Michaels Dream Tree Challenge – The Finished Tree

A few weeks ago Michaels asked me to be a part of their Holiday Dream Tree Challenge…..of course I jumped at the chance because I love Michaels and I love a challenge!   I finished up my Dream Christmas Tree for Michaels Dream Tree Challenge…..and made a little HD “process” movie to accompany it!  Here’s a peek at the ornaments I made that you’ll see in the movie:

(Update: I had a few questions on equipment and software I use to film and edit HD videos…..click here for my list and FAQ!)

Handmade ornament ideas via lilblueboo.com


Here’s a fun little video I made of all the decor being made and the final tree:



A top view of the finished tree!

Michaels Dream Tree Challenge - Rustic Tree via lilblueboo.com (click through for the time lapse video of the DIY ornaments!)


These little critters were the inspiration for the tree.  Kind of a woodland critter / rustic tree:

Woodland Critter Ornaments from Michaels via lilblueboo.com


Then I found this potpourri….and I loved the colors and textures so much I knew I had to make the pieces into ornaments:

Potpourri as Christmas Ornaments! via lilblueboo.com


Potpourri ornaments!

Finished Potpourri Christmas Ornaments via lilblueboo.com


To add some rustic flair I took wood disks and stenciled numbers on them and distressed with with a large nail file:

How to age wood via lilblueboo.com

I used a mixtures of vinegar, steel wool and steeped tea for the aged finish:

Using Vinegar and Steel wool to age "barn" wood via lilblueboo.com

The finished rustic pieces:

DIY rustic ornaments for Michaels Dream Tree Challenge via lilblueboo.com

For underneath the tree, to hold smaller presents, I bought a few unfinished crate:

How to Make a DIY Rustic Crate via lilblueboo.com

I stenciled the word “TOYS” onto the sides of the crates:

How to Make a DIY Toy Crate for Christmas Tree via lilblueboo.com

And finished the crates with a stain:

DIY Toy Crate to hold small presents under the Christmas Tree via lilblueboo.com

Here are some brown paper stars sprayed with a very light coat of white spraypaint:

DIY rustic star ornaments via lilblueboo.com

I used burlap garland and an E-Z Bow Maker to make the tree topper (you can see the process in the video at the top of the page):

Making a burlap bow via lilblueboo.com

To keep the burlap from shedding and to give it a little contrast I sprayed it with a light coat of spray paint (I used white but you can use a clear matte finish too):

How to keep burlap from shedding via lilblueboo.com


More spray paint on some unfinished mini wreaths from the floral section of Michaels:

How to make a Christmas Tree Bow via lilblueboo.com

A little bow on each wreath dresses them up a little:

How to make paper garland via lilblueboo.com

Waiting to be hung by Boo on the tree!

Rustic DIY Christmas Tree ornaments for Michaels Dream Tree Challenge via lilblueboo.com

She made me promise to pick her up from school early so she could be in charge:


Mr. LBB and I call it our “grownup” tree:

Christmas Tree Inspiration via lilblueboo.com (Michaels Dream Tree Challenge)


The Lil Blue Boo Christmas Tree for Michaels Dream Tree Challenge via lilblueboo.com (click through for the time lapse video of the DIY ornaments!)


The Lil Blue Boo Christmas Tree for Michaels Dream Tree Challenge via lilblueboo.com (click through for the time lapse video of the DIY ornaments!)



You can view all the Christmas trees in the Dream Tree Challenge here!


Want to photograph your tree at night like I did? Try out our Christmas tree photography tutorial below:

How to photograph a Christmas Tree and Christmas tree lights via lilblueboo.com (click through for the time lapse video of the DIY ornaments!)

Click here to check out more Lil Blue Boo Process/time lapse videos here!

Update: A few people asked for a shopping list so here’s what I purchased….a few items overlap!

Woodland Critters:
These were on the endcap of one of the aisles….not with the regular decorations.

2 star-shaped scrapbook punch (2 different sizes)
Scrapbooking paper with music notes
Natural kraft cardstock

Rustic Wood Ornaments:
Spool of natural twine (in the jewelry section)
2″ or 3″ wood disks (in the wood craft section)
Number stencils (in the drawing section)
Matte black spraypaint
(you’ll also need steel wool, white vinegar, and tea bags for the mixture)

Mini wreath ornaments:
Mini wood wreaths (from the floral section)
Spool of hemp cord/twine (in the jewelry section)
1 or 2 spools of off-white/gold ribbon
Matte off-white or white spray paint

Bow Topper:
1 Roll of burlap garland (from the floral section)
Optional: a E-Z bow maker (from the floral section)
Matte off white spray paint

Rustic Stars:
Brown paper mache star ornaments (from the unfinished decorations section)
Matte off-white or white spray paint

Gold Leaves:
These were from a long gold leaf Christmas garland and I cut it up into pieces.
(in the garland section)
I attached them to wire but you can just stuff them into the tree as well.

Wood Crates:
The wood crates are in the unfinished wood craft section.
Black acrylic craft paint or spray paint.
Stencils or cut your own into shelf paper.
“Special Walnut” wood stain (apply with a brush and cloth)

Potpourri Balls:
I bought two packages of Potpourri (from the candle section)
There is also some natural brown potpourri packages in the floral section that you could spraypaint.
Spool of hemp cord/twine (in the jewelry section)
Use hot glue to attach your twine.
(I punched holes into the top of some of them with a nail to get the hot glue down into it.
and a few of them I added small screw eyes with my fingers.)


  1. kristin says

    You don’t sleep, do you? What an AMAZING tree and all the original touches you put on it! I continue to be amazed with your skills, talent and energy!

  2. Monica Maturino says

    Wow! You are so unique. It’s breath taking. Your creativity and the manner that you do things, it’s like watching dreams come true! Thank you!

  3. shelley says

    The tree, video, Boom,Diesel, you ….everything was breathtaking!! You always amaze me!! I love the music with it …I cried and cried! So incredibly beautiful! I love you, mom

  4. Shannel says

    what video editing software do you use? Is it something an amatuer [*ahem, spell check?*] can handle? Would love to make a video for my fambam for Christmas.

  5. says

    GORGEOUS!!! Oh my gosh – so stinkin’ clever to use the potpourri for ornaments! I love the texture, the colors, the burlap! Everything! It’s wonderful. Thanks for the inspiration! I just brought home 3 yards of red burlap today for another Christmas project, but now I’m thinking I may need to go get more :)

  6. Candace Bertalan Horner says

    Ashley this is a Hallmark commercial!! Stunning, heartwarming, precious, amazing…!!! You rock!!! Boo Huck and Diesel cameos rock too!! happy holidays!!!

  7. Darlene says

    Loved it all from cute little stars sewn together and numbered wooden circles to burlap bow. And the music, your beautiful daughter working so intently and Diesel’s little scoot at the end. Bravo!

    • leather patches says

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  8. Ann Maddox says

    Sure enjoyed watching your video! You really put me in a great Christmas mood, and I loved your tree! Thank you so much for taking the time to make the video to give us ideas of how you put together your fantastic tree. Merry Christmas to you and your family!

  9. Trisha says

    I love it…so beautiful!!!! All of our Christmas is in storage this year so this gives me major inspiration to do something out of the box for our tree this year. I love all the shots of Diesel too! Great job!!!

  10. Rachel Heidenreich says

    Hi Ashley! I love it– the whole thing is awesome and beautiful :) Three Christmases ago my son George (who is autistic and has special needs) bit into one of our glass ornaments– he took it right off our tree and it shattered in his mouth. Aagh! We don’t have any glass ornaments (or glass decor in our house for that matter) and I have been on a three year quest to make Christmas happy, beautiful, AND safe. Thanks for ALL your creative ideas, inspiration and expertise. You’ve been a real blessing in my life :)

  11. Lauren L. says

    Wow. Just wow. The tree looks fantastic and you did a great job on the accompanying video! I already have an obsession with Michaels and this only fuels it more. Time to find some coupons … Haha.

  12. Julie says

    Wow!! It’s beautiful and you are so unbelievably creative! I have to admit…I was expecting diesel to lift his leg there at the end. Amazing job – thanks for sharing this. :)

  13. Michele M says

    Love it!!! You are such a talent and great artist. Love your daughter and dog in the video too. Beautifully shot. I took my soon to be 4 year old daughter to Michaels the other day and as we were leaving she said… “Mom… Can we go back to that project store?… it was awesome!” Another story moment to write in my memory book. It made my heart smile. We have been planning her “unicorn” party and have gotten lots of fun stuff from Michaels! The crazy thing is she is not a “princess” girl and lots of her friends are boys. I have been making unicorn and dragon hats for all along with other things for both boys and girls. She also refuses to wear anything “cute”…. she wants to be barefoot…hair not done…and in a t shirt. Ha!! Love … Love … love the tree! Happy Holiday to you and your family!! Hugs! Michele M

  14. lois paulo says

    what a vision, what a tree, and it only gets better when you end it with the little doggie. love it

  15. Alice H says

    Wow! Amazing! You are so creative! I wish I could make my tree look this beautiful. Can I just copy yours??

  16. Leah says

    Absolutely gorgeous and I believe the best imbodiment of what Michaels is-a craft store! Loved the video, made me feel JOY :)

  17. Barb says

    Beautiful movie and tree. Thanks for sharing. Can you tell me are the woodland creatures from Michael’s?

  18. Meg says

    Love the tree! My 6 year old daughter was hanging on my shoulder as I was looking through your photos and she asked if we could do that to our tree.
    I would love any ideas you have for Christmas decor for mantels as well!!
    Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  19. MIchelle says

    Can you tell me what font you used for the stencil on the boxes (assuming you made your own stencil). Thanks!