Worlds Easiest and Coolest Grinchmas Tree




About: Special Effects designer, nerd, maker, a monocle and high collared cape away from being a mad scientist.

My favorite Christmas story and cartoon was/is 'The Grinch who stole Christmas' Recently my wife found a flower shop that was making 'Grinch' trees that immediately put a smile on my face made out of cedar bows a few ornaments etc.. Loved it but the price was a bit much for me so I decided to make my own and to make it so that it will not die out on me. 


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Step 1: What You Need

- 10" diameter circle piece of plywood 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick
- 8 wire coat hangers
- 1 mini led string of lights (50 in this string)
- Green Garland
- mini strand of Garland in a fancy color
- Ugly decorations with one big ball ornament
- Tie wraps or twist ties or duck tape

- Pliers 
- Side cutters
- Hot glue gun ( in my eyes a mini nightmare of a napalm dispenser, you will understand this statement when you get the first blob on your hand )
- Depending on the chunk of wood you have you may need a jig saw (you can buy 10" diameter disks at most hardware stores)
-Drill and 1/16 drill bit

Step 2: Initial Prep

- If you have a disk of wood mark out 8 locations about 1/2 inch from the edge equally spaced and drill holes half way through, if you do not have a disk or use a jigsaw and cut one out or even use a square piece of ply 10"x10", it is only a esthetic choice to have it round.
- cut the hooks off the coat hanger and straighten them out 
- insert the hanger ends into the holes in the first step
- Hot glue them into the holes

Step 3: Basic Shape

- Now you bend the tops roughly into a bent top of a tree. Dont spend much time making this perfect, the rougher it is the better the tree turns out. Its a Grinch tree after all.... 
-Take a tie wrap of twist tie to join the hangers at the ends trim them up to a neat end
-Note there is one hanger that is curled back on itself to hold the big ugly ornament (I wonder how the wife is going to take me calling one of her favorite ornaments ugly? I may get coal this Christmas for this instructable :) ) 

Step 4: Almost There

 - Take the mini Christmas lights and from the top starting with the female end of the lights (this is very important ) tie wrap or twist tie the end to the top of the tree frame
- Wrap the string of lights around the frame spiraling down and occasionally fastening the string with a... you guessed it.. a tie wrap or twist tie or tape
- Start at the bottom and wrap the green garland up the tree fastening it with tie wraps or twist ties occasionally
- start anywhere you please and add the fancy colored garland

Step 5: Final Step

- Hang goddy ornament at end of tree
- add a few ornaments and garnishes as you see fit
- plug in and enjoy

FYI this cost about 12 dollars and makes a great mini tree for a gift or display on a table etc... I have given out a few and all ended up in big smiles, even when the recipient had to ask 'What is it?" the second you say Grinch tree it immediately hits them and a smile grinchilly creeps onto their face.

Below is my podcast and the build is in the second section of the show at 5:36 but the beginning of the show is much funnier and by Dave Spencer and that intructable is here:
The fun, amazing, surprising, exploding gift box

If you like the cast do me a favor and hit this link and DIGG it

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    14 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very nice! You could substitute quick set epoxy for the glue gun. As long as you don't glue your fingers to the ply and/or wires.


    Here's my Grinch tree at my desk at work.  I made it a little bigger using a reel of 18 gauge steel wire, but 18 gauge isn't as thick as a coat-hanger wire.  Not a great combo!  I ended up adding in 8 extra vertical wires and horizontal rings of wire and tie-wrapping them all quite thoroughly, which made it much stiffer, but took a lot longer.  If I make another, I'll come up with some coat hangers.  Because I made it bigger, I had to use 2 nine-foot garlands, which fit my tree perfectly.  I also made the base a foot across to accommodate the bigger scale.  Overall it turned out great ,and I used a HUGE ornament to emphasize the bend.

    If you notice my lights behind the tree... my whole cube is lit up like that.  :)

    grinch tree.jpg
    2 replies

    Love it!!!! Now I have to go and get some rebar and make a 30' version so no one can out do me like you :) Wonder if the neighbors will mind a tree like that blocking their view????

    Great work!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    I love it! So much so, that I built my own little Grinchmas shrine:) The instructions were clear and easy. Thanks for a great project!

    Grinchmas tree.jpg
    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I absolute adore this idea!  I bet you could really set off the theme with some figurines and stuffed animals/characters and such.  I have to do this next year.
    2 replies

    This Instructable includes a video of how to make this tree.  Either watch or skip over the first half of the video, which shows how to make an "exploding" gift box. The second half covers this project. While the gift box is a very cool idea, the Grinch/Who Christmas tree is the one I plan to make this year.  It's such a rocking craft, and it's very unexpected.

    I'm 99% sure there will be one of these on my desk at work this holiday season.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Glad you liked it!

     I was thinking the same using PVC and a heat Gun to bend the tubes. Make sure if you scale it up to post a picture.