Upcycle Trimmed Tree Branches for DIY Christmas Garland

Christmas Garland

I’m so excited because this year we are able to have a real Christmas tree. In the past, when we lived in our downtown condo, we weren’t allowed to have real trees, but there is no such rule in our new house.

After we bought our tree and got it home, my husband had to trim some of the branches along the bottom of the tree so that it could fit into its stand. He saved the branches for me, knowing that I’d probably want to find some sort of use for them, he knows me well. He’s a good guy!


DIY Holiday Garland

You can find these clippings at stores for $15 to $20, but if you’re like us, and have a real tree, why not make use of what would be garbage anyway.
This Christmas garland took me about 15 minutes to make and it was a lot of fun. You may remember this post, where I shared a ‘How-To’ on creating starfish tree ornaments. As it turned out, these ornaments didn’t make it on the tree so I was excited to get to use them in my garland.

Here are the quick and easy steps to creating your own garland. Mine is beach themed but you can add any decorations and small touches to yours to make it fit in with your colour scheme.


  • Tree trimmings (ours are from a Douglas Fir tree)
  • Pruning clippers
  • Ribbon in your colour of choice
  • Twine or string
  • Straight pins (I used pins with pearly tops for added decoration)
  • Scissors
  • Themed or coloured ornaments
  • Ornament hooks


  1. Gather your trimmings and sort through them to find ones similar in size
  2. Lay half of the branches in one direction, and the other half in the other direction with their ends overlapping
  3. Use the twine to wrap around the centre where the branches meet. Tie tightly in a knot. Tie two of three more along the centre
  4. Cut two ribbon pieces to make loops for the bow. Using straight pins, pin into place
  5. Cut two longer ribbon pieces for the ends of the bow. Pin these into place as well
  6. Using ornament hooks, hang your ornaments and/or other decorations throughout the greenery

We don’t have a traditional mantel this year so I placed our garland on top of a long shelf above our TV.TIP: I lined it with tin foil so that the sap leaking from the cut branches would not stain the shelving.


If you find yourself with some leftover trimmings, I hope that I have inspired you to make good use of them!

Happy holidays!

City Mom

DIY Starfish Christmas Ornament {Video}

DIY Starfish Christmas Ornament

I know, I know…it’s only October 23rd so you might be wondering why I’m already writing about the holidays. Well, the answer is twofold: first, there are only 63 shopping days left until Christmas; and secondly, we have recently moved into a new home that has a brand new colour scheme, so our old decorations just aren’t going to cut it this year. This means that I need to get started on my decorations now in order to be ready in time, especially if I plan to make some of them myself.


The two main floors of our new home can be best described as a modern, blue/green, beachy, rustic theme. That’s a mouthful, but it’s what I’m going with. I’m so excited about this because well, I love the beach and all things rustic. I would love to celebrate every single Christmas at the beach but I want the snow too, so a perfect combination is a beachy, rustic Christmas here at home!

Of course, ditching our old decorations and creating a new collection will be time-consuming and costly, so I am looking for opportunities to cut these costs by doing some DIY projects; and who doesn’t love a homemade ornament hanging on their tree?


What is a beach-themed holiday tree without a few sparkly starfish right?! I knew this would be my first DIY project and I’m glad it was, because they are so easy to create and require very few ingredients. Check out my video to see how I did it:

As you see, this is a very simple project. I got my supplies at Michael’s (and raided my husband’s toolbox) and used one of their 40% coupons for the Starfish because they are kind of expensive at $19.99 for 4 which made it a much more affordable project.

City Mom Wants to Know


Thanks for watching!

City Mom

Six Black Friday Deals at Indigo You Don’t Want to Miss!

Our Best Black Friday Sale Ever! 1000s of Items at Amazing Prices!

I buy at least 50% of my Christmas gifts at Indigo/Chapters. Why do I love it so much? Probably for the same reasons that you do; they have a fantastic selection of gift-type items for everyone on your list, shipping is easy and often free with a certain dollar amount and they are a Canadian-based company. What’s not to love?

Like our neighbours to the South, Canada widely recognizes Black Friday and Cyber Monday and Indigo has some great deals that will not only make your gift search easier, but cheaper too.

Below I have selected some of my favourite items from Indigo that are on sale for Black Friday and you can check back here on Monday where I will share the Cyber Monday deals.


Indigo Black Friday Sale

  1. Monogram Mugs – Reg: $8 – $12 Sale: $6
  2. 50% Off Super Soft Scarves
  3. 10% Off Beats Mixr & Solo HD Drenched Headphones
    • On Sale: Nov. 28 – Dec. 1, 2014
    • Save: 10% off regular price
    • The world’s most famous headphone has been completely redesigned and reimagined. The new Beats Studio® is lighter, sexier, stronger, and more comfortable, with precision sound, Adaptive Noise Canceling, a 20-hour rechargeable battery, and RemoteTalk™.
    • The Solo 2 has arrived. Beats’ most popular headphone has been redesigned from the inside out. With updated and improved acoustics, the Solo 2 lets you feel your music with a wider range of sound and enhanced clarity.
    • David Guetta challenged Beats by Dr. Dre to create the perfect set of world-class ear cups.
    • Shop Beats Mixr & Solo HD Drenched Headphones
  4. 25% Off Regular Priced Toys
    • On Sale: Nov 28, 2014 Only
    • Save: 25% off regular price (excludes Lego & American Girl)
    • In-store and online
    • Shop Indigo Toys
  5. $20 Off Fitbit Flex – Reg: $99.95 Sale: $79.95
    • On Sale: Nov. 28, 2014
    • Save: $20
    • See how you’re stacking up against your daily goals 24 hours a day. It track steps, distance, calories burned, and monitors your sleep and wakes you with a silent alarm. Access your stats wirelessly with computers and select mobile devices.
    • Shop Fitbits
  6. iHome iW3 AirPlay Wireless Speaker – Reg: $199 Sale: $79
    • On Sale: Nov. 27 – Nov. 30, 2014
    • Save: $120
    • The iW3 is an AirPlay wireless speaker system that uses your Wi-Fi network to connect and control your iTunes library (Mac + PC) for wireless audio anywhere in the home with rechargeable Lithium-ion battery for portable placement.
    • Shop iHome iW3 AirPlay Wireless Speakers

Happy Shopping!

Note: Affiliate links are used in this post.

City Mom

Happy Holidays from City Mom


Happy Holidays from City Mom

Image: suphakit73 /

A Fun Family Activity: Cascades Boutique Cardboard Christmas Tree

Have you heard of Cascades ecological Boutique before? If you haven’t you’ll want to read on to learn more about this forward-thinking, eco-friendly company and their fun products.

Cascades is the largest recoverer of wastepaper in Canada. From 100% recycled fiber wrapping paper to cardboard children’s tables to cardboard bird houses, you’ll find something for everyone on your Christmas shopping list. With products made from recycled goods you gain the confidence in knowing you contributing to the environment. And the products are high quality, not flimsy box-type cardboard.

We received a Moderno cardboard Christmas tree from Cascades Boutique. I was impressed with how sturdy the cardboard seemed. I opened up the package to start assembling the tree and felt overwhelmed at first. There were sheets of card board with cutouts and I wondered how, without instructions (expect for the diagram on the box) I was going to put the tree together. Thankfully I learned it was a breeze to assemble and it took me less than 20 minutes to do so.

The rest was pure fun as Little S and I set up our ‘paint shop’ to decorate the cardboard ornaments that come with the package. The options of decorating are endless. We chose a white tree, but it also comes in green. And we painted the stars and circles with reds, greens browns etc. We finished our tree off with a sparkly red garland.

Given more time (and there’s always next year) I would love to let Little S draw and colour the background of the tree and add her own personal touch. The images below demonstrate some ideas from the Cascades Boutique website.


The Classico Cardboard Christmas Tree is made of 100% recycled cardboard and retails for $33.00 CAD. The Moderno sells for $37.oo. Right now Cascades Boutique is offering free shipping when you spend $120. The tree comes in white and green and shipping is super fast!

Check out the other fun products from Cascades Boutique like the Cardboard Playhouses.


More Holiday Events in London {#LdnOnt}

 Citi Plaza Story Time With Santa

The holidays are the most wonderful time of the year and I’ve said it before, London loves to celebrate in style.

Here are a few fun and family friendly events taking place this weekend that you’ll not want to miss out on. Enjoy!


  • When: Sunday December 11, 2011
  • Time:  11 am – 1 pm
  • Where: John Labatt Centre. Note: Skaters are asked to enter the building through Gate 4 at Ridout and Dundas.
  • What:  Global Spectrum Facility Management will be opening the John Labatt Centre doors to the public for the 4th annual Open House Skate. All members of the community are encouraged to stop by our downtown venue and participate.
  • Cost: Admission is FREE! A toy or cash donation for the Children’s Aid Society of London and Middlesex would be appreciated


  • When: Saturday December 10, 2011 & Saturday December 17, 2011
  • Time: Stories begin at 9:30 am, movie to follow
  • Where: Citi Plaza (formerly Galleria)
  • What: Stories from Santa & a movie.
  • Saturday, Dec. 10 – The Polar Express
  • Saturday, Dec. 17 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  • Cost: Free! (Story time & movie)


  • When: Saturday December 10, 2011
  • Time: 10 am – 4 pm
  • Where: Mastermind Toys, 685 Fanshawe Park Road
  • What: A festively decorated London Transit Bus will be parked in the Mastermind Toys parking lot ready to accept new and gently used unwrapped toys with a particular need for children ages 10+.
  • In addition to collecting toys to Stuff the Bus, Mastermind will also generously donate a skid loaded with toys.  At the end of the day, the bus will deliver the toy donations directly to the Salvation Army for distribution.
  • Drop-in to donate a toy and take a photo!


  • When: December 1 – December 31, 2011
  • Time: Normal paid parking hours
  • Where: Designated areas. See map below.
  • What: 2 hours of free parking in designated downtown shopping areas.
  • Cost: Free! (Parking cannot exceed the time limit posted in each zone)


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