Have you ever gotten a phone call at the last minute letting you know you had guests stopping by from out of town?

They were in the neighborhood for the holidays and they had a hot minute and wondered if they could drop by for a visit in about 30 minutes.

Oh, good.

Me, too.

What did you do?

Did you panic?

Did you start cooking?

Did you clean off your kitchen counters?

Did you shove everything in your living room into the closet?


I made a project.

I couldn’t help it. I had this blank chalkboard in the kitchen that needed a little something and I had this random garland leftover from another project that was sitting on the kitchen counter and in that moment inspiration struck and I knew that I knew that I knew I could make it and still greet the guests with my red lipstick on.

Here’s my simple five-minute DIY for Christmas.

I made a simple Christmas tree. It’s such an easy project. All you really need is some garland.

Check your Christmas tubs.

There’s probably a little bit of this leftover in one of them from another long-ago Christmas.

You can also find this at your local dollar store, too.

Five-Minute Christmas Dollar Store DIY



hot glue

ornament star


chalkboard (or piece of wood)


1. Find your garland

Here’s mine.

This is the glump of garland that I started with.

You don’t need a long piece like this.

You can use shorter pieces for this project.

2. spread out your garland

Unbend the garland and spread it out.

Remove any kinks and straighten it.

Then get ready to measure.

3. measure your garland

You’ll need four pieces of garland.

Each piece is about 3 inches shorter than the previous piece.

So, for example, my first piece of garland was 14″ long. My second piece was 11″ long. My third piece was 8″ long and my last piece was 5″ long.

Does that make sense?

Measure and cut your garland like this.

4. glue the first piece to the bottom of your chalkboard or wood

Here’s my first piece.

I just hot glued it to the chalkboard.

I thought later that I might have added little hooks or even command strips, but I was in a hurry.

If the glue makes little indentations or anything in the chalkboard I’ll just patch it after the holidays.

5. keep adding layers of the tree

I just glue the second piece on top of the first.

And then the next piece on top of that one.

And then the last piece at the top.

6. glue a snowflake to the top for the star

This was just an old ornament that I got at the dollar store years ago.

You could use a jingle bell or a star or even just draw a star on the top with chalk.

That’s it.

The glue will be dry before you are finished.

Here’s the finished tree.

It was literally the easiest (and cutest) DIY ever.

Those are always the best.

I try to make it a point never to overthink Christmas.

Especially when you have guests about to knock at your door.

PS You know I did NOT start cooking when I got that call.

I just distracted them with sweet tea.

And just in case you missed it?

Here’s another dollar store DIY I made with these jingle bells.

You can see it here.

Or this wood slice tree project I made on a chalkboard.

You can see it here.

I’m also a part of this fun book giveaway going on right now.

I have most of these books and they are amazing. Enter below for your chance to win.

One lucky winner will receive all 6 of these popular DIY and decorating books:
1. But Where Do I Put the Couch? & Answers to 100 Other Home Decorating Questions, by KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farms and Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room
2. French Vintage Decor: Easy & Elegant DIY Projects for Any Home, by Jamie Lundstrom of So Much Better With Age
3. The Home Design Doodle Book: Unleash Your Inner Designer, by Marian Parsons of Miss Mustard Seed
4. The Gift of Gathering: Beautiful Tablescapes to Welcome and Celebrate Your Friends and Family, by Bre Doucette of Rooms for Rent blog
5. Creatively Christmas: Inspired Yuletide Decor, by Jennifer Rizzo of JenniferRizzo.com
6. Amazing Furniture Makeovers: Easy DIY Projects to Transform Thrifted Finds into Beautiful Custom Pieces, by Jen Crider of Girl in the Garage

Follow the directions to enter below. Giveaway open to US and Canada through Dec. 7, 2019.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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


  1. Image for june june

    Fun and creative use of those little pieces of garland. I love repurposing things I already have...and you cant beat the prices at the Dollar Store.

  2. Image for Cheryl Cheryl

    So simple yet so elegant!! Love that chalkboard too! One of the problems I have is placing my furniture. I have three open areas that lead into the living area and it is hard to place furniture around that! Not sure if that makes sense, lol. Maybe one of those books would help, great giveaway, thank you!!

  3. Image for Patricia A Nejmanowski Patricia A Nejmanowski

    I messed up in choosing the fireplace stone so now I need suggestions and advice on what I can do to make me love it?

  4. Image for sue sue

    My house was built in 1880, about 1500 square feet, with an awkward room layout. Did I mention I have "balloon" ceilings? That means canvas cloth stretched above the moldings and painted, to hide whatever is lurking above them. I love French country, white farmhouse and old quilts and color.

  5. Image for Anna Walker Anna Walker

    My favourite DIY's are those that cost nothing or are thrifted. That to me is the true spirit of DIY. I filled all my vases and planters with evergreen branches downed in our latest wind storm. A few extra touches and they're gorgeous.

  6. Image for Cindy Cindy

    I just love DIY books. I did something similar on my cork board at work. Only I swagged the garland back and forth and stapled the points on each side to resemble a christmas tree. Came out adorbs. Thank you for being you KariAnne

  7. Image for Christy Roppel Christy Roppel

    SO CUTE! don't cha love these simple projects that have a big impact? AND, I bet you didn't even smear your red lipstick! ;)

  8. Image for Lara Lara

    I have a chair and ottoman that I had recovered, but after a short period of time, the ottoman is showing wear. I don't want to have the ottoman recovered because it will be hard to match the fabric exactly. What can I do to "cover it" or "something"?

  9. Image for carolyn carolyn

    Love this project, so cute! I just moved into a 1920s bungalow and need help with everything...all of my stuff from my 70s colonial looks odd in my new house! Need to figure out how to make it cozy and comfy...I'm sure all these books would have great ideas!

  10. Image for Shelly Shelly

    My sofa has been in the same place since 1993! I'm at a loss where to move it! I think I need to move it away from the wall? I could use the advice from all of these books! AKA....a hot mess! Lol

  11. Image for Laura Laura

    What a great holiday gift package! These books would keep me busy for months with all the ideas and how-tos. Along with all the ideas on your website! Happy holidays and thanks for a thoughtful place to visit!

  12. Image for LuAnn Krug LuAnn Krug

    I love decorating books and easy DIY projects. Your blog has great ideas with lots of humor mixed in. I’d love to win these books especially your newest one. Happy holidays!

  13. Image for Deborah Deborah

    I love gaining inspiration and ideas by browsing through beautiful home decor books! PLUS. Red-lipstick-type bonus!!!! The books themselves MAKE beautiful decor!!!

  14. Image for Rev. Suzanne Taylor Rev. Suzanne Taylor

    Wow! Really cool tree you made, there! Such a creative mind you have to look and see then do, all in 5 minutes. Amazing.

  15. Image for Lisa Saunders Lisa Saunders

    Such a great way to see all the creative ways you can redesign problem areas in your home (and I have plenty of those....lol), and also to find those perfect DIY projects that even I can do! Being somewhat (in my own opinion) a procrastinator and feeling that I am not very creative, I love perusing books, blogs and basically anywhere I can find the fabulous ideas from such talented individuals to make my house feel like a home.....Somewhere I can sit down, relaxing at night, look around and get that warm, comfy, cozy feeling that I’ve been seeking.

  16. Image for Diane Riquez Diane Riquez

    lighting is always so difficult , never sure about over head which is sometimes harsh or table lamps for mood which is not always bright enough

  17. Image for Carolyn Brown Carolyn Brown

    I love French and vintage pieces and am currently trying to get ideas for warming up my Tudor home. Would love to get my hands on that French Vintage Book. Always trying to create beauty from recyclable pieces too.

  18. Image for Heather Anne Heather Anne

    I am a decor disaster currently - accidentally installed shell PINK carpet in the family room - not what we ordered ... and the couch we received is 18" shorter than what we ordered - so everything is a bit funky right now ... and Christmas bins are still in the attic! I love looking at home decor books for inspiration ... but rarely does my vision match my reality ... ah well!

  19. Image for Jeanne Dugan Jeanne Dugan

    What to do with my black hole of a. fireplace to make it look not so conspicuous! But without painting the original bluestone! Love your stories!

  20. Image for Jami Vass Jami Vass

    After moving back to our hometown to help with our elderly parents we could use some helpful ideas with our new to us house since our time is much more limited now.. But it's definitely been worth it!

  21. Image for Sue Sue

    What a cute and simple DIY. I like it because you can do it on anything wide enough - old cutting board, wooden or woven tray, etc. Can almost always remove and patch (if needed) hot glue. Thanks for sharing and for the give away.

  22. Image for Donna Jacobs-Cancik Donna Jacobs-Cancik

    Luv the simple life Xmas decor / you have gave me so much in quick & easy pesy ideas Keep your ideas coming - can’t wait till your next blog

  23. Image for Lindsay W Lindsay W

    My sis has blackboard paint on her kitchen door, and your last-minute project is cool! The books would be fun to share with her. . . . .front porch and entry are always a challenge.

  24. Image for Sandy Sandy

    I have two small wooden tables with drawers and shelves that were my maternal grandmother’s and are definitely over one hundred years old. I would love to know how to paint or restrain them and use them in several rooms of my home.

  25. Image for Wen Vura Wen Vura

    I love how your mind works ! And you are using what you have!! Especially get inspired by that. Too often we throw away what COULD be made beautiful 🤸‍♂️

  26. Image for Anna Christopherson Anna Christopherson

    Cute!!! I have so little space in my new house and that's honestly my biggest difficulty in trying to decorate for Christmas. But this might be a great alternative tree that doesn't take up too much room OR break the bank! Thanks for posting!

  27. Image for Anna Anna

    Great idea. I am always looking for ways to change up my Christmas decor, without buying a bunch of new decorations. Creativity Christmas just might be exactly what I need.

  28. Image for Joy Joy

    I thrive on seeing useful decorating ideas. They help me see how I can use what I have and I appreciate not always having to buy something new.

  29. Image for Chloe Chloe

    So cute and so clever! I know those guests were not expecting you to whip up a grand feast in the kitchen, but I am sure they loved all of your clever decorating!

  30. Image for Sharon Heinzel Sharon Heinzel

    Love the idea of using leftover garland to make that cute tree! I’ll have to try it! Thanks for the opportunity to win those awesome decorating books!

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