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Paola Marella’s Christmas Tree

Paola Marella’s Christmas Tree

Christmas is just a few days away and here are some ideas for a simple but striking tree for busy, last-minute people like me.

First of all, it should be remembered that a Christmas tree is also central to precious family memories, and rather than mixing up a lot of different styles it is better either to focus on a key theme - which should be chosen and then developed - or to mix and match the decorations you have collected over the years, which recall the family's past Christmases.

If you have decided to concentrate on a theme or style, here is some advice for decorating your tree for Christmas 2014 .

This year’s colours are red and white, but alternatives are also possible: one option is to take clear Plexiglas balls and cover them with coloured papers and braids, or even stick photos to them, getting family members of all ages involved ....

Otherwise, polystyrene balls can also be covered with fabrics and braids. The easiest way of covering a polystyrene ball is with coloured braid.  Just fix one end to the bottom of the ball with a good fast-setting glue or a pin, then brush vinyl glue onto the base and start to wind the braid up round the ball in a tight coil. Stop a few millimetres before the tip of the upper half to leave room for a metal ring for hanging the decoration.

Another idea is a “wall” tree, which does not take up much space: balls fixed to a panel on the wall in order of size, trees drawn on a large black or white-board, or trees created on a sheet of plywood with branches hung with Christmas cards or hand-written notes. 

If you prefer a chic but atmospheric look, you may go for “shabby chic” Christmas decorations, using the shapes of pine-cones, fruits and other country items.

For this style, in particular, it is important to remember that all the decorations must use the same set of monochrome colours, to avoid confusion or an overdone mix of different styles of ornamentation: pastiche is an ever-present risk!

Christmas trees can also be decorated with a kitchen theme: miniature kitchen utensils such as wooden spoons and rolling-pins, sachets of sugar and flour can make perfect Christmas decorations. Draw inspiration from your kitchen for even more original ideas. 

Dried fruit is real Christmas classic, so why not create a long band decorated with lots of different types? A colourful, fragrant way of decorating a Christmas tree.

Decorations made from dried orange and apple peel, fitted onto cinnamon sticks,  are another Christmas classic. The fragrance in your home will be a uniquely sweet, spicy mix that will create a really  special  mood.