The first step to creating a fun tree is to forget the notion of what should or shouldn't be on a Christmas tree. None of the decorations on these trees are available at your favorite ornament shop, and that's the joy -- each one is a personal work of art.
So follow the inspiration of these trendy tannenbaums and dream up a whimsical tree of your own.
Paper lanterns add an exotic flair to a young-at-heart tree. Look for small lanterns in bold colors and shapes at import stores. A favorite for Chinese New Year's celebrations, these lanterns are perfect for trees that will be up well into January.
These yarn balls bring to mind ice-skating parties and warm hats. Make 2- to 4-inch-diameter poms using a pom-pom maker (available at crafts stores) and colorful acrylic yarn. Or, wrap scads of yarn around the middle of a paper towel roll, slip off the yarn, and tie at center. Clip the loopy ends and fluff.
Snap some candid shots of friends and family, then turn photos into memorable decorations. Using tacky crafts glue or hot glue, run rows of lace and embroidered ribbon around the edges of the pictures. Wrap the cut ends to the back of the photographs, finishing them with more glue to prevent fraying. Attach a hanging loop to the back.
Mirrors decked with plastic gems add glitz and glamour. Hot-glue cording and a hanging loop around the edge of 2- and 4-inch-diameter mirrors (available at crafts stores). Add a scattering of silver-backed gemstones from the jewelry-making department, hot-gluing them to the mirror.
No reason the office has to have a bah-humbug attitude through the holidays. Have a little fun with a few office supplies and bring some cheer to your cubicle!
To make this dotty garland, stick two round self-adhesive labels back-to-back, sandwiching thin string between them. To keep a long strand from tangling as you work, make 2- to 3-foot-sections, then join the sections with a pair of dots.
Send those Santa letters straight to the tree. Type up wish lists or recycle past Christmas letters, folding them into paper airplanes to tuck into the boughs.
Shredded paper yields a whimsical substitute for foil tinsel. Place paper strips on newspaper in a well-ventilated area. Give the strips a misting of silver spray on one side. Drape the shreds on the tree.
This sparkly ornament is made from common pushpins. Insert clear pushpins in a circle around the middle of a 3-inch-diameter plastic-foam ball, then add rows to cover the ball. A bent silver pipe cleaner forms the hanger.
The holidays will be sweet with these tasteful ideas for covering a tree with candy and cookies.
This starburst of peppermint sticks explodes with color. Lightly coat a 3-inch-diameter plastic-foam ball with red acrylic paint. Press peppermint sticks into the ball about 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Remove each stick, add a dot of tacky glue to hold it in place, and replace the stick.
Decorate plain round sugar cookies by adding bright, geometric patterns inspired by modern art. Using a drinking straw, press a hanging hole into each cookie before baking. After the cookies cool, ice them with minimalistic strips and squares.
Take a new twist on the old-fashioned kissing ball. This one uses something much more passionate than mistletoe: chocolate. Hot-glue foil-covered candies to a plastic foam ball, then add a ribbon for hanging.
String up a fun, edible ornament made from colorful candies. Shape armature wire (available at art supply stores) into a circle and form a loop at one end. Slide ring-shaped hard candies onto the wire until it is packed full. Turn down the remaining end of the wire to keep the candies from sliding off.