Create simple but classy frames for a Christmas display. About $20 worth of materials and simple tools are all you need.
Step 1: Materials List
For each tree, you will need:
Three units of 2"x2"x8' wood (I used furring strips-- $1.85 each at Home Depot-- you'll have to pick through to find some that are relatively straight)
Spray paint of choice (I chose Metallic Gold)
9 galvanized screw eyes (galvanized to keep them from rusting)
Three galvanized garden-type stakes small enough in diameter to fit through the screw eyes (30 of these were $9 on Amazon.com).
Some sturdy string or wire (I used leftover paracord)
A star-shaped ornament or tree topper and wire to fasten it
Lightweight wire-type Christmas lights (I chose ANTSIR Outdoor Solar Powered Copper Wire String Lights 200 LEDs 72ft-- on Amazon.com for $12.99/strand-- these are a very lightweight wire-- you can use any type of solar lights but the lighter ones are easier to manage and look nicer on the frame)
Step 2: Paint
Paint both sides of your furring strips with spray paint and let dry. If you have a flat surface in your yard, there's no need to cut them. If you plan to install on a hill, you may need to adjust accordingly by shortening some of the strips. My yard has a hill but I was too lazy to shorten any strips so my trees lean a bit. They still look fine.
An 8' furring strip will make a tree about 6.5' tall, depending on how you place the legs, when everything is assembled.
Step 3: Install the Screw Eyes
Get your three wood strips and lay them flat. On the ends that you want to be the top of your tree, you'll drill pilot holes and install one screw eye on each vertical side, 2 inches down from the top. See photo.
On the bottom of the strips, drill a pilot hole and install a screw eye about 1/3 inch from the bottom in the center of your board on the horizontal side; you'll be passing your garden stakes through these and so they will face out on your tree. See photo. If you're picky, make sure the "pretty" side of your board is the side in which you install this last screw eye.
Step 4: Connect the Eye Bolts
On the top of your tree, you'll have your three boards with the screw eyes on either side; use about a 6 inch length of string or sturdy wire to connect each screw eye to the neighboring board's screw eye. Leave a little slack so you have about a 1.5" gap between the screw eyes. Make sure that your base screw eye faces out!
Use the floral wire to attach your star ornament or tree topper at this time.
Step 5: Outdoor Install
Take your tree to the place you want it, and set it up like a tripod. The top is securely fastened together, and the bottom has the screw eyes to use to fasten the frame down with tent stakes.
Add your optional Christmas light wires-- if you purchase the flexible wire kind, they will stay on just by wrapping around the boards and the hooks at the bottom. If you're using the heavier plastic type lights, you may have to add some tacks, finishing nails, hooks, or wire loops to get your lights to stay in place.
They look very nice in groups. I used solar lights because outlets aren't convenient to my yard.