This wily, sculptural piece looks more complicated than it is. Stick a cluster of pheasant feathers into a florist foam holder. (Both are available from save-on-crafts.com.) Secure the holder tightly to the top of the tree with wire.
To maintain a rustic vibe, turn natural items—pinecones, feathers, dried pods, silk magnolia blooms, and branches—into tree trimmings. They mingle well with large copper balls and a copper mesh garland ribbon.
Using bright red or patterned papers would have been too cutesy for this setup. For a more polished look, coordinate with the tree and wrap brown and rust-colored packages with solid bronze, copper, and green ribbons.
Small, twinkly white lights just wouldn't have been bright enough for this tree, so we mixed several strands of bistro-style outdoor bulbs. Give your tree skirt the year off, and place the tree in a big wicker basket for a surprising touch.