For all you holiday music lovers* out there, here's a non-traditional Christmas tree to help you get your real tree-free winter wonderland groove on.
This is a wall mounted 'tree' made from vintage holiday LP's and a vintage inspired record player as the trunk. It's topped off with a rock 'n roll inspired marquee star that has a built in on/off timer.
There's no need to have a Blue Christmas when you can add some Joy to the World with this unique take on a holiday tree.
Let's go (go)!
Thanks to Peace Industry in San Francisco for the use of their beautiful rug for this project shoot!
Step 1: Supplies
- 16 holiday long playing vinyl records from thrift stores
- small, vintage inspired record player (I used a Crosley Executive Portable USB Player)
- small wall mounted marquee star
- small wooden stool (I show you how to make one in steps 4-7)
- (4x) 7 1/2" or 8" tapered wooden table legs
- 12" x 14" x 1" pine board
- Fun-Tak mounting putty or other picture hanging strips
- one small nail
- blue painter's tape
- sand paper
- measuring tape
- drill press or hand drill
- drill bits
- sanding block
Step 2: Designing Your Set List
Lay 15 of the 16 records out on the floor and arrange them in a triangle; 5 on the bottom, then 4, then 3, then 2, and one on top.
Re-arrange them until you find an order of things that is visually pleasing.
Using the painter's tape and a marker, label the records 1-15, starting in the lower left corner of the triangle. This will make putting them up tons easier.
Step 3: Prep Your Fun (-Tak)
You'll want to put a tiny square of mounting putty in each corner of 15 of the records, which means you need 60 little pieces.
Using the above photos as a guide, cut your putty into bits.
Step 4: How Big Should Your Stool Be?
If you have a small stool that is the size of your record player already, you can skip ahead to step 8.
If you need to make one, like I did, here's how to do it:
Using a measuring tape, measure the footprint of your player. You'll want to make the surface of the stool just slightly smaller than the player, so it is visually subtle.
For my player, the stool surface needed to be 13" x 10".
Step 5: Prepping Your Parts
Remove the tags from the tapered legs.
Mark and cut your pine board to the correct dimensions (from the previous step) using a table saw or chop saw.
Mark where you will drill the holes for the legs using a carpenter's square. I wanted my legs as close to the corners as possible without sticking out, so measured in 3/4" from each side*.
*This is the reason that I chose not to use the standard base plates one would normally use to attach these legs. The record player is super light, so I wasn't worried about the stool needing to be very sturdy.
Step 6: Drill & Finish
Choose a drill bit that is JUST smaller than the threads of the leg bolts. Figure this out by test drilling into a scrap piece of wood.
To make sure that you don't accidentally drill through your pine board, either set the stop on the drill press, or use a piece of masking tape to mark the bit itself.
Once the four corner holes are drilled, gently sand all the edges of the board using 220 grit sand paper.
Because I built this just for the tree and will take it apart once the holidays are over, I didn't bother finishing the wood. But if you choose to build a sturdy stool that you will continue to use, I recommend putting a protective finish on.
Step 7: Screw It!
Screw the four legs into the pine board.
Voila! One record player 'tree trunk' stand!
Step 8: Installing the Tree
Clear space in front of a wall area that has at least 8' x 8' of empty space. Set the stool in the center of this space on the floor and place the record player on the stool, lid up. Lean the 16th 'trunk' record against the open lid.
Using a measuring tape, measure the distance from the floor to the top of the 'trunk' record. (like pictured) Add about an inch to that for wiggle room.
Using small pieces of painter's tape, measure and mark from the floor up, two spots on the wall that are about 2-3' from the center of the record player to the right and left. Then connect the small pieces with a long, horizontal piece of tape. Use the level to make sure your tape line is, well, level. : )
Step 9: Building Your Tree
Apply the mounting putty bits to all the corners of the first 5 LP's (marked #1-5).
Take record #3 and line it up on the blue tape line so that it's centered with record player/trunk record. Press the corners firmly into the wall
Put up numbers 2 & 4 next, being careful to make sure that the tops of the records line up. (It's ok if the bottoms aren't perfectly aligned, but the tops need to be in order to keep them level while building upwards.)
Then put up numbers 1 & 5, completing your bottom row. You can now remove the blue tape level line.
Add putty to the next four records.
Next up is number 8. Center and mount it above and in between numbers 3 & 4.
Mount the remaining second row making sure tops are aligned.
Putty and mount the third row with number 11 centered above numbers 7 & 8.
You get the picture! Finish rows 3 & 4, then remove all the tape numbers from the lower left corners.
Step 10: Star Light Star Bright
Next up is mounting the star.
Move your record player and stool to the side and set up a ladder so that you can reach above the top record. Find the desired location for your marquee star and use a small nail and hammer to mount it.
This particular star has a built in timer that turns on and off for four hours each day, starting from when you first flip the switch. So if you want it to be on from 6-10pm each night, just turn it to 'timer' at 6pm.
Step 11: Plug and Play
Return the stool and player to it's trunk spot, plug in the player and start fa-la-la-ing!*
*You can easily access the LP's that are on the wall. Yay sounds of the holidays!!
Step 12: Themed Wrapping Paper
TIP: Keep the music theme going by using old sheet music as wrapping paper. (I found mine at a thrift store)
Happy harmony filled Holidays everyone!!