You have likely heard of a Christmas tree, but how about a Winter tree?
Winter has to be the most under-decorated season of the year! Why is that? Well, I think it is because we dive right into Christmas and after Christmas we are so tired that all we want to do is purge, have a clean and uncluttered home and get ready for spring.
We spend so much money on an artificial tree, so why not get more use out of it?
This year, I am starting the winter season with a winter tree and will likely transition it back to winter, after Christmas because I absolutely adore this tree that I received from King of Christmas. If you want to learn all the reasons why I love this tree, click here.
Winter Tree Theme
The first thing you will need to do is come up with a theme. It could be a ski lodge theme, snowflake theme, rustic theme, etc. Let the theme reflect your life, interests and whatever is special about winter to you.
For my tree, I have gone with an all natural theme and made the majority of the ornaments on the tree.
We live in an area of orchards, vineyards, flower farms and homestead farms, so dried fruit was a must.
My flower garden is very much a big part of our lives, so elements from the garden were also desirable.
Our property borders a huge provincial park and forest, so pinecones and acorns were also fitting.
We already had snow, so I felt that snowflakes would also be fitting.
So let’s dive in.
Drying and decorating fruit
- Fruit such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit, apples, or pears
- Oven or dehydrator
- Sharp knife
- wire rack
- cookie sheet
- lemon juice (if drying apples)
- spray adhesive
- stencilling brush
- twine or ribbon
- star anise
- glue gun and glue sticks
Disclaimer: I have added links to products and should you decide to purchase any of them, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!
Step 1 – Choose the fruit
I went to the grocery store and picked out fruit I knew would work, such as oranges and apples. While I was there, I saw pears and loved their shape so I thought I would give them a try too.
Step 2 – Slice and dry off the fruit
Slice the fruit 1/4″ thick and then place on paper towel. Lay paper towels on top and gently but firmly push down to remove excess juice.
If you are drying apples, be sure to soak them in lemon juice to prevent them from browning.
Step 3 – Dry fruit in oven
Warm your oven to 150 to 170 degrees. Place fruit on a wire rack on top of a cookie sheet.
Every hour flip the fruit until the fruit is completely dried, yet not shrivelled up.
The oranges took about 6 hours, the apples took 4 hours and the pears took approximately 8 hours. I also left all of the fruit on a drying rack for a day before I began decorating them.
Step 4 – Decorate
Spread your dried fruit out on a large piece of cardboard. Thoroughly spray with spray adhesive. Follow directions on can. Mine stated to wait until tacky which took about 10 minutes.
Press the stencilling brush into the glitter and then onto the dried fruit. You could also sprinkle the glitter over the fruit but I found that was resulting in too thick glitter and was wasteful.
Next, make a loop of ribbon or twine and glue to back of fruit.
Lastly, glue a star anise to the front.
Another option is to place a bow of ribbon at the top of the fruit and glue a star anise on top of the bow.
You could also use transparent thread, as show below for the hanger.
When placing the fruit on the tree, try to place them so that lights shine from behind. This really enhances the beauty of the fruit.
Decorating acorns and pinecones
- real or faux acorns
- metallic paint and paint brush
- ribbon or twine
- star anise
- transparent thread
Paint base of acorn with metallic paint. I chose two paint colors – bronze and rich espresso.
Apply adhesive to top of acorn. Use stencil brush to apply glitter so that it gets into all the grooves and pits.
My ribbon was 5/8 of an inch and that was too big for the acorn so I cut it in half.
Cut one piece at 5 inches long and the other at 3 inches.
Take the five inch piece and glue the ends as seen in the first photo.
Then press the loop into the middle and glue as seen in the second photo.
Take the 3 inch piece and fold it in half. Glue it to the top of the acorn.
Glue the bow on top.
Take a piece of transparent thread and tie it into a loop. Place a dap of hot glue in the middle of the bow, then place the knotted end of the transparent thread into the glue and then place a star anise on top. See the photo to the right for the finished product.
With pinecones, I lightly brushed on the copper metallic paint at the ends of the wings or petals of the pinecone. I then followed the same instructions above for the top of the bow. I made the tails of the bow much longer, slightly longer than the pinecone.
Adding dried flowers
I had the idea for a natural winter type of tree for many months, so in the summer I started drying flowers with the idea of adding them to the winter tree. The flowers that were perfect for this tree were dried allium.
Walk around your house and see what natural elements you could add. If you are reading this in the summer, keep an eye out for interesting forms that could be added.
One of my allium grew huge and it made the perfect topper for the tree.
I wanted to add rose hips but unfortunately I couldn’t find any. I thought they would be beautiful if they were brushed with a little metallic paint.
Rustic snowflakes and other decor
If you can believe it, I made these rustic snowflakes and you can too! Just click this link where I have step by step instructions.
If you aren’t up for making them, you could always search for them in stores or Christmas markets.
When it came to ribbon or garlands, I decided to keep it simple. I found this lovely jute ribbon on Amazon and it was so inexpensive. Here is a link to it.
I added some faux berry branches and some beautiful satin ribbon. The golds and bronzes perfectly complimented the natural theme of this tree.
Below are photos of what the tree looks like during the day (left) and how it looks at night with the lights on (right). Aren’t they both so pretty. I think the thing I like the best is that it is interesting and unexpected.
I hope you enjoyed this and will give winter decorating or even a winter tree a try!
Now, I hope you hop on over to Maria, from a Pure Happy Home to check out her dried orange craft.
Below is a graphic showing all of the other projects and below are links to the rest of the blog hoppers. Make sure to check them out as I am sure you are going to find lots of great inspiration.
Below are links to many of the products found on the tree.
Disclaimer: Should you decide to purchase any of these items I will receive a small commission at no extra charge to you!
As always, thank you so very much for your support and sticking around to the end!