Pretty Brilliant: How to Decorate a Tiki-themed Christmas Tree for Under $10

‘Tis the season to be jolly — if you’re fortunate to be with family and friends, with a job and a happy home, that is. Even those of us blessed with all the aforementioned may feel a little strapped this year, or at least may be wanting to spread a little more holiday cheer to others who may be in need of good spirits. We live by the motto: If you can, do. So we wanted to share one of our favorite ideas to make the most fabulously colorful and cheerful Christmas tree. And get ready… You can do it for under $10, even under $5!

So what’s the our extremely low-cost and rainbowfully um-brilliant idea? Little drummer boy drum roll please… Cocktail umbrellas! Yep, cocktail umbrellas. They are the least expensive, most fabulous pops of color you can get for the money, and they glow brilliantly throw the lights on the Christmas tree. Trust us. It’s a showstopper! You can get a gross of them (that’s 144) for as low as $3.00. Get two gross (288) for about $6.00-$8.00, and you could decorate a couple trees, or even a nine-footer.

A few years ago we lost all our decorations for our main Christmas tree in a move (including some Hallmark collectibles and handmade ornaments from friends), and starting from scratch buying all new ornaments and rebuilding the memories associated with them just wasn’t possible. So we set out to start over — simple. We found colorfully delightful and cheery cocktail umbrellas to be the perfect ornament fillers as we rebuild our ornament collection again. The tree looked like a box of Fruity Pebbles had exploded, and was an absolutely wonderful result.

Decorating Tips for Cocktail Umbrella Tiki Trees

  • Get a little elf or a gaggle of elves to help you open the cocktail umbrellas. They have itty bitty rubber bands on the toothpick part that needs to be pushed up to hold the umbrella open. When you’re dealing with a couple hundred of them, it’s easier to open them in batches then to put them on the tree in batches, not one by one.
  • Feel free to select only one color, a few colors or all the colors. Any combination will look fabulous! Plus, they are so inexpensive, you can buy more grosses to get enough of the colors you want.
  • The cocktail umbrellas are light and can pop off the branches if you brush by them. We recommend you start decorating your tree top-down and always start each branch level by putting the cocktail umbrellas on the inner part of the branches first, and then working your way out to the outer part of the branches. This minimizes you knocking them off unnecessarily.
  • Mix and match colors all over the tree for a beautiful bouquet effect or try something more bold, like putting a different color of umbrella on each branch level. For instance, make the lowest level of branches all red, the next highest level of branches all pink, etc. So you have bands of color going up the tree. You also can try vertical bands, which is a little more tricky, but very fun!

What do you think? Pretty brilliant, huh? We’d love to hear your ideas. Just e-mail, and we’ll keep them on file for next year, or share them if we have time!

Before go, we also hope that if you have an old, extra artificial Christmas tree, you’d think of donating it or giving it away this year. You can easily tie a nice package of cocktail umbrellas to the tree with a happy bow and a few tips on how to decorate. Pass along the prettiment! It doesn’t take that much to bring cheer!

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Betsy Lou

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