From Sticks to Twig Christmas Tree
My apartment is small. My small dog is blind and doesn’t get around well because of his arthritis (and blindness). These combined facts make it difficult for me to have a traditional floor Christmas tree.
Add these two facts. (1) I am allergic to pine. (2) I don’t want to spend money on buying something since I already have plenty of nice looking artificial trees.
Then I came across this blog post about making a twig Christmas tree from At Home With K. This tree is displayed in a frame. It would be perfect for placing on my entertainment center in one of those frame holders.
Of course I did an Internet search to see how else a twig Christmas tree could be made. I found 2 other ideas.
- I LIKE this 7 foot (or so?) wall mounted twig tree I found on The Art of Doing Stuff. I don’t have that much wall space. And to be so impressive it HAS to be this big! This project is definitely on my someday holiday to-do list. It uses free materials or things I have on hand. And it is off the floor so my dog would not run into it nor be tempted to pee on it.
- And I am equally in-like with this hanging twig tree from Michele Made Me. The size is of this tree would be perfect to hang from the inside of my front door. The polka dots grabbed my attention. But I don’t have a drill so making this tree was postponed as I wanted to make a twig tree NOW.
So in the end I went with a style more like option 1.
Here’s how I made my tree.
Step 1. Grab a flashlight and scour the grounds around your home. I was able to find a nice pile of sticks due to a recent wind storm. Sorry no picture of the sticks.
Step 2. Choose a stick or two for the spine of the tree. Lay it on your work surface.
Step 3. Sort leftover sticks according to the thickness of the stick. I wanted the thicker ones to be on the bottom of the tree. Since I don’t have a saw or floral cutters either, if I couldn’t break the stick with my hands, it was discarded.
Step 4. Look for branches with unusual colorations like moss or unusual bumps. I think these details add texture and visual interest.
Step 5. Work from the bottom to the top, placing the sticks on top of the spine, breaking them to fit as needed.
Step 6. Once you like the look of it, hot glue it all together.
GLITCH in Progress. I made the tree too big to fit the frame I already had. I was going to cover the mat with burlap.
I held the completed twig tree up to my front door to see how it would look hanging there. Didn’t like that look.
Then it hit me: make my tree stand up! So I glued some sticks to the back of the bottom trunk to make a “planter.” I like how this is coming together.
Step 7. Glue on twine with the intent to make it into a garland.
Glitch TWO. After doing half the tree this way, I decided I did not like the look.
Step 8. Take off the twine garland.
Step 9. Go back outside with your flashlight and scour the ground for dingleberries and greenery with red berries. The dingleberries will be the ornaments for the tree.
Step 10. Paint the dingleberries with watered down acrylic paints. I really like how these turned out.
NOTE: Apparently my family is the only one who calls these (former) seed pods “dingleberries.” A friend, Lorna, confirmed my Google search: not even one hit for this term. She said they are called gum tree balls. Her family calls them “spiny balls.”
Step 11. Hot glue the “sweet gum ornaments” onto the tree with springs of leaves with their red berries. (I have no idea what these are called.)
Step 12. Admire. Take a bunch of photos; post them to Facebook so others can admire your work. Make said photo your profile picture.
Step 13. Take off all the glue strings in preparation for spraying sealer all over your creation, front and back (Krylon or polyurethane). I am hoping this will preserve the fresh leaves and berries.
Step 14. Put finished Christmas Twig Tree in a place of honour!
Your Turn . . . Share photos and comments about trees and other Christmas decorations you have made.
Related Posts . . .
- Christmas Table of Contents from Fruitfulwords
- 2nd Annual Haul Out The Holly – featuring fifteen original holiday-themed tutorials from fifteen different bloggers.
- 26 DIY Holiday Projects from the Forest – I found some more trees