Introduction: Convertible Christmas Tree
Design thinking refers to the cognitive, strategic and practical processes by which design concepts are developed. It is important because rather than researching a problem for a long time without devising an outcome, design thinking favors creating prototypes and then testing to see how effective they are. In addition, it allows individuals to use their creativity and imagination in every possible way to solve a users problem, or create something better that has already been done before. An example of this would be the Instructables Plastic Contest, whose purpose was to challenge designers, such as myself, to be able to incorporate plastic onto our designs, and meet the users needs as well as their wants. Having this in mind, what I decided to create was a Convertible Christmas Tree, that is fun for the users to make on their own, practical when it comes to putting it away, and essential when it comes to needing a Christmas decoration for one's home. Now, before and during the Convertible Christmas Tree's building process, I had to follow essential steps in order to succeed creating the project, meet all my users' needs, and still be able to go beyond. Throughout this process I faced a variety of challenges like making sure the Convertible Christmas Tree was resistant but still easily able to be made. However, as a designer, I solved all those problems by consulting my users, and researching for what I was doubting.
- Exacto Knife
- Small Tweezers
- Super Glue
- One wooden yellow star
- One package of small silver sticky pearls
- One role of green glitter washi tape
- Two small sized, thick, green foam
- Twenty four golden small hooks
- Six small silver spheres
- Six small golden spheres
- Three small red spheres
- Three small blue spheres
- Three small purple spheres
- Three small pink spheres
Step 1: Building the Christmas Tree
As I began building, I first made sure I had a clear vision of what I was hoping to build, then, rather than beginning to build the final project, I decided to create a prototype in order to fully plan how I was going to build the Convertible Christmas Tree. After I had done that, the following step was to gather all of my materials at home, and purchase those that I was missing. Now that I had materials, I decided to start off by making the tree's shape; I did this by printing two identical Christmas tree shapes, cutting them, and placing each image on top of the two small sized, thick, green foams. Next, I traced each Christmas tree with a pencil onto the foams, and used an exacto knife to carefully cut the traced part of both foams. Then, I remove the excess of the foam, and compare both Christmas tree foams with each other to see if they were indeed the same size. However, in order to make the Christmas tree convertible, I had to draw, and cut a line to one of the foam pieces (top to middle), and another line to the other foam piece (bottom to middle). This is what allowed both foams to insert with one another, unite as one Christmas tree, and achieve having a 360 view.
Step 2: Adding Glittery, Green Washi Tape
Second, I decided to add the glittery, green washi tape to all of the sides, which its purpose was to represent a real Christmas Tree's shiny, beautiful leaves. Now, in order to do this, I thought it would be best to leave both of the Christmas tree parts inserted with one another, that way I could see how it would look from a 360 point of view. So, I then proceeded to carefully place the glittery, green washi tape, making sure it was aligned with the foam, and that it was stuck good enough. In addition, I also made sure to cut the excess, and super glue the glittery, green washi tape to each end so that way it wouldn't fall off if the Christmas tree was ever converted back to two pieces.
Step 3: Adding Silver, Sticky Pearls
Third, I decided to begin sticking the small, silver sticky pearls onto the foam, which its purpose was to represent a real Christmas Tree's lights. Now, just like the previous step, I made the decision to leave both foams attached with one another to get a 360 view when adding the pearl stickers. So, before actually sticking them onto the foam, I measured the distance from one end to the other, going zig zag all the way from the top to the bottom of the Christmas tree. After I had done this, I grabbed the row of small pearls, and cut them just right for them to correctly fit. Then, I went sticking each of the rows onto the foam on all sides, and glued them with super glue as well, in order for them not to fall off.
Step 4: Adding Hooks & Spheres
Fourth, the materials I was missing to place onto the Christmas tree were the twenty four golden small hooks, where the twenty four spheres would be hanged; which its purpose wasn't just for decoration, but a fun activity to hang one Christmas ornament every day from December 1 to December 24. Now, before actually placing the hooks, I marked with a pen exactly where they would be placed. In addition, because not all twenty four fit, I placed three hooks on each end, of all the sides; and other three hooks in the top, middle, and bottom, of all of the tree's sides as well. Now, when doing so, I made sure that they were well attached to the foam, and that they didn't go through to the other side, or that they had the possibility of falling. Then, after placing each of the twenty four hooks onto the foam, one by one, with a pair of tweezers I opened the end, where the twenty four spheres would be hanged.
Step 5: The Final Product
By the end, all of the added elements united. Composing something wonderful, the Convertible Plastic Christmas Tree. Something that is fun for the users to make on their own, practical when it comes to putting it away, and essential when it comes to needing a Christmas decoration for one's home. As the designer, I was able to succeed in not only meeting each goal, but going beyond as well, and entertaining the users with the creation that is also an exciting activity when it comes to hanging a Christmas sphere everyday from December 1 to December 24. In addition, the most incredible thing about the Convertible Plastic Christmas Tree is that at the end of the holiday season, both Christmas tree parts can be detached from one another, and converted to two separate pieces that can easily be put away for next year's Christmas.