DIY Christmas decor: A branchy Christmas tree

I love having a few decorative staples for the holidays.  The things I just pull out and plop in their designated spot.  But I hate spending money on said decorations and tend to hit up the picked-over after-Christmas specials only to find (unsurprisingly) that the good stuff is gone.

So sometimes, I have to resort to making my own décor.  I mean, who wants to spend $80 on a wreath?  (That’s why I made an inexpensive burlap wreath for the front door last year).

This year I needed to do something for my front nook. It’s actually a very large space (about 30 inches wide and nearly 4 feet tall), so it’s hard to decorate, in general.

I decided that I wanted to put a little tree farm in there but knew that buying a big tree decoration would be expensive.  So I decided to make my own.  I’ve seen trees that look similar to this so figured I could just make it myself with some free outdoor branches and a bunch of hot glue gun sticks.

What I thought would take an hour actually took me 3 hours!! And in the end, I really think it needs to be about 6 inches taller so I may hit the wooded area behind my house again to add some more to the base.

It was pretty simple to do. I found some branches and then took them four at a time, cut them to the size base I wanted and made a bunch of squares of branches that I glued together. Then I took the branch squares and glued them on top of each other, slowly narrowing the size of my boxes. I laid them on top of each other at various, staggered angles to create the rustic tree shape.

And while I think it looks really cute, it’s not the most sturdy craft so I don’t know how it will hold up year after year, but I’m going to try my best to get a few Christmases out of it!

Tips and tricks:
– Get a bunch of branches and find pieces that have similar widths to do each square so they are pretty consistent and stable.
– Use varying branch widths throughout so it adds some dimension.
– Use plenty of hot glue – I tried to get 3-4 contact points for each level.
– Take a look at it from multiple angles as you go. I definitely had it veering off to the side but pulled it apart and redid a few sections to clean it up and straighten in.
– Give yourself plenty of time – it takes a while to cut the branches to size (used landscape snips/cutters) and then match them up to each other.

At the end, I added a few silver and red mini ball ornaments. I also think a small strand of battery operated lights would be adorable or a cute topper! (Maybe next year!)

treefinal

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