Who doesn't love Palm Springs? When my friends at Treetopia invited me to decorate a summer destination themed Christmas tree, Palm Springs was at the top of my list. Even though it's absolutely broiling over in PS right now, it's still a fabulous and fun travel destination all year long. Mid-Century modern architecture, rainbows, and palm trees … there's so much to love! This Palm Springs Christmas tree is decorated with loads of handmade Palm Springs Christmas Decorations that celebrate everything the Palm Springs area has to offer.
Why a Palm Springs Christmas Tree?
Right now, it's the middle of summer, which is the worst time to visit Palm Springs … unless you like triple digit temps at midnight and melted asphalt! LOL Last summer our power company turned off the power for 2 weekends while they did work in our neighborhood. My husband and I headed to palm Springs, where we got to stay in a 5 star resort for 10% of the regular price. Yup, a $1500 room for $110 a night. It was absolutely fabulous thanks to the resort's blasting A/C and a cool salt water pool!
It's only fitting that with the low summer prices this time of year in Palm Springs that these Palm Springs Christmas decorations also be affordable. We're talking about $20 to decorate this whole tree. Say what?! Yes, it's true!
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A DIY Palm Springs Christmas Tree
When I was thinking of how to decorate this Palm Springs inspired tree, I thought of all the iconic Palm Springs attractions and motifs. Did you know that Palm Springs has a thriving Christmas scene? There's the Festival of Lights, Palm Springs' own Christmas parade. And there's also the crazy wacky Robolights house, in it's 32nd year of robots and Christmas lights!
I was also inspired by the tourist attractions in Palm Springs, from the oranges grown along the 10 freeway on the drive to Palm Springs to the dinosaur statues and wind turbines on the outskirts of Cabazon, leading into Highway 111 to the palm trees lining the streets in downtown Palm Springs to the rainbow pride flags everywhere and the mid-century modern architecture of many of the homes in Palm Springs.
Here's how it all came together on this fabulous 6 foot orange Christmas tree from Treetopia:
DIY Palm Springs Christmas Ornaments
I created a bunch of really fun ornaments from easy to find materials and toys to make this Palm Springs Christmas tree come to life! The supplies I used can be found at the craft store, dollar store, and bog box stores, making this a very affordable tree to decorate. I even used paper napkins! I'll walk you through how I made each ornament, plus you can watch this video (LINK COMING SOON) to see how it all comes together!
Traditional Christmas ornaments
I started off decorating the tree with a set of traditional green, red, and gold ball ornaments, the Colors of Christmas Beaded Ornament Set, from Treetopia. These form the sparkly base for all of the other Palm Springs Christmas decorations to stand out against. I love that these ornaments are shatter-proof, perfect for a cat mom like me!
Love glass ornaments? Treetopia has those too. Check out the fabulous rainbow glass ornaments I used on this ice cream tree!
Dinosaur Christmas ornaments from Palm Springs
Every time I drive to Palm Springs, I have to stop in Cabazon to get a date shake at Hadley's Orchards market. Just a couple exits down from Hadley's are the iconic dinosaur statues every tourist posts to their Insta when they go to Palm Springs. I remember climbing on these as a kid and somewhere around here, I have a photo of that.
I really wanted dinosaurs on this Palm Springs Christmas tree but toy dinosaurs are really expensive at the craft store and the toy store. And then I went to the dollar store … score! The dinosaurs at the road side on the way to Palm Springs are a T-Rex and a Brontosaurus. I couldn't find the exit species of dinosaur needed but the two I found look close enough to the real thing. And I only spent $2 to get them!
I placed the dinsoaur toys among the branches of the orange Christmas tree. You can also drill holes in the dinosaurs to make proper ornaments like this.
Felt Oranges Christmas Ornaments
Southern California known for oranges and citrus fruit. The Coachella Valley, where Palm Springs is located, is famous for dates. Every time we go to Palm Springs, we have to stop at Hadley's Orchards for date banana milkshakes. It's a tradition! When I was thinking about putting fruit on this Christmas tree, I quickly realized that dates are not cute. they are brown and wrinkly. So I spared you from looking at brown and wrinkly fruit ornaments and I made oranges instead.
Most people drive from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and along the way, you'll drive right through the orange orchards in Redlands, CA. Plus these felt oranges Christmas ornaments are way cuter than dates! Here's what you'll need to make the felt oranges:
How to make Felt oranges
- Kunin Eco-Fi felt made from plastic recycled plastic bottles, in orange, green, and lime green
- Aleene's Felt & Foam Glue
- Tulip Slick Dimensional Paint in White
- Sizzix Big Shot Machine (not pictured)
- Sizzix Circle Die #1 (not pictured)
- Sizzix Pear Die (not pictured)
Cut circles from the orange felt with the Sizzix die cut machine to form the oranges. Cut out the leaves from each shade of green felt using the Sizzix die cut machine and the leaf shape on the pear die. Glue the leaves to the top of the orange circle with the Aleene's Felt & Foam glue. Add a white line as “shine” to the orange using Tulip Slick Dimensional Paint in White. Allow to dry.
I placed the felt oranges among the leaves of the tree but you can add hangers to the back if you want to hang them. I think I might turn these into a fun banner to use when they're not on my Christmas tree!
Wind Turbine ornaments
It's super easy to find windmill ornaments. But the wind turbines in Palm Springs have a sleek modern look, not like traditional windmills on the farm. Luckily, I found an etsy shop that had svg cut files for wind turbines!
I fired up my Cricut and cut the wind turbines from white cardstock. You can easily add a hanger to the back with gold twine and a glue dot .. and voila! These wind turbine ornaments look just like windmills in the wind farms on the outskirts of Palm Springs.
Mid-Century Modern House Christmas Ornaments
I really loved these mid-century modern Putz style houses by Retro Renovations. You could totally put them in your mid century modern Christmas tree or make a whole Christmas village with them! I think they would look absolutely awesome in this Palm Springs Christmas tree, Putz style houses are a lot of work to make.
Instead, I remembered meeting an etsy shop owner at Alt Summit who was recreating the mid century modern houses of Palm Springs as necklaces using acrylic.
Isn't this mid century modern house necklace from Finest Imaginary just the cutest ever?!
While looking for more mid-century modern house inspo, I found another etsy selling making and selling acrylic house necklaces:
Check out her adorbs house necklaces here:
- Pink mid century modern house necklace
- Mid Century modern swimming pool necklace
- A-Frame Cabin necklace
They are so cute and so Palm Springs, right?! Here's how they ended up looking when I cut them from paper:
How to make mid century modern house ornaments from paper
The great thing about mid century modern architecture are the clean straight lines. With a basic paper trimmer and some glue, you can recreate these iconic Palm Springs homes really easily. Here's how:
- Cut a rectangle from white cardstock measuring the approximate size of the house you want.
- Next, cut two diagonal lines on one end of the rectangle, angled to make either a convex or concave roof.
- Then, cut a piece of colored cardstock to fit the white cardstock shape, covering only part of the “house”. The exposed white cardstock will form windows.
- Finally, cut strips of brown cardstock to form moldings. Glue to the roof and to form window moldings.
- Add a loop of gold twine to the back of the house to act as an ornament hanger.
These mid century modern Christmas ornaments are one of my favorite parts of this Palm Springs inspired Christmas tree! And if you liked these, you gotta make this Palm Springs gingerbread house from abeautifulmess!
DIY Felt tree skirt
Did you know you can make a Christmas tree skirt with no sewing and for under $10? A few years back I made a giant Christmas tree skirt for our oversized Christmas tree. This orange tree from Treetopia is not quite as big so making this felt tree skirt is even more affordable. All you need is 1 yard of white felt and a few pieces of colored felt to make the accents.
Here's how to make the DIY felt tree skirt:
- Fold the felt in half once each way to make a square.
- Use a string and a marker to draw a curve on the open ends of the felt.
- Cut along the curve and unfold to reveal a circle of felt.
- Next, cut a hole in the center of the circle.
- Then, cut a slit from the outer circle to the inner circle so the tree skirt can slip around the base of the tree.
- You can cut out the accent shapes with scissors or use a diecut machine, like I did. Glue the felt shapes to the white tree skirt base with felt glue and done!
Want more mid-century modern inspo? Check out this DIY mod tree skirt by Melo-Drama.
How to make a Rainbow Flag Banner for a Chirstmas Tree Garland
Palm Springs has long been a meccas for the LGBTQ community. It's not surprising to see rainbow flags along Palm Canyon Drive, the main drag through Palm Springs. Since we just wrapped up pride month, June, it was almost impossible for me to find anything rainbow themed in any local stores. Luckily I found some rainbow stripped napkins in a big box craft store that were perfect for creating a rainbow flag banner for this Palm Springs decorated Christmas tree:
Here's what you'll need to make this rainbow flag banner:
- Rainbow napkins
- Orange string
- Tape runner adhesive
How to make a rainbow flag banner with paper napkins
- Cut the napkin into strips with scissors.
- Remove the extra layers on the back of the napkin.
- Fold the napkin strips to make a flag shape.
- Apply tape runner adhesive to the inside of the fold, place the string in the fold, and fold the flag closed.
- Repeat until the banner is the desired length.
I hung three banners on this tree rather than make one long banner. Use these as party decorations later!
DIY Palm Tree Christmas Ornaments
I tried to make palm trees from felt because I absolutely love felt ornaments. But making felt palm trees was going to be super labor intensive so I opted to download a $1.99 palm tree cut file for the Cricut and cut out the palm trees out of cardstock.
The beauty of using an electronic cutter to make paper Christmas decorations is that you can make them any size you want from any paper you like. I chose my favorite texture of Bazzill cardstock, the cross hatch Doodlebug cardstock texture that is now discontinued. I've been hoarding this cardstock for years and that's just silly; the best way to celebrate and enjoy your favorite things is to use them. When I take this tree down, I'll save the palm tree ornaments to use on other projects or when I decide to put this tree up again.
If you love Christmas, you gotta check out Treetopia's selection of color Christmas trees. And guess what? You can enter to win a $100 Treetopia gift card! Click here!
Which tree from this week's Summer Christmas tree tour has been your favorite?
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