Sarah Macklem

Sarah Macklem is a home stylist providing affordable design services for people around the globe. Sarah also authors the popular home design blog, The Yellow Cape Cod,where she shares daily design inspiration, project tutorials, and exciting room makeovers.

A Classically Whimsical Christmas Tree

How tall is your tree?
It is 7.5 feet when placed inside the urn.

What mix of ornaments did you use for this tree?
I used a mix of hundreds of red balls as the base of my tree decor and then filled it in with special feature ornaments. Since I used bulbs that are all the same color, I mixed it up by using a combination of shiny, glittered, matte, and flocked balls for depth and interest.

I also used bulbs in varying sizes and shapes. I placed smaller bulbs and ornaments at the top of the tree, medium ornaments in the middle, and large ornaments at the bottom. This kept the tree looking balanced. I also made sure I placed ornaments deep inside the tree, almost all the way to the base to give the tree depth and to take advantage of every nook and cranny for ornaments.

How many ornaments did you use to achieve this look?
Lots. I’m always on the lookout year-round for red balls to add to our Christmas tree. I believe a tree can never have too many ornaments. I would guess that there are over 300 ornaments on each of my Christmas trees.

How much garland/ribbon did it take to cover the tree?
I am very generous with ribbon, I used 5 spools of wire ribbon on this tree. I started by attaching the ribbon to the top of the tree and then let it fall loosely and naturally from the spool to create nice soft loops. I have found that the less I manipulate the ribbon curls, the better they look.

How did you decide on the decorating theme of your tree?
My goal was to create a look that was nostalgic yet current with a bit of whimsy that would appeal to my three children. The bright red and white color combo gives the tree a classic look. The use of large, graphic snowflakes and bold, black and white zebra ribbon gave the tree a modern twist. The oversized glittered reindeer antlers on the mantle along with the hanging snowflakes beside the tree add that sense of whimsy.

Is there a story on a signature ornament you’d like to share with us?
To create the black and white framed monogram ornaments, I purchased inexpensive frames to showcase decorative monograms I printed from my computer. I made five of these for my husband, myself and our children. I attached a ribbon to the back of the frames to hang them from the tree.

Is there something different you did for this tree that you particularly like?
This particular year, I used glitter and glue to create a personalized bulb monogrammed with the name of each of our extended family members. During the holidays, as our family visited our home, we placed their ornament on our tree. We called it our “family tree.” I kept the ornaments in a pretty footed bowl in the living room so we could enjoy them while they were waiting to be placed on the tree.

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