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DIY: Gilded Tree, Inspired by Nature


DIY: Gilded Tree, Inspired by Nature

December 7, 2021

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.

Photography by Justine Hand.

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.

Above: Solvi gets started, painting a walnut with Martha Stewart Metallic Craft Paint.
Above: Solvi starts on another nut.
Above: Home from school, Oliver joins in. (By now we had added beechnuts.)
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.
Above: Trimmed in gold, our giant thuja tree is simple, yet elegant.
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.
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; $2.18.

Above: Just the right touch, Angela Liguori’s metallic cotton ribbon is also available in silver.
Above: With the golden beechnuts, we made a garland by wrapping brass wire from Michael’s around each stem.
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.

For more on decorating for the holidays, see:

N.B.: This post has been updated with new links; it was first published December 2013.

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