Introduction: Charlie Brown Christmas Tree From Copper Wire

About: I'm a writer/graphic designer originally from the US now living in the Great White North of Ontario, Canada. I love the outdoors and working with my hands so I do a lot of tinkering. Woodworking, prop making, …

Wrapping up in a blanket and sipping hot chocolate to watch  A Charlie Brown Christmas was a Christmas tradition while growing up. It never seemed like Christmas without watching it, Frosty the Snowman, and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with the entire family. It seems harder now to get the kids excited over such old cartoons and they aren't aired as religiously as they once were, or at least on stations I can find. So I decided to make a decoration this Christmas to hold on to that childhood magic I so fondly remember.

Here is how I made the Christmas tree from A Charlie Brown Christmas. Make one yourself and keep the magic alive.

Sorry for the less than spectacular photos.

The blu-ray cover is from an Amazon product listing.

Step 1: What You'll Need


8 feet 18 gauge automotive wire
MDF scraps (for the base)
5 Minute Epoxy
Coaxial Cable (for the copper wire inside, but ended up not being needed)
Paper Clip


Wire Cutters
Needle Nose Pliers
Utility Knife (not pictured)
Drill Bits

Let's get to it.

Step 2: Cut the Wire

Cut the 8' of wire into eight 12" pieces.

Strip the plastic off (wire strippers work best but wire cutters will work).

Step 3: Bundle, Twist & Shape

Bundle the eight wires together and twist approximately 1/3 of the length together. This will be the trunk of the tree.

Separate one wire for the first branch and then continue twisting the remaining wires. Continue this process until you run out of wires. Now you can move the wires around and do some preliminary shaping until you have something similar to what I have in the photo.

Step 4: Trim and Shape for the Final Look

Begin with the lowest branch and trim the wires back to the desired lengths.

Take the lowest branch and twist the wires together tight until the fork. To make the fork, separate the wire into two and continue twisting each. To make the needles you simply separate the wires and arrange them to the desired look.

Continue the same basic process with each branch until you have them all done. You can add extra needles using the extra wire you trimmed earlier by wrapping the center around the branch and untwisting the wires from each end (I did this on the lowest and the highest branches).

Now bend and shape the branches into their final positions.

Step 5: Make the Stand

Now to make the stand.

I chose to use some scrap MDF board I had, but you can use whatever you wish.

I cut three strips of MDF roughly 3/4" wide by 2" long. I used a utility knife as I didn't want to go out and get the power tools out.

Cut two small sections from one of your strips to make the legs for the upper board from.

Once you have the pieces, glue them together using 5 Minute Epoxy or your preferred adhesive into the classic x-shaped tree stand.

When the epoxy is dry, find the drill bit that matches the diameter of the base of your tree. Drill a hole in the center of the stand and insert the tree trunk into it, using more epoxy to glue it in place.

Step 6: The Ornament

The final step is to make the lone ornament for the tree.

To do this I took the extra wire I had left after trimming and formed it into a small ball around a bent paperclip that served as the hanger. Place it on the branch and your done!

Step 7: Some Considerations for Further Details

I originally intended to age the copper using a couple of different methods to achieve a darker color for the wood section and a green patina for the needles. The wife said she liked the natural copper color so I didn't do it. I think it would add to it, so here is the formulas to achieve the brown and green colors if you want to do so.

Green Patina

2 parts white vinegar
1 1/2 parts non-detergent ammonia
1/2 part non-iodized salt.

Clean your copper first and pray on a light coating of Windex, being sure not to wipe it off.
Mix the ingredients together in a spray bottle and spray your vinegar/ammonia/salt mixture onto the copper. Allow it to dry 1 hour and then reapply to any areas that you may have missed. Let it sit overnight. Be sure not to rub off any of the green patina as it will continue to age and cure.

Brown Copper

1 part baking soda
2 parts HOT water
Mix in a spray bottle, spray your copper and let dry.