An Ironstone Christmas Tree

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure statement for details. 

Decorate your shelves for the holidays by creating an ironstone Christmas tree from pitchers and bowls you have on hand. Once all your treasures are gathered, this show-stopper goes together in no time!

*This post was inspired by the cover of the Holiday 2019 issue of Country Home Magazine.

christmas shelves in living room

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

~Oscar Wilde

ironstone christmas tree shelves

Welcome to the first Christmas decor post of the season…I am so glad you’re here! In the past, I have always kicked off the holiday season with our front porch. I decided to switch things up this year and feature our living room shelves because, truth be told, I couldn’t wait to give this project a try! The minute I saw the cover of the Holiday issue of Country Home magazine, I knew it was something I could do. I wasn’t exactly sure how, but I knew it would be great fun figuring it out. Plus, at the end of the post, I’m sharing some beautiful Christmas projects from my friends. If you are visiting from Maison de Cinq, a special welcome to you!

But first, here is my inspiration for this project…

country home magazine cover 2019 holiday

Inspiration can be found just about anywhere…and many times it comes when we least expect it. I had almost given up on home and garden magazines, and had given up all my subscriptions except one…Country Home. I have loved it for years, and still get excited when it appears in my mailbox. When this holiday issue arrived, my heart did a little flip. I was immediately inspired, and it was such a good feeling. 

ironstone pitcher christmas tree

When you see something online or in a magazine, and want to recreate it, the most important thing to keep in mind is whether or not it’s even possible. In this case, I had the shelves, the plates, and the pitchers. Without those three things, this project would have been impossible…or at least very hard and expensive! Read on for tips that will help when you want to copy something. 

ironstone and christmas plates on shelves

ironstone pitchers on shelves

Tips for recreating an inspiration piece:

  • Keep your inspiration image on hand the entire time. I can’t tell you how many times I picked up that magazine and looked at the cover…but it was a ton! Every time I got stuck, or couldn’t make a decision, a glance at the image was very helpful.
  • Don’t try to copy your inspiration exactly…because it will only lead to frustration. Sometimes you have to think outside the box, and come up with another way to “get the look.” My inspiration image pictured real ironstone. Most of my pitchers are not ironstone, but they are close enough to work. This is your opportunity to be creative!
  • Gather all of your items before you begin. In fact, gather more than you think you will need, so there is plenty to choose from. 
  • Stand back. Look at your project from different angles and from different parts of the room. What looks good from the front, might not look good from the side.

christmas tree with shelves in background

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

Ironstone Christmas Tree Sources:

Lenox holiday plates | neutral ornaments | star tree toppers (I used the small one) | red ornaments | juniper picks

In the coming weeks, my hope for each one of you is that you will find inspiration that will make this holiday season special. Keep your eyes and heart open to something lovely…and something that will make you smile. I know it’s out there…and it’s coming your way. 

Now I need to send you along to Designthusiasm. Lory is such a good friend, and I love her style.  It’s impeccably French with a modern twist, and so sophisticated. Her link is below, along with my other friends. 


romantic French blue holiday entry way Maison de CinqFrench Blue Romantic Holiday Entry Way

Christmas living room with metallics on DesignthusiasmChristmas Living Room: Decorating with Metallics

magical Christmas home tour on ShabbyfufuMagical Christmas Home Tour

Christmas in the great room on StonegableChristmas in the Great Room

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  1. Lynn R Turner says:

    Yours is FAR more elegant! Very pretty.

  2. Patty Gonzales says:

    Hi Ann, I like your version better than the inspiration. Beautiful!

  3. KittyLuvr says:

    This is so beautiful! I don’t have the Lenox Holiday but I do have Spode Christmas Tree so this is my project fir tomorrow. Once again, Ann, you have inspired me in such a simple way! I am thankful for you!

  4. Maxine Thomas says:

    I love the idea to create an Ironside Christmas tree. I could easily recreate that using what I have already collected.

  5. Bennie Cecilia from Georgia says:

    I did it! Thanks for your inspiration and good advice! My bookshelf is not white but it has a warm glow. I used my Lenox China and put too much greenery, but it’s done. I posted a picture on Instagram and gave you a big thanks. Hope it was ok to mention your blog. Have a Happy Holiday!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Bennie! I’m terrible at Instagram…what is your user name? I’d love to see what your shelf looks like. Merry Christmas!

  6. Catherine M Foy says:

    I LOVE this idea. I have a shelf that I can use for this. Off to shop the house. CATHY

  7. Carol K from NJ says:

    I always shop my house for holiday decorations because I’ve collected so many over the years. Holiday issues of magazines always inspire me to try a new arrangement of old things. Love your shelf!

  8. I think yours is even prettier than the one on front of the Country Living magazine!

  9. Ann…so lovely. What a beautiful display to get everyone in the spirit of Christmas.

  10. Julie Briones says:

    Ann… your ironstone Christmas tree is so pretty! And it’s even lovelier than your inspiration picture, IMHO! Perfection! Pinning!

  11. I love your Christmas tree display. It’s a great way to add some Christmas cheer to your shelves, while still including your dish ware. Your holly plates are the perfect compliment to your beauty white jugs.
    And, thank you for the tip about Not trying to copy an inspiration but put your own spin on it.

  12. Rosanne Toro says:

    Even since your move, I have not been able to pin anything from you on my pinterest. Is it just me or did something change? I have been following for a couple years with no problem prior to this.

    Thanks, Rosanne

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Rosanne…I’m not sure what you mean by my move? Nothing has changed for over a year. Pinterest has been very glitchy lately though, and they are making many changes. Nothing is working like it used too. At the top and bottom of each post are social share buttons. If you tap the Pinterest one, you should be able to pin any image in the post. Let me know if that doesn’t work. Thank you!

  13. Ann, it’s beautiful!!!!

  14. Deanna Rabe says:

    I bought that magazine because of the cover! Your version is wonderful!

  15. Your “Christmas Tree” is beautiful. I like it better than the one on the cover of the magazine. It’s less fussy.

  16. Botanic Bleu says:

    Your shelf decorations are always beautiful, but this has to be my all-time favorite way you decorated these shelves. I like your version better than the Country Home magazine cover version.


  17. Carol, also a Midwest girl! says:

    Dear Ann,
    I LOVE your inspiration decor today. It’s gorgeous and I have a white corner cabinet that I am going to try a smaller version of your beautiful display. Thank you so much and I also love all of your wonderful Thanksgiving and Christmas dessert recipes.
    Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas❣️❤️

  18. Ann, you have done a wonderful job of recreating the tree but with your impeccable personal touch! Thank you for the inspiration.

  19. Amy Kaminski says:

    I absolutely loved this!!! Now to find a place in my home to do something similar!

  20. Ann,so charming !Love the simpliciy,wish I had your built in shelves.

  21. Anne, your shelves look beautiful; more beautiful than the magazine cover. Thanks for always inspiring me!

  22. Susie | Chelsea Project says:

    My favorite idea of the season! Love it so much. I don’t have the ironstone, but maybe I can come up with something. I know I’m going to try. :-) ~~ Susie from Chelsea Project

  23. Your version knocked it out othe ballpark. I love yours because you and I have the Lenox Christmas dishes. Alas I do not have the bookcase nor the pitchers. Yours is magazine cover worthy!

  24. Your shelves are prettier than the one on the magazine cover! Beautiful!

  25. Stunningly well done! NAILED. IT.

  26. Ann,
    Your shelves are so beautiful! I love when you share scenes from your home – so classic and timeless. Your blog is my favorite and it’s just the best. I always look forward to your posts.
    I hope you and your family have a wonderful holiday season.

  27. Beautiful. Love the Lenox pattern.

  28. Christine says:

    Love this! Looks beautiful!!

  29. Wow!! I love how your tree display came out 🌲. Lenox Holiday pattern is my favorite… Mom has this pattern ❤️ So pretty to start off your decorating!!

  30. Marianne Day says:

    Hi there! I love receiving your emails. I have the same Lenox Christmas pattern. Could you please tell me are the others pieces off white or white that you used. Thank you Marianne

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi Marianne, the other pieces are off-white. I do think it would be beautiful to mix white with off-white though!

  31. Maureen Provost Ryan says:

    I thought I might be the first to mention that I like your version better than the magazine cover, alas, I have only joined the chorus! Thanks for the inspiration, as always, Ann!

  32. I absolutely love your tree, thank you for your inspirational posts🎄

  33. Ann,
    I enjoy reading your posts and seeing the wonderful projects that you come up with. The Ironstone Christmas tree is absolutely beautiful! Thank you for sharing with all of us out here!

    God Bless,

  34. Sharon H. says:

    This is so absolutely stunning! I love it’s simplicity and elegance at the same time. You’ve really hit it out of the ballpark! Well done!!

  35. Ann, this is absolutely adorable! I’m such a fan of ironstone and if I ever have a set of shelves I could do this on, I’m definitely trying it! I adore the mostly red and white palette, too! (and can I say, I too LOVED Country Home and was so sad when it went out of print! Now that it’s back in it’s limited form I am so excited when it comes!)

    Thanks so much for joining us today Ann, and happy holidays to you!


  36. I just love this, Ann. I have the ironstone, but not the shelves. My previous home had the same shelves that you have in our dining room. I wish I had known about this back then, but then I wouldn’t have had the ironstone. Maybe it would work on my baker’s rack… Thanks so much for the inspiration!

  37. I love your simple traditional approach and it does Country Living proud!! It’s almost time to enjoy those holidays!

  38. No flowery comments from me – just one thing – yours is better!!

  39. Ann you aced your inspiration look! Your shelves are wonderful!

  40. Anne Marie M Gorman says:

    I like your decorating scheme better than Country Home’s!

  41. Judy Clark says:

    This is beautiful!!! It leaves me wishing I had open shelves that would suit this purpose, but I certainly admire yours. It is totally your style of understated elegance. I hope this is just the beginning of a beautiful, inspirational holiday season for you. Seasons blessings from a faithful follower. ❤❤❤

  42. Ann, I also love Country Home and have not renewed any of my other subscriptions. Their cover this month caught my eye but your imitation really outdid their inspiration! Yours is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  43. What a creative display, Ann, and a beautiful interpretation of the magazine cover! I love how you captured the essence but added your own unique spin!! Beautiful!

  44. It is beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing. I have the same Lenox Christmas china, but have not used it for dining in years (due to having to hand wash pieces after use) I still absolutely love it, and this is a new use for something I love. Thanks for the tips as well.

  45. Barbara Edwards Armacost says:

    Well you certainly nailed the cover!! This is perfect with your ironstone and I really like the Lenox plates better than the ones used on the cover. So pretty and unique. Can’t wait for the rest of the decorations.

  46. Love it Ann! You give inspiration to us all with your posts. Thank you!

  47. I LOVE it! Somehow yours is more spectacular than the magazine cover.

    Also, I need to say how much I love your blog. I’ve only known about it about a week but have already been sharing it with others.

  48. Absolutely love it!!

  49. Ann I too have the elements to make a space similar to yours! It will be a fun project. Can’t wait to try my version

  50. Absolutely beautiful. You always know how to add just the right amount of color. Thank you for sharing!

  51. An excellent job at imitation ! 🎄 I especially like the well placed ornaments.

  52. Rita C at Panoply says:

    Ann, this is STUNNING! I like yours even better than the CH version.

    1. I agree with many of your previous followers, I love your version more than CH version. You created a beautiful display and all the special touches you added make it even more spectacular. Thank you for sharing – oh, how I love Christmas!