My $20 Christmas Tree

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas around our house!
The tree is up and is everything I envisioned.
I set myself a budget of $20 for an entirely new 'themed' Christmas Tree this year.
I wanted it to be reflective of my home.
A simple down home country Christmas all around the house.
Remember my sneak peek photo?
These are the basic elements I used to design my tree.
First though you have to have LOTS of pine cones!
How do you get really pretty ones?
Down in the country...
You go Pine Cone Pickin' !
Yep, that is ME in the bucket of a tractor picking pine cones from the tree!
Wear gloves and matching outfit (coordinated with the tractor)
Be lifted up to scary heights, then simply twist off the pine cones.
Fuss just a tad at the driver trying to scare the wits outta ya.
Fill Walmart bags (recycle you know!) and head to the kitchen.
Since there are ants and spiders crawling around in the South...
Bake your pine cones for 20 minutes at 200 degrees to fry the little buggers.
Then grab a glue gun, some ribbon and make a mess in your living room floor.
I also made bird ornaments.
You can find an easy tutorial on how to make these ornaments,
(with a little help from Dollar Tree birdies)
Wednesday, December 4th at ReDeemed's 12 Days of Christmas.
I will be guest blogging for the 1st time ever!
I'm doing 4 Calling Birds.
I have to say that putting this tree together has been the MOST fun!
My mom stopped by and assisted in cutting burlap strips,
(which were leftovers from a Christmas gift I am making).
With pine cones, twigs and birdies ready, burlap cut and lights twinkling...
I went to work...
Mom even stayed and helped out.
See the twigs on top? Gathered from my yard.
I spotted this beautiful red bird at Target on Friday.
Didn't get it.
When the tree was 'done'; Mom decided it needed that bird.
So off to Target we ran.
I really really LOVE my new theme tree!
And you know what?
It cost me $21 for the ENTIRE tree.
Here's the breakdown:
Pine cones, twigs from yard - FREE
1 roll of ribbon - $1 (50% off at Hobby Lobby)
Burlap strips (leftover from a project, so the 'cost' is in the gift I am making)
12 small red birds (Dollar Tree) = $4
18 berry springs (Hobby Lobby on 50% off) - $9
Large Bird (Target) - $5
That is actually $19.00
However, I also bought one other item, the tree 'skirt'.
Actually it's not a tree skirt at all.
It's a curtain.
I purchased it at the Salvation Army last weekend, thinking I would use it to cover some pillows.
I walked past it after putting up my naked tree and a light bulb went off.
For a grand total of $21.  One dollar over budget.
However, I am THRILLED with the results!
And my teen daughter, who is sickly on the couch today said,
"Mom, the tree looks really good".
It doesn't have to cost a pretty penny to SHINE like one!
I am linking up with the following blog parties:

Christmas Tree Contest


  1. Very impressive penny pinching but an even more impressive, beautiful, creative tree! You are very talented! I'm jealous -- my tree is standing there with just lights on it, and I'm too tired to decorate!

  2. I'm just not digging the sticks coming out of the tree. As a logger's wife, we'd be breaking out the chainsaw. sorry! It just looks a bit too rustic for me.
    The rest looks wonderful!!

  3. I really love your natural Christmas tree, it so simple and elegant. Marla

  4. Wow, I can't believe how beautiful it is for so little money. A great inspiration!

    Christi @ A Southern Life

  5. Sherri I am cracking up about you picking the pine cones! I LOVE IT!!! And Rustic the tree is and I LOVE IT TOO!!! I'm very jealous of the price tag of $21. You did a great job

  6. Oh Sherri! I LOVE your tree! You are such a hoot up in that contraption picking pine cones! lol And what fun you and your mom must have had...priceless!! Happy week!...hugs...Debbie

  7. OK now I know I should add a cherry picker to my list of things I need:) I am going to bake my pine cones now that I know how long and at what temp. Thanks.

  8. Aw, I love that tree. So pretty. My question though, and maybe I missed it, but how much did you pay for the actual tree? Is it real or fake? We still don't have a tree!

  9. How cute! I would have never guessed it was a $20.00 budget! Job well done! And the bird looks fine up there!

  10. Hey girl...I love this!!!!! I never even thought of baking pinecones...thanks for the tip! I even have an old window frame like that. This is just so pretty and so warm and inviting...great inspiration! Keep those ideas coming! ~Picket~

  11. The tree it self is FAKE and a few years old. Pre-lit purchased at an after Christmas sale somewhere.

  12. Great ideas. I have packed all my ornaments away and loathe to get them out. Perhaps I'll just start from scratch like this.

  13. I love that you were in a tractor to get pine-cones. I always just get the ones on the ground that have fallen. But, the ones behind my house fall from fir trees and they are not as pretty as the ones from pine trees. Love that you decorated your tree for $20! Very thrifty!

  14. What a cute post. Love your tree. I used pine cones too, for our tree. I love the simplicity of them.

  15. I love all that you did!
    :o) I need to hunt some pine cones myself! :o)
    Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

  16. Sherri, I think that this is SOOOOOO cute! I'm loving the way you hung the pine cones. I have a tendancy to just shove them in the tree, and never thought about hanging them this way. Thank you for the inspiration to do something different next year! The burlap ribbon is a nice touch too, and quite the savings you know! They have it at our most expensive Christmas decor store - also a nusery for $22.00 - 9 yards. :) Great job!

  17. Love you tree--so Americana! I've been picking up pine cones from around the neighborhood & in my backyard, but I still need more!!!! I was thinking about doing a red tree next year, and if I don't get a whole bunch of ornaments after Christmas, I might go this route next year. I really like this--you out did yourself!!

  18. Great post Sherri. I grew up on a farm, where we had miles of oine trees. As soon as they fell to the ground, we were there picking them up. We also 'baked' them in the oven. Didn't know anybody else knew that trick!

  19. It looks great! Love the bird theme. I have never done a theme tree... just used our box of ornaments collected over the years, but I would love to spend $20 for a tree -sounds like a fun challenge! :) Those red birdies are so cute... I also need to check and see if my dollar store has any more in stock.

  20. I am quite impressed! It turned out beautiful.

  21. The bird on top is totally the right touch to top it off!

  22. It's gorgeous! I love changing up my tree every year - this year was all red and white, it looks so much different than in year's before. I think change is a GOOD thing!

  23. Hey there! Thanks so much for following my blog! I LOVE your fabulous $21 tree! I cracked up at the pinecone pickin'! I'm so jealous! We have NO TREES where I live. I have these wimpy little pine trees (3 yrs old) and just yesterday I spotted ONE pinecone. I'm hoping by next year I'll be able to pinecone pick my trees too! Love the burlap garland and the BIRDS, oh my! I have a "thing" for birds. Definitely going to give those a try! Thanks for sharing, and I'm now following your blog. Love it!!

  24. Crack me up in that thingy gettin' your pinecones *snicker* But your tree is amazing! I'd say that was $21 of money well spent :o)

    Thanks for linking up!

  25. I love how your tree turned out..sometimes the simplest and most inexpensive are the most beautiful and you certainly proved that! Enjoy the holidays season

  26. I think I'll wait till the pinecones hit the ground! Your mom was right- that red bird tops it just right.

  27. Just beautiful! Thanks so much for the tips about the pine cones. I never would have thought to bake them first.

    Do you have any idea on how to dry birch limbs? My dad cut some for me, but they are still wet.

  28. So pretty! And so frugal, which makes it even better.

    And you know, I was just thinking (as I browsed the Christmas section of several stores) that I would love to find a tutorial of how to make those birds! Anxious for that!

  29. Well, you know natural decorations are my faves! That picture of you in the bucket picking cones cracked me up!

  30. I'm with you--I cut my subscriptions back because it was getting out of hand. Plus, lately I 've been finding all my favorite mags at the thrift store and it's always the most recent issue--apparently someone who has great taste (like me, of course) just gives them away every month. Yay for me and my $0.25 magazines!! But for $5, it didn't make sense to miss out. Gla dyou were able to get in on it!

  31. Great tree. And how frugal. You didn't have to rent the bucket yea! You would have gone over budget. LOL. I love your tree. Thanks for sharing your thriftiness!
    Have a Blessed Week,

  32. adore your tree, and the natural elements. The burlap is such a homey country touch. GREAT JOB!

  33. It's gorgeous! $21? No way! I wanted to change the theme on mine this year too but thought better of spending the money. You're an inspiration! NEXT year for sure! Great job!

    Thanks for adding your inspiration to the holiday party! ;)


  34. Your tree looks so beautiful! I no longer have a pine tree but some people I house-sat for did so I bagged up plenty of cones...and left them out in the rain. Now they are on newspaper by the heat vent in the hopes they'll dry out and open up so I can actually use them!
    "Country Christmas" - I listened to that Loretta Lynn song today as I was getting some things together - it always makes me think of Christmas as I was growing up.

  35. What a fun way to get pinecones!! That beats going to Wal-Mart any day. ;) Your tree is gorgeous. Thanks for the visit!

  36. Hi Sherri. What a wonderful job. Just love seeing what's possible on a budget. I did a homemade tree one year and it was so fun and I really loved it. Your's turned out beautiful.

    I'm a Southern girl too. Raised around the Jacksonville, Florida area which might as well be called South Georgia. I look forward to visiting your blog often and getting to know you.


  37. You did great and its beautiful.. Kudo's to your creative talent~!!

  38. THat is gorgeous! You did a great job. I love the way you used what you had and then also found other things frugally. I haven't done any decorating yet. I kind of like to wait until after my birthday on the 6th and also we are still recuperating from getting back from a trip and a bit of sickness. I am excited to start soon however!

  39. The tree looks fabulous! Love the tractor picture!!

  40. It looks beautiful! I love that you fry the little bugs on the pine cones. I think I actually said out loud, "Oh, yeah. Fry those suckers!!!" Did I mention that I don't like bugs and definitely NOT spiders?

  41. This could easily be my tree - minus the burlap and the bird! I put berry springs in my tree too and it came with pinecones already! :) Thanks so much for following and for adding my Christmas Blog Fest button. :) I'll be adding you to my blogroll as well. Have a a great Thursday!! :)

  42. You are talented and funny too! I think you should send the photo of you in the tractor as your christmas card the comment about frying the bugs in the oven...priceless!

  43. Your tree is beautiful. But mostly I'm envious of the ride up in the bucket! Back in Ohio I used to con my husband into doing that, too! What fun!

  44. Your tree is gorgeous! I love how tall and skinny it is. Those profiles really intrigue me.

    And yeah.. the bucket truck thing. How awesome is THAT?! :)

    Thanks for linking up to the tree party!

    Funky Junk Donna

  45. You were designed to shine! Amazing. Coordinated with the cherry picker and everything. Do you own a cherry picker?

    And I didn't know you had to heat the pine cones before using them.

    Lovely tree.

  46. Absolutely stunning, fabulous, and so thrifty. I really love your limit of budget you used. It really forces you to be resourceful and creative. Good for you!!


Thanks so much for stopping by to read my blog! I appreciate and read every comment. LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE! ~Sherri~

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