Gilded Tree, Inspired by Nature by

Issue 101 · Deck the Halls · December 5, 2013

Gilded Tree, Inspired by Nature

Issue 101 · Deck the Halls · December 5, 2013

Inspired by the natural and unruly beauty of our new, live Christmas tree, the kids and I decided to create a series of handmade ornaments that were equally organic. But we also felt that our elegant evergreen deserved a little holiday sparkle. So we created gilded adornments, fit for a queen.

Photographs by Justine Hand. Photography shot with the Canon EOS Rebel SL1 digital SLR camera. Small in size, enormous in performance.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, Supplies, Gardenista

Above: Supplies for gilding ornaments. (Well, most of them.)

At first the kids and I thought we were just going to give a few nuts a golden veneer. But from there the concept grew. 

Gilded Natural Ornaments, Solvi paints a Walnut, Gardenista

Above: Solvi gets started, painting a walnut with Martha Stewart Metallic Craft Paint from Michael's.

Feel an urge to make your own? See more DIY Woodland Ornaments in our Photo Gallery.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, applying paint, Gardenista

Above: Solvi starts on another nut.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, Olie and Solvi, Gardenista

Above: Home from school, Oliver joins in. (By now we had added beechnuts.)

Gilded Natural Ornaments, ribbon, Gardenista

Above: Drying time—our walnut ornaments were completed with a small brass nail, a bit of glue, and Angela Liguori's Metallic, Cotton ribbon in 2/8 Inch; $9 per spool.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, Gardenista

Above: Trimmed in gold, our giant thuja tree is simple, yet elegant.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, Reindeer Garland, Gardenista

Above: I contributed the reindeer garland, made with a template from Lilla A's Blog, an X-Acto knife, a paper bag, and some golden, silk thread.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, glitter leaf, Gardenista

Above: The lightest touch, simple leaf skeletons are adorned with golden glitter.

I actually bought these leaves while in New York City for the Remodelista book launch. Unfortunately, ABC Carpet and Home doesn't offer them on its website, but these delicate ornaments would be easy to make. Leaf Veins offers many exotic leaf skeletons including a Pack of 20 Rubber Leaves similar to the ones above; $1.95.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, Walnut, Gardenista

Above: Just the right touch, Angela Liguori's metallic cotton ribbon is also available in Silver; $9.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, beechnut garland, Gardenista

Above: With the golden beechnuts, we made a garland by wrapping brass wire from Michael's around each stem.

Gilded Natural Ornaments, tree, Gardenista

Above: Our live tree graced the corner of our dining room for a few days before planting. To read more about the process of picking, caring for and planting a live tree, see DIY: Plant Your Christmas Tree in the Garden.

Looking for more organic tree trimmings? See 5 Favorites: Ornaments for Nature Lovers.



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