I wanted a full size tree that was easy to store. I liked the concept of the "pull - up " trees , but found them to look a little too much like a big green cone. So, with my improved version, you get branch tips , and the ability to store it under the bed or on a shelf in the closet. I hope you like this instructable. It has taken me a few days to figure out how to post with photos and all. I have learned a lot and I hope you enjoy.....
Step 1: Folded Tree With Optional Stand
This is what the tree looks like all folded up. The stand is an umbrella stand with fresh paint. You have many options for a stand or even no stand, just hang the tree from a hook in the ceiling!
Step 2: Tree Body
Body of the tree... You will need 100 feet of green coated wire, I used multi purpose Dand-O -Line and at least 2 packs ( 100 feet each ) of green floral wire. Also you will need two packs ( 50 feet each ) of green garland, or whatever color garland you want your tree to be.
Note; When we lived in Mauritius I made garlands and a "tree " out of long paper strips that I fringed with a pair of sissors. You could make your own garland........
You will need additional garland and floral wire for the branchlets and trunk . I used an additional one pack each.
Step 3: Wire Garland
Lay the green garland next to the heavy green wire. Starting at one end attach the floral wire with a twist and spiral wrap ( over and under ) the whole length . You will need to manage your wire and garland so it is not springing everywhere. Then coil up the whole length like a giant spiral. The width of the coil is the width of the tree. I wanted a somewhat narrow tree so many of the coils are "stacked" ie; practically the same diameter . Also mind the gap... between each row of the spiral. You want to keep good coverage and achieve a solid look when the tree is up. You don't want one coil"s diamater to be too much bigger than the last coil.
Step 4: Tree Up
Wire spacers and more wire spacers.... each coil that spirals down the tree will need to have support in three or four places to keep the weight of the wire garland from totally stretching the tree out of shape. The spacers attach from one coil to the next coil below it down the tree. I found that works out to about one spacer for every 15 inches or so. The length of the spacer is the gap ( how dense you want the tree to look) plus enough working wire on each end to twist tie securely.
Hang tree from pipe to work on adding spacers to each row. It helps to be able to walk completely around tree.
Step 5: Center the Tree
The tree is centered on the "trunk" by guying with a donut shaped disk. The trunk passes through the disk, which is wired , suspended, in four places to the tree. Also, the disk is at the upper/lower trunk junction . That way you do not have to pass the whole pipe through the donut.. If you plan to hang your tree from the celing you will not need to make this part. If your tree is really big, you may need to guy it in two places.
Step 6: From Cone to Tree
This is where the green cone begins to look like a tree. The addition of wired branches makes a great place to dangle on ornaments, otherwise the ornaments lie " flat" against the body of the tree. My tree has about 40 branches. The branches are added to the coils like a giant twist tie. I twisted each branch as a 1/3 to 2/3 division so of the two ends that are sticking out , one is longer than the other. (Just for a more realistic texture.) Tip: If the branch ends are too long they will droop. This completes the body of the tree. You could also permanently wire on lights and ornaments to the tree, but if you are like me, I change it up each year, Actually, Last year I had nine trees up. So you can see why storage is so very important.
Step 7: The Trunk
If you are not going to suspend the tree from the ceiling you will need a trunk. The tree trunk is in three sections. It is half inch pvc pipe and each section is about 24 inches long. The upper part of the tree trunk is in two sections. Wrap the pipe with garland to hide the pipe, no need to paint it green.
Note : I think that 3/4 inch or larger pipe would be good , as our tree gets hugged a lot, and starts to "list to port ". If your house is populated with a 5 year , you may need a trunk upgrade....
Step 8: Trunk With Bark
I made the bottom 1/3 of the trunk with bark texture. It only gets noticed when you are right at the tree ( and looking for gifts) So it is an option. The pipe is wrapped with newspaper and hot glue and painted with monster mud. Monster mud is a 50/50 mix of sheetrock mud and paint. After the mud is dry, The whole thing is painted/glazed with a misting of watered down paint in a plant sprayer.
Step 9: LED Light Garland
I wanted my tree to be totally portable, so I went with 3 strands of battery powered LED lights. I did not like that the lights were blindingly bright when you looked at them "straight on", so I capped each light with a dab of hot glue and a small piece of typing paper. The light was soft and glowing. Then I twisted the lights in some more garland and put them on the tree... Now the tree is ready to decorate.