Introduction: Christmas Tree
There was a winter season 35 years ago when I knew I could not afford to spend money on a tree. Using what I had on hand I made my first tree - using a 1/2 sheet of plywood and a patchwork quilt I spent the day making an old world Santa. (no digital pictures) Since then I have made my 'tree' with the challenge of using what I have on hand. One year I used bird cages, one year I nested various size ladders. One of my favorites was when I cleaned off 5 various size wheelbarrows from the gardens and brought them indoors. I stacked them, with the topper being a child size wheelbarrow. I filled the "tree" with lights and all sorts of decorations. (no digital picture) One year I used an assortment of frames from the garden and house. (see pic) Another year I stacked nesting metal tubs and topped the tree with a metal star. (see pic)
Usually by October I have a general idea of what my tree might look like. The first picture shows the completed 2020 tree. The tree took me about an hour to build and an hour to decorate.
this year my gathered supplies included: 1 garden stand for the tree shape, 1 iron circular basket, 3 red bricks, 1 string of lights, crocheted tablecloth, crocheted star or any tree topper, vintage bulbs, 3 or 4 beaded garlands or any decorations of your choice - use what you have on hand.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies and Begin
Decide where you tree is going to be in your home. Don't try to build it and then move it to the spot. Work right in the area you want the tree.
I had 2 options from the back yard. I chose the pointed plant stand.
I had indoor plants in the iron basket - it made a good "tree" stand, but a large garden pot or galvanized tub could be use. I stood the plant stand inside the basket. I used 3 red bricks to weight the tree. I covered the red brick with a white cloth so they would not show inside the tree.
I wrapped the lights around the entire tree shape. I used some clear tape in a few places to hold the lights in place.
Step 2: Finishing the Tree Shape
several years ago I bought 2 large crocheted tablecloths at a thrift store. I paid under $3. Sadly someone's grandma spent many hours making them. The one I used for the tree has a stain that I have never been able to wash out, but it was easy to hide.
I draped the tablecloth over the tree frame and lights. When I took the picture one of my window prisms cast a rainbow - I took it as a good sign and kept working.
Note: the thing about making a tree is that I never know if it will be a success or a failure.....so far they have all been good but some better than others. One year I attached about 20 aluminum colanders to a pole - it was a skinny tree but the lights shined through all the holes. You would have had to see it.
The tree topper star is also crocheted. Again, another thrift store fine that was $1. Any star or angle will work for this tree.
Step 3: Decorating the Tree
The first day I thought the tree looked beautiful with simply turning on the lights. I did have 2 turtle doves that I hung on the tree. The next morning, I was thinking it was looking a little plain-jane. I added vintage pink bulbs around the bottom - another find of 12 for 25 cents - my only purchase for this tree. Then I went through a few boxes and found very small delicate garland chains. I draped them around the tree too.
I wish i would have planned to have a few light going up into the star....but.....the big iron decorative circle is just a bonus...it hangs in the window year round.
Step 4: Ta Da!
the finished tree. As with any tree, do not leave the lights on if you are not at home.
Participated in the
Holiday Decorations Speed Challenge
2 years ago
Look a little like it was snowed on and the lights are under the snow... so beautiful!
2 years ago
I love your "work with what you have" attitude.