Decorating an Irish Themed Christmas Tree
Ireland is one of the most charming countries in the world. With its beautiful landscapes and the richness of its culture Ireland makes a wonderful theme for a Christmas tree. And you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy an Irish themed Christmas tree just as you don’t have to be Irish to enjoy Irish music. So don’t miss out on the luscious greens and wonderful symbols of Ireland.
Choosing a color scheme
I was walking down an isle at Garden Ridge and I was overwhelmed with the different shades of green, the sparkle and shine and the shapes and sizes of so many amazing ornaments. The gorgeous green decorations were the prettiest I have ever seen. Although they had no ornaments that were specifically Irish themed, the colors alone inspired me to do an Irish Christmas tree.
But to use only green would be less interesting, so I chose gold for accent and pop, but also for its symbolism. Ireland may not be known for gold or monetary wealth, but when I think of Ireland one thing that comes to mind are those little Leprechauns and their pots of gold. I also think of the gold as being representative of the richness of Irish tradition and culture – a better form of wealth.
Choosing the decorations
To give the tree a very Irish feel, I wanted to find a combination of ornaments that symbolize the different aspects of Ireland. While at Garden Ridge I purchased all their prettiest green ornaments as well as a few gold ornaments. My basket was full, partly because my little granddaughters were shopping with me and helping me select. They were handing me ornaments faster than I could put them in the basket. I wasn’t quite satisfied though. I would need to purchase items from several other stores before I finally had all that I wanted. For your convenience I’ve listed all the stores I bought decorations from at the end of this article.
For the decorations on my Irish Christmas tree I used:
When I finally finished decorating the tree with the different shades of green, the sparkle, the shine, the elegant crosses, the musical notes and instruments, and the precious tiny fairies fluttering around the top of the tree with their beads and shamrocks, I was very happy I decided on an Irish tree with all of its shades of green and precious little character ornaments.
But there was one set of ornaments that brought everything to life and in fact took over the tree and claimed it for their own…
How the Irish Snowman Ornaments bring the tree to life
To me, these Irish Snowman Ornaments were like the jewels in the crown on this tree. Without them, I had a very nice looking Irish Christmas tree. With them, the tree became alive with the warm friendly spirit of Ireland. They are nicely sized at 4 inches tall and their design is inspired by the masterful oil paintings of the World’s most collected living artist, Thomas Kinkade. These darling, little Irish snowmen are among my favorite ornaments I’ve ever had and I never get tired of looking at them.
I liked these snowmen so much I decided to do a full write-up about them. Believe me, these are some of the most exquisite and downright coolest ornaments you will ever own!
Here are a few tips for decorating with these Irish snowmen:
- Insert one of your Christmas tree lights in the base of the snowmen to make them glow.
- For fun, compare the little Thomas Kinkade paintings on the snowmen to Kinkade’s actual paintings. I show a specific example of this in my write-up about the snowman.
- Experiment with playful ways of arranging the snowmen on the tree, for example:
- Position the sleigh riding snowman so that he’s sledding down the ribbon.
- Group the snowmen with musical instruments close to each other to form a snowman band.
Check out my full review of these Irish snowman ornaments.
Setting up the flying Irish Fairies
One of the more magical elements on this tree is the appearance of Irish fairies flying around, hanging beads and ornaments. For years, I’ve created this effect with white doves, but for an Irish Christmas tree fairies are perfect. This sort of thing always draws attention from guests and everyone who sees it.
Here are a few tips for hanging the Irish fairies:
- Use white sewing thread (or whatever color matches your ceiling) to hang the fairies. You could also try “invisible” thread.
- To keep the fairies from twisting and rotating randomly they require two anchor points. This keeps them still and pointed in the direction you intended.
- Fairies that are “hanging ornaments” need two strings, both anchored at the ceiling. If your fairy has little loops like mine, then you can simply use one long string slid through the loop then pinned to the ceiling at two different places.
- Fairies that are posed “hanging beads” require only one string anchored to the ceiling since the beads attached to the tree act as the 2nd anchor point.
- Hang the fairies at different heights and distances from the tree to create a more natural look.
Making pot of gold ornaments
The pot of gold ornaments are very easy to make.
What you’ll need:
- Little plastic pots (black)
- Plastic gold coins
- Green spray paint
- Green glitter spray paint
- Tissue paper
- Gold cord
One other idea is to use gold foil wrapped chocolate coins instead of plastic coins. They would make a nice little Christmas treat for the kids - and the adults for that matter. They might actually even look better. These pots would also work great on a Sugar Plum Tree. Just fill them with your favorite candy.
What to do:
- Spray paint the pots green
Take a plastic black pot and spray paint it holiday green or whatever shade you prefer. This may require 2 or 3 coats to get solid coverage. You can leave the pots black if you prefer, but I recommend painting them because black doesn’t show up very well on the tree. Obviously, if you can find green pots then you can skip this step all together.
- Spray paint the pots with glitter green
This is just to make the ornament stand out a little more. Without the glitter spray paint, the pots looked pretty drab and boring. I know the glitter doesn’t show up very well in the photo, but trust me, the pots look a lot better with the glitter.
- Stuff the pot with tissue
This is just so you don’t have to fill the pot with a whole bunch of coins. It saves a little money. Tissue paper is what I used, but just about anything will work.
- Tie gold cord to the handle
This is to create a hanger loop for the pot. You can actually hang the pot by it’s handle, but when you do this the pine needles obscure the view of the coins and the pots also have a tendency to slide off if you don’t place them just right.
- Place gold coins in the pot
Arrange the coins so they cover the tissue and so that they poke out of the pot a little.
- Optional step: glue the coins
The coins can fall out very easily, so you might want use a little dab of glue here and there to secure the coins in place. I personally did not bother with this.
Setting up an Irish tree with the bare essentials
Obviously I used a lot of ornaments and decorations for my Irish tree, but if you don’t want to spend that much time and money then here are the bare essentials I recommend.
- Wrap the tree in bright green and gold ribbon.
- Hang shamrock ornaments on the tree.
- Hang Irish snowman ornaments on the tree. These ornaments are gorgeous enough to carry the tree on their own.
Where to shop for Irish Christmas Tree decorations
All the decorations used on this Irish Christmas tree were found at the following stores:
- The Bradford Exchange Online
This is where you can buy the Thomas Kinkade Irish Blessings Snowman Christmas Tree Ornament Collection. Be sure to read my review of these ornaments. And you can find an adorable Irish Snowman Figurine as well as numerous other Irish collectibles on The Bradford Exchange Online. They also sell other adorable snowman ornaments if you aren’t interested in Irish ones. For the record, The Bradford Exchange Online graciously provided us with the full collection of Irish snowmen for the purpose of this article.
- Hammacher Schlemmer
This is where I bought the 6.5′ pre-lit Noble fir tree used in this article. I already owned several other Christmas trees, but I already had plans for those. I buy pretty much all my Christmas trees from Hammacher. You could go with a pre-lit Noble Fir, pre-lit Fraser Fir or a fresh cut tree. They sell all three. And yes, I do believe Hammacher sells the best artificial prelit Christmas trees as their website claims.
- Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland
This is where I bought the Irish Santa ornaments, the Irish flag ornament, shamrock ornament and St. Patrick ornament.
- Oriental Trading Company
This is where to buy the little pots and gold coins for making the pots of gold.
They have a wide variety of chocolate gold coins that would work great as a tasty and fun alternative to the plastic coins for the pot of gold ornaments. While you’re at it, you might also want to check out their big assortment of Christmas candy.
Brick and mortar stores:
- Garden Ridge
This is where we found the angel tree topper, fairy ornaments, gold cross ornaments, music note ornaments, musical instrument ornaments and many of the green ornaments used for our tree.
- Decorator’s Warehouse in Plano, Texas
This is where we bought the green ribbon, green sequin and bead decorations (used for waterfall symbolism), and numerous other very elegant decorations and ornaments. This place, by the way, is a treasure trove of Christmas decorations and goodies. If you live in the Dallas area you must go here.
I bought even more green, sparkly decorations at Michael’s. This is also where I got the spray paint and gold cord for the pots of gold.
Here are a few more pictures of my tree to help you get ideas:
Note: some of these images were taken at night under artificial light and some were taken during the day under natural light. That’s why some color difference is visible.