- green silk garland that has a metal core
- good quality heavy-duty wire cutting pliers
- measuring tape
- sharp, but not expensive scissors because you may accidentally catch the wire core while trimming
- gloves to protect your hand from getting scraped by the wire
- optional duct tape - I know, but it works and it will be covered!
- brown floral tape or plain brown paper such as a grocery sack and hotglue gun
- a sturdy stand for the dowel - I used a metal container filled with landscape stones. Other ideas - large bowl, crockery or other container filled with cat litter** or heavy iron ornate tree stand...
- 1 wooden dowel 3/4" or so in diameter, 4 feet long See Collage
Tip: it is better to make each cut LONGER because you can always trim away.
Tier 1 - bottom tier. CAREFULLY using your wire-cutting pliers, cut six -12" long pieces from the main trunk. Straighten. CAREFULLY trim the greenery down to about 1/4 inch of the metal center - it's a little messy, but this is what makes it primitive looking. You should have six pipe-cleaner looking stems at least 12" long. Set aside. Photo 2 under collage shows a less expensive branch with the top half trimmed short and a plush garland that I used before trimming down.
Now cut twelve pieces that are 6" long. Straighten and trim greenery. These will be referred to as "end stems." Photos 3.
About 1 1/2" from the tip of each 12" piece, attach one of the 6" pieces by holding one end, looping around the branch once and pull, straightening out other end. Make sure its fairly even on either side. About 2" in from the first set, attach a second set of end stems onto branches (as shown). It resembles a old TV antenna. Photo 4
Tier 2 Cut six 10" long pieces. Straighten. Trim. Cut twelve - 5" long end stem pieces. Straighten. Trim. Attach first end stems about 1 1/2" from outer tip. Move in another 1" or so and twist on second end stems. Lay aside.
Tier 3 Cut six - 6" long branches and only six - 4" end stems. Straighten and trim. Attach one end stem per branch about 1 1/2" from end in the same manner as above.
Tier 4 Cut six - 4 1/2" long branches and six - 3 1/2" end stems. Straighten and trim. Attach each end stem about 1 1/2" from end of branch.
Tier 5 Cut six 4" long branches. Straighten and trim. Do not cut any end stems.
Tier 6 (top) Cut six 3" long branches. Straighten and trim. Do not cut any end stems.
Prepare: Bend each branch end, opposite of stem end, as follows: Tier 1 bend each branch down 3 inches. Tier 2 bend down 2 inches. Tier 3 bend 1 1/2 inches. Tiers 4-6 bend down 1 inch. photo 5 under collage
Attach Branches: About 18" from bottom of dowel, duct tape the six - 12" branch bent-sections onto dowel, spacing evenly. Don't worry about the nub or bump now.
Attach Tier 2 about 6-7" up from Tier 1. Continue up the dowel spacing Tiers 3 through 6 about 4" apart vertically.
Wrap entire dowel with brown floral wrap which sticks to itself as it's stretched...or use wrinkled brown paper torn into narrow uneven strips. Do this however is easiest for you to cover dowel. CAREFULLY hot-glue the paper around dowel.
This hides the stems and resembles bark. You can also dry brush some blackish-brown paint on the paper to give it a bark look (the messier the better).
Another idea is to cover the dowel with grayish lichen or Birch bark! If you used the bent branch method, you can "build" up the rest of the dowel to be even with the bump caused by branches by using more paper in between tiers. I didn't, but will if I remake this tree.
Secure tree in container. **If using cat litter fill, put tree dowel in container. Add cat litter until full. Add water to the litter, which hardens the clay. Push on litter until dowel is firmly in place!
Hang vintage ornaments (which i don't have any of yet) and enjoy the fruit of your labor! This was my first attempt, and so I put icicles on it (not shown) --- icicles hide all imperfections. *wink*
If you have a question or suggestion, please feel free to email me.