Since we've been scaling down anyway, we decided to keep it simple this year. And free. So we went on a family adventure just before Thanksgiving and salvaged a nicely shaped branch from a trail alongside the river. We all agreed that is was perfect and began our walk back to the car with our tree. It was a crispy autumn day, the sun was going down and we were all getting chilly so getting the car and realizing that our happy little twig tree was actually much larger than we initially thought was kind of a bummer. It looked absolutely ridiculous tied to the top of our minivan. My husband put the visor down against the window on the driver's side door while he drove and there were many outbursts of giggles that erupted as we looked up long enough to catch a glimpse of the reactions we were getting as we made our way home.
After a bit of trimming, pruning and careful maneuvering through the doorway, it actually fit into the living room. We filled an glass cookie jar with a bucket of rocks and wrapped it in an old sweater vest - the makeshift stand held our tree upright and I didn't have to fuss with a tree skirt. I felt like I was winning already.
We flocked the branches with tacky glue and Epson salt because it was cheap and we already had both on hand. It was time consuming and crazy messy. I definitely recommend doing this step outside but trying to get it back out the door wasn't an option so we just went for it. You have to sprinkle the Epson salt on the glue immediately after you apply it or it won't stick. We just used a hit and miss technique on the smaller branches and on the tips to resemble icy beads. On the bigger branches we spread the glue with our finger and pressed handfuls of salt into the glue - this created the look of freshly fallen snow. Really natural and pretty in the sunlight. You could probably add a bit of glitter if extra sparkles are your thing!
We decorated the branches with homemade cinnamon applesauce ornaments, snowflakes, glass pine cones and acorns, lovely lavender balls and carved wooden birds that were already part of our loving room decor.
It is a simple, happy, magical little tree. Our favorite tree yet.