Make an easy table­top Christ­mas tree

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

FOR those who cel­e­brate Christ­mas, a tree is a big part of the hol­i­day. How­ever, not ev­ery­one has enough space to dis­play and store a large, ar­ti­fi­cial tree. Peo­ple liv­ing in se­niors’ hous­ing, for in­stance, may only have a small room or apart­ment where space is at a pre­mium. Then there are those who just want to live lighter and pre­fer to cel­e­brate the sea­son in a pared­down fash­ion. Per­haps you’re a renter and need to pack light. In th­ese in­stances, a small table­top Christ­mas tree might be the an­swer to a space or life­style dilemma. That doesn’t mean you have to pur­chase a table­top tree. You can make one for your­self or a loved one with items you prob­a­bly have around the house or can pur­chase in­ex­pen­sively at a dol­lar store or thrift shop. This sim­ple project makes a nice gift for a se­nior, as a host­ess gift or for a sec­ond tree for an­other room in the home. All you need is: Five wire coat hangers of sim­i­lar size. About six me­tres of gar­land of your de­sired colour. One set of mini-lights. Minia­ture dec­o­ra­tions (if de­sired). Elec­tri­cian’s tape. Hot glue gun. Start by snip­ping off the hook part of each hanger. You can do this sim­ply by grab­bing the base of the hook with pli­ers and bend­ing the wire back and forth un­til it snaps off. Re­mov­ing the hook sec­tion will make putting the base of the tree to­gether a lit­tle eas­ier but is not ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary. Make the base by tap­ing the hangers in a pyra­mid shape us­ing elec­tri­cian’s tape. You are try­ing to cre­ate a five­pointed star base. Be sure to space the ‘legs’ evenly so that the base stands straight. At this point, the tree isn’t very at­trac­tive but that’s okay be­cause the base will not be vis­i­ble once the project is com­plete. The next step is to at­tach the lights. Plug them in to test them be­fore you be­gin. Un­plug the lights and tape the mini-lights evenly spaced around the out­side of the base start­ing from the bot­tom, be­ing sure to leave enough of the cord end so that the tree will be able to be plugged in. Us­ing a hot glue gun, glue the end of the gar­land start­ing at the top of the tree and wind it around the tree, glu­ing it pe­ri­od­i­cally, un­til the gar­land is used up and the tree is full. Plug in the lights again and ad­just them so they are vis­i­ble and bal­anced vis­ually. Un­plug the lights. Use hot glue to at­tach what­ever dec­o­ra­tions you can find as de­sired. I made sim­ple plaid bows from a length of plaid lac­ing I found at a thrift store and some mini-ornaments, but you can use small balls, beads, pine cones, small-framed pho­to­graphs, vin­tage jew­elry or what­ever suits your tastes. You can cus­tom­ize a tree for ev­ery­one from a seam­stress to a teacher sim­ply by the ornaments you de­cide to use. Voila! Your table­top tree is com­plete and will make a great gift for you or some­one you love this hol­i­day sea­son. The trees are sim­ple to store be­cause they are light and small and easy to set up again next sea­son. Sim­ply plug in and enjoy. Wish­ing you and yours the best of the hol­i­days from my home to yours.

PHO­TOS BY CON­NIE OLIVER / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

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