So here is another little project I worked on recently during "the cray-cray crafting blitz" that was the first week of December!
My inspiration for these trees came from a set I spied at Target in early November…..
But at $20 a tree, I figured I would take a crack at making my own first. If it was a complete fail then I'd drag my tail back AFTER Christmas and get them on sale! Yeah Baby!
It is becoming painfully obvious in this post how cheap I am.
But I have to say, if I practice a little bit of delayed gratification, then I usually pick up some pretty cheap and pretty decorations that I can use for next years decorations. When I finally get around to wiring the post of this year's Holiday decorations, you'll spy a pair of bronze Reindeer that I picked up for $11 at Tuesday Morning! It was even funny because as I was dragging out the bags and unwrapping things, I had totally forgotten I had bought them. Yeah ME!
So here's what you need to shimmy your way to successful trees (Bwahahaha):
cardboard paper mache cones from any craft store
hot glue and glue sticks
good utility scissors or chisel or miter saw to cut the shims
My Pat Catan's did not have many round cones left but they did have these triangles which I wasn't sure would work. As it turned out I think triangular is the way to go! I did not try any circular cones so in the interest of full disclosure, I really have no idea how round would work or look. Feel free to try either.
Shims have a thick end and a very thinned out end because they are meant to level things up. You slide them under cabinets etc. as far as you need to make your piece level. So from here on out if I say the thin or thick end it is referring to this. First thing you need to do is cut the shims. I used a miter saw to cut all the shims in half like above….. notice the soda can…these are very classy tutorials that I put out there.
and then some in half again this way. I also used my good set of utility scissors to cut these because I would no longer be able to make things due to a lack of fingers if I used the miter saw to cut the shims this way. Start at the thinner end and just cut. A chisel and hammer would work as well to make a score line down the middle and then break apart.
Now comes the fun part…..gluing
I started by using the thicker end pieces of shim…..
and just filled in until each side had one layer covering most of the cone. Don't worry about the gaps. These will get covered with your second layer. It is important that you glue all of your edge shims right on the edge.
Now fill in the gaps with your second layer of shims. Again begin with the wider shims on the bottom and then fill in smaller gaps with the skinnier shim pieces.
Use the skinnier shims at the top like above.
To finish the top, take one of the shims that is thinned out and cut in half if you haven' already. Then cut the thin end down on an angle like above.
Hot glue them at an angle and then glue to the top on each side. Fill in any gaps with more shims until the cone is completely covered.
I love the rustic look of these so you can stop here if you like.
I gave them a light spray of white paint to make them a little more uniform in color. I held the spray can about 10" from the trees and gave a light spray because I wanted the wood grain to still show through. You can also add your glitter or fake snow or anything else you think would rock your world at this point. I kept mine plain for my mantel.
The total cost of each tree was about $5. Each cone cost $1-1.50 (for reals!) and then the cost of the shims.
So, does this project make you make you shake in your Santa boots at the thought of using shims or does it make you want to shimmy?
What other kinds of non-traditional materials have you used to make Christmas decorations?
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