Repurposing at its best: learn how to repurpose a faux Christmas tree into a 34-foot-long outdoor Christmas garland, 2 clip-on Christmas swags and an Alpine Christmas tree.
Decorating our home for the holidays is never an easy task for us. We don’t want to spend a fortune on holiday decor, and our house has a bit of an unconventional shape – it has its odd spots, weird corners and difficult areas more than most houses would have.
Take our portico, for example…do you see the red line I added to the picture below? I can’t put anything on that face, as it will mess up the symmetry of the porch lights, and hence it won’t look right.
That leaves me with the option of hanging garlands to the inner face of those columns, which creates other issues – anything you hang there flies off with the slightest wind.
Do you remember the 6 foot garlands I used for my JOY wreath? I actually bought six of those, as I wanted to use them on our portico two years ago. But when we tried to hang them, the only garlands that stayed in their places were the ones attached to the arch of the portico. Anything on the vertical faces just flew away. After picking the garlands off our lawn, I understood that those horizontal areas needed some sort of heavy and strong garland that wouldn’t budge in the wind. But where to find such a heavy and strong garland, right? Hence, we gave up on the idea and used two of those garlands to make my JOY wreath. The four remaining garlands were still in storage waiting for me to use.
Another problem with our portico is it’s size! It is rather big…I mean like really big!…or maybe I look like a shrimp when standing in the doorway, so I think it is big. Anyway… you decide: the total length of that inner face is 34 feet – the horizontal parts are 11 feet each, and the curved part is 12 feet. That means I would need approximately six 6-foot-garlands. As a single row of garland won’t cover the inner face, we would have to double the number of garlands, which would make twelve 6-foot-garlands. With the current pre-lit garland prices, putting any garland on our portico would cost a fortune. As I said, decorating our home for the holidays is never an easy task for us.
But, you know what? Despite all its weird corners and odd areas, we love our home, because it is our first house ever! Therefore, instead of itching and bitching about it, we always try to make it work for us, which usually means coming up with weird solutions – like repurposing a faux Christmas tree into an outdoor Christmas garland, hahahaha :-D.
As you may remember, our latest Put & Take find was a faux Christmas tree. Greg didn’t want to take it as the note on the box said 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. Not a big deal! 🙂
G: Awesome, my Babes!
H: (shortly after) Oh!?!…
H: Yeah…I think it is also missing the main body….I mean the trunk…oh well, I guess I can work with that. 😕
G: It’s okay, my Babes…
H: (shortly after) Really??? Bummer!! (The branches were two different types. They definitely didn’t belong to the same tree.) Now what to do??…
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!
I was going to repurpose the faux Christmas tree to an outdoor Christmas garland. With the idea, I immediately got 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 will also be helping Greg and Barish to pick their jaws up from the floor. LOL. 😆
Now, are you ready to see how I made all these things from a box of faux pine branches? Excellent! But let me warn you, this will again be a long post, since it has 3-posts-worth of tutorials in it. 😉
Now that the “long post” warning is out of the way, let’s start with the DIY outdoor Christmas garland first, shall we?
Repurposing A Faux Christmas Tree To A DIY Outdoor Christmas Garland
Luckily, one type of the branches had a color code depending on the length and the size of the branch, so before doing anything, I started grouping them according to their color 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 gave to us.
First, I started opening and flattening the branches, as shown in the picture below.
Then, I started bending the end of the steel stems with the help of 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 branch pointing the opposite way was so I could have a connection point to link every piece to each other.
After positioning them correctly, I started wrapping the Dollar Store pine garland to tie the two branches to each other. Since I was at it, I carried on wrapping it also to the areas where the steel stem was showing.
Once I prepared a good number of these pieces, I started connecting the pieces by hooking them to each other.
To secure the connection points, Greg bent those hooks even more. [They weren’t screwing around when they made this tree. Those steel stems are strong! Even with pliers, I pulled a muscle at the base of my thumb and couldn’t close my hand for the next day. Of course, that was after clamping a whole bunch shut. But I missed my daily quota and had to go to bed without supper. Poor me. – Greg]
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 started wrapping the Christmas lights onto the branches.
Once I was finished with 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 for you.
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 ‘Page 2 of 3’ below to continue with the clip-on swags tutorial.