Saturday, November 5, 2016

Hot Under the (Tree) Collar

Hi everyone!

Now that Halloween is behind us, my thoughts have turned toward the upcoming holidays.  I have taken down most of my fall decor, but left my kitchen sporting turkeys and pumpkins and such.  We are just hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering this year, so I am getting a jump start on my Christmas decorating.

We were in need of a new tree this year.  Last year, we had a new and rambunctious puppy in the house and went with a very small and slim tree for our main living area, with minimal ornaments - just to keep our sanity!  I will be using that tree elsewhere, but decided to return to a full size tree this year for our living room. 

I also knew I wanted to do something different with the base of the tree.  I have had an assortment of tree skirts over the years, and while pretty, they get messed up so easily and I am getting too old to be crawling under our tree every day, lol!

I have always like the idea of putting my tree in a basket and actually have done so a few times - with disastrous results! Putting a full size tree in a basket can be a risky endeavor and can lead to the entire tripping over (yes, I speak from experience)!  

Tree collars have been around for awhile now and are really a brilliant idea.  I have seen them in galvanized and wicker, like this one from Plow & Hearth:

Nifty, don't you think?  Also, somewhat pricy at $69.99! They are available elsewhere and go over $100!  What to do? What to do?  I knew I wanted my tree in a basket, or at least to LOOK like it was in a basket.  But, I was feeling stingy and creative all at the same time and I just didn't want to buy one. (I thought I was so clever with this idea, until I did a Google search and found out I am pretty late to this party.  However, although "it's been done," I thought there might be some of you who have not seen it and would enjoy the heads up).

Enter a serendipitous find at Goodwill recently:

This beauty was brand new, with the tags still on, and I picked it up for a mere $4.99!  For that price, I thought I could give making my own tree collar a try and if I bombed - well, it was just one less pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks.

So, I brought it home, tossed the liner,  sized it up with the Christmas tree stand I had and proceeded to cut a hole in the bottom of the basket with some nippers.

A few short minutes later and - bam! - ready for the tree.  I did not give a lot of forethought into the hole I was cutting and if I was doing it over again, I would make the hole much smaller - just big enough to get the tree trunk through.  Oops! But, have no fear, things will work out in the end.  Keep reading!

The natural, yellow wicker wasn't quite what I wanted for my finish on the tree collar, so the first thing I did was give it a light spray of silver I had left over from another project.  This also was "not quite," but was a good beginning.

 The next, "close, but no cigar" step was a coat of nutmeg spray paint, allowing some of the silver to show through.  Not bad, but still a little shiny and new for my tastes.

A quick coat of some stain I had laying around and then a light, all over sanding and presto! I was on to something.

I dusted off my Christmas tree stand and got to work getting the tree put up. is my version of a tree collar!  No, it is not round like the Plow & Hearth version, but I actually kind of like the shape.  I wrapped a red and white quilted pillow sham around the base to cover the oops! oversized hole.

A closer look at the quilted sham - I need to fluff with it a bit more, but I like the pop of color.

I am loving the new tree.  It is a natural looking pine, so it is more sparse than some of the balsam firs you commonly see in the faux tree department. I will have more info on that in a future post.  I am going for a bit more simplicity, so this style fits the bill.

 I also got a wild hair and will be breaking away from the family ornaments and going with this look.
(Calm down, the family favorites will make an appearance in a different room!) I still don't want to use our precious family ornaments where the dog can get at them...he still is a bit naughty with things like that!

 A combination of inexpensive finds from Hobby Lobby and WalMart...

I will be working on the tree decor over the next few days and will definitely share it with you all.

 One last look at my "homemade" tree collar...I am smitten!  And for $4.99, even Mr. Bluebird thinks it's awesome.

I know it might be a wee bit early to start decorating for Christmas, but the season comes so fast and I am often so busy "trying to catch up" during the holidays that I don't get a chance to enjoy our home.  I started early last year as well, and it was so relaxing.  I am not saying it is for everybody, but it works for me.

When do you start your Christmas decorating?

Thanks for stopping by,

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  1. I think you are just the cleverest thing!!! It looks awesome!
    I also love the looks of your tree....just so pretty!
    I am always hanging on to fall until I have to give it up but early decorating is certainly a good idea. I've done that a time or two when I was going to have surgery and couldn't do it after.
    I'm new to the party too since I haven't seen all the trees in baskets thing before. I like it!

  2. This is awesome Jane. What a super idea. Love it. I get an early start on my holiday decor too. Your tree looks so pretty.
    Happy Sunday

  3. Jane, You did an awesome job on the basket and so very clever of you. I really like it. Blessings for you and yours, xoxo, Susie

  4. Very cool. I put my tree up the day after Thanksgiving :)

  5. So smart!! I love the way it looks. At first I thought it might be a lamp shade because I have one very similar. Now I know that when I get tired of that lamp, I'll use the shade at Christmas. ;)

  6. Love your idea for the tree. I have used baskets and boxes for full size trees myself. I would place a crock inside the basket or box and then add my tree. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog. Janice

  7. Jane - that turned out great! Super idea to turn the basket upside down. It looks great and even with the bigger hole no one would notice. I bet you could even wrap some faux pine greens around the trunk there to 'fill in', too.

    Love your cute new ornaments. It will be lovely. I don't start until the day after Thanksgiving (especially if I am hosting here-(which I always seem to do). lol xo Diana

  8. This is great. Much easier to do than the galvanized version. I can't wait to see the rest of the tree. Thanks for linking to Monday Social.

  9. Oh man! What a great idea! So cool!

  10. Good Evening Jane, It is lovely to meet you. Do you know, these baskets cost a fortune over here in England, so I am thrilled to discover your tutorial. I normally have a material tree skirt, but I would love, love, love a basket.
    Guess what I will be doing next week... you've guessed it. I will be hunting around for a basket.
    Have a lovely evening.
    Best Wishes

  11. Great idea; love the look!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY!

  12. Thanks for sharing your creativity at Monday Social! I hope you'll be back this week.

  13. OMGoodness, I can not tell you how much I LOVE this!!!! I also like the shape of yours!!!! GREAT job, Jane!