Tuesday, December 11, 2012

DIY Mini Christmas Tree Tutorial

About a month ago I was out shopping and saw something similar to this tree at a store (can’t remember which now).  It looked super cute, but the design was so simple I knew I could make one myself, and for less than the $40 it cost.  I think mine turned out great! 

Want to make your own?  Of course you do!  Here’s what you’ll need:


5 wooden dowels:  Mine are about a ¼” thick and 12” long.  I got these at Hobby Lobby.

Base:  I used a thing called a tread wheel.  Make sure the hole size matches your dowels.  I also got this at Hobby Lobby.

Star and ornaments:  For the star I got a paper mache star at JoAnn’s and covered it in gold glitter.  I also got the mini ornaments and bells at JoAnn’s. 

Drill and screws:  Make sure to get screws that aren’t too long so they don’t poke out too much behind your tree.  Also make sure your screws match your drill bit size.

Let’s get started!

First, lay out how you want your ornaments arranged so that you know where to cut your dowels.  I wanted four rows, so I did 8 bulbs on the bottom, then 6, 4, and 2 at the top.  If you want to make a larger one, just more rows to the bottom.  Here’s my final measurements:


While my bulbs were laid out I also measured how much room I needed between each row, which was 2” between each row.

After marking my measurements I cut each dowel to the right size.  These are small enough that I was able to use a wire cutter thing to snip them off.


Sand down the edges of all the dowels.  Now draw a mark on each dowel right at the center.  Also draw a mark on the long dowel where you want each row to go (again, mine were 2” apart).  Get your drill and drill a hole through each mark.

This part can be a little tricky to get all the holes on the long dowel exactly lined up.  Mine isn’t perfect, but when it’s all finished with the bulbs on it really isn’t that noticeable, so don’t stress about getting the holes perfectly lined up.

(As an alternative here, my first try at making this I nailed the dowels together, but that ended up just cracking the wood.  But, if you don’t have a drill, nailing could be a good option if you don’t mind the cracked wood.  Or you could try gluing the dowels with a strong glue.)

Okay, now it’s time to screw it all together.  I found it easier to screw the dowels on by clamping down the long dowel to a table. 


I also put a small dab of my trusty Gorilla Glue in between the dowels just for a little extra stay-put power.  Screw in all your dowels:


And glue the whole thing into your base.  I used the clamp to help keep it straight.


You can see in that pic how my rows aren’t perfectly straight, so again, don’t stress about getting it perfect.  It’ll still look good!  While that’s drying you can take this time to glitter up your star.

After the glue has dried, paint the whole thing.  I used brown spray paint, but acrylic craft paint would work too.  Once that is dry you’re ready to start adding the bling!


I used the gold thread that came with the bells to tie on each bulb.  You could also use ornament hooks or whatever you have on hand.  I also dabbed a bit of glue on each of the end bulbs so I wouldn’t worry about them slipping off.  Lastly I glued on my glittered star:


And finished!  I love it!


I think I might make another one and paint the tree silver with silver and blue bulbs.  Or paint it pink with pink and turquoise bulbs!  Oh the possibilities! 

I hope you give this a try!



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