How it came about..... Everything starts on Pinterest these days right? This project certainly did. I fell in love with this tree (click on images for sources)-
I searched high and low, scoured the internet, looked at real tree varieties (as the one above is obviously real) but couldn't find a real one with a slim enough trunk or a fake one that was sparse enough. So I knew if I was going to make it happen, I would have to do it myself! And I did, in about an hour!!!
Here are a few more cute, sparse trees to inspire you before we get started.....
This one (above) I actually pinned for the base. It's a store bought and expensive way to hide the tree stand, BUT flip a thrift store basket upside down, cut out the bottom and you've got it!!!! If I find a basket large enough, I'm going to be doing this for my base.
This one's in a trash can! So fun. I picked up a trash can like this for my deck at True Value Hardware, they had them in a variety of sizes for a good price.
On to the tutorial!!! I decided the easiest way to share was part photos, part video. I'm extremely video shy, so not made for TV ;)
What you need-
At my local True Value I picked up-
4 foot piece of rebar (it's a medal rod made to go inside concrete) Mine is 1/2 inch
Roll of brown plastic tape
2x2 length of wood for base
2 Screws (optional)
On hand I had some 9 gauge wire. But you could probably get that at True Value too! You will also need wired garland, which can be found in any Christmas decor section of your favorite store.
Saw and small chisel to cut base and notch together
Drill and bit (the same size as your rebar)
With your wire cutter, cut your garland into sections for each level of the tree. I wanted my tree to have about 5 levels and three branches per level. The bottom two levels of my tree are the same length and the next two are the same as each other. This is what I cut-
6 branches at 17"
6 branches at 12"
3 branches at 7"
1 branch at 14" (for the top)
Now that you have your branches you need a tree to secure them to. Cut the 2x2 into two 24 inch pieces (a skill saw is handy for this!) Then put a 1 inch notch in the center of each piece so that they fit together to form a flat X base. You may need to use a small chisel along with your saw to make this notch. We used a skill saw, cut some 1 inch slots down into the board, then chiseled them out. Once your base is flat, you may choose to secure it by screwing at a diagonal (so that both boards are caught by your screw) from opposite sides. Drill a hole in the center to fit your rebar.
Now that your base is secure, cur your 9 gauge wire into various lengths (around 2 feet) and wrap around your rebar to create each level. You will want to wear gloves for this part. The rebar is textured so wrapping the wire tight is enough to secure it in place. You can also spiral between your levels to help everything stay put. We used two sections of wire for each level, one to make two branch supports and the second one to make the third branch support and spiral up to the next level.
Photo is of the first (bottom) level It doesn't have to be pretty. We are going to wrap it in tape and cover it in our garland. For the rest of the tree I thought it was easiest to video so you can actually see the technique in motion. Not that there was anything difficult going on, just easier to show this way. Directions for the rest of the steps are written into the video.
The final tree!
From start to finish this project took about one hour with my husband and I both working together. For one person I would say under 2 hours. There wasn't any part that could not have been done alone, just faster with someone to help ;) Happy Holidays!