Sunday, 15 December 2013

Stick Christmas tree ...

This isn't a new idea, I've seen a few different takes on Christmas trees made from sticks, but as it's so easy to do and it's also very cheap I thought I'd get in on the act, well why not ?

Here's my effort -

I'm thinking rustic.

As the title says, it's basically a Christmas tree made of sticks, in this case Buddleja, I've used eleven pieces in all, I usually keep any sticks I prune to make things out of, like frames and other things.

To make this one I used an off cut from my wood turning exploits, a piece of 6mm dowel (left over from another project) a bit of hot glue, and a small piece of copper wire and I made a star for it from some pewter sheet we got from freecycle ages ago, so the cost to make this is about 50 pence, that's taking into consideration the dowel and a couple of blobs of hot glue, everything else was free.

The base - 

It was a bit bigger than  I wanted, so I cut some off.

Next I drilled a hole into the centre, this is to hold the dowel, which I secured with a bit of hot glue.

The base with dowel fixed -

I used a 7mm drill bit for the hole.

The next step is to cut the lengths of stick that will make up the body of the tree, and this is as simple as it sounds, as I had a rough idea of what I wanted the tree to look like, I cut the stick out in pairs of equal length so that I could form the cross shapes, I started at 6 inches and decreased the length by 1 inch at a time.

Stick cut and the centres of each bit marked out for drilling -

It sort of looks like a Christmas tree already.

Next I drilled out a 7mm hole in the middle of each stick so that I could slide them onto the dowel, with the last bit of stick I only drilled into it half way, this is because it acts like a cap to stop the other bits being pulled off the tree, it also gave me some where to fix the star.

Sticks arranged on the dowel - 

Sort of tree like.

Once I had the sticks arranged in the right order I then marked the dowel so that I could cut of what I didn't need, I found it easier to do this way as I wasn't quite sure how tall it was going to end up.

Dowel marked ready for cutting - 

I marked it just above the last bit of stick.

And here it is with the last bit of stick in place - 

Now all it needs is a star.

I was going to leave it bare, but decided a small star for the top was needed, if I had left it bare the kids would have told me it was wrong and needed a star.

The star is just 2 bits of pewter sheet stuck onto a small bit of copper wire, the pewter we got from freecycle ages ago, and copper wire can be found in most electrical items, we get a lot of ours from dead electrical stuff, especially from transformers, which most things have, radios, pc power supplies etc.

Because the pewter is quite thin I was able to use one of those paper stamps, the ones that cut shapes out of paper to cut out the star, and then I just used a little glue to hold the two star shapes together with the wire in between them, to fix the star to the tree I just drilled a small hole in the top of the tree and pushed the wire into it.

The star - 

It does make the tree look better.

Not everyone will have a bit of pewter sheet lying about, so cardboard painted silver would be just as good, or a small bit of wood cut into a star shape, you could even use an old tin can to cut out the star shape, if I'm honest I didn't want to mess about with paints and such like, so I just went for the pewter as I knew it would be quicker, which is a bit lazy I know.

And here's the finished tree with it's new family - 

The newest member of my wife's tree collection.

I did fix each section of the tree into place with a bit of hot glue, but my wife said it might have been better to leave them, that way the kids could move it about and mess about organising the sticks into different patterns and such like, you could even make a game of it, it's actually a good and easy project for kids to try themselves, so why not have a go ?

Thanks for reading.

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