Does your Christmas tree need some extra pop? Take a look at this simple tip to add interesting appeal and fill in some of the empty green spaces in a snap.

Can we still be friends if I tell you that every tree on this porch came from Dollar General?


On sale.

Bottom of the barrel in the Christmas tree buying hierarchy.

I didn’t really have high expectations when I bought the trees.  At the time I wasn’t even sure what I was going to do with them.  It’s just really hard to pass up a Christmas sale on extremely under-priced greenery.

And then?

I started decorating the Christmas trees on the back porch.

This rustic ornament goes perfectly with my decor

I lugged 7 boxes of Christmas trees home that day.

Remember the “I’m a stuff-a-holic” post?

And how I had a little problem with buying multiples of things and how I wasn’t ever going to buy more than I really needed ever again and how I was going to be content with just one of something?

Well….this was before all that.

And besides?

Is one Dollar Tree Christmas tree ever really good enough?

The dining area is all decked out for the Christmas season

Eventually, all those trees ended up on the screened-in-porch.

They weren’t really even fit to be inside anymore.  The trees kept dropping needles and were scraggly and lumpy and bumpy and full of holes after you put all the branches in.

They were trying so valiantly to live up to the moniker “Christmas tree”and failing miserably.

Bless their little evergreen hearts.

Even the clock got a Christmastime makeover

And as I stared at those pitiful evergreen branches….

….I had an idea.

Scraggly trees with holes needed a burst of life.

A burst of greenery.

Why not stuff them with fresh magnolia?

I know, right?


So I took the leaves in bunches of threes.

And I stuffed them into the branches of the trees.

Wherever there was a hole?

I put a magnolia leaf bunch.

The tree needed a little extra greenery in some spots, and I decided magnolia would be the perfect addition

And when I was finished?

It looked like this.

The trees are outside on the porch.

It’s cold so the magnolia will stay fresh longer.

And the best part…..the fresh magnolia is free and abundant.

The perfect combination for a bargain shopper.

Here’s another view of the trees after I clipped fresh magnolia and stuffed and fluffed and then stuffed some more and hung a few ornaments and tags and ribbons and snowflakes.

It was amazing.

The magnolia made the trees look they never even saw the inside of a dollar general.

Like they graduated magna cum laud from an ivy league university.

And got an all-expenses paid scholarship to medical school.


But why stop at decorating a tree?

When you could make a magnolia garland like this.

See the project here.

Or a fresh magnolia wreath like this?

See the entire diy here.

Magnolia decorating is so much fun.

I love my magnolia covered bargain-basement trees….because they are….well…..because they’re so me.

Sometimes people think I’m fancy.

But I’m not.

Not really.

I’m just a non-fancy girl with a porch full of scraggly bless-their-hearts Dollar General trees…..

…..and a whole lot of Christmas imagination. 🙂

Want to know how to decorate your home for free?
Click here to get my FIVE BEST secrets.


  1. Image for Beverly Beverly

    Happy First Day of Christmas. You know I'm loving this, KariAnne.♥ Gorgeous!!! What did we all do before we had various "dollar" type stores in our lives? You just gotta love "em, and I always manage to spend at least ten dollars. These stores are essential to stocking my mother's game book addiction. She goes through them like water. Don't forget that it is Holiday Porch Pink Saturday.

  2. Image for Jill Flory Jill Flory

    Excellent camoflage! And free magnolia? you are so lucky! Can I pay you to ship me a box of it?!! I love magnolia but have never convinced myself to pay the price for it. You enjoy it for me kay?!!!

  3. Image for Betsy(@coastal-colors) Betsy(@coastal-colors)

    Your porch looks wonderful! It's gorgeous! I love the Christmas trees and the greenery! I would never leave here!

  4. Image for Bliss Bliss

    Dear Santa, All I want for Christmas is a scale like the one at Thistlewood Farm. You can even take the two I have and put them under someone elses tree. Signed, Bliss

  5. Image for Claudia Claudia

    Love what those magnolia leaves did to the trees, Karianne! I'm so excited, by the way, a Dollar General just opened up down the road (3 miles) from us! Yippee! xo Claudia

  6. Image for Zolane Zolane

    I love your "Linus" attitude of taking a not so perfect Charlie Brown tree and making it something very special. What a blessing and inspiration you are :) Hugs, Zolane

  7. Image for Bethanie Henry Bethanie Henry

    LOVE LOVE!! I've been looking for a good magnolia tree to swipe some branches from...I've got my trimmers in the car just in case I run into a good one where there might be someone who would share. Or maybe someone who's not home and Im "sure" wouldnt mind sharing. :)... I stuffed my fake evergreen wreaths full of boxwood cuttings (from my own bushes, no "borrowing" needed) added some sparkly ribbon and glittery snowflake ornament and they're beautiful!! Yesterday I was looking thru my woods for some good greenery, it just isnt good stuff...what's up with that? But my neighbors, who may or may not be friendly, have these awesome tall, full, evergreen bushes of some kind...well, they just happen to be verrrry close to our fence....if I stood up on my fence, I could lean just a tad and take a little snip snip...yep, I did it. They blow their grass in my yard all summer, I just considered it a pay back!! Im sure they wouldnt mind ;) was just what I needed to fill my wooden crate with white birtch logs, huge pine cones and lights. Cannot wait to see the rest of the 12 days of Christmas! xoxo

  8. Image for Gwen Gwen

    It's what we do, right. Add some adornment to take away from all the drooping places that time has so ungraciously "blessed" us with! Wonder if I stuck some Magnolia leaves on my face if it would take away from my drooping eyelids...

  9. Image for Amy @ the Avery House Amy @ the Avery House

    Oh wow KariAnne! Those are the best Dollar General trees I ever saw. That is such genius to stuff them with magnolia leaves. I know I will be copying your idea. I think the beauty of really and truly great design and decor is that it really doesn't have to be expensive and fancy to be absolutely stunning and beautiful. These tress are a true testament to that as well as to the genius of your creative mind. I am looking forward to seeing the rest of your 12 Days series posts. Happy weekend!

  10. Image for gee gee

    Oh how beautiful Karianne. No matter that they are bargain basement trees... They are glorious stuffed full of their glossy magnolia branches. Remember , that was my plan... to fill the house with those glossy leaves. But the tree was cut down :-( Well I got some anyway a few weeks ago. Made a beautiful mantle scape and waited to see what would happen.... it withered so fast. The warmth of the North Central Florida Fall made fast work of my beautiful leaves... So I bought faux. ( shhhhh... don't hiss) So faux Magnolias, sticks and pinecones... will reveal soon. In the meantime I will admire your trees and smile. HUGS, Gee

  11. Image for Pinky Pinky

    O M G this is GENIUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I would have NEVER thought to buy trees at Dollar General EVER! But your magnolias make them SHINE!!!! And SPARKLE with Christmas beauty!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't have a source for magnolias and I just LOVE them. They are always a beautiful Christmas addition. XO, Pinky

  12. Image for Marianne Marianne

    This is just gorgeous. You entire house is gorgeous and I just love your blog. I look forward to reading your posts everyday!! I wish I had a Dollar General out here in Jersey. Just love taking a Charlie Brown tree and turing it into a beauty!! :))

  13. Image for Janet Janet

    I love your posts... Not only do you have a creative flair with making everything beautiful...even dollar tree finds...but your writing style makes me smile... (As does your readers comments) keep up the great work. I look forward to your blogs.

  14. Image for Donnamae Donnamae

    If I had a porch like that I would never leave!!! You really do have a great imagination...who would have thought to marry a dollar tree and magnolia leaves? Makes me want to get a magnolia tree...but me thinks it's too cold in Wisconsin! I read your stuff-a-holic post too, too funny, but true...I am a recovering one! My trigger phrase is...will my life be better if I buy this ? (So now I can only buy food! ). Haha! ;)

  15. Image for Becca Becca

    DG rocks! And, so do your trees! I LOVE that you added fresh magnolia leaves ... gives them a lush, full look. The snowflaks are such a fun touch ... I buy a bazillion of those every year at Dollar Tree (3 for $1) and add them everywhere! Happy Holiday, sweet friend ... your Christmas porch is gorgeous!

  16. Image for Regina Regina

    LOVE IT! I figure between DG, Family Dollar, Big Lots, KMart, and other miscellaneous places, I could come up with more trees than I could shake a bough at! :) Now I just need to plant a magnolia tree . . . ;) Wonderful, Karianne! And I love that you're fancy in such a non-fancy way!

  17. Image for Shannon Fox Shannon Fox

    But... they worked so hard at being fabulous and you're spilling all there secrets ;) hehehe It all looks gorgeous ~ Very "Southern Christmas". Just beautiful!!

  18. Image for Cindy Cindy

    Karianne, You did absolute WONDERS with those trees...and your porch, geeeeeeeeeeeorgeous! I am in decorating ENVY!! Love it all! So excited to see what else you come up with during this 12 days of crafting!! Blessings on you this Christmas :) Cindy

  19. Image for shirley@housepitalitydesigns shirley@housepitalitydesigns

    You know how much I love your porch....Such a wonderful Southern Porch...and you gave it that wonderful southern feel with the magnolia branches...Scarlett would be so very proud that you put the feel of "Tara" on your beautiful porch!!!....Now. are those drapes a new addition?...

  20. Image for Linda S Linda S

    I love, love the metal box at the end! The magnolia leaves remind me of our family vacations every year in the south. We don't have them here in Minnesota!

  21. Image for Sherry Sherry

    It's amazing what you can do with stuff from the Dollar General! I ran into your darling Christmas trees on Pinterest and thought I better get over and see how you fancied them up so beautifully. Free Magnolia! Now I need a Magnolia tree!!! Your porch looks so pretty dressed for Christmas! :)

  22. Image for Barb @ Grits and Glamour Barb @ Grits and Glamour

    I've been saying for years that fresh magnolia is the Christmas miracle cure. You can stuff it in a thrown-away toilet in the front yard next to a Chevy on cinder blocks and it will be the most awe-inspiring thrown away toilet evah!!!! ;) Love your trees and your whole porch is just lovely. xxoo

  23. Image for Kimberly from Serendipity Refined Kimberly from Serendipity Refined

    Those Dollar General trees are thankful that they came to live with you...and got stuffed with magnolias, they're standing a little taller since you did that (I'm certain that if you check, they were only 12 inches tall when you brought them home), fluffing out what''s left of their needles and looking down right festive. Heck, I'll bet that late at night they sing...softly of course...probably something by Adele...or Christmas Carols...maybe they sing carols. Your porch is beautiful! xo

  24. Image for Laura Laura

    I sincerely took that only buy one pledge to heart, so I was quite relieved to see that you made these purchases before the pledge was made. I would certainly hate to lose all respect for you at this point in our relationship. We do have a relationship don't we? I would hate to have that stalker word stamped on my forehead. :) I love your trees. Every last one of them and I think my neighbors may have a magnolia tree that I am sure I can borrow from tonight at midnight. Shhhhhh, Laura

  25. Image for Anne Anne

    Such a beautiful and creative porch! I am very happy to see your pretty home. What a dreamy post you have here. Thanks for the share and enjoy your weekend.

  26. Image for maryJean maryJean

    my new goal, get to the dollar store, find some potential and karianne-ize it. (smiley face without the icon)

  27. Image for Gina Gina

    willing to trade my ivy league- educated doctor husband for one of those dollar store magnolia trees! they are so me, too!

  28. Image for HRH Sarah HRH Sarah

    I haven't stopped by in so long, and I just couldn't wait to see all your Christmas gorgeousness! So glad I did today! Merry Christmas, and looking forward to stopping by again real soon...

  29. Image for Christine Christine

    Karianne, Your porch ..............Gorgeous! I love the black and white chairs and the pine-cones, and pine thingys! Pretty,pretty!

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