Last year we picked up a replacement tree for the one we had that we used for Halloween and Hubz Simpson’s ornaments which we had lost in our flood that spring, problem is the one we picked up had those individual branches and that is not kitten friendly lol.

We were using it at Halloween when we realized not only is the kitten swatting at the ornaments, which we expected, he is also knocking the branches off all kinds, it was a tree murder scene all over our games room on a daily basis.

Walmart to the rescue, we picked up one for $40 and it is a good old fashion ( ok good old modern) 3 piece tree and to be honest for being so cheap I wasn’t expecting much, as long as the branches stayed put, however it is a great little tree, quite full and nice faux needles.

Before I get into how I used up the old tree, because you know this girl DID NOT throw it out, I want to share a little something. For those of you with cats or kittens I would like to say this will work 100% but I have no idea lol, but for us one little addition to our new tree has our kitten not even batting an eye at the ornaments.

Our youngest son helped me put it together and add our ornaments and of course Cooper Pooper our 7 month old mainecoon mix kitten was not very far away watching us like a hawk. The tree is a retro/vintage/childhood type of theme and the tree skirt I have is classic red one side plaid on the other and I am yet to make one to match the tree so I had our son plop it down around the tree for now.

Would you believe it Cooper got under the tree, make himself cozy in the tree skirt and dozed off, and has not in a week once swatted at an ornament lol, I’m not sure if I dare try to make a different skirt now.

Now what happened to the old tree, a few things:

I took the top which was one piece and on the post and popped it into a wooden box vase that in the fall I displayed faux leaves in, and was yet to decorate it for Christmas. I am hoping to make Rae Dunn inspired ornaments with our names on them to decorate this rustic tree that sits on our den.

I took many of the individual branches and tucked them into displays throughout the house as well as outside, I had done this before with old trees so it was a given and easy go to for this tree.

I still had a ton leftover and wanted to make swags, I hit pinterst for inspirations and instructions and honestly I was not happy with any of them. While many were decorated lovely I did not like how they there attached together to make a full swag nor saw any great ideas on how to hang them.

Enter good old zip ties and a glue gun to my rescue. These are freshly made and I will have to let you know next year how they held up, Hubz assures me the zip ties will hold up.

I took a hammer to the branches metal ends and straightened them first, then I placed 3 branches together on top of each other and used 3 green zip ties to bunch them together at the metal ends. At the top I used one of the branch tips and wrapped it around to create an even stronger hold, as well I repeated that in the middle of the swag, using one of the back tips and wrapping it around.

In the pic you see the zip ties uncut, trim these right down before proceeding to the next step.


Next I used some rope, created a loop and hot glued it to the branch end, and wrapped more rope around it, hot gluing as I went around in a few spots, also pulling tight as I went to bring the metal ends nicely together. Then I pulled the tips into place to from a swag.

Hot glued onto the metal ends


I tied some scrap plaid fabric at the top, cut out our provinces outline from a scrap piece of wood and stained it with some stain I was ready to toss because it only had a few drops left in it, they are wired and hot glued on.

The  snowflakes are inexpensive dollar store purchases, hot glued, hopefully they have a strong hold through our Canadian winter.

They aren’t anything fancy, floral design is not my strong suit, I wanted to keep it simple and mostly “scraps” also they will be covered in snow and ice in no time.

These will hang outside, one on a faux window frame, one on a faux picket fence that covers our A/C unit, one is a gift for my mother in law.


swag 1


swag 2


swag 3


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  1. These came out great. I like the rope that you used to hang from too. What do they call that? Farm look or something, well I love the rustic farm decor. So funny about having left over stain and using it all up. Right now I have little cans everywhere with just a tiny bit left in them. I usually go around my garden looking for wooden things to use it on because I also hate wasting. I have resorted to only having non-breakable ornaments on my trees, except for the wooden ones, they break now and then. I will be reposting in December my old vintage ornament collection and my cat broke quite a few one year. I will sometimes make tiny little wreaths with old Christmas tree branches that fell apart, I will try to do a post on that later. There are not enough hours when it comes to the holiday season, and the hours we have just fly by. Great post and great idea,thanks.


    • I made some mini wreaths too! One to be exact i crochet mini flowers for it …not sure where to put it so its in my craft desk drawer atm. Farmhouse style lol..a new term to me too..good old fashion rustic and primative is my “old school” terms. Id love to see your vintage ornaments. We want some for our retro/childhood tree so bad but a they are not cheap and b the kitties will most certainly break a bunch too


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