9 Christmases ago, my husband and I had been married for 17 months and we had an 8 month old. We were living in Mississippi for pilot training and had NO money. We paid $40 for a painfully pokey little tree (maybe a native pine?) and since we had very few decorations, I had to make or buy my own. I spent about $20 at wal mart getting a star tree topper and a few little balls. The other $15 was at a craft store. I got decoupage and some foam balls.
I had invested in some gorgeous heavy wrapping paper the year before, so I decided to use that paper as my inspiration.
For the ornaments, I used some random items (I think they were my son's toys) and traced shapes onto used cereal boxes leaving the cardboard to the backside. Then I pasted cut outs of the wrapping paper over those shapes and let them dry.
For the foam balls, I just decoupaged the wrapping paper onto that and stuck a metal hook into the top.
For extra filler on the tree, I used raffia like tinsel. I also added popcorn garlands and cranberry garlands. Worked like a charm! I had a rustic, charming, and nearly homemade tree. Looking back, it is still my most favorite Christmas tree we've had over the years.
Though perhaps the charm of the whole thing was that this was our first year with our baby and as a whole family on our own. Oh, to be able to go back and snuggle with this little guy.
Either way, they are memories I treasure. And in case you were wondering, those ornaments have been showing up on our tree for the last 9 years and they are still going strong. Maybe next year the kids and I will make some more using copier pics of them. Asthetically attractive or not, it's the heart touching memories that make the Season beautiful.