I am so amazed at my own cleverness it’s just silly now….
Take: a big piece of green foam (Hobbycraft sell it by the roll) – ours was about 60 or 80cm wide by 1m tall; some sticks; superglue; eyescrews; ribbon and coloured string; shiny cardboard; PVA glue; glitter, wooden beads. Oh, and a star 🙂
Step 1. First work out how to draw cut out a Christmas tree shape. This was the first hard part. In the end I came up with something like this:
[For people who need words: I started by marking and cutting along a line (the dotted line in Fig1) on each side to show the outline shape of the tree. I then marked a dotted line parallel with and a few inches away from each edge (shown in Fig2) and added dots along those lines, in the same places on each side, more or less equidistant. Then, as shown in Fig2, I cut in straight horizontal lines from the edge to each dot. Finally, Fig3 shows that if you cut from the edge end of each of these cuts up to the dot on the inside of the next cut up, you get a Christmas tree shape. Plus some triangles…Turn the whole thing upside down to that you can’t see any of the markings you made and it should look like the right sort of thing.]
Step 2. Find some sticks about the right length (from your growing store of sticks that your toddler has randomly decided to bring home). The idea is that you will superglue them onto the foam horizontally, to give it some structure and make it a bit less flimsy, and with a bit of luck stop the pointy bits from getting too dog-eared. Glue another stick vertically at the top to stop that from going all floppy (and to give you something to put your star on).
Here we are so far:
Step 3. To be able to hang this up, you will need to put THREE eye screws through the back of the foam and into the top two sticks. One screw goes on each side at the back of the topmost horizontal stick and one goes in at the back of the vertical stick, just below where it sticks out at the top. Then thread ribbon or string through the eye screws, knot it tightly and you will be able to hang it from the wall, using any reasonably sturdy picture hook.
Step 4. Make some flat baubles! These are easy and fun. Just cut some circles out of shiny card (we used red and gold) and then stick glitter on the back!
Step 5. How on earth are you going to attach the baubles to the tree? This one exercised me for a while. My original intention when I started this project was to make a disposable tree that we could just glue and glitter and paint and staple and anything we felt like, but by this stage I had got so fond of my tree that I wanted to be able to use it again – so “ruining” it by gluing on this year’s home made baubles was not an option.
I eventually came up with what I don’t mind saying was a stroke of sheer genius. I just screwed eye screws into a bunch of wooden beads and then superglued them to the tree. Simple. Perfect. I could then just use a very large yarn needle to thread the baubles onto coloured string so that I would be able to attach them to the tree.
Step 5 – Assemble, hang, put a star on top, and admire:
And the next picture shows the reversible baubles the other way around (I nearly had to wait until Ariel had gone to bed to take this one, because she was very reluctant to make the baubles go “backwards” to hide the glitter!):