Tag Archives: Christmas

Decorating the porch with an easy DIY Christmas tree

I love decorating for Christmas and making everything look festive!

This year I decided we needed some new decorations for the front porch.  I saw some DIY Christmas trees on Pinterest that used tomato cages, and they looked so nice!  After I got some new and improved tomato cages this summer, I decided to upcycle the old, rickety ones into lovely Christmas trees for the front porch.

Make an easy DIY Christmas tree for the porch using a tomato cage - AMerryMom.com

The old tomato cages were all bent up and misshapen after a few years of use.  That’s OK for this project since they’re the unseen support system for the trees.  I just had to reshape them a little to get the correct Christmas tree form.Christmas tree tomato cages

When the annual flowers in my front planters faded, it was time to put the planters to new use as a Christmas tree base.  I bent the top circle of the tomato cage to fit in the planter, pressed it into the dirt, and added a brick to weigh it down.Christmas tree brickI gathered the three base wires on the tomato cage into a pyramid shape at the top.  Then it was simple to wrap the garland around the tomato cage into a conical Christmas tree.Christmas tree undecoratedWhen I was done wrapping the garland, the shape needed a few adjustments for a more natural look.  I fluffed out a few spots on the wire frame and pulled out some of the garland branches.  We added some bows and put it in place on the front porch.

I wish I could add some lights, but we don’t have a plug handy.  That’s OK.  Even without lights, it’s a nice, festive touch by the front door.Easy DIY outdoor Christmas tree from a tomato cage - AMerryMom.com

This DIY Christmas tree was wonderfully simple to make for the front porch using the tomato cages.  I had all the materials on hand except the garland, but it’s an inexpensive DIY project even if you have to buy all the items.

DIY Christmas tree materials

  • Garland – For one tree, I used two 9-foot garlands that I purchased from Hobby Lobby for $10 total.  (They were $5 each on sale – 50% off the regular price of $9.99 each.)
  • Tomato cage – Available at garden centers for about $2.50
  • Flower pot for base – Various styles and price points available at garden centers.  Mine was about $20 from Lowe’s a few years ago, but you can get simple planters for less.
  • Weight for base – I used a brick to weigh down the base of the tree so it wouldn’t topple over in the wind.
  • Outdoor decorations for the tree

Merry Christmas!

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas season!  I’m taking time off from posting on this blog for the rest of December to enjoy the holidays with my family.  See you next year!

This project is linked up at some of these link parties.

Learning to capture Christmas bokeh

Christmas bokeh

As I’ve done some research to help improve my photos this Christmas season with my new DSLR camera, the buzzword I keep seeing is bokeh.  I’ve always liked those photos with the blurred lights in the background, but I never knew that was called bokeh until this year.  It’s a neat effect and definitely something I wanted to try with our Christmas tree.

I was glad to find a few tutorials in the blogosphere to help me figure out how to create these pics.  Today I finally decided to try it out.  I consulted the tutorial I found through Pinterest from the House of Hawthornes blog and pulled out my camera.

I set my camera to Aperture Priority mode and tried taking some photos just holding my camera, but they were all blurred.  I then realized the importance of the advice to use a stable surface.  Since I don’t have a tripod yet, I tried using my coffee table and a dining room chair.  It took several tries, but I got a couple of nice shots.Christmas poinsettia

These photos are so festive!  I love how they capture the beauty of the Christmas season!

Embracing the joy of a good-enough Christmas

When it comes to Christmas, every year I feel like I’m chasing perfection – and losing at it.

I want to have the perfect gifts for everyone on my Christmas cheerlist.

I want the decorations to be impeccable and the house to be immaculate.

I want the ideal picture of the kids for the Christmas cards.

I want to overcome the limitations of my current cooking and baking abilities and whip up amazing meals and desserts.

Each year I find that I can’t live up to the expectations I set for myself.  Then I think, “This year is good enough, and I’ll get an earlier start to make things perfect next year.”  It’s a silly cycle I’ve created.

It’s time for me to stop the madness!  This year is not perfect, and next year won’t be either.  And that’s OK.  I don’t want to spend the Christmas season feeling stressed and worn out because my goals are unrealistic.  I want to enjoy this special time of year, so today I’m taking a moment to reset my expectations and refocus on what’s important.

A “good enough” Christmas is good enough!  In fact, it’s probably better than perfect since it comes with less pressure and more time for family fun.  Time to appreciate the joy in everyday moments this Christmas season – not look for ways to improve them!