Christmas 2020: Year of the Leopard

It’s that time of year. Time to scour the garage for all the Rubbermaid totes containing Christmas decorations from previous years and hunt for the perfectly priced (affordable + appropriately full) live Christmas tree. We always had a real tree growing up. Nothing says Christmas like the smell of a Douglas fir tree!

I decided on a Leopard Theme a few months prior. Admittedly, it is a challenge to decorate in leopard and keep it classy. Along the way, I’ve discovered less is more. Making sure the various leopard prints match is also a challenge. One solution is to use the exact same pattern in one spot and not mix and match. Michaels had some decadent, wired, furry ribbon and Hobby Lobby had some nice leopard ornaments. I committed to the ribbon for the tree. I decorated the mantle with the ornaments. It worked out well. The theme was woven throughout but wasn’t overwhelming.

I also drew inspiration from one of the show trees at Roots. One of their flocked trees utilized bunches of faux gold magnolia bunches. That concept paired with the leopard was the direction I ultimately went for this year. 

The main colors were white and gold with a generous mix of metallics and a pinch of pink.

DIY Foray 

Somehow I usually end up creating something I see but don’t want to pay full price for at the store. As a Southern girl, I love magnolia trees and flowers. There’s just something about the glossy green leaves and the coppery underside that is quintessentially Southern style. Thankfully, we have a giant magnolia in our front yard. Pair of pruning shears in hand, I cut over a dozen bunches for my project. We bought a can of Rustoleum Gold Spray Paint from Lowes. (Note to self: Always buy an extra can.) 

I fashioned some cheap wire hangers and leftover pipe cleaners into holders for the sprigs and then went to town with the spray paint. I hung them on the workout bench bar and let them air out overnight. After they dried, I noticed some areas I missed so those needed to be spritzed again. I don’t mind a little green peaking through because it adds another dimension.

When I discovered I needed more, my husband offered to take care of it. He wore latex gloves and just held the branches in his hand. He had better results than me so there’s that.

Additionally, the teenaged helpers at Country Boys asked me if I wanted the trimmings from our tree. I gathered up the wood slices from the base as well. When they saw my interest, they threw in a bunch of trimmings that were being sold for $5 for free. I’ve been wanting some mini boxwood wreaths to hang on the kitchen cabinets. I tied bunches of the trimmings to zip ties with floral wire, spray painted some leftover organza ribbon gold (I refuse to go back to the store) and voila!

The Tree 

After checking out a few local stands, we ended up at Country Boys. Instead of dimly lit trees on uneven/muddy ground like the first few places we tried, they suspend their trees in a brightly lit, gravel-covered area which enables the buyer to inspect the tree from all sides. The employees offered to pull out more 7 footers when none of the trees were quite right. We discovered our tree after they unwrapped a few fresh off the truck from North Carolina. Success! 

I love to include my commemorative Washington, D.C. ornaments.
The Mantle

The Piece de Resistance

Christmas Tree at #ThisMontyHouse

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! How do you decorate your tree? Do you pick a theme? Sound off in the comments below. I look forward to reading your thoughts!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Jo says:

    You did a wonderful job!


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