Tealight Cup Led Christmas Tree

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When we made this Christmas tree from used tea light cups everybody seemed to want one, so I decided to make an instructable about it.
When you follow this instructable you’ll be able to make one too. It’s a great way to recycle and you’ll have a nice afternoon creating it.

Step 1: What You’ll Need

-used tea light cups (burn time 6 hours) (about 100 for the tree we made, it varies on how you build it)
-a styrofoam cone
-a terra-cotta dish
-a LED light string (a metal one with 40 lights, 2 meters long)
-decoration, whatever you like (small Christmas balls, little flowers, string...)
-something for the top (we 3D printed our own stars, i’ll Include the .stl file if you want to recreate it)
-batteries for the led lights

You’ll also need the following tools:
-glue gun and glue
-drill

Step 2: Prepare the Tree

Drill a hole in the dish large enough for the led string to pass through.
Glue the battery case to the inside of the dish.
Put the led lights through the hole and put batteries inside the battery box.
Next, glue the styrofoam cone to the dish.

Step 3: Fold the Cups

To make the “leaves” for the tree you have to fold the cups. Fold the sides to each other. You need cups from the tealights that burn for 6 hours. The 4 hour ones are too small and the sides can’t touch each other. Look at the photo to see how their folded.

Step 4: Glue the Cups to the Cone

Use a glue gun to glue each cup to the cone. It’s easiest if you start at the hole in the dish. For the first row, make sure the cups overlap the dish a bit. Use enough glue and press each cup against the cone.
For the second row: put the cup between 2 other cups of the previous row. Try to cover the cone with the cups.
Keep on glueing cups until the entire cone is covered. How many cups you need depends on how you build your tree but you’ll need about 100 cups for a 28 cm high tree.

Step 5: Add the Light String

Attach the lights to the tree. Glue it in a few places so it stays put. It’s easier if you turn the lights on so you can see if the lights are distributed evenly.

Step 6: Decorate Your Tree

Now comes the fun part: decorating the tree!
Choose a nice color scheme.
You can use all sorts of small items, like Christmas balls, tiny flowers or a garland.
Glue everything in place.

Step 7: Add the Star

When my tree was finished, I realized that it needed something on the top.
I designed a star to fit nicely on the top and printed it with my 3D printer.
I’ve added the stl file, should you want to print it to.
If you don’t have a 3D printer, you can find something else to use as a topper.

Step 8: Finished

Congratulations you’ve made your very own tea light cups Christmas tree!

If you have any questions be sure to ask.
I would love to see what you create.

Holiday Decor

This is an entry in the
Holiday Decor

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    4 Discussions

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    craftyv

    6 days ago on Step 8

    Very clever and the result is very pretty. I'm looking for an alternative for the tea lights because I don't like fire/candles in the house so will never have a lot of containers.. Foil comes to mind any more ideas please? I just thought that as the lights are LED I could use silver leaves of some kind (spray If can't find silver). The Star would benefit from a coat of pva glue and some glitter.

    1 reply
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    not_the_onecraftyv

    Reply 5 days ago

    It’s possible to buy empty cups. You can ask someone that makes their own candles or buy full cups and pull out the candles and donate them to someone who likes candles ;-) Using foil might work if you fold it enough. Hope this helps.

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    jessyratfink

    7 days ago

    Those look so lovely! I never would have thought they were made out of old tea lights. :)

    1 reply