A long, long time ago, my grandmother decided that putting up a Christmas tree and decorating the whole darn thing was just too much bother.
(I find myself rapidly approaching that mind-set, too!)
For as far back as I can remember, my grandmother's version of a Christmas tree was a simple tree branch, painted white, and strung with a handful or two of small, shiny red ball ornaments.
It never failed to spark conversation and admiration.
It captivated me.
Sometimes, the simplest (and easiest) things are the most beautiful.
(My grandmother is The Expert in those things, you know!)
For a few years now, my own mother has been saying that she wants a tree "just like grandma's" , so this year, with Christmas still fresh in my mind, I traipsed out into the woods behind our house on a rare 50 -degree day in January, to hunt for The Perfect Branch.
I stuck it in a large metal coffee can with some rocks to keep it straight while I poured Plaster of Paris in it.
I Mod-Podged some pretty poinsettia wrapping paper onto the can.
And I painted the branch with some ordinary white paint.
As I was doing all this, it dawned on me that this would make the coolest basket tree! Those wrought iron basket trees normally used are great, but pretty expensive. And if all you're doing is displaying empty baskets on them, the stand really doesn't need to be that heavy!
Take a look:
I trimmed quite a bit from the branch, but left a bunch of little "nubbies" here and there which keep the baskets (or ornaments) from sliding along the branches.
I just love how this looks...believe me, the picture doesn't do it justice.
The one in the picture is reserved for my mom.
I have a larger branch in my garage that I intend to use for baskets!
I've seen tree branches similar to this around the web that are used to hold anything from photos, to plastic Easter eggs, to pretty paper cherry blossoms.
Cheap, easy, simple, beautiful.