How to craft your Christmas tree
Give the trees a rest this Christmas and consider these creative alternatives. There’s a tree for every house, no matter what your style.
Cover coneshaped floral foam with pretty giftwrap and place it in on a cake stand. Use toothpicks to stick small meringues or other sweet treats to the floral foam. Insert a sparkler into the tip and light it just before serving.
Varying the size and typeface, print out numbers 1 to 25 on your computer. Glue the printouts onto cardboard in the colour of your choice – we used black for all the numbers except 24, which is gold, and 25, which is red. Use a craft knife and cut the numbers out of the cardboard. Use double-sided tape to stick them to the wall. Start with number 1 at the bottom and end with 25 at the top. You could also cut the numbers from vinyl for a more well-finished appearance.
Paint the reindeer silhouette onto a trophy shield. Drill two holes where the branch ‘antlers‘ must be attached. Paint two dry branches black, press them through the holes and secure at the back with wire. Cut another reindeer silhouette from black cardboard and glue it to a small box. Glue this over the painted silhouette for a three-dimensional appearance. Hang small Christmas decorations from the reindeer’s antlers and decorate with a paper ribbon at the bottom.
With paper cones
This collection of little trees will look pretty placed on a side table. Choose a few different sorts of scrapbooking paper and draw half circles on them in various sizes. Cut the half circles out, roll them into cone shapes and stick them together on the inside with double-sided tape.
With fairy lights
Use your digital camera to photograph a beautiful tree. Have the photo printed on a mounted canvas. Take your craft knife and make tiny holes in the canvas where you want the fairy lights to be. Push the lights through the canvas from the back. Connect the electric cable, hang the picture and switch the lights on.
Decorate a dry branch with crystal beads and glass baubles hanging from pink ribbon. Photocopy pictures of ballerinas on white paper and cut them out. Use pearl-headed pins to attach the pictures to ribbons.
With dowels and ribbon
Cut a dowel into lengths of 20cm, 30cm and 40cm. Fold a 2m-long strip of ribbon in half and use double-sided tape to affix the sticks to the inside. Use a drop of strong glue to strengthen. Use ribbon to hang biscuits or other decorations from the sticks – be sure to make both sides the same or else the tree will be lopsided.
From old books
Go and dig around in second-hand bookshops for some old books. Fold each page diagonally in half so that the book looks like a Christmas tree. You can also use your craft knife to cut a small tree from the books.
From cardboard boxes
Line the bottom of small cardboard boxes and ice-cream containers with pretty giftwrap or scrapbooking paper. Use a glue gun to stick the boxes and containers to each other in the shape of a Christmas tree. Decorate the tree by inserting a small gift into each of the containers.