Recycled and Upcycled Newspaper Tree

Made this tree from recycled newspaper and a few lights. Added a little spray paint to match party decor and there you have it. paper tree blue newspaper tree

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Frugal Edible Christmas Tree – start to grow now

It’s almost July, and exactly six months away from Christmas. So, what can we do now to create an extremely unique gift for just pennies?

Growing your own food is all the rage. It’s a way to keep the grocery bill down. If you are anything like me, I don’t like to spend money on fresh herbs. However, if I can grow it, I’ll use it in the kitchen. Herbs are also extremely easy to grow.

This year, let’s  try to grow rosemary Christmas Trees. This isn’t a new idea or anything. If we start now, we may have great success. How hard can it be? This will be a great frugal edible Christmas tree!

  1. Take 4″ cuttings from existing rosemary plants or bushes from your yard or get some from friends.
  2. Pull the leaves off the bottom 2″.
  3. Plant in recycled containers or pots.

What else can we grow to look like a Christmas tree?


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Christmas in July

Pictures to come later. I have been experimenting with a Christmas palm tree design for the upcoming season. One of the things I hear is – I don’t have enough space to decorate. So, this can solve that if you you happen to have a table with an umbrella hole, you can use this tree in place of the umbrella.

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Real Christmas Tree and Wreath

Pick a theme you can carry throughout the space, so that when you stand and see other decorations they do not clash in color. For the public spaces in this office, we kept it with silver, bright green, and rich purple’s. 

  • Six foot fresh-cut tree from Kula Botanical Garden $63
  • Matte Green Balls – Flora-Dec $0.59 each
  • Bright Purple Balls – Walmart $15
  • Silver Ribbon – Costco $6.99
  • Wreath – Cosco $15.99
  • Lights – recycled FREE
  • Glittered Green Ribbon – FREE – recycled from last year
  • Tree skirt fabric – recycled white tablecloth FREE
  • Glittery floral stems – recycled from last year FREE
  • Lighted sliver and white angel – Walgreen’s $9.99

TIP: Use floral wire to secure balls and decorations to your tree.

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Black, Silver, Gray and White Decorated Christmas Tree

Six foot pre-lit tree decorated in black, white, silver, and gray.

  • Tree –  Walgreen’s $24.99
  • Butterfly clips – Flora-dec $4
  • Patterned Gray Ribbon – Costco $6.99 last year
  • Black Ribbon – FREE – recycled
  • Balls – recycled FREE
  • Tree skirt fabric – recycled FREE
  • Painted guava branches – recycled FREE

TIP: Matching the colors on the tree decorations to the colors of the space. This office has black desks and gray fabric throughout.

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Christmas Tree decorated in Ivory and Gold

Six foot pre-lit tree decorated in all gold – gold balls (glittered, matte and shiny), gold poinsettia’s, ivory ribbon, ivory and gold lighted angel, and gold fabric for the tree skirt.

  • Tree –  Walgreen’s $24.99
  • Lighted angel –Walgreen’s $9.99
  • Ivory Ribbon – Costco $6.99 last year
  • Everything else was from the attic recycled from over the years.

TIP: if you think your balls look cracked or old, use these toward the inside of the tree. You will never notice that they are not brand new.

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Christmas Tree Decorated in Red and a Little Gold

This tree was being decorated in the Aloha Surgical Center. while her husband was having surgery. She happened to have matching red and gold ribbon, floral wire, and scissor’s in her car and offered to help.

ONE TIP: when the tree is somewhat small for the space, go ahead and put it up on a box or table to add height. Look how great this four foot tree looks in their space. They already had the red wall. The fabric covering the box is a surgical blanket. Love it!

Check out the Tree Top. When you don’t have an angel or a santa, or a star or a tradition topper you can use bows, and in this case a couple of sprigs of glittery matching floral supplies. Place the focal point slightly below the top so it’s not flapping in the wind – see post on tree tops.

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Special Ornaments

Place your special ornaments at eye level. If there is a face looking down, place it slightly above and if the face is looking down slightly below. That way when folks walk up to your tree, they’ll notice your special ornament(s).
Photo by Peter Liu of

The first one is a gift from Judy O! 

Photo by Peter Liu of
Photo by Peter Liu of
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Pink Butterflies

Photo by Peter Liu of

Found these butterflies this year on sale at Flora-dec (a craft store on Oahu).  It was nice to add something a little different.

Can you find the pink butterfly?

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Christmas Tree Toppers

Photo by Peter Liu of

It seems everyone’s eye goes to the top of the tree. Try placing the topper down a little from the top so that you have green surrounding your topper. This gives it a bit of drama. By adding bows, and floral pieces around gives it just a little extra attention.

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