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A tree sprouting up indoors, sparkling with lights and ornaments, always looks magical. But the six here have a fairy-tale wonder all their own, with glittery gems, snowflakes that never melt, and woodland birds with ribbons in their beaks. Most bewitching? The decorations are easy to make, so you can tell your own Christmas story.
This exuberant gold-tinsel tree is in full bloom for the season. The fabric flowers all started out white—we chose inexpensive hydrangeas, lilies, anemones, and cherry blossoms, then spray-painted them in a vibrant palette and gave them gold ball-pick centers. For more glimmer, gold balls in various sizes were wired to the tree stand.
Toasted Champagne gold-tinsel tree (similar to shown), treetopia.com
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Like an exquisitely turned-out party guest, this white tabletop tree is draped in fancy jewelry; it’s then placed in a faceted gold vase. Metallic pink, copper, and gold ornaments and colorful glass “gems” dangle—many pendant-style, on chains—from the boughs. The chains on the lower branches are longer, emphasizing the dripping-with-jewels effect.
Prelit White Sparkle Spruce artificial Christmas tree, 4½', in Clear Lights, christmascentral.com
Vase, by Kartell, in Metallic Gold, abchome.com
Customizable Macklin center table, from the Shackleton Collection, stephenantonson.com
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When Hannah Milman, our executive crafts director, created this tree, she was envisioning a winter party in the woods—complete with birds and other creatures decorating it (much the way the birds and mice dressed Cinderella for the ball). Glittered birds swoop in with silver ribbons to wind through the branches. The trees themselves are fashioned from birch logs and dried twigs.
Woodland animals, hansatoysusa.com
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The ornaments on this Japanese pine tree, decorated by editor in chief Eric Pike, span decades. The branches are hung with his collection of glass kugels, vintage lead ornaments, and 1970s silver snowflakes and stars (originally collected by his mother), as well as new glass balls. Ribbon hangers in shades of blue and green unify the look. The ribbon was also used to make medallion-style ornaments with silver Dresdens—die-cut embossed-paper shapes.
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The icicles on this cool beauty evoke the tinsel that executive decorating director Kevin Sharkey loved when he was a child. To create this sophisticated display, he chose a silvertip fir with widely spaced boughs that allow plenty of room for the icicles, glitter-coated balls, and snowflakes. Kevin hung ornaments right out to the ends of the branches so they would be weighed down, as in nature after a snowfall. The LED lights are on thin, bendable wire that blends into the tree, so all you see is the sparkle.
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This display offers a different take on a three-ring circus—and its ringmaster is our crafts director, Marcie McGoldrick. She wanted to create a fun, colorful tree. Taking vintage paper figures with movable parts as her inspiration, she made clip art of circus performers and animals to use as ornaments. They swing from trapezes, climb ladders (both made from striped paper straws), and frolic among honeycomb paper balls. The “tree” itself? A trio of graduated white wreaths, suspended from the ceiling with lengths of monofilament.
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