DIY Christmas Decor: Faux Tree Repurposed 3 Ways
Learn how to make Christmas decorations from an old fake Christmas tree. Outdoor Christmas garland, swag and an alpine tree – DIY Christmas decor at its finest!
On a recent trip to the dump, I found a boxed fake Christmas tree at Put & Take. Greg didn’t want to take it, as there was a note on the box telling that it had some missing parts.
Thinking that a branch or two might be missing, we took it home. Then came the slow realization, LOL!
H: You see! I was right! It’s only missing some branches. No big deal! 🙂
G: Awesome, my Babes!
H: (shortly after) Oh golly!
G: What’s wrong?
H: Yeah, I think it’s also missing the trunk. Oh well, I guess I can work with that. 😕
G: It’s okay, my Babes. [whispers] I told you so…
H: What the heck?? The branches are from two different types of tree!
G: [whispers louder] I told you so! [yelling upstairs to our son] Hey boy! Come down and look at your mother’s new Christmas branch! Bwahahahahah!
While Greg and Barish were having a great laugh and yammering on about Charlie Brown’s scrawny tree, I was waiting for a light bulb to switch on over my head. And oh boy! Did it light ever so bright!
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DIY Christmas Decor: How to Make Christmas Decorations from an old faux Christmas tree
DIY Christmas decor is what we’re all about here at The Navage Patch, and one of the first things I did when we moved to The States was teach myself how to make Christmas decorations from whatever we had lying around or whatever we could find at the dump. Money was tight, so buying them was not an option! In later years, we found that making our own decorations gave us much more joy than buying them, and this little tree was going to give us three awesome decorations!
I planned to repurpose the faux Christmas tree to an outdoor Christmas garland. With that idea in mind, I set to work, and not only did I make a lovely outdoor Christmas garland from it, but also two clip-on Christmas swags for our garage (click on page 2 to see the Christmas swags tutorial), and a faux 8-foot-tall Alpine Christmas tree for our living room (click on page 3 to see the alpine tree tutorial.)
After making all that, I still have more than enough branches to make some small pathway trees, two big kissing balls and a couple more swags. I guess when I finish the rest, I’ll help Greg and Barish picking their jaws up from the floor. LOL. 😆
Outdoor Christmas Garland
Luckily, one group of branches was color-coded for length and branch size, so before doing anything, I grouped them according to their codes. Then I picked the group that had the most branches. I also grabbed 3 packs of Dollar Store garland (cheap single-line pine garland – 1$ each) and all the old Christmas lights Mom and Dad had given us.
First, I opened and flattened the branches, as shown in the picture below.
Then, I bent the end of the steel stems with a black steel pipe to give them a hook shape.
Next, I placed them on top of each other in a way to have each branch pointing the opposite way – do you see picture below? The reason for each branches pointing opposite ways was so I could have a connection point to link every piece to each other.
After positioning them correctly, I wrapped the Dollar Store pine garland to tie the two branches together. While I was at it, I also wrapped the garland to the areas where the steel stem was showing.
Once I prepared a good number of these pieces, I connected the pieces by hooking them to each other.
To secure the connection points, Greg bent those hooks even more.
You can see from the picture below how the connection points were after Greg secured them. I have to say, he did a great job with that, so he earned some extra ‘Good hubby‘ points. Hehehehe 😉
When all the connection points were secured, I again wrapped them with a single line of cheap garland just to hide the steel hooks, and with that the main structure of the garland was basically finished.
To make them look better, I wrapped the Christmas lights onto the branches.
Once I finished adding lights, I embellished the garlands with a red deco poly mesh ribbon I bought from Walmart.
In case you are wondering, I only made two big pieces of garlands with the Put & Take tree branches. The third garland you see in the above picture is made from plain pre-lit garlands (the four I already had in storage), because I needed something light to put on the overhead arch of the portico.
Before I forget, do you know how easy it was to hang my DIY garlands? Well, you know the ones I made had hook-shaped ends (remember the picture above?), so Greg just put one screw on each of the vertical faces and hooked the garlands on those screws. That’s how easy it was! I didn’t even have to move a muscle 😉
Then I went up and put the curved section’s garland in place.
Here are the beauty shots of our DIY outdoor Christmas garland.
Can you believe that this was a faux Christmas tree at one point? Pretty amazing how everything can get repurposed if we are willing to give some time and love to it!
Now let’s make some easy-peasy clip-on swags with some branches of our faux Christmas tree, shall we?
Click on ‘Next’ below to continue with the clip-on swags tutorial.
Really nice, Handan! Very imaginative. Hope the boys ate a little crow for laughing at you. 😉
Thank you so much, Grace! Lol. Oh it was nice to see their expression after we hung the DiY outdoor Christmas garland 😀
Finally !! for a couple of years i was looking for somethings rigid to put around my doors but in a store the ones that you buy does not bend easily and it s all crooked. Thanks for this simple but genius idea. !
You’re very welcome! I’m glad you liked the idea 🙂
Handan, you guys always amaze me with how you put things together, your porch is beautiful and I love the tree you made for insde!!! Would love to have you share your home on #OMHGFF http://ohmyheartsiegirl.com/friday-feature-linky-party-45/
Have a great weekend, Happy Holidays!!
Thank you so much, Karren! I would love to share it as I love your party!! 🙂
Thank you so much, Robyn! 😀
What creativity! I’m just amazed at it all and LOVE every bit of it too!! GREAT JOB!!
Oh thank you so much for your lovely comment, Linda! 😀
I am sure if santa reads this post, he will hire you both to decorate his house next year xx merry Christmas
Lol. If that could happen I would be totally up for it, but I am not sure about our Grinch 😀 Merry Christmas to you and to your family too!! xx
You go girl!!!!The decorations looks amazing and that alpine tree is to die for. I want one!!!
Thank you so much, Michelle! Yes, the Alpine tree is my favorite! Guess what we named it? ‘Charlie Brown’s scrawny tree’ hahahaha 😀
That’s an amazing save and repurpose. It all looks so gorgeous and even better that you can enjoy it!!
Thank you so much, Amy! Oh we love how our portico looks now! It took me 4 days to get it all done, but the time given to all was so worth it 🙂
Hmmmm — I have a fake tree in my attic — which project will i do…… Thanks for sharing on the Pleasures of the NW’s DIY Party!
Thank you so much, Helen! Next week I will be sharing even more…thank you for hosting that wonderful party! 🙂
Wow, I have to admit I was skeptical how you were going to get all that out of one faux Christmas tree but you did and judging from the photo of the assembled alpine tree, have more branches to spare. Very clever way to make a strong garland for your portico. It all looks so beautiful and what a story to share to your guests about the old dilapidated Christmas tree that kept on giving. Merry Christmas!!
Thank you so much, Marie! Merry Christmas to you and your family, too! 🙂
I love all three ideas. I am definitely going to try the swag as I never use the bottom row of branches on our tree. Thanks for the great idea!
Thank you so much, Kristal! The bottom row of branches indeed would make the best candidates for swags, because they would be slightly bigger and fuller 😉
B R I L L I A N T !!!
Thank you very much, Cha!! 🙂
Your tree is so much nicer looking than so many fake trees. It’s got soul. I glued bark around my fake tree and use a stand similar to the one you built. My cats love it!!!!!!!
Oh wow, Nancy! That is a brilliant idea! If I happen to find another faux tree (of course I will make sure to check if it has a trunk next time) I will definitely try your idea 😉
My Dad has the same tree and when we replace it with a new one next year, I’m going to use the branches to make the swags and garland! Beautiful job.
Awesome! I am sure they all will look so beautiful! When you finish them can you post a picture or two on our Facebook page? I would love to feature it!! 🙂
That was the very first post I have read Word for Word top to bottom, your creativity is awesome and I loved everything and your Alpine tree is also my favorite.
I like it with just the star.
Thanks for sharing your great ideas.
Thank you very much, Brenda! I am indeed humbled by your wonderful compliment!! 🙂
I love all of your projects here – especially the swags, as I have two garage lights that I haven’t been able to figure out yet. Now I do!
Off-topic question – What is on top of your lamp (that is standing next to your Alpine tree)? And what is it’s purpose? For the life of me, I can’t figure that one out! 🙂
Thank you so much, Laura! Oh that is our wi-fi router, lol… Hopefully when Greg starts building the media cabinet for our living room, it will have a better nesting place 😉
Loved this. I’ve also used the branches in my outside flower pots. Add some plastic big ornaments and battery operated lights.
Oooh, good idea! 🙂
Absolutely LOVE your creativity!!! So beautiful!!
Thank you so much, Erika! 🙂
Your alpine tree is so perfect. The white garland with trees and reindeer is adorable. Where did it come from?
Thank you so much, Susan! I bought the garland long ago from Ramstore (a store similar to Stop&Shop) in Kazakhstan…it has to be at least 8-9 years old if not more. Originally it had black leather string, but over the years that started break from here and there, so I had to redo it with red, white & black baker’s string and sometime later strengthened it with chunky white yarn 🙂
Wow! You have some great ideas! Thanks for linking up for Friday Favorites. I’m featuring you this week!
Oh wow! Thank you so much, Jerri! 😀
Great repurposing Handan. I love the tree it looks like something out of Dr. Seuss. But now my daughter is looking over my shoulder and says I’m wrong. It is more like Tim Burton’s style. Anyway I want to wish you and Greg Happy Holidays.
Thank you so much, Mary! Merry Christmas to you and to your family too!!
This is all so creative! What talent you both have for taking ordinary and making it extraordinary! Your outdoor decor is wonderful and the tree looks great, too! Thanks for sharing at Snickerdoodle. I’ll be featuring this at tomorrow’s party.
That is awesome! Thank you so much, Beverly! 🙂
Love it. Have used old tress for numerous things. I know what you are talking about. Very pretty.
Thank you so much, Lois! 🙂
WOW! You guys are awesome! Love your projects.
Thank you so much, Stephanie! 🙂
Ok…so I have had a “spare” 6 foot tall faux Christmas tree that I bought for $2.50 at the end of the season, a few seasons ago, that I did not want to pass up but had no idea what to make of it. THANK YOU! I now have a few choices. (I love all of the projects that I have seen you and the Hubster create – not just these).
Awesome! I am so glad you liked our projects, Alecia! 🙂
WHAT a super idea!!! I just found this link from Pinterest (I LURVE Pinterest for finding hidden gems like this!) You guys are super resourceful! 🙂
Thank you so much for your lovely words, April! It makes us so happy to receive comments like yours! 🙂
Saw this from Pinterest … great idea to salvage trashed trees.
How do you store it? Can it just fold at the links?
Thank you so much, Tsu! I store the garland in a plastic storage bin. Something like this: http://amzn.to/2BQjJtG. It doesn’t really fold at the links but it bends enough, so it fits into a storage bin.
Haha, the same thing happened to me! Brought the tree home and it was missing the trunk, base and top. No wonder the box was so light. I’m going to give this alpine tree a try, I love the way it turned out. Very clever!
LOL – Thank you so much, Collette! 🙂
Lovethe swags! What size bell and sprays did u purchase from the web link u added?
Thanks, they r beautiful!!
Thank you so much, Sharon! Here is the link to the exact bell spray: http://fave.co/2sV2eIF. 🙂
Just wondering how many branches did you use? My husband cut me some tree trunks today and hopefully I can start asseembling soon. Love yours!!
Hi Julie, sorry for the late reply – I used 1 on top, then 2 on each row. I made the rows alternating so the 2 branches would cover more area without crowding the look. The number of the rows will depend on how tall you want your tree to be – somewhere around the middle of my branch, I stopped adding more rows. I hope this info helps!
You’ve got great ideas. Love the swag gonna try it?
Thank you so much, Rebecca! 🙂
It’s 2018 and I’m just seeing this posting and I LUV it! You did a fantastic job decorating that immense portico (with Greg, of course)! I’ll be looking for discarded trees this year to make the swags next year; THANK YOU for sharing.
Thank you so much, Donnamarie! I love those swags the most – they are so easy to hang over on our lanterns and they look awesome! 🙂
I love this!! I’m so glad I didn’t throw away my old Christmas tree! I’ve already made the body of the swags and I’m waiting for the sleigh bell sprays to be delivered. (I ordered them for the link you provided because they’re perfect). I’m sure once I post the finished project, I’ll be asked by my family and friends to make them some.
Thank you so much, Debra! Please send a picture to us when you finish it, as I’d love to see it! 🙂
That’s fantastic!! Great job!
Thank you, Crystal! 🙂
Thank you so much, Crystal! 🙂
Wow, what a great idea to turn it into an outdoor garland! My old tree is going to need to be retired in a couple years, but I plan to put it out on the back deck off the dining room outside to add some cheer there. I’ll have to keep my eye out for other castoff trees to turn into garland. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you, Michelle! 🙂
I am, just now in 2020, seeing your amazing transformation of a boxed Christmas tree with missing parts. You are fantastic innovator! I can’t wait to go to my thrift store and get a Christmas tree. I want to make those garlands. Your home looked so pretty.
Hoy me alegre mucho de ver tus videos. Soy de Colombia y no habia visto esta clase de árbol, alguien me hizo un regalo con adornos y todo y me encanto, Era el 15 de septiembre del 2021 y tan pronto llegue a la casa lo que hice fue ponerme a armar el árbol. Lo unico que sabia era que iba por tamaños y colores. Lo arme, pero quede como inconforme y eso que dure casi 1/2 dia. Lo desarme todo y compre alambres delgados y de colores y lo marque uno a uno nuevamente cada paquete, y termine. Luego le puse luces led blancas muchas. Y comencé con adornos. Quede exhausta. Les cuento ya no volvi a desarmar el árbol, así lo tengo en la sala con todo. De vez en vez lo miro, le cambio algo, le pongo algo, La verdad me alegra verlo en mi sala. Pero el cuento es que veo tus videos, y algo que deje fue una parte completa de hojas de abajo, las mas grandes, y que creen voy a adornar el balcón como tu lo hiciste, no voy a doblar varillas sino a comprar amarres, pongo luces, y bolas creo yo, pero te sigo tu idea. Gracias. O mejor a ambos. Gracias Adios. Marleny de Colombia. Un abrazo y que tengan una feliz navidad 2021 y venturoso año 2022. Le pido a Dios que lo pueda ver en Diciembre también.
Hola Marleny, ¡Me alegra que hayas encontrado útil nuestro blog! Espero que tenga un hermoso árbol de Navidad este año. Les deseamos una muy Feliz Navidad y un Próspero Año Nuevo. ¡Por favor, manténgase a salvo y saludable!
HA! Hubby wanted to chuck out my poor little ‘half of it missing’ Christmas trees I have been hoarding…I mean saving. They shall have a Christmas rebirth now. Thank you for sharing these great ideas. Any more ideas…I do have three trees and no large entry way arch to fill in.
Ha! Never give up hope for those hoarded stragglers! We’ll keep our thinking caps on for new ideas!
Great idea thank you for posting!
Lady, you are the “Queen”!!! I bow to your DIY-ness!!! I love the idea of your garland as I, too have a very tall entryway (although mine is just straight across at the top). I’m going to be on the lookout for a crap-load of tree parts!!!
Thanks for sharing! 😀