITS&TWINE Ribbon Wrapped Picture Frame Christmas Gallery Wall 2015


I used a mix of solid red and red/white polka dots, strips, and checks!

TIDBITS&TWINE DIY Fancy Bow Christmas 2015
{Learn how to make this bow HERE}


I dressed up the media console with some holiday decor and preserved boxwood swags, in keeping with the rest of my holiday home.

TIDBITS&TWINE Boxwood Swag Garland Christmas 2015


To secure the swags to the furniture, I used Command Hooks!

TIDBITS&TWINE Easy Way to Hang Swag Garland for Christmas 2015


On top of the console, I placed a small sled with a boxwood tree and some vintage blocks.

TIDBITS&TWINE Holiday Decorating with Vintage Christmas Sled with Blocks


On the other side, some candy canes for the kids and a cloche filled with more blocks.

TIDBITS&TWINE Cloche and Candy Cane Vignette Christmas 2015

TIDBITS&TWINE Vintage Blocks in Cloche Christmas Display 2015


Now I have a fun and festive wall that is ready for the holidays!

TIDBITS&TWINE How to Make a TV Gallery Wall Christmas 2015



And so my holiday decorating continues!!!

TIDBITS-&-TWINE How to Create a Christmas Gallery Wall




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Tidbits&Twine Christmas Home Tour 2015

I am so excited to be sharing my home today as part of the 2015 Holiday Home Tour hosted by the fabulous and talented Marty from A Stroll Thru Life.  If you’re visiting from Carmel at Our Fifth House, welcome!  I’m Kim!



My decorating style tends to be a mix of textures and finishes and I like to sprinkle a bit of the old with the new.  When it comes to Christmas decorating, I have two different styles – one for me and one for my kids. My personal style is a more neutral, elegant look that doesn’t necessarily rely on “traditional” Christmas decor, but rather pulls from nature. So think greenery, pinecones, nuts, flowers, etc., set off by muted colors and metallics with a cozy look. My more formal spaces are decorated for me, so let’s start the tour!



Front Porch


Every season, I update my bare twig wreath with new stems and accessories to make a “new” wreath.  This way, it’s more affordable and I don’t have to store multiple wreaths.  You can find a step-by-step tutorial with photos {HERE}.



I started decorating for Christmas so early this year that there we no fresh greenery anywhere to be found!  Instead, I decided to use preserved boxwood, which is a favorite of mine year-round.  I then added a white feather boa for a touch of the unexpected.



A large bow and ornament along with some faux antlers completed the look.



Living Room


Just inside the front door is my formal living room where we put the tree every year.  This year, I was thrilled to be selected as one of Balsam Hill’s 12 Bloggers of Christmas.  I chose to decorate my tree with some elegant, vintage touches in gold, silver, white, and blue.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree 2015


This tree has two decorating secrets, though.



Secret #1 – This is not a flocked tree!  I gave it a slightly snowy look by tucking snow-covered branches in it.  This way, I have the flexibility to use it as a flocked tree one year, and a plain the next!

TIDBITS&TWINE French Vintage Christmas Tree 2015


Secret #2 – I had my heart set on pearl garland, but couldn’t find any that I liked at the time {this was back in October}.  Instead, I purchased Halloween flapper costume necklaces on clearance and literally draped them on the branches!  So when it comes to holiday decorating, don’t just use what’s available in the Christmas section but be sure to look around the entire store for anything that might work for you.

TIDBITS&TWINE Antique Gold and Pearl Garland Christmas Tree


Secret #3 – I skip traditional tree skirts and instead, use throws.  This way, I can use it year-round and don’t have to store something that I only use once a year.  Plus, throws are generally bigger than tree skirts allowing me to bunch and scrunch to perfection!  This year, I tucked lots of goodies under the tree including books, trophies, antlers and ornaments.

TIDBITS&TWINE  French Vintage Christmas Tree 2015 with Faux Fur Throw


I love the soft glow the tree gives off at night.



You can find more pictures and details about my tree {HERE}.


Dining Room


Adjacent to my living room is my dining room, so I decided to maintain a similar look and feel to create a flow between the two rooms.

TIDBITS&TWINE French Christmas Dining Room in Blue and White with Boxwood


I added boxwood wreaths to the backs of my chairs and I love how this small change creates such an impact.



The table is set with white ironstone, boxwood, silver, and bells.



And because I wasn’t using red in this room, I decided to go with a bolder blue.



Normally I wrap the chandelier with fresh greenery, but this year, in lieu of greenery, I decided to add a boa and bells which turned out to be quite the focal point!



More pictures and details about my dining room can be found {HERE}.




I don’t do a ton of decorating in the kitchen because this space is always in use and with two little ones, it gets messy quickly!  When I do decorate, though, I tend to use kitchen-related items and food instead of traditional Christmas decor.



This 3-Tier Round Display from Mothology is one of my absolute favorites and I had so much fun dressing it up for the holidays!



I added boxwood, pomegranates, mandarin oranges, and nuts with touches of silver and white sprinkled throughout.

TIDBITS&TWINE - Christmas Kitchen 2015 with Boxwood, Pomegranates and Oranges


Next to my stove, I traded my silver champagne bucket for my vintage trophies to create a cute vignette.



On my wall, I updated the look of my vintage herb nesting crates with more greenery and feather boas.




Family Room


The family room is where the kids hang out, watch TV, and play, so it’s definitely a brighter, bolder decorating style than the rest of the house.  I repeated my vintage ladder advent calendar again this year {post HERE}.

DIY Christmas Advent Ladder


I also updated the TV Gallery Wall with a festive feel for the holidays!  More details coming soon!


I hope you’ve enjoyed my tour and will stop by again for a visit!  If you’re new to Tidbits&Twine and want to sign up to receive new posts via email, you can do so {HERE}.  You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram to see what I’m up to.


And don’t forget to PIN IT!



Now, head on over to Monica Wants It to take a tour of her home all decked out for the holidays!  You won’t be disappointed!



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