Ooh la la! I have such a treat for you today! Christie Troxell, designer, artist, event planner, and a member of the Expo International design team, is sharing with us her trio of vintage style, Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries. Enrobed in nontraditional colors, you could display these luscious topiaries year-round – and why not, they’re beautiful! Now, Christie will walk you through her tutorial for her Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries.
They’re so fancy!
It happened again; I blinked, and an entire month of summer passed by! While we’ve been enjoying sunny days at the beach and lots of time spent making summertime memories with friends and family, inevitably, my mind wanders ahead to the holidays.
Christie “dipped” a corner in jewels!
Christmas in July is one of my favorite ways to get my holiday fix in the middle of the year. It’s a fun departure from summer activities, and offers a little dose of holiday cheer that tides me over until the weather cools down and the sleigh bells start ringing.
Display these trees year-round, or as a centerpiece for a special party.
Crafting up some pretty Christmas decor is just one of the ways I love to celebrate. I created a trio of vintage styled Christmas trees in my own signature style, using versatile STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam, stunning lace and ribbon trims from Expo International, and vintage jewelry findings from my own collection of thrifted treasures. Walk with me in a winter wonderland; it’s Christmas in July!
To make Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM Brand Foam: One 10” and two 8” cones
- Expo International Trims:
- Fabric dye in coral and black
- Junk jewelry, assorted
- Optional: Pedestals for cones (Christie used mercury glass goblets)
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors
Supplies needed to make Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries.
To make Bejeweled Christmas Topiaries:
1. While I love the traditional reds and greens associated with Christmas, I wanted to create a unique palette for this project that would coordinate with my existing home furnishings. I hand dyed the lace trims with coral and black fabric dye. This was done a day in advance, to give the lace time to absorb the color, and to dry.
2. I applied a bead of hot glue to the tip of an 8” cone, and pressed on the end of my ivory rosette ribbon trim. Once secured, I wrapped the trim tightly around the cone at an angle, adding a dot of glue occasionally to keep the trim in position. Once I had wrapped the entire cone, I glued the excess by overlapping it on the bottom of the cone and gluing in place.
Starting at the top of a cone, glue on one end of the lace, and wrap the lace around the cone on a slight diagonal.
3. Repeat Step 2 and wrap the 12” cone in gray dyed lace, wrapping at an angle from the top of the cone to the bottom.
4. I wrapped the second, 8” cone from top to bottom in red tulle. This creates a base color that is visible through the lace trim I planned to use. Next, I wrapped the cone in the coral lace, wrapping on an angle from top to bottom.
Christie first wrapped her cone in red tulle, and then added a layer of peach lace for a subtle, two-tone effect.
The wrapped trees would be lovely to display just as they are, but I always like to go a little overboard, especially at Christmas time! Adding sparkle and shine to these pretty Christmas trees is very easy to do, with dazzling rhinestone buttons and pearls from Expo International.
All wrapped up and ready for embellishing!
5. For the 12” tree, I added seven Chloe Ruffled Flowers, spaced randomly. I love the pale peachy color and the delicate gold trim on these embellishments. I also adore the combination of peach with grey, and gold is the perfect metallic to set off the pairing. To finish the look, I glued Six-Stone Flower Rhinestone Buttons and Starburst Rhinestone Buttons to the center of each rosette, and topped the tree with an inverted clear glass diamond from my collection.
Christie added a rhinestone button to the center of each flower.
6. Next, I pored through my collection of junk jewelry to select the perfect pieces to embellish the ivory tree. Whenever I’m at the flea market, I’m always on the lookout for jars of junk jewelry at bargain prices. I display it in my studio in pretty apothecary jars, and dig into it often, searching for just the right embellishments for my projects. Once I had gathered my choices, I used the glue gun to adhere them from the base of the tree in a cluster. I decided not to cover the entire surface, opting instead to create a “dipped” effect, achieved by covering just the bottom portion of the tree in a triangular shape. I added a fun round piece to the top and added some assorted gems to cover the exposed surface area. For a final touch, I added a little string of sparkling chandelier crystals.
Christie has a fabulous collection of costume jewelry picked up at flea markets.
Christie added the jewels in a triangular shape along the base of the cone, creating a “dipped” effect.
7. For the final tree, I decided to use pearls as the main embellishments. These pearl glass beads from Expo International were just perfect! The larger sized beads were glued on in a random pattern to resemble ornaments, while the smaller beads were left on their strands and draped like garland onto the tree, overlapping in places just like a real Christmas tree. As luck would have it, I found a grey hued gem in my treasure collection, and used the end of my scissors to hollow out a hole in the tip of the cone, then glued it in and embellished it with a sparkling rhinestone button.
Christie made a hole at the top of the cone, and then added a crystal and rhinestone button.
8. To give the smaller trees a bit of elevation, I flipped over two mercury glass dishes and glued the trees to the pedestals.
The finished display is such a delight, evoking memories of Christmas past, and sparkling with opulent gems and stones. I love the unconventional palette, and how well it coordinates with own home decor. I hope you’ve enjoyed this little departure from summer with me; thanks for stopping by to celebrate Christmas in July!
Why not decorate with a nontraditional color palette this Christmas?
So fancy, right? Thank you, Christie! I think you’ll really enjoy getting to know Christie over on her blog Ritzy Parties, so be sure to stop in and say “hello.”
If Christie has put you in the mood for Christmas crafting, be sure to enter the Christmas in July giveaway! The prize package includes:
- STYROFOAM Brand Foam: Two each 10″ and 8″ cones; one 12″ wreath; two 6″ balls; and six, 3″ balls.
- A collection of trims from Expo International.
- A few goodies from Ganong, Canada’s oldest chocolate and candy company (read about Debra’s connection to Ganong here). The goodies include a Ganong T-shirt (size XL); a bag of their signature Chicken Bones™ candy; a pair of Roman nougat bars; and two maple leaf lollipops. (Unfortunately, it’s too hot to ship their chocolates.)
Here’s how you can enter for your chance to win the Christmas in July prize package. Be sure to enter by midnight on Thursday, August 3.