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Michael’s Dream Tree Challenge – Feathered Nest

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I know what you’re about to say…”What?! It’s not time for Christmas decorations!” Well, I received an email from Michaels asking if I’d like to participate in the Michaels Dream Tree Challenge. If you saw last year’s contestants and the resulting dream trees, you’ll completely understand why I was excited to be asked to join in this year. Plus, I’ve been working feverishly on the Très Frugal month of DIY Gift Ideas and having some Christmas décor set up has put me in the mood (and provides for a festive backdrop for photography!)

Once I received my pre-lit tree and the gift card to pay for my tree decorations, I hit up my local Michaels retail store. I really had no idea what theme I wanted to create, but I did know I wanted to be frugal and make my gift card stretch as far as possible.

As luck would have it, there were lots of Fall berries on clearance. Can you tell the difference between fall red berries and Christmas red berries? 


Yup, me either! So, I snatched up as many red berry sprays as my cart would hold! At 60-70% off they were a steal!

Then I found myself wandering down the feather boa aisle and my theme took shape. I bought several white boas and thought it would be fun to have a Feathered Nest theme for my tree.

Chalkboard Ornaments | Pretty Handy Girl

The next aisle had several small unfinished birdhouses for $1 each. I loaded up on them, other unfinished ornaments, chalkboard tags, and a can of black chalkboard paint. I also picked up two white paint pens to decorate the painted ornaments.

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

2013 Chalkboard ornament | Pretty Handy Girl

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Chalkboard Birdhouse on Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

What’s a feathered nest without birds? I found several clip on birds throughout Michael’s. Some were with the wedding favors, others were with the silk flowers and still more were on the endcaps.

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

I also scored some birch logs on clearance and cut them in half, drilled holes in them and added screw eyes and a branch perch for a little au naturel birdhouse.

Birch Log Birdhouse on Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

To continue the bird theme, I found some wooden eggs that I spatter painted and added screw eyes for hanging.

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

The only item I splurge on were some pinecone and pine bough garlands for $16.99 each. In hindsight, I probably could have done without them. But, I like the extra texture they provide.

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

To cover the base of the tree, I spray painted leftover radiator screens gold, Then used foil duct tape and burlap ribbon to hold it in a circular shape.


Finally, a Christmas tree isn’t complete without a tree topper. I found an unfinished birdhouse for $4.99 that looks like a chapel.  I’ll have a tutorial to show you how I created the topper soon.

Feathered Nest Themed Christmas Tree | Pretty Handy Girl

I love my feathered nest tree. It has an angelic feel with the feathered boas. And at night…I can almost hear angels singing…or is that birds singing?



Are you feeling that holiday spirit? I am and am ready to deck the rest of our house with holiday trimmings.


PHGFancySignDisclosure: This is a sponsored post for Michaels® Arts & Craft Stores. I was provided with a complimentary pre-lit Christmas tree and a gift card to spend at Michaels. I was not told what to buy. I was not told what to write.  


35 replies
  1. brenda
    brenda says:

    having had some really unfortunate experiences with birds/fowl I am not a fan BUT you did a really exceptional job on this and the theme is great and you did a great job on all the decorations to keep with your theme. great job. how does the family like it ?

  2. Lauralee
    Lauralee says:

    LOVE the tree. I’ve never seen boa garland before. That is perfect! How very very fun. You brought it all together so well! Way to go. Thanks for sharing, and don’t mind all the scrooges. With a baby on the way in early December I’ve had Christmas on my mind for a month as well–and I still managed to enjoy Halloween AND plan on decorating for Thanksgiving 🙂

  3. Alyssa
    Alyssa says:

    What a beautiful tree! Makes we want to start putting up Christmas stuff already too 🙂 I love the concept of the feather boas.. may have to try that this year

  4. suzan
    suzan says:

    Ouch that previous post was harsh and way out of line. I am sure the idea behind this was to give us ideas to think about, and nothing else. I loved your tree I think the bird houses are adorable and I wish I had the talent to make them so cute.
    I hope you have a good day and just remember that not everyone is quiet so voca!

  5. sarah
    sarah says:

    Love it! Going to bookmark for later inspiration. Would have never thought to use a feather boa. Great job as always and thanks for sharing!

  6. Lauren
    Lauren says:

    I love Christmas, jingle bells, snow, and egg nog. I leave my Christmas tree up year round, and sometimes have my husband dress as santa. I start my Christmas shopping in Februrary, just so I can get the perfect presents for everybody. I even set up a Santa letter collection station for the kids in the four city area. Christmas is just so wonderful.

  7. Joy
    Joy says:

    Beautiful! I love getting ideas in advance and really appreciate the effort you put into all of your original material that you so graciously share with the rest of us. I love your blog, but this is the first time I’ve commented.

  8. Denise
    Denise says:


    I love your tree! I’m sure if this Dream Tree Challenge weren’t the reason for decorating a tree by November 1st, you wouldn’t have had a Christmas post on Halloween. Those of us that understand the Dream Tree Challenge and it’s purpose understand and are inspired. I love it. You did a great job.


Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] There is no rhyme or reason to the doodles, just make lots of little curly q’s and outline structures. But, most importantly, have fun! I used the same technique on the chalkboard ornaments on my Feathered Nest Christmas Tree. […]

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