Saturday, December 16, 2006

It's Hard to Ruin a Christmas Tree (#10)

That is a lesson I have learned over the years of doing themed Christmas trees. Even when you think the tree will not look as nice with different colored lights than you are used to, or you have too few ornaments, or, well, you end up putting trash on your tree, it usually ends up looking just fine.

So - right - a little disclaimer about the White Trash* Christmas tree. The idea for this year's theme came when I purchased these ornaments last year from the charming Ms. Mary

They are made from Pabst Blue Ribbon cans and bottle caps. There were six of them - get it - a 6-pack?

As of last year, I had plenty of ideas as to how I could deck my tree out in symbols of White Trash/ Redneck culture. I have to start planning my tree the year previous to take advantage of after Christmas sales. I found a few ornaments last year (yes, most of them were from Walmart), and made sure I had red and blue lights. I also buy wrapping paper to match my trees. The paper I used is red and silver embossed paper that looks like a fancy version of aluminum foil

The other reason we had to start last year to plan for this tree is to collect these

There are literally thousands of beer and soda tabs in this hurricane vase. Most of them are, sadly, from our house...A couple other people helped us as well. They would collect their tabs for months at a time, and then feel bad that they only had a small Ziploc bag full of tabs to give to us. They didn't add up as easily as you would think.

The purpose of the tabs was to make garlands for the tree. There would be two types - one with the tabs strung horizontally, like Mary's ornaments, and the rest would be strung vertically on a piece of yarn. Here is a shot of what that one ended up looking like

As you can imagine, it was very very heavy. I anticipated that the garlands would not show up too well, so I also used some silver tinsel garland.

Then, it was time for the ornaments

That is the point I lost my nerve. I could handle the beer tabs, and the red and blue lights, and the cheesy store-bought ornaments (a reindeer with a rifle? I think that's a keeper). But, I just couldn't go all the way with the theme the way I had envisioned it last year. I was too afraid of "ruining" the tree - having too many things on it that would not be pleasant to look at for a whole month, and would be embarrassing to show you all. Oh, and the hubcap tree topper I mentioned back here - so wasn't going to happen (even though I found a good one in the gutter by the liquor store up the street)

So, I downgraded a little bit. Instead of full-blown white trash themed tree, I bring you the Scrap Craft tree

I went more with craft ornaments that people that don't have much money (and sometimes taste) would use to decorate their tree (like toilet paper rolls)

It ended up being very fun to put together! I had a blast looking for resources online, and using some of the vintage scrap craft books I had on hand. Barb helped as well, with her posts about scrap craft. Unfortunately, I couldn't find the plastic wishbones I saw in a party store around Thanksgiving to make the wishbone reindeer she mentioned, and there was no way I could hope to top the cuteness of Liz's gum elves. But, I found some good, doable crafts that for the most part used items I already had on hand.

And, just to appease BT, and to get him to stop calling me a chicken, I did make a few ornaments as homage to my WT peeps - a twister heading right for a trailer

and a Salisbury steak TV dinner

I'm inserting this slide show so you can see the rest of the ornaments

Hope it doesn't cause anybody's computer to crash. You can also see the pics through my Flickr.

Here are some links to some of the kitshcy scrap crafts I did:

- Clothespin Santas
- Clothespin reindeer
- Little nut girl Red Riding Hood
- Tongue depressor ornaments
- Candy cane reindeer
- T.P. roll Santa
- Elf sitting on a spool
Toilet paper roll drum
- Lightbulb snowman (my favorites)
- Morton Salt dough ornaments
- Juice bottle ring chenille wreath
- Small Object's egg carton angels
Swapatorium post about tight Christmas showing pics from vintage scraft craft magazines

And here are a few of the other ideas I came up with for the original White Trash tree. Just in case somebody does a search one day looking for ideas for their own WT tree. You have more guts than me...

- Chopper/motorcycle related
- Fishing lures
- Dukes of Hazzard (mini Daisy Dukes, Cooter's tow truck, Boss Hogg's car - with steer horns)
- Simpsons related
- Satellite dish
- An outhouse
- Trailers
- Walmart sign
- Mini rubber babies like people use for baby shower favors made into garland
- Nascar related
- Country music related
- 6-pack
- Billy Bob fake teeth
- Anything that represents tacky decor
- A banjo or harmonica
- Moonshine jug
- Anything beer related (heck - hang actual beer cans on the tree if you want)
- Trucker hat (may be a good tree topper?)
- Something that represents the song Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer
- A jello mold
- Hot wheels (esp. a Trans Am)
- Monster Trucks
- Anything else that is mentioned in or represents the Blue Collar Comedy Tour

Merry Christmas!!

* This is probably one of the last groups that is ok to make fun of and not catch a hollering from folks around you. But, just in case
anybody gets offended by my representation of this segment of the population, all I can say is I've got WT roots. I'm entitled to poke a little fun. Nothing I've referred to wasn't a part of my life...except maybe outhouses.


Sarah and Jack said...

Oh man, this really gave me a chuckle. And I love the slideshow thing. Such an easy way to see loads of pictures, isn't it?

Ohioholly said...

This was ambitious! Ilove the twister heading for the trailer. And the snowman lightbulb made me laugh!

jungle dream pagoda said...

This is such a wonderful post!I would have gotten myself in the exact same place. You out clevered yourself! I would have let my need for things that are aesthetically pleasing win out over the tragically clever idea too!But that trailer ornament... the deal with the hub is if we ever get a pool ,I get an Airstream for the pool house!Some of those ornaments are gems!

Eva said...

Did you forget a velvet Elvis?

my house is cuter than yours said...

the ideas you listed for the wt tree are so clever! billy bob teeth?! that is awesome...makes me what a whole tree of nothing but!

Your scrap craft tree is such a great idea and thanks for giving out the links of the how-to's!

and that there slide show sure is fancy!

jek-a-go-go said...

love love love the tree! we used to throw white trash xmas parties! gotta love the pabst! granny loved her card, thank you muchly! happy boxing day! :)


Barb said...

Oh my gosh. I'm finally on a computer where I can really see this stuff (mime at home sucks). This is amazing. I love all the links (no wonder we're friends, lol). I miss the hubcap topper though--uh, hello...found for a reason.

sweet little sister said...

AWESOME!!!!! Can't wait to show this to Mike, I know he'll get a kick out of it too! You crack me up!