I’d love to have a majestic tree in a foyer reaching several stories high but since we live in a cottage–without a foyer–it isn’t going to happen. Instead, we have to go with a table-top tree. After I turned in my grades last Friday, I went to run a few errands. One of them was to pick up a tree. But there were none to be found except for the rosemary bushes that have been trimmed in the shape of a tree. We’ve gone down that path before and I didn’t want to do it again this year. To be fair to the tree people, I was late in seeking out a table-top tree so it is my own fault that they were already sold out of them (I knew I should have gone tree shopping instead of grading end-of-the-semester papers! *chuckle*). The nicer table-top artificial trees were also gone. And The Mister put the kibosh on an aluminum tree I was eyeballing. He correctly pointed out that the one I was looking at within our price point was just tacky, ugly, and poorly made.
What is a glamorous mid-century woman to do? Why, turn to Pinterest, of course! While looking for ideas, I came across tutorials for popular mid-century craft trees that I thought you’d enjoy. So, without further ado, here are three vintage-inspired Christmas trees to make:
Tulle Vintage-Inspired Christmas Tree To Make
In 1958, Sears offered a “new kind of Christmas tree” made out of “glamorous nylon net.” You could buy this “pre-cut, ready to assemble” tree in 3, 4, or 5-feet versions with prices ranging from $12.97-24.97. But you don’t need a kit! This project is fairly easy because it basically entails cutting rectangles out of tulle or net, folding them in half, and then basting along the folded edge. After it has been basted, the rectangle is gathered, the thread ends are tied off and then the circle is placed on a dowel. Depending upon the type of netting you get (netting is more coarse, tulle is more refined), this can be a very inexpensive project if you take advantage of half-priced coupons. I think this would be a good afternoon project for mid-elementary children and older.
Starburst Vintage-Inspired Christmas Tree To Make
As a child in the 1960s, my mother’s starburst Christmas tree would be unveiled after Thanksgiving. I’m sure I realized it was made out of toothpicks but I was still fascinated by this white-painted and flocked tree that would emerge from the bag it was stored in for safekeeping. With five kids and all of their friends, I’m not sure how many years her tree survived. I should ask her.
I’m pretty sure that my mother’s version was spray-painted and then flocked with spray-can flocking. Anyway, since we now know the dangers of huffing spray paint, Crafts ‘n Coffee has a nice tutorial on how to make this vintage-inspired Christmas tree using paint, Mod Podge, and micro-glitter.
Magazine Vintage-Inspired Christmas Tree to Make
And, speaking of huffing spray paint, I think almost every Baby Boomer made a Christmas tree out of an old Reader’s Digest and spray painted it gold before decorating it as a school project. It was fast, easy, and most importantly, cheap. Reader’s Digest even has a tutorial for making Christmas trees on their website! In our house, we had the tree but we also made angels out of the folded magazines by adding Styrofoam ball heads, pipe cleaner halos, and paper wings. You could also make a forest for your mantle by using magazines of various sizes. When Baby Boomers were making these by the magazine rack-full, magazines were much thicker than modern magazines. You may need to use several to get the fullness you desire. Since this project is basically just folding down pages before an adult spray paints it, this project is ideal for younger children.
Have you made any of these types of Christmas trees? What was your experience like?
Oh, yes. We ended up ordering a highly-rated artificial tree to replace the one that got lost two moves ago. It should arrive today.