How to Set Up Your Artificial Christmas Tree

For many families, setting up their Christmas trees is one of the most cherished and time-honored of all holiday traditions. From the oldest family members to the youngest, each one takes part in bringing this beloved tree to life with classic and fanciful ornaments. It has bridged countless generations together. With the Yuletide season now in full swing, it’s time bring back the Christmas tree into our homes and into our hearts.

To help you setup your Christmas tree for the holidays, here are Tree Classics’ four simple and easy to follow steps on how to assemble an artificial tree.

1. Take out your Christmas tree from storage and cleaning it

After spending several months tucked away in your closet or garage, chances are your Christmas tree may have accumulated a few layers of dirt and dust. The best way to get rid of these is to wipe the branches and needles with a clean piece of cloth dipped in water and soap. However, if you’re dealing with a pre-lit Christmas tree, it would be better to skip the soapy water to avoid ruining the light connections. As you work your way through the different sections of your Christmas tree, make sure to pay close attention to even the smallest tips and corners of the foliage. Once you finish, let your Christmas tree dry for a few minutes before continuing your tree assembly.

To avoid having to worry about dust and dirt covering your Christmas tree during storage, try storing it in a Christmas tree storage bag instead of its original box. These storage bags are specially designed to keep your artificial Christmas tree dirt and dust-free while kept away. They also help preserve the quality of your tree for more years to come.

2. Put your Christmas tree together section by section

After cleaning the foliage your artificial Christmas tree, it’s time to put tree all together. Start by setting the tree stand on a level place. For smaller Christmas trees, you can use a support base to give it more height. Some homeowners place their trees on a small platform for elegance while others prefer an old wooden or steel bucket for a more rustic look.

Next, assemble your Christmas tree according to its section, beginning with the bottom. Insert the tree pole into the tree stand and secure it. Spread the branches of the tree outward so you can see the following connection for the middle part. This is also to prepare the foliage for the shaping and fluffing later on. Attach the next section of the tree then repeat the same process as before. Finish the assembly by adding the top of your Christmas tree and attaching all the light connections together.

3. Shape the branches of your Christmas tree

To achieve an elegant and realistic look for your Christmas tree, always remember to shape and fluff its foliage. Since different trees have varying shapes and forms, this process allows your artificial Christmas tree to take on the appearance of its live tree inspiration. It involves spreading out the branches of the tree either upward or downward starting from the innermost parts to the very tips. Fluffing your Christmas tree also makes its branches more suitable for ornamentation.

4. Check the Light Connections and Bulbs

The following step is very important whether you have a pre-lit Christmas tree or an unlit tree you plan to decorate with lights. Dealing with light connections requires the utmost care in order to keep your family safe and to avoid any untoward incidents during the holidays.

Before you plug your tree to an outlet, make sure to double check all the wires for any damages or loose connections. Pay attention to the lights to see if there are any busted bulbs that need replacement. Once you’ve scanned the light strands, plug your Christmas tree in. Again, watch out for busted bulbs or malfunctioning connections.

If you spot any damages, carefully unplug your tree then set it aside. Contact the store where you bought your tree for any possible parts replacement or a professional electrician to check and fix the connections further.

The Christmas tree is an important part of many family traditions. It is a classic reminder of just how much we value celebrating the holidays and the spirit of giving it represents.

Autumn Table Settings for Your Dinner Party

Table Settings for a Fall Dinner Party

Autumn is here, and it’s evident through the cool breeze and the wonderful colors in the trees. For most, this season is one of the busiest in the year, what with the fall dinners to prepare and the coming holiday rush that brings with it a joyful list of chores. A fall dinner party need not be stressful, however, and these simple fall table settings will help give you get a headstart on your fall preparations.

The Farmhouse

If you’re hesitant to bid the summer farewell, keep the fall leaves at a minimum and focus on a harvest theme that comes with brighter colors reminiscent of the summer. For a centerpiece that symbolizes abundance, arrange clusters of wheat in a clear glass or silver container. To dress up the container, use a small wreath underneath it. For the individual plates, use silver napkin holders to go with the silverware. Add some pumpkin-scented votives to the centerpiece and you have an ideal table setting to help you transition from summer to autumn. If you want to add some fun to dinner, you can add a small scarecrow to the centerpiece and use plates that go with the theme, such as those with farm animals or a farmhouse design. A burlap runner also adds to the country charm, especially when combined with place mats in the shape and color of leaves.

The Woodlands

Most fall décor themes feature pumpkins in some way, and this table setting is no exception. Select pumpkins with neutral tones and use them as big, bold centerpieces; then use the smaller variety as candy bowls to add some accents. The main element of this table setting are the dried twigs and branches, which give it an earthy feel. Wrap the pumpkin centerpieces in them and use matching table linen to complete the look.

To add a modern touch to this rustic mix, place some dried twigs and branches in a clear glass vase or container and place a candle in the center. Add this to the pumpkin centerpieces for some warmth. If you decide to do away with the pumpkins, pinecones are an excellent alternative because they add to the table ambiance and work as a prelude to the holiday season.

The White Autumn

Color plays a major role in many fall décor themes, but the absence of the bright thematic colors will give your table setting an air of mystery and anticipation. For the centerpiece, use white pillar candles and small white pumpkins or gourds of varying sizes. Crystal tableware will tie up the white elements with the silverware. You can also do away with the conventional tablecloth and use several linen table runners placed crosswise on the table for an elegant but laidback look.

Give the monochromatic table setting a touch of autumn by placing a fall leaf and some dried twigs on each individual plate or tying them with white ribbon on the table napkin. Adding natural elements will elevate a simple table setting to a grand display of the season’s beauty.

Make sure that you incorporate elements of nature into your décor every season, whether as accents or as a focal point. These small touches will act as the fulcrum of any seasonal décor theme, unifying other design elements into a cohesive—and stunning—whole.

Photo by Gisela Francisco via Flickr. CC BY 2.0

 

The Wintry Charm of Silver and White Christmas Trees

Artificial Christmas trees today don silver or white needles that create a whimsical wintry charm. What are the best silver and white Christmas trees on the market? 

In the first edition of our holiday trees special, we take a look at two Tree Classics Christmas trees that capture the loveliness of wintry woodlands.

The Timelessness of a White Christmas

Long known as one of the finest white Christmas trees around, Tree Classics’ Arctic White Pine Christmas Tree offers an excellent wintry accent for holiday homes. Made with only the finest PVC needles, this pine tree fills any corner with coolness and calm. And with its flame-retardant material, you don’t have to worry about your favorite tree catching fire.

Arctic White Pine Christmas Tree
Arctic White Pine Christmas Tree

Our pre-lit Arctic White Pine tree is designed to enhance the captivating appeal of a white Christmas. The ever-reliable UL lights cast a beautiful ambient glow. Whether you place it in your living room or foyer, you will witness how our remarkable white Christmas tree turns your home into an ideal winter paradise.

The Everlasting Sheen of Silver

Recreate the vision of illustrious snow-capped forests with Tree Classics’ Silver Bells Silver Christmas Tree. Combining the design elements of frosted trees and sparkling winter dew drops, this fine silver Christmas tree takes the elegance of silver Christmas trees to a higher level. The high-quality, flame-resistant PVC tinsel needles provide a pristine charm. The slim profile also fits any corner of your home.

Silver Bells Silver Christmas Tree
Silver Bells Silver Christmas Tree

A perfect complement to any home design, our Silver Bells Silver holiday tree adds a fascinating centerpiece. The pre-lit version is crafted with worry-free UL lights to bathe your home with a mesmerizing glow worthy of the season.

Usher in the holidays with these charming white and silver artificial Christmas trees from Tree Classics.

DIY Classics: How to Tell a Story with a Family Quilt

For decades, quilts have been used across cultures as a form of narrative art. Its lively colors and intricate designs often portray momentous events in a family’s history. From weddings to births, these stylish patchworks have symbolized our celebration for life. In this edition of DIY Classics, we take a look at how these colorful quilts are used to tell heartwarming and unforgettable family stories.

Sewing a Family Quilt
Photo from rickpilot_2000 ia flickr. CC BY 2.0

Baby Quilts

One of the most well-known patchwork projects around is the baby quilt. Commonly sewn to celebrate the arrival of a new member of the family, these quilts feature simple yet colorful patterns that represent joy and excitement. Compared to other storied cloths, baby quilts are easier to make because they do not take as much fabric. Families often embroider the baby’s name and date of birth on the quilt and hand it down from generation to generation.

Baby Quilt
Photo from normanack ia flickr. CC BY 2.0

Begin your own patchwork tradition by creating adorable baby quilts for your family. You can try sewing your own baby blanket design or a full-sized flannel quilt blanket.

Graduation Quilts

Sewing a graduation quilt is another popular American family tradition. This special patchwork project features patterns that represent the years spent by a family member in high school. It includes embroidered pictures of friends and classmates. Some graduation quilts also show high school varsity uniforms such as basketball or football jerseys. In this sense, sewing a graduation quilt is more personal, and it is often taken along to college later on.

A T-Shirt Quilt
Photo from normanack ia flickr. CC BY 2.0

Celebrate memories from your high school years by making your own graduation quilt. Try collecting old shirts and uniforms and sewing them into a stylish t-shirt quilt.

Wedding Quilts

Quilts are also used to tell stories of romantic unions. In many cultures around the world, wedding quilts are sewn by relatives and friends of brides-to-be in honor of the occasion. These patchworks feature vibrant colors and elaborate patterns to echo the esteemed family background of the woman. Wedding quilts are considered one of the most challenging to sew because of the fine details associated with their patterns.

A Wedding Quilt
Photo from DanaK~WaterPenny ia flickr. CC BY 2.0

Create the ideal wedding gift for your loved ones by sewing them an intricate wedding quilt. Start with this chic asymmetrical design to understand the concepts behind this storied cloth.

More than just mere decorative cloths, quilts have become part of hallowed family traditions. These sophisticated patchworks chronicle a rich and colorful history.

At Home with Tree Classics: 2 Easy Ways to Mix Old and New Styles

A popular misconception about home decorating is that a room has to stick with one style or period. In reality, combining old and new pieces can give your home a sense of richness and depth.

By skillfully mixing a variety of styles, you can create an inspiring look that transcends periods and gives an impression of having been assembled over time. Here are two easy ways you can spruce up your home with a tasteful blending of classic and modern furnishings.

Option 1: Add Classic Elegance to Modern Spaces

In this living room, a restored Victorian settee and classic wing chair are paired off with a sleek, modern sofa. Old empty photo frames provide texture to the clean white wall, and also create contrast to the purple metallic art. The recurring colors in the fabrics, accessories, and furniture weave all the pieces together.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Contemporary Living Room by Danville Interior Designers & Decorators Nina Jizhar

 

Using a family heirloom or a favorite antique as a focal point makes a modern room more interesting. Because an old piece often has a story to tell, it can bring a sense of warmth to a space that may be considered rigid and impersonal. In this modern kitchen, a wonderful large antique table that is a bit worn around the edges adds a touch of history.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Modern Kitchen by San Francisco Architects & Designers John Lum Architecture, Inc. AIA

 

Retro pieces are great for introducing a sense of nostalgia in a modern environment. The best thing about retro pieces is that they blend well in contemporary settings. Funky accessories like these old-fashioned poster and wall-mounted rotary phone look charming in a modern kitchen.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Contemporary Kitchen by Toronto Interior Designers & Decorators Palmerston Design Consultants

 

Option 2: Give a Contemporary Touch to a Quaint Setting

Breathe fresh life into a traditional space by placing updated pieces. This is often the easiest formula to achieving a modern yet cozy room. The brushed nickel faucet and silver light fixtures in this kitchen provide a cool contrast to the warm-colored countertop and wall tiles. The result is a functional space with a quaint and homey atmosphere.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Traditional Kitchen by Glen Ellyn Kitchen & Bath Remodelers The Kitchen Studio of Glen Ellyn

 

You can also retain the old world charm of a place by preserving brick walls as accent walls. In this quaint breakfast nook, the old brick archway remains, while the inner walls have been given a sleek paint finish.

How to mix old and new furnishings
Eclectic Dining Room by Denver Interior Designers & Decorators Andrea Schumacher Interiors

 

Many people think that mixing the old with the new can make a room feel chaotic. With these two easy decorating options from Tree Classics, you can take any style or period, and give your room a timeless look.

5 Heartwarming Gifts for Grandparents

A grandmother and grandchild holding hands

September 8 is a special day for the family: it’s Grandparents’ Day! Tree Classics recommends five treasures that say how much you love Grandpa and Grandma. Make these together as a family and celebrate the wonderful people in your life.

Hug Pillow

Grandparents love it when the kids give them big hugs. Every time Grandma and Grandpa miss your little ones, let them give your kids’ personalized hug pillow a tight squeeze. Make a cute pillow that features the children’s handprints, names, photographs, or baby clothes. You can also ask them to write a sweet note for Grammy and Grampy, and put this on a postcard-inspired pillow.

Luggage Locator + Personalized Keychain

Show that the whole family is always thinking of Grandpa and Grandma by gifting them with something they can take even during their travels. This luggage locator will assist them in finding their checked-in bags from the carousel at airports. For an extra special touch, attach the remote transmitter of the luggage locator to a personalized keychain that features your kids’ artwork and name.

Photo Book / Corkboard with Pictures

Express your love and appreciation for the grandparents in your life. Design a Grandparents’ Day photo book using images taken throughout the year, as well as old favorites that your grandparents can browse through. You can also make corkboards and photo holders featuring cute pictures or silly expressions of grandkids. This gift, along with a heartfelt note, is guaranteed to make Grandpa and Grandma smile!

Flowering Plants in Personalized Pots

Make Grandma and Grandpa feel special when you gift them with a carefully chosen flowering plant. Giving plants as a gift is always a charming and affordable way to surprise Grams and Gramps. This beautiful gift becomes even more sentimental when the pot is decorated with the grandkids’ hand or footprints.  Get extra crafty by making a photo flower pot that features their fun pictures.

Artwork by Grandchildren

Art projects for kids and parents make for wonderful keepsakes for grandparents. Have the kids draw something special for Grandpa and Grandma, and embroider or trace these drawings using a fine tip Sharpie on a tote bag, bookmark, or tea towels.

From sharing funny anecdotes to teaching new things, grandparents shower grandkids with love and enrich their lives in so many ways. Say “Thank you!” by gifting them with heartwarming presents on Grandparents’ Day!

Family Fun: Easy DIY Spring Décor

Ready… Set…. Spring! Gather the family and welcome the arrival of spring with these easy DIY décor

march-48404_640Winter has already started to pack its bags and make way for Spring. Flowers have started to bloom as an early announcement of the coming season. If you think it’s time for the décor to change, we are right there with you. We have listed down a few easy DIY décor ideas your whole family can enjoy making.

Wooden SPRING Sign for Dad
When it comes to creating challenging crafts that involve power tools, it’s best to let dad handle it. Give the man of the house the job of making this lovely wooden spring sign that you can display in your front porch or backyard. You can purchase a wooden board and some pre-cut wooden letters that spell out “spring”, or dad may want to show off his carpentry skills with wood and power tools by cutting out the letters from wooden boards. Liz from Hoosier Homemade posted this lovely DIY spring wooden craft along with instructions on how to make one.
spring-68934_640

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Top 5 Kid-friendly Valentine’s Treats

The day of hearts celebrates all kinds of love. It’s time to show your kids just how diverse love is.

As the month of February arrives, love songs fill the air; shops and restaurants turn their eyes on lovers and all things romantic for Valentine’s Day. But the day of hearts is not simply for lovers, but for everyone who loves. Continue reading