Don’t get me wrong, I pretty much love craft projects just for the joy of making something with my own hands. But, to be honest, there are DIY projects that look just like you DIY’ed them, those that turn out as well as something you would buy, and then there are those that turn out to be truly beautiful, unique pieces of art. When I saw these handmade Christmas trees by Shauna Mailloux, I knew they fell into the last category, and I couldn’t wait to try them myself.
There are a hundred ways you could customize these trees. I used a few of Shauna’s ideas and came up with some of my own, browsing the craft store and my own odds and ends. I encourage you to try making your own unique holiday creations!
Like Shauna, I made my own tree bases by rolling cardboard boxes into cones of varying sizes.
Here are the first few trees I made. (With some luck,) I’ll add more later. I call these the “instant gratification” trees, because they were quick and easy. The “blood, sweat, and tears” trees will take a little longer…
Feather boa tree
This is my absolutely favorite of Shauna’s trees. It has a great funky elegance. When i was looking for supplies, I wasn’t sure about the quantities of materials needed, so I’ll list what I used to help you with your sourcing.
For this tree, I used 4ft of feather boa for a 14″ tall tree. It was simple to tuck one end of the boa in the top of the cone and wind it around, securing it with some hot glue once in a while. You can leave quite a bit of space between the rows, since the boa is so fluffy. I used a white cardboard cone, in case any cardboard showed in between the rows.
Eyelash yarn tree
I loved the look of the white boa, but all the other boas at the craft store came in rather non-Christmasy colors. Luckily, this glitter eyelash yarn gives a very similar look!
One ball (0.88oz ; 39 yards) of glitter eyelash yarn covered a 12″ tree. I used two strands (pulled the yarn from both ends) twisted together, as it’s actually very fine yarn. The technique is the same – tuck the end in the top and wind the yarn around, but since the yarn is so fine, I used the toothpick end of my tree topper to help push it inside the cone.
I absolutely love this one, too! The tinsel strands reflect light and make it sparkle. I’ll show how to make the little beaded tree topper below.
And then, there were two!
Cording and braid trees
Not just for Marie Antoinette’s curtains, the trim section of our local craft store had some more great finds. I found some cord in red and also these green and gold braids. Because of the lacy edges of the green and gold braid, I spray-painted the cardboard cones to match first. The rest is the same as the others, sticking the end in the top of the cone and winding around, with hot glue applied along the way.
In terms of supplies,
- the red cord tree used 2.5 yards for a 9.5″ tall cone
- 3 yards of the green covered a 9.5″ high cone, with a few inches to spare
- the gold is a bit narrower, and I used 4 yards to cover a 12″ tree, with some space between the rows, as shown
I also got this idea from Shauna’s trees, though she didn’t explain exactly how she made it, so here’s what I did.
- Glue a large bead onto the end of a toothpick (top left picture below)
- Spread tacky glue over the surface of your large bead (top right picture below)
- Dip your glue-y tree topper into a bowl of small beads (bottom left picture below)
- Insert the toothpick into the top of your tree. Ta-da! (bottom right picture below)
I have some ideas for more tree toppers, though I think that many of the trees look great on their own, too.