Introduction: Oh Christmas Trees, on Christmas Trees...

About: I live in Colorado, and love making things from stuff I have around :-D.

My mom likes to make crocheted candy canes, basically a couple of swirly things wrapped around a wire or pipe cleaner base. So I started thinking, "If I made a swirly thing like that, but in green, with progressively taller stitches, it would make a tree shape, wouldn't it?" And so of course I had to try it, and after some trial and error got a satisfactory tree shape. And what better to do with a tree shape, than turn it into a Christmas tree ornament... a Christmas tree Christmas tree ornament? XD

The pattern is made with chain stitch, single crochet, half double crochet, double crochet, half treble crochet, and treble crochet. Since half treble crochet is a fairly rare stitch, I've included more detailed instructions (with pics) for it. This pattern uses US crochet terminology.

Step 1: What You Need

To make this project, you'll need some worsted weight yarn (a fairly small ball should do); I used dark green, but of course there's no reason you couldn't make a pink or white or silver tree if you like! You'll also need a few inches of pipe cleaner (aka chenille stem, aka "fuzzy stick" as they were labeled at Walmart...), a crochet hook in size G or H, and a yarn needle. And of course a few inches of string or an ornament hook to hang it up.

The decorations can be just about anything; I used beads (attached with a needle and thread) and craft wire, but you could use yarn, little bows, small charms, dimensional fabric paint, glitter glue... whatever floats your boat! :-D

Step 2: Crocheting the Tree Shape

The idea of this pattern is very simple, though the details might be a bit tricky to keep track of. The basic principle is that if you crochet multiple stitches into the each chain stitch, the work will naturally curl up. This is slightly complicated by the fact that longer stitches mean a bigger radius, and a bigger radius needs a correspondingly bigger circumference, or it will be more and more steeply cone-shaped rather than going relatively flat around the center. In other words, taller stitches means you need a few more of them, hence more increases near the end.

Start by chaining 20. Then, in the second chain from the hook, work three single crochets. Do the same in each of the next two chains. In each of the next five chains after that, work three half double crochets. Then in the next chain, work three double crochets, then four double crochets in the next chain, followed by three double crochets again in the next chain. The next three chains will have the same 3-4-3 pattern, but with half treble crochets* instead of double crochets. The next four chains will be worked in treble crochet, with four in the first one, three in the second one, then four, then three. In the last chain, work two treble crochets, one half treble crochet, and one double crochet. This tapers it off a little so the end of the spiral doesn't stick out too much. Tie off and weave in ends. If you want to fasten the ends down, that's better done after adding the pipe cleaner "trunk".


Summary of the pattern for those who find the wall of text hard to follow; each line represents one chain stitch:

(Chain 20)

  1. Skip first chain stitch
  2. 3 single crochet
  3. 3 single crochet
  4. 3 single crochet
  5. 3 half double crochet
  6. 3 half double crochet
  7. 3 half double crochet
  8. 3 half double crochet
  9. 3 half double crochet
  10. 3 double crochet
  11. 4 double crochet
  12. 3 double crochet
  13. 3 half treble crochet
  14. 4 half treble crochet
  15. 3 half treble crochet
  16. 4 treble crochet
  17. 3 treble crochet
  18. 4 treble crochet
  19. 3 treble crochet
  20. 2 treble crochet, 1 half treble crochet, 1 double crochet

*Half treble crochet (see pictures 3-6): Wrap the yarn around the hook twice. When you insert hook in chain stitch, you should see four loops. Pull yarn through first two loops. Then pull yarn through remaining three loops.

Step 3: Putting It Together

Cut the pipe cleaner to the desired length. Remember that you can easily make it shorter if needed; it's not so easy to make it longer! It's recommended to use scissors you don't care about keeping super sharp.

Then wind the crocheted part around the pipe cleaner until it is all coiled around it, and adjust it to the desired shape. If you want to tie down the ends of the spiral to help it hold its shape, now is a convenient time.

Step 4: Decorate It!

Now for the fun part! The kinds of decorations you can put on this are limited only by your imagination and your patience (mostly patience, lol)! Bonus points if you include a mini mini tree ;-)

I twisted craft wire together to make tiny candy canes! Then at some point in the course of the project, I lost one, so I've alerted my family to keep an eye out for a microscopic candy cane...

For some of the bead ornaments, I used a seed bead to keep the thread in place, put both ends of the thread through the other bead(s), and tied it on the tree, so they would hang like a real ornament, others I simple tied the bead on directly.

A bead with a larger hole slipped on over the hanging loop or hook makes a perfect topper!

Coulda swore I had a close up of the tree-shaped one... oh well, it's in the finished project pic.

Step 5: Hang It Up and Enjoy!

Now you have a lovely little tree for you tree! Hang it up for all to admire! :-D

I put a lava bead on the end of the trunk; that gives it a more finished appearance, and I can put conifer essential oils (pine, fir, spruce...) on it so it can even smell like a real Christmas tree!

If you make one, I'd love to see pictures! And as always, if any of the instructions are unclear, let me know in the comments, and I'll do my best to clarify.

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