Easy Whimsical Christmas Trees From Branches

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About: Mostly harmless

You might have seen these whimsical christmas trees somewhere around and wondered how they are made...

Here's a clear how to and as a small bonus I show you how to decorate your tree with an eco-friendly garland made of natural materials you might already have around :)

It's an easy and clumsiness-forgiving craft and also makes a nice gift,

one tree is made in approximately one hour - when you gathered all the materials before.

These Christmas trees are made for the outdoors - they will not last if placed indoors.

Step 1: Materials and Tools Needed

for one tree:

a small birch stem ( about 5 cm thick) or optional a broom stick

a bunch of christmas tree branches

a bucket or planter

wire and optional a more decorative wire like brass or coppar

nails and a hammer

some scrap wood pieces

hand saw

some small rocks, and sand - or if you're the more patient type, concrete :)

( burlap fabric, for covering up, if you used a -not so nice looking- bucket )

one christmas ball

If you want to make the garland:

cookie cutters - stars, hearts...

thin brass wire

orange peel

cinnamon sticks

walnut shells

star anise

Step 2: Securing the Stem

cut short pieces of scrap wood as wide as your bucket/planter and nail them crosswise on your birch stem.

It should fit quite tight in the bucket.

when your stem manages to stand upright by itself you can go on and add some weight to it - start with smaller rocks, and them fill it up with sand.

Now your stem should stand secure in the bucket/planter, with no risk of tipping over.

If you are the more patient type : you could secure your stem with concrete in the bucket, and wait for it to set.

Step 3: The First Layer of Branches

wind your wire a couple times around the stem, until it's secure.

take about 3 to 5 branches upside down and secure them around the stem with the wire.

be careful to place the branches "face up" ( the nicer looking side outwards)

- now you can decide what height you want the tree to end /start, by moving the branches up or down.

pull the wire tight and add more branches until it looks even and "broomy"

NOTE: check the pictures to see where to wind the wire

Step 4: Second Layer

Use the same technique as with the first layer, but start higher up on the stem,

the second layer should cover the first layer slightly, you might want to use a little shorter branches for the second layer.

go on until you are pleased with the overall look

Step 5: Third Layer

Now you use short branches ( half the length of the second layer) to cover up the top

Try to work a little less messy with the wire ;)

Step 6: The Whimsical Top

use the bendiest branches you can find and put them together to a bundle of

30- to 40cm length and starting with 6 cm thickness to 4 cm at the top

putting your bundle on top of the third tree layer and secure it with wire ( use a thinner nicer looking wire if you have),

NOTE: this time you change the direction of the branches - the thinner end will be the very top!

now work the bundle together with wide windings of your wire ( pull it tight), try to bend it to that whimsical bow.

(check the pictures for more clarity)

work your way with the wire from the tree to the top, and back towards the tree,

secure the wire and hide the end underneath the branches.

Step 7: Making Stars for the Garland

peel one or more oranges and place your cookie cutters on it - use a cutting bord or scrap wood under to protect your worksurface.

Now stamp it out - it works fine by hand, but hurts after 10 stars so you can use a hammer as help.

the orange peel will last outdoors on normal cold winterweather - it may dry up a little, but still looks nice!

Step 8: Wire It

Cut a long piece of wire 1,5 to 2 m

push the wire though the orange stars and tear them on the wire like a button,

wind in cinnamon sticks, walnut shells, star anise or whatever you come up with :)

Leave 10 to 15cm space between the single decorations.

Step 9: Decorate and Admire

hang a christmas ball on the whimsical top of the tree - a hook made of wire works great.

wind your garland or your desired decoration around the tree - maybe some lighting?

cover the bucket with burlap fabric.

wait for snow :)

Merry christmas! God jul!

Mimikry

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    6 Discussions

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    Penolopy Bulnick

    5 months ago

    These are very whimsical! Do you have an idea of how long they last before the branches dry out too much?

    1 reply
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    MimikryPenolopy Bulnick

    Reply 5 months ago

    if the trees are outside, they will last a long time, they gater moisture from air and rain / snow.
    Mine are still standing stong after 7 weeks - not one needle dropped.
    If you have the tree inside they last around 2 weeks - when you spray the branches with water each day.

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    offseid

    5 months ago

    Really cute! Thanks for posting!

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    Gadisha

    5 months ago

    Very, very nice! The Christmas tree is a dilemma for me each year; on the one hand I love trees and don't like the idea that so many trees get harmed each year for the holidays.
    On the other hand I like the tradition of bringing the green into the house.
    I don't like artificial materials so I do not want a fake tree, therefore I buy a tree with roots, but sadly these trees don't always survive :(
    I thought of making a tree out of fallen of branches, but didn' t think that it would look good and would probably fall apart...

    Your tree looks really good though!!!
    And I love the idea of using Orange peels to make the stars, they turned out great.

    This May be a good alternative for a living Christmas tree next year... Do you think it could be used Indiërs as well?

    2 replies
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    MimikryGadisha

    Reply 5 months ago

    thanks for your comment - I gave one of these trees to my neighbour for her birthday, she had it indoors and sprayed it every day with water, after 2,5 weeks it started to loose needles.
    so i guess it is possible, but not ideal. it will last much longer outdoors.
    - and yes, I know your dilemma as well...
    merry christmas to you!