The Lettered Cottage Christmas Tree 2010

I love “let’s decorate the Christmas tree” night…

Almost as much as I love wearing my pajamas ALL DAY.

Yep.  The tree is officially up.

We had a $5 live one last year, but on January 4th of this year, we waltzed outta Michaels with an artificial one for just $24.96 (marked down from $179.99! Yessssss!)

We don’t have a whole lot of fancy-schmancy ornaments, last year we used inexpensive, homemade gift boxes). I wanted to do something different this year, so me and Mr. Max cut apart three faux Poinsettia bunches to use as “ornaments”…

Well, I was actually in charge of all things “cut”. Mr. Max was in charge of all things cute!

The Poinsettia bunches were on sale at Michaels for $1.99, and would you believe I got about 20 “ornaments” outta those suckers?

Next, I filled up the rest of the tree with a couple handfuls of $1 ornaments from Wal-mart…

After that, I used some more 8 lb. fishing line, and a few white, flat-headed thumb tacks to hang some glittery ornaments from the ceiling above the tree…

It’s hard to tell in this photo, but they really do look neat in person. (Especially at night!)

(random thought: I can’t wait to lay/sit on the floor beneath the tree with our little one(der) and make wishes on all those swirly-twirly, sparkly Christmas stars dangling up above!)

Random stuff:

Plaid throw blanket- Target, $9.99 on Black Friday

Narcissus plant on coffee table- Publix, $6.99

White pillow cover- Pottery Barn, $19 (discontined)

Magazine basket- flea market, $3

Christmas stockings-


Over in the dining room, I stuck some red, faux poinsettias into one of my white ceramic pitchers to use as a centerpiece.  I hung some of my white pencil starfish from the chandelier, and I used a couple of pieces of red-n-white gingham fabric from Hobby Lobby (less than $5) as table runners…

I’d like to have some folks over for a holiday dinner or two, so I think I’m gonna add a few low-dough/no-dough cottage-style Christmas touches to the “Wonder Wall” this weekend.

Maybe if I can pull it off, I’ll write a “Winter Wonder Wall” post next week!

Merry Christmas my friend!

PS- To check out our Christmas Vignette, and our Christmas Mantel, click on the photos below!



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  1. says

    Gorgeous tree! Even your holiday decor is designed SO well…you are such an inspiration and when people ask what style home decor I like from: country, french, modern…I just say “Lettered Cottage”. haha ;)

  2. says

    I see a trip to Walmart in my near future! (and if you knew the rarity of that, you’d know that is a momentus event!)
    Your house is always so charming. I am so craving light and bright right now- I love seeing all the beautiful and simple ways you make your house shine.

  3. says

    It’s a beautiful tree! I love the idea of hanging the ornaments above, I bet they sparkle so nice in the twinkle of the tree lights!! I used small touches of red in my decor this year, too! I wish we had a hobby lobby here….

  4. says

    Ooh I have the same red and white wrapping paper! too cute: everything is fresh and simple… and looks pretty unbreakable, perfect for a little one someday!

  5. says

    Can I come over? I will bring Christmas cookies and we can have tea or coffee and talk about all kinds of interesting things from babies to design! :)

  6. Just B@Love Where You Live says

    Your tree is lovely and for not a lot of dough it seems! I love the touches of red and green. Your home looks so comfortable and inviting. But then, it always does! I used an all copper theme in my living room this year, but I did bring back some traditional red and green as welll. Best wishes for a joyous holiday season! Just B :)

  7. says

    Hi Layla and Mr Max

    Very pretty tree- simple, yet elegant. My favorite thing about the tree like you stated – to lay under it and watch the twinkly lights and ornaments paint the ceiling.
    My best- Diane

  8. says

    Hi Layla and Kevin! Your tree looks gorgeous! You’ve given Alex and I ideas for next year :) I agree with the jammies all day too! Hope you guys have a great Christmas!

  9. says

    El! You’re having us over for dinner next week? No way, Jose! We’ll be there. ;)

    Your tree looks entirely beautiful. I love the glittery church and the ceiling ornaments. But what I love most of all is hearing (all the way from here) your excitement over the big (little) stuff, waiting just around the bend.


  10. says

    Your home is lovely Layla. And I love your tree, and the ornaments. You know how to make a room look homey!

    Merry Christmas!

    Linda @ Truthful tidbits

  11. says

    I bought the same plaid blanket at Target on black friday…love it! And I love you tree! I love how classic and simple it is. Whenever I try that “look” it looks like I was too cheap to buy some ornaments haha! I wish I could pull that off…so pretty!

  12. says

    Beautiful Layla. Looks like it’s a page right out of Pottery Barn catalog. Hey I finished my bedroom (remember over 1 yr ago you gave me advice on the slanted walls?) well stop by my blog and take a look.

  13. says


    I love the tree and the hanging, glittery snowflakes. You always inspire with your creative ideas. I especially like the white poinsettias on the tree. Great job.

  14. says

    Girl – I can’t believe it! My tree this year is my “Dollar Store Decor” tree – and I used white poinsettias and dollar store silver and blue ornaments! Great minds, my dear, is what we have here…. except I love the whole “low dough faux” … guess my mind is not quite as great as yours..

  15. says

    Love your style, Layla! And what fun that you could decorate your (cheap!) tree for so (cheap!). lol! The stars hanging overhead are a great idea, too! I just adore the way your house is set up and styled. So open and welcoming! :)

    xoxo laurie

  16. says

    I’ve used the fake poinsettias in my tree for years! I have silver ones that I left in bunches and place them in the tree, and then I cut up the red ones and put throughout the tree as well. I usually pick up ornaments on my travels as a souvenir. It’s fun to put them up and reminds me about the fun times at those places. Then I put the red single poinsettia flowers in the holes in the tree. It looks fabulous! Now I just need to go get a deal on a new fake tree after the holidays!
    Love the idea about hanging the snowflakes from the ceiling. Your house looks great!

  17. Jamie T. says

    I LOVE the way you add beautiful touches to your home. It’s like the perfect “icing” on a cake…you have a tremendous gift. I have been following your blog for a few months, and I enjoy every post! Thanks for sharing your beautiful life with us…and endless ideas that inspire.

  18. says

    What a pretty room! Your tree turned out so nice. I like the idea of hanging the stars above it. Best wishes for a wonderful weekend :)

  19. geri says

    I love all the very simple but truely beautiful Christmas joy all over the rooms.
    It is magic to make magic on a budget.
    It shows how the spirit moves you.
    Love it all. I always walk away from your posts with new ideas for my
    home on a budget’ too. hehe
    The tree is brilliant!! ( love the starfish on the chandelier)
    Merry, Merry everything, always. geri.

  20. Sophie says

    It looks so pretty! Very festive!

    Reading this on my phone right now, driving through a pretty little English village. So many tiny cottages dressed up for the holidays – you guys would LOVE it! So beautiful! (:

  21. Sylvia says

    Simple, elegant and beautiful. I read several blogs and many very talented bloggers are simplifying this year. Love that Max helped,too. He is a cutie!

  22. says

    Thank you, thank you, for making lovely decor out of simple, affordable, accessible stuff. I decorated our barn/house this year while spending only $22.00, so I know that beauty doesn’t have to be expensive. When you really hit the big time (and you do seem on your way up), don’t forget all the regular folk with aesthetic hearts and WalMart budgets.

  23. Lexie says

    LOVE IT! So awesome to “use what you have” and make it look so festive on the cheap :)
    We got a mini,4 foot, pre-lit, white tree last year at Kohl’s for $5.00. I decorated it with vintage garage-sale silver and teal metal ornaments, a few pencil starfish, and a few $.60 glittery branches I picked up at A.C. Moore (craft store) and stuck it in an old galvanized bucket I also picked up at a garage sale. So for less than $20.00 we got a pretty rockin’ & festive little tree, if I do say so myself :)
    One quick question for ya: how did you hang your pencil starfish from your chandelier? I tried using fishing line wrapped around the base of the star, but they kept tilting forward and laying horizontal instead of hanging vertical. If you have a magical tip up your sleeve, please do share with us less inventive folks out here is blogland ;)
    Happy Holidays to you and Kevin!

    • says

      Hey Lexie!

      Your tree sounds AWESOME!
      And I used hot glue and ornament hooks on my starfish. :-)

      Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


  24. victoria says

    looks beautiful. i like the idea of hanging the stars from the ceiling. this is our (my hubby & i) first christmas with our baby boy (he was born in march). isn’t fun to think of special moments and traditions to start? i’ve just started reading your [awesome] blog and recently read about you guys in the adoption process. we’ll keep you in our prayers.

  25. Callie says

    I did the sparkly-stars-on-fishing-line thing over our dining table for several years on the Epiphany. Never thought of it for around the tree, but I really like the way it looks here. That is why you have a blog with lots of creative ideas, and I have your blog bookmarked!

    All the best to you …

  26. says

    You are Uber~talented! I can imagine the sparkle at night with the lights low. It helps that your canvas on which you create is asthetically PERFECT! ~Happy Holidays to you and yours~

  27. says

    So beautiful! Those glitter church ornaments caught my eye at WalMart but they were sold out of the silver and gold ones. Boo hoo!

  28. says

    Hanging ornaments from the ceiling is a GREAT idea! Such a pretty tree and it’s hard to go wrong with poinsettias. :)

  29. Katrina says

    Beautiful, as usual. Once you’ve got your little one, you’ll change your mind about the Target throw. Hand wash. I put it right back down. LOL

  30. says

    Your home looks very, very sweet. I am loving your style, it is uncluttered, yet attractive.
    Your tree is especially nice.
    Hugs, cindy

  31. Gwen says

    I just recently found your blog. I am in Alabama too! I love the idea of putting the poinsettias in the tree. I also saw the throw in Good Housekeeping December issue in great gifts for under $20. You have great taste and creativity. Enjoy your blog.

  32. gayle says

    I did the same with Michael poinsettias last week, I used red and tucked them deeper in the tree to fill hollows in my sale tree. I loved the sale price.

  33. says

    Oh LAYLA! I feel all inspired and I don’t even need to be inspired to do anything. I just feel generally inspired right now after reading this. What can I do with that??? What? There has to be SOMETHING I can use it for!! LOL Your tree is gorgeous, and I love that you said you lay under the tree… my kids and I do that sometimes too. So much fun. I also really love how you decorated your presents. They are so festive! I never feel like I’ve seen enough… I always want to see about ten more photos, with different angles so it feels like I’m there!! Ha! Ya did good, girl. :) Happy Sunday.

  34. says

    Dear Layla, your tree and house look gorgeous!! Please share what kind of camera you have, your pictures are amazing!! I hope to have a big girl camera by spring.

  35. says

    Love your Christmas decor! Just beautiful. I am the only person on earth who can’t find the CHURCH ornament at Walmart!!! :(

  36. says

    Been in my PJ’s all day today! Love it! Makes the face washing a lot easier at the end of the day! Love all your holiday decor! The creativity flow better with jammies on huh?

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