Guest Post How-to: Create An Inexpensive Mini-Christmas Tree

As the winter holidays near, children both young and old start thinking of presents, decorating the tree and travel plans. For those of us who plan on staying at home and enjoying the company of family and friends, enjoyment of decorating the house might war with expenses often incurred during the holiday. Fortunately, low-cost options exist through simple and fun craft activities that can involve the whole family. Kids especially can enjoy many easy projects that keep them occupied and happy. These child-oriented crafts are tailored specifically for them.

DIY Mini-Christmas Trees

All you need for this craft activity is a cardboard roll, such as those from paper towels or toilet paper, depending on the height of the trees you desire. The higher the tree, however, the more pipe cleaners you need, which is the second item on the list. You might also use some tinsel, stringed popcorn and small ornaments.

Some families create mini forests of Christmas trees and use one small-bulb string of lights draped carefully across and around each tree.

Additional items needed include aluminum foil, wire cutters to trim pipe cleaners, colored construction paper if desired or markers or crayons.

Take one bare cardboard roll and cover it in one solid color. This will be the trunk of your Christmas tree, and while actual trunks are brown, if you wish to include winter and winter-holiday pictures on the trunk, a lighter color might be more appropriate. After the trunk is colored, decorate with pictures and symbols as you wish.

Next, take one pipe cleaner and snip it into four equal pieces; color if desired. Carefully insert one end about 0.25 inches into the bottom of the trunk about 0.25 inches from the bottom. Rotate one-fourth of the way around. Repeat until you have your tree brace fully inserted. Carefully bend the pipe cleaner to rest inside and outside along the trunk; splay all four outer legs out until the trunk can stand upright steadily.

Bend one end of full-length pipe cleaners and insert the bent end then rotate so the inner brace holds the pipe cleaner. Repeat and place in a random row and build your tree branches upward, trimming each row of pipe cleaner branches to a smaller size before inserting. By the mid-way point, you may be able to use your trimmed portions as the upper, shorter branches.

Decorate your mini Christmas tree with small, lightweight decorations, bulbs and ornaments you can create yourself. After designing and creating each decoration, use small, bent paperclip as your tree hooks.

Add small strands of tinsel, popcorn, candy canes and lights as you desire and display proudly as a centerpiece, on a bookshelf or table!

Making Lightweight Ornamental Figurines

Using either thin, flat cardboard, tin foil or construction paper, cut the media into the shape desired. Decorate with pictures, colors and glittered or sequined designs. Carefully insert one end of a small paperclip through the top center of the ornament and rotate the clip around until the decoration rests on the inner-most loop. Bending the other end outward only slightly, hang your ornament on the mini-tree you created.

To create a star for the top of the tree, use tin foil and fold or cut a star. Using more than one layer adds stability. Using a small cone from folded paper, pinch the top flat and connect to the back of the star. Use the bottom of the cone to seat the star atop your tree.

Congratulations! You’ve created your own DIY mini-Christmas tree and saved a fair amount of money on commercial decorations!

Article by João Mortalha. João is part of the Coupon Croc team that works hard to find the best deals, coupons and discount vouchers so that you can save money.

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