In our home this year the budget has been tight as we've been renovating our new space. (It's an old church that we're turning into a home.) So instead of spending money on a live tree, we decided to build one from the scrap lumber we had laying around... and by one, I mean two. They're 10' tall and were completed in a single evening!
When we moved into our space, the entryway was full of the previous owners' used scrap lumber. There were all sorts of different pieces. We've slowly been using it, but my need to decorate for the holidays (no matter how much renovation we're undergoing!) took over.
Along with the help of my sister-in-law (she's the true Christmas elf in the family), we took random boards outside and gathered all the bits of green spray paint we had left in the house. It was bitter cold, so we had to paint fast (though acrylic or milk paint would work just fine!) and soon they were dry.
We brought them inside and started mixing and matching with the different lengths of boards. The bonus to buying an old church is that your living room is large enough to accommodate the building of two 10' trees on the floor (without having to move any furniture... score!). Why two? Because I could and why do anything normal? Go big or go home, right? Plus, they flank either side of the archway that goes up to the kitchen area.
Once the boards were in order, we started getting down to business. We hammered several hundred small picture nails and pins into the boards to hold the ornaments securely in place. Then we fastened each board to the main trunk. If I had a smaller home and storage space I would have used screws to fasten them all down (so I could undo them for easy storage), but truth be told, we used nails and screws both, whatever random bits of hardware we had on hand from previous projects around the home.
Since thrifty was the name of the game this year, I used the two strings of lights I already owned, one per tree. It makes things a little Charlie Brown in nature, but I rather like it. It's still enough to provide a glow at night without needing sunglasses. The walls behind the two trees are unpainted, unfinished and the whole space is still under major renovation, but these two haphazard trees actually fit right in amidst the chaos.
All I was looking for was a temporary tree (or two), since I've always been a true live tree girl at heart, I really wasn't expecting to love them as much as I do! We completed the project, including waiting for paint to dry in just a few hours and has to be my favorite Christmas craft (or should I say construction) project to date!
Related: 10 Alternative Christmas Trees
(Image: Sarah Rae Trover. Originally published 2010-12-10)