Tree Trimming Play-by-Play

The trees that Karen & I decorated for Molbaks are in the gift shop area - 'Christmasland', basically. Over thrity themes of Holiday decorations packed into the space along with all of the normal everyday merchandise. It's visual overload!!!

The theme above is aqua & brown, and had both woodsy (as in deer) and contemporary (as in some mod 60's look glass ornaments), so I designed the tree with a hip feel in mind and used the more contemporary items. Including a sleek art deco deer. The ribbons (3 styles) cascade from the top of the tree downward in four sections, 'bubbling' out in loops. At each gathering of the loops, there is an ornament - either aqua or gold. 'Bouquets' of sparkly (and heavy) beaded pointsettias and velvet leaves fill in the space between ribbon loops. And I have to say, this tree is gorgeous - it's a new one for Molbaks, and it's a blue spruce. Perfect coloring with this decor line.

The Nativity tree is in shades of gold, burgundy, deep red, and copper. Angel figures and large 'bouquets' again fill in space, and the ribbons on this one are WIDE velvet flocked, swirling in a clockwise rhythm around the tree. Drippy gold beads, cutwork gold ornaments, crosses, mirrors, detailed ornaments in an old world style all give this tree elegant Baroque beauty.

On the tree, Karen took a large gold cone and created a bouquet inside of it, then hung it near the top to draw attention to the angel. It's a huge element, and in this big space, really helps to direct a customers' eye.

Simple snowmen on this one - the notable inclusions are the sign and the many white frosted branches. The lights on this tree are LED - low heat, long burning, and the most bizarre blue-purple color! Decidedly non-Christmassy. Those white snowy branches help to cover the bulbs while allowing the light to diffuse and seem a bit more 'snowy evening' than 'nuclear winter'! The ribbons here just swirl down from a bow on top - I do wish I had had some knitted scarves to use, tho.

The 'Dr. Seuss' tree was created by wiring an arched garland to the top of the tree (and to the beam above). The fanciful shape is complimented by loads of colorful, whimsical ornaments ranging from silk flowers to plastic stars to glass figural drops. That big 'light bulb'-looking ornament hanging from the tip is the perfect finishing touch, don't you think?! I think Karen had fun doing this one.
An easy way to do a tree like this is to use your kids' toys - stuffed animals, Happy Meal toys, action figures, Barbie Dolls....lots of fun! (Plus it helps get all those toys up off the floor!!!)

The Champagne tree didn't photograph well, unfortunately. Soft creams, browns, and shimmering silver make it nearly effervescent....and the 6" wide velvet damask ribbon in soft mocha is coming home with Deb for Christmas, I tell ya! GORgeous. Again we have those hip 'of the moment' acanthus leaves in velvet, very hot this year, along with drippy silver cedar boughs tucked into and around the tree (which sits up in an urn - nice way to add height to a short tree!). Angels dot the tree and one sits up high, draped with the beaded garland.

The Nutcracker tree is filled with actual nutcrackers - tiny, small, and medium sizes - that we put on using pipe cleaners/chenille stems. Using larger items like this is a great way to add color and theme without having to use six hundred small ornaments. The ribbon spills down fromt he big bow on top, and picks of sparkly dots are inserted all over to add movement & light. Bouquets of lime green hydrangea, the sparkly picks, and red berries help bulk up the look. Ornaments are perched on top of upturned cones, and also hung in groups of three to draw more attention to them. Bright colors and whimsical shapes make this a playful version of a Holiday classic.

The entrance to the gift shop holds the Winter Conservatory theme. Looking at it about five minutes after finishing, I thought 'We should have put lights inside the arch'. But my back, injured last week, was screaming for a pain pill at that point, and I just didn't have the gumption to spend another half hour adding lights. Hey, nothing's perfect!

The tree sits up in an urn, surrounded by glass tops on other urns to make tables for product display. On the tree, we added snowy branches and snow-dusted bird nests in a spiral around the tree - it appears to be a garland. Ornaments hang in bunches of three and individually, and five round white ledges hold merchandise from the lines displayed on the slatwall near the tree. Houses, churches, reindeer, Santas - the whole snowy winter wonderland deal. The top of the tree is AT the ceiling (pretty low in this part of the shop) so it just has a few bell ornaments and some ribbon to set it off.

I hope you find some inspiration & ideas in there!!!


  1. Beautiful trees. I really loved the Dr. Seuss tree. I can see kids of every age flocking to that one. The Winter Conservatory is really beautiful. I'm inspired by that one for our living room. Our family room has an all white tree and I think we are going to do a snowman tree this year.

  2. The Winter Conservatory and Nativity themes are beautiful (the other are too) and are my favourite!

  3. This is the first yeaar I'm not in either The Festival of Trees or decorating one of the malls in town. On one hand, I'm enjoying the break. When I saw your beautiful trees, I got a little melancholy for it. I think I'll put a few trees up in the house this year - as usual! Beautiful work, you two!

  4. Hi,
    I am new to your blog and just wanted to say thank you so much for showing the photos of the decor and trees! I am amazed how many styles and themes there are. I have been inspired to get extra creative with my own tree trimming!

    Priscilla x

  5. I have a question about one of the ribbons on the tree you decorated. I have been searching for 5 years online trying to find the ribbon on the 2nd & 3rd picture of the burgundy gold tree. This is the ribbon I have for my Christmas tree. It is the burgundy flocked two toned wired ribbon at the top of the tree. The problem is I lost all but one roll of ribbon in a basement flood. I could only salvage the ribbon but not the name brand, color, or any barcode information. I don't know if you can help me, but if you have any information on this ribbon could you please let me know? I know it's a shot in the dark but I'm desperate I absolutely loved our Christmas tree. Thank you!!!

    1. Heather, it's been over ten years since those trees were decorated, so that particular ribbon is most likely no longer available. Molbaks Home+Garden store is located near Seattle, and all of the ribbon they sold back then was sourced from May Arts Ribbon Company, also located in Seattle. I just did a quick web search for 'decorative damask ribbon burgundy', and one result is as close as I think you are going to get to what I used on the tree in that photo - it's from Paper Mart and you can find it here: Hope that helps ;) ~ Deb