Silver Bell…I mean Christmas Tree

I like to make things, and it was just my luck that my work had a Hancrafted Fair, which was comprised of (you probably guessed it) handmade things. Being a liker of things, I was excited to try to make something new. I’m a big fan of the holidays and in particular, Christmas, and I thought it would be cool to try and make something from Christmas ornaments.

After plunging down the idea vortex that is Pinterest, I decided to make a mini tabletop Christmas tree, and further, I decided to attempt creating a step-by-step tutorial on how to do it. Why? My favorite Pinterest things are the unique and beautiful projects accompanied by tutorials on how to reach the final product. I tend to scowl at the things that are gorgeous but have no indication that they were made by a human being versus a factory machine in China. I think you’d also gain from seeing and somewhat reliving the difficulty of the project. SO without further ado, bulbs away!

Supplies:

  • Cone-Shaped Foam (these come in various sizes, but I suggest starting small)
  • Mini Tree Ornaments (about 100 WITH removable tops)
  • Mini Tree Topper (in this case, a star)
  • Hot Glue Gun and Plenty of Glue Sticks
  • Wired Tinsel (almost like a really long pipe cleaner)
  • Medium Sized Silver Bells (optional)
  • Spray Paint (optional – used to paint the foam base)
  • Patience and time (not optional)
    • Approx. Time: 2 hours if you focus

How It’s Done:

  1. Plug in and fire up your glue gun, and make sure you have a bag of glue sticks handy.
  2. Remove all the tops of your tree ornaments. You know, the part where you’d put the hook if you were using it on a tree like most normal people do (not us in this case). 20151113_100954
  3. Hold the ornament from what would be the bottom and place a nice thick ring of hot glue around the opening. 20151113_101008
  4. Hold the glue gunned ornament in one hand and pick up your foam cone with the other.
  5. Starting at the base, carefully but firmly shove the top narrow part of the ornament into the foam until the base of the foam is in contact with the circular surface of the ornament. The glue will dry pretty quickly, so you can load up your next ornament after shovin’ this one in.
    1. Warning! If you shove too hard, you may break your ornament bulbs, so BE CAREFUL. 20151113_101021
  6. Repeat steps 1-5 all the way around and up the foam cone. Try to keep the ornaments as close together as possible, but if you have some open space, don’t worry. We’ll fix this.20151113_101035
  7. All done gluing in your ornaments? Does your tree look mostly full? Good! We’re almost done.
    20151113_104523
  8. Grab your tinsel. Starting at the base of your tree, wire and wrap your tinsel around and between all the bulbs, filling in any open spaces that may have been too small for an ornament. Do this all the way around and to the top of the tree.20151113_201607
  9. If the tinsel isn’t doing what you want or staying in place, put hot glue on the foam base and press that tinsel in there until it stays.
    1. Note: You’ll notice after you get a ways in that the tinsel looks like tree leaves/branches, which creates a good background for the ornaments and covers up any open spaces.
  10. Grab your tree topper. Stick your topper on the top of your tree, and feel free to use some hot glue to secure it there.
    1. Note: In my case, I used a star that was on a wire, and it may have stayed in the tree just fine. But I used some hot glue on the wire just to make sure it didn’t slip out.
  11. Take a picture of your new tabletop mini Christmas tree so you can brag about what you made!20151113_210602

Seriously though, take a picture. You have the right to be proud of what you just took time and effort to make while your friends ran to Home Goods and paid $19.99 to go home with something equivalent. Sure, it only took them 5 minutes, but you, you MADE yours! (by the way, I love Home Goods). Sorry for my ashy fingers, unpainted finger nails, messy backgrounds and lighting inconsistencies. I’m new to this whole tutorial business, but I’m workin on it!

Hope this helps all the Pinterest dreamers like me! I’ve found that the creative path isn’t exactly the quickest or easiest, but it often yields some pretty awesome products.

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