DIY Tripod Christmas Tree

      Today I noticed it was already the 3rd of December and after dealing with the inevitability of time constantly passing I thought to myself "should I do a tree this year or not?'

      Last year I bought a sad 2 foot tall, pre-lit tinsel tree at a dollar store and it was so dumb. The year before I tacked up string lights to the wall in the shape of a tree. That was much cooler, but man.... did I leave some holes in the wall. Sorry landlord.

      So for this year, I wanted something a little more grand, but that was still doable in our teeny apartment. Oh, and also cheap. Like dirt, cheap. Nothing says the holidays like being flat out broke.

      My solution at first was going to be to go out and buy dowels. But that requires money! Instead, I went outside and found sticks on the ground. For free!

      You obviously can use dowels if you want. And the length depends on the  height you want the tree to be. I wanted something decently tall, so these are about 6 feet long. 

      It's been raining here for the past few days so the sticks I found were yucky and damp. It you find nice dry, pretty sticks, you don't have to go to the troubling of whittling them unless you like that look. This took me a long time! But I wanted to get this done today, and I like the lighter wood underneath the bark. 

      I am no perfectionist, this is what I ended up with. I did some light sanding, but I'm sure with more effort I could have smoothed them down much more.

      Now you can choose your spot, and prop the sticks up against each other. Using some string, I then wrapped it around all three sticks at the top, and tied them together. 

Make sure to pull tight!

      Then I wrapped the string around, under, and over the sticks in varying ways. This will make it nice and sturdy. It might wobble a little bit, but as long as nothing is pushing or bumping into it, it won't fall down. 

Then I added a string of lights. I tucked in the end of the cord into the top of the tripod, and then wrapped it around, keeping to the outside. I tried to keep the lights taut, but don't pull too hard or you might collapse the tripod into itself. 

      Then you can really decorate it as you see fit! I stuck with a silver and gold motif since I used only white lights. A vintage string of pearls from my childhood also added to the metallic look. 

For a tree topper, I just made an origami paper star and hung it. 
I used this tutorial, here. 

So for a grand total of FREE (sticks were found, and everything else was on hand) I have an impressive little display. What I like most about this, is there's room for presents inside the tripod formation as well as around it. So more space saving for apartment dwellers!

      I guess it's a little more bohemian than the average christmas tree, but I think it'll suit us just fine this holiday. 

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Wednesday, December 3, 2014