Deck the Tree with History 7

Biltmore’s Floral Displays Team Shares an Easy Christmas Craft

If there’s one house that knows how to deck the halls this season, it’s the palatial Biltmore House. Biltmore’s Floral Displays team spends months crafting and curating the annual Christmas display, including thousands of bows, hundreds of trees and innumerable sparkling lights. Needless to say, they’re the experts, which is why we tapped them for a little DIY inspiration for your own home this holiday season. 

Family traditions are a favorite topic at Biltmore, especially during the holidays. Incorporating family into Christmas decorating is a favorite design element with Biltmore’s Floral Displays team. This easy craft celebrates family during this special time of year with a Christmas ornament that can last for generations.

You will need:

Photograph or copy of a photograph •

Craft paint
Self-adhesive plastic hangers
Means to identify photo(s)
Items to personalize the frame, such as • buttons, beads, bows, stickers, dried plant material, feathers, etc.


1. Select your photo. Consider making a copy of it to make sure your original doesn’t get damaged or discolored. Try using different copying modes, such as “sepia” or “black and white,” to add a touch of elegance.

2. Select a frame. When making your selection, consider the location for your ornament and what style of frame will work best with the photo.

3. If your frame lacks a certain quality, have fun and experiment to change its appearance (for example, a frame with a shiny finish may detract from the softer elements of an old photograph).

4. To give it an aged appearance, gently brush or rub craft paint onto the frame (choose a hue that is darker than your frame). Don’t forget to paint the sides. Cut your photo to fit the frame and place in the frame.

5. Attach self-adhesive plastic hangers on the back of the frame. You can find hangers like this at most craft and hardware stores.

6. Thread your ribbon through the hangers, leaving enough ribbon to tie your ornament to the tree.

7. Create a tag for the back of the frame on which you identify who is in your photo and the year it was taken. You can make tags using your computer, or handwrite them for a personal touch.

8. Have fun with personalizing your frame. Glue small objects that have meaning to you onto the frame, such as beads, bows, stickers, dried plant material, feathers, etc.

9. Hang the framed photo on a tree limb; secure by tying to the limb.