Over the years I’ve acquired two artificial Christmas trees that I’ve decorated for the holidays; one is a large tree that’s tall and wide, the other is a slim Canadian spruce that’s tall and narrow. Some years I’ve decorated two trees, putting the big wide one up in the living room and the narrow one in my dining room.
Times have changed, and I don’t use the big one anymore in the living room, and the narrow one, instead of putting it in the dining room, now is set up yearly in my TV room, which when lit can be seen from the road. I still use the big tree in the living room, but I separate its parts and use it in different ways, that’s what this post is all about.
Photographs and illustration 1 show how I arrange the bottom branches of the big Christmas tree in a large urn in the living room. The bottom branches, which are the longest, are placed in a horizontal circular pattern around the lip of the large floor vase. I first lay one branch along the lip of the vase that I’ve fluffed up. The second branch is fluffed up and placed / laid alongside of the first. I take a tip of branch #2 and bend it around a tip of branch #1 to hook the two branches to each other. When I add branch #3, a tip of it is bent around branch #2. This pattern of laying branches and bending tips continues as I add more branches around the top of the vase until I make a full circle. After that two or three fluffed up branches are placed vertically from the top, downward into the floor vase for extra height and fulness; they are suspended by the ring of branches placed around the lip of the vase.
Next, I lay two sets of white lights, over the branches to illuminate them. Many single-headed and bunches of silk poinsettia are then inserted into the artificial evergreen base to make a large floral display. I have this instead of the big tree in the living room, it’s a show piecein itself.
Photographs and illustration 2 show how I repurpose the top of the tree. I insert the top of the tree into a heavy ceramic planter vase that I made in college. The vase has a wide mouth that holds the lower branches of the top of the tree. Notice in the illustration how I bent up the bottom branches to fit the vase, and then bent down some of the upper branches to balanceit on the vase’s lip. I use the tree’s top as a floor decoration along side a sofa in the living room. It’s an unexpected decoration in that corner of the room.
Photographs and illustrations 3A, B, and C show how I repurpose artificial tree branches as filler for vases on the fireplace and in a vase I made, that is on a pedestal in the dining room.
Look at illustration 3A, it shows how a branch is shaped that is supposed to be inserted into the trunk of an artificial Christmas tree; notice its red tip. Now look at illustration 3B. Instead of all the tips of the branch pointing upward to mimic how they would grow in nature (3A), they are all bent backward in the opposite direction. I do this so when I place 2 or 3 branches in the vases, on the fireplace or on the pedestal, the branches “trunk inserting tips” (shown in red) points outward. This makes it easy for the branches to sit next to each other in the vases. When I put (2 or 3 ) branches in the vases on the fireplace or in the dining room, I take the tips of the different branches and twistthem around each other, in spots, to secure them all together, as I did with the branches in the floor vase. After that I place lights, silk flowers, artificial berries, birds, etc into the evergreen base to finish the arrangements.
If you don’t mind cutting up some branches of your old artificial tree, you can also make a Christmas wreath out of it. With wire cutters, cut off the tips of your artificial tree so you have small branches 5 or 6 inches long. With florist wire, take 5 or 6 of the tips, and wire them together to form a small bunch(illustration 4A). Don’t cut your wire from the spool/paddle. Twist your wire around the branches 5 or so times to secure them, and leave extra wire so you can them tie the artificial evergreen bunch to the wire wreath frame shown in illustration 4B. Wreath frames are available in many sizes at craft stores and seasonally at garden centers.
Starting around the inside center, wire your first clump of branches to the two inner rings of the wreath frame. After that take your second clump and wire it, overlapping the first clump by 1/3 to 1/2 (or at least to cover the wired base of the previous clump you’ve attached). Continue around the inside of your wreath form. After that, working in the same direction, cover the two outside rings of the frame with branches until you have completely covered the wreath form. Next, take your florist wire and wind it in the opposite direction to the way you have placed your branches tips on the wreath form. Twist the wire under and through the center of your single clumps of branches to secure them to the frame, so they don’t flap around. You will only need to work the wire around the wreath one time to do this step.
With extra wire make a hanging loop and tie it to a spot on the back of your wreath frame. Fluff up and reshape your artificial evergreen tips if needed, and you are then ready to decorate it with a No-Tie Bow (click here for my instructions), and other decorations.
Finally, my instructions are just a starting point that I hope will inspire you. As you read this post, you will probably think of other places in your home where you can repurpose, reuse, and recycle your old artificial Christmas tree. Sometimes all you have to do is read a few ideas, and it brings out many more possibilities.
Happy Decorating Everyone!
Companion Posts …
It’s Easy to Fluff a Fake/Artificial Christmas Wreath 11-30-2011,
Putting Lights on a Christmas Tree, The EASY Way 11-3-2011,
Christmas Tree Decorating…step-by-step, Like a Pro 11-13-2011,
Cutting / Making Paper Snowflakes 10-27-2011,
Turning your Paper Snowflake into a Snow Flake Snowman 12-14-2011,
A paper craft Project for Kids, Make a Christmas Tree out of your name 11-18-2011,
Some Outdoor Christmas Decorations that you can leave up ALL Winter 11-26-2011