We’re almost finished decorating the Christmas tree. The scavaged and gilded leaves turned out exceedingly well. We even found some magnolia leaves! Here are photographs of the end result:
Lit Christmas trees are very difficult to photograph but I did my best. We are all especially enamored with the long narrow seed pods that we glittered (the embossing glitter from Paper Source is excellent for this purpose). I brought the garlands up from Rockridge. They are gilded paper, available at Tail of the Yak in Berkeley for approximately $10. I believe we only used 2 for our eight foot tree.
There is a long tradition of handmade ornaments in my family. Whenever there was a lack of ornaments, due to fire, earthquake, a move, or little money, we made what we didn’t have. For generations my family on both my mother’s and father’s side has used wired ribbons tied in pretty bows and strung garlands of popcorn and cranberries to decorate their trees in addition to classic hand blown glass balls.
My family also just loves making things, so we’ll use almost any holiday as an excuse to pull out the paint and craft supplies. This year we are handmaking ornaments since we are celebrating Christmas away from home in Nevada City.
Yesterday we collected leaves from the ground around the cabin and set them out to dry overnight. Once your leaves are dry, all you’ll need to do this craft yourself is some gold and silver leaf paint, some paint brushes, and some old newspaper to protect your surface.
Just lightly brush on either the gold or silver paint on one side of the leaf, trying to avoid letting the paint pool. Let paint dry, then turn the leaf over and paint the other side. These are gorgeous as ornaments, but equally beautiful scattered on your Christmas dinner table.
Sprinkle with glitter to take it to the next level.
It’s not unlikely that you’ll find some plastic gold leaves at Macy’s around the holidays, but what kind of fun would that be?