Craft Confessions | O Christmas Tree

I will be honest from the start: I am slightly obsessed with Christmas. I understand that lots of people are, and other people really aren't. It's cool; I get it. If you aren't, please smile politely as you click over to your next destination but please come back soon. If you are a fellow obsessive Christmas-er, curl up with a creamy mug of hot chocolate and continue reading.

The last four years, I have been cramped in small dorm rooms or rented rooms with roommates, so I've kept my Christmas cheer fairly minimal. My cute little two foot, pre-lit tree had to do the trick for those four years, and last year I summoned up my courage and graced our shared duplex front door with a festive wreath. This year, it's business time. No roommates to share living spaces with, no conflicting design tastes, and no money to spend. Oh dear, that last one really killed my cheer. I braved the Black Friday crowds and found us a Christmas tree. (Really, I went out at 8 pm on Friday night, so no crowds, no roughness, and no remaining sale trees at the stores I visited first.) We had to settle on a Wal-Mart tree, but it really wasn't so disappointing.

This is the picture Wal-Mart posted. Let me tell you, our tree was nowhere near that full and fluffy. 
It is so fun to have a beautiful Christmas tree in our home, but it needed some direction and decoration! Responding to our very limited decorating funds, I bought a ball of Vanna's Glamour yarn in ruby red and a bag of latex balloons. I'm not typically one to suggest specific brands for crafts, but Vanna's yarn had the most perfect hue and sparkle for our ornaments, so it begs to be noted. Then, following blogland trend, I created these fun balls with some watered-down Elmer's glue (I told you I love Elmer's glue). My first round wasn't successful, but the second time I applied a liberal layer of petroleum jelly to each balloon before wrapping and it really helped. Using some floral wire, I created small hooks for each dried ball, and hung them most lovingly.

I also made a super simple advent garland to go around our tree. I cut out 25 circles of patterned paper and slightly smaller circles of white paper. I wrote the numbers from 24 down to 1 (and "Merry Christmas") on the patterned paper. Then I sewed the white circles over the numbers. Each day we can rip off one white circle to see how many days are left until Christmas!

Obviously these are a very simple decorating solution, but I sure do love how they look on our first-Christmas-as-newlyweds Christmas tree.

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