Christmas 2013 was a lean holiday for us, with Fernando's unemployment and recovery from back surgery. We had literally no money to spend, which meant that we would not be purchasing a tree for our front living room as we have been doing the last several years. And since we had given away our artificial tree just the year before (and we were blessed to do so!), there would be no tree at all.
But, I happened to spot this image on Pinterest:
Isn't it just the prettiest? When I clicked on the link, it came up empty--no page, no photo, no instruction. Rats. But doesn't it look simple enough to replicate? I thought so, anyway. So I tried. And here's the story... Oh--but first, let me show you how mine turned out, so you don't have to scroll all the way down. For a total craft-less person, I think I did a decent job, and it sure was beautiful hanging on my wall!
Okay, now here's the very short story, since I'll be using photos to show you what I did:
Fernando and I took a walk and gathered fallen tree limbs from neighbors' parkways. I knew my wall was wide and I'd use fewer longer branches. I used five total. Here's the blank wall in our family room:
This wall has been blank for a while!
I also gathered twigs to make a star.
Lay out the branches (above), then trim to your desired lengths (below).
I kept some of the side branches on for effect, just because I liked them that way.
I wanted to decorate the branches with some small pieces of pine bough, so when I asked my sweet neighbor Lorraine if I could borrow her glue gun, she said I could go into her yard and snip whatever I needed from some branches she had recently cut to place over her strawberry plants. Really--we did not sneak in and steal these! ;)
The below was my first attempt at a star, by hot gluing at each tip and a few of the intersections of twigs to make it stay flat. It took me about half an hour to figure out how to make a star shape (told you I don't do crafts). Yes, that's a king size Hershey bar there in the corner. It takes a lot of chocolate to keep this non-craft lady pushing forward with an art project.
I didn't use the above star, and decided to try another. Plus, the blue spruce boughs, though very pretty, have razor-sharp needles. I was thankful to have them, though.
I added a cup of tea with my chocolate. :)
I hot glued little pieces of blue spruce on the star for decoration.
The star was the hardest part for me! Once that was behind me, I started with the actual tree.
Lay out the branches.
Hot gluing pieces of pine on the branches.
Get your hubby to attach the branches together with fishing line. ;)
More hot gluing pine on the branches.
Finally, I used 3M hooks (with Command adhesive) to hang, first the star separately, then the branches.
I figured a strand of 50 white lights would be sufficient. If (that's a big if) I do this again, I'll use a strand of 100. It would look prettier with the lights along each branch instead of zig-zagged from end to end.
Since I collect snowflake ornaments, I got out my silver and gold glitter ones and hung them from my tree. The lights need to be plugged in and shining while you do this, because it's more festive and it feels like it's almost done. Which it was. :)
Another thing to note--if I make this again, I'll just hang each branch individually on the wall. The lights are heavy, and the lights plus the weight of the cord from the bottom branch to the outlet caused the branches to shift/sway to the left, making the overall effect slightly off balance. Fernando said it didn't matter, but it bugged me.
It's January now, so it's time to take down this tree. It was so wonderful to be able to decorate my house just a bit for Christmas, and this tree really helped set the ambiance!
Back to life,
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