I love decorating for Christmas! I like to have some decorations in all the rooms in our home. I don’t want to waste a lot of money on holiday decor during the gift shopping season. With 3 kids to buy for, plus grandparents, siblings, cousins, aunts, uncles,teachers (you get the idea), I feel bad about taking money from the gift budget & spending it on decorations that’ll only be up a month or so. Having a law enforcement officer’s salary, I’ve learned to be extremely thrifty with our budget. I’m sure most of you are with me on this! While at the Dollar Tree before Thanksgiving, I found these little Charlie Brown-esque table top Christmas trees. My kids were begging me to get them each one to have in their rooms. I thought I’d get a couple more for our master bedroom & the guest bathroom. I knew they’d be hideous when they were opened & fluffed out, & I was not disappointed. They were like a plastic rod with a few green metal sticks with plastic short strippy things (I don’t know what else to call these faux needles ha ha). U-uh-gly!
I know these are just what you’d loooove to have up all over your house! Umm… no. Never fear! I have an idea for you to have gorgeous tiny trees throughout your home for a dollar! No I didn’t miss type! One dollar! WOO-HOO! Now run out & buy a tree for every room you’d like to spruce up with holiday spirit. Here’s the items you’ll need:
- A table top tree from the Dollar Tree- $1
- Branches from the Christmas tree type of your choice (I used Douglas firs)- free from your local Lowe’s or Home Depot
- Hot glue gun & glue sticks
You may be wondering how to get branches for your project, since I had no clue how to before I started mine! We went to Lowe’s to buy our tree the day after Thanksgiving. I saw a bunch of limbs on the ground under all the trees in the garden section. I asked the associate working out there if I might have all of the loose branches in the ground. She said, “Please do! It’s so much easier to sweep up the needles if there aren’t any branches around!” My heart screamed “Yippee!!” but I kept my cool face since we were in public. I enlisted the kids to do this task. They got a hand-held shopping basket & filled it up quickly. But the best was yet to come! We took our tree outside to be cut & wrapped in net, & there was a large wood container they were throwing all of the cut off pieces into; even the wood trunk pieces. I asked the guy if I could take a few. He told us we could have the whole pile! I was so happy, I think I let my cool face slip a bit. My kids were running & jumping & clapping just because I was happy I guess because they had no idea what we were doing with them. Ha!
So once you have your tree & free Christmas tree cast-offs, plug in your hit glue gun so you can get started! At first my daughter & I tried using the metal “branches” themselves to tie the real branches on. We also tried using pipe cleaners. Neither of these worked well. Using the fake tree to tie them on just broke the metal pieces off since they’re so cheaply made. Pipe cleaners were just so obvious & too hard to hide. The tree started to look really weird & bulky at the middle because you have to use a longer piece of pipe cleaner. This is what the tree will look like before.
Sad, huh? Have no fear. You will be proud to display this bad boy when we’re finished! You’ll start by spreading out the “branches” that come on the fake tree. When they are all in place, you can start citing the real branches. Measure your fake branches & but the real ones to about the sadness size. Each row will be a different size with the longest on the bottom & shortest at the top. You will need a lot of real branches. It’s ok if the real ones branch off & have 2 or 3 smaller branches at the ends. It will make a more authentic look. I tried to cut as close as I could to the beginning of a branch off. With a Fraisure fir, there will be these small wood “knots” where a new branch begins or ends. Once you have a bunch cut, you can start gluing. Starting at the bottom will be easier. Place hot glue on the tip of the real branch (from now on will be RB for real & FB for fake branch) & a bit on the under side RB. Put the top that’s glued just above the bottom row & push the bit of glue on the bottom to the FB. It will look like this:
Hold the RB in place for a few seconds until it holds in place. Place RB all around the bottom row, filling in all the empty space. I tried to hide the FB as much as I could. You can glue the branches to the center rod, as well as to the tops & bottoms of the fake ones. Keep gluing on the bottom row until you’re happy with the fullness. Then start on the second row from the bottom.
If you filled from the bottom to the top, you should be just about done! If you skipped around like me, keep adding RB until you’re happy with the look. This is what it looks like when you’re finished:
Thank you so much for stopping by! Stay tuned this month as I’ll be adding new projects & Christmas ideas all month long! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, & Pinterest so you don’t miss out on any new crafts. Please share this if you love it or know someone who will. Send me pics or let me know if you try this! Merry Christmas!