Introduction: Christmas Tree Makeovers!

About: I am an artist, builder and teacher living in Japan.

You can transform any tree into something amazing. That's right! No matter what that tree looks like, you can give it an epic upgrade. The best time to buy Christmas trees is at after Christmas sales.

This post is how I make my workshop trees. I live in Japan where Christmas is very popular, but christmas trees...not so much. Most of my students don't have a tree in their house for these three reasons.

1. There's not enough space

2. Trees are too expensive

3. It's too troublesome for parents

I solved these problems with my workshop tree. My trees are:

1. 90cm tall and come in a sturdy box that fits in the corner of a traditional Japanese closet

2. Only costs $5 for my students

3. All decorations are glued in place so the tree can be unpacked and packed up in minutes.

These are the finished trees!

I made three styles to choose from:


-Black & Silver

-Blue Tinsel

Step 1: What You'll Need!

I started out with what you see in this picture.





-Ball picks

-Hot glue gun w/ glue sticks


-Lacquer spray paint

-Twine (not used)

These trees are on the thin side, so I bought some greenery to cut and glue to the Christmas tree branches. The end result is perfect!

Step 2: Spray Paint the Tree!

First you'll spray the tree. I used lacquer spray paint and didn't try any other kind. This paint will not flake or scratch off of the tree.

There is a mind blowing difference once you paint the tree!

I put down a tarp and used a piece of thin plywood to block the breeze.

The colors I used for each tree:

-Rustic: Gold followed by White

-Black&Silver: Black followed by White

-Blue Tinsel: White

You don't need to wait for the first color to dry before spraying on the second color.

The second picture in this step is the rustic tree: Gold followed by White.
I glued the greenery and ornaments onto the black & silver and blue tinsel tree before spray painting them.

Step 3: The Tree Ornaments!

I glued everything in place so the trees are easily unpacked and stored. I know this takes the fun out of decorating, but it was one of the big reasons for parents not having a tree to begin with. I left plenty of room for more ornaments too.

To secure the ornaments:

-Glue the caps to the ornaments

-Tie the ornaments to the tree

-Glue the cap to the underside of the branch

-Cut the extra string from the ornament knot.

Step 4: The Tree Decorations!

These are awesome things that'll spruce up your tree.


Any kind of greenery will work. Just cut it and glue it to the branches.

Natural pinecones

These were used for the rustic trees.

White pinecones

These are natural pinecones with a shot of white spray paint for the blue tinsel trees.

Snow covered pinecones

These were used for the black & silver trees. These can be made by gently rolling this type of pinecone in glue and then something coarse like sand and then spray painting it. I've also use shredded bits of paper for bigger flakes. Lucky for me, these are now sold like this.

Ball picks or beads

These were glued to the end of the branches to give accenting color. The ball picks are on a wire and easily wrap around the branches.

Step 5: The Finished Trees!

I love how they turned out! It's amazing what a little time and spray paint can do!

Step 6: The Packaging!

My tree boxes!

The trees are stored in bags and placed in boxes. I printed out the pictures, logos and information cards using photoshop and a laser printer. The logos are glued to the boxes and the smaller logos are stapled around the garlands and tree feet.

Holiday Decor

Participated in the
Holiday Decor