Something a bit different this week as it’s Christmas (well nearly). We did need a new Christmas tree this year. I have been putting it off for a few years. Ours is a bit pathetic. Although I would like a real tree it didn’t seem right to cut down a living tree that had been growing for years just so that we could decorate our home with it for a couple of weeks. So I looked around for a nice-looking artificial one. I was slightly shocked at the prices, to say the least. We definitely did not pay that much last time! So I decided to make my own. Home made stuff is better anyway.
We’ve had a few storms in Cornwall recently, so, perfect for beach-combing which is one of our favourite things to do. Gradually, over the past few weeks we have collected loads of driftwood and sea glass to make a Christmas tree and some tree decorations.
We went up onto the north coast one morning after a storm and found, amongst other things, a heavy piece of sawn timber which was not quite as heavy once it had dried out, but did fit in my husband’s backpack which saved me from having to carry it! It proved to be just the right size and weight for the base of the tree.
After several trips, and several storms, I sorted out all of the bits of wood. I wasn’t overly hopeful I would have enough as a lot of the driftwood in Cornwall gets used to fuel fires and barbecues on the beach and sometimes when you collect it it is not always clear whether the wood looks a dark colour because it’s wet or because it has been blackened from a fire. This time I was lucky and it mostly dried out a lovely pale, driftwood colour.
The only things I bought to complete the tree were a metre long threaded metal rod, some washers and nuts.
The tree was not difficult to make. Basically, I drilled a hole through the middle of the longest piece of driftwood and through the base, slotted a long threaded metal rod through both and secured underneath with a nut and washer, counter sinking the nut to ensure it did not stick out from the wood. (The tree would not stand up otherwise.) Then I drilled the centre of the next longest piece of wood and slotted it on top of the first and so on until the tree was tall enough. Regarding the tree, when I say ‘I…’ I really mean my husband as he does not trust me with power tools!
Due to breakages, we managed to end up missing the vital top piece so had to go out beach-combing one more time (shame).
Then for the tree ornaments. Again, really simple; I wrapped some silver coloured wire around the pieces of sea glass and hung them onto the tree with cotton thread. I added to a couple of them by attaching them to some more wire shaped into angels. They’re not going to be that strong as the wire was quite thin so I will have to pack them away carefully to save them for next year. I didn’t manage to make as many as I could do with but I have plenty more pieces of sea glass and can make some more decorations when I have a spare minute or two.
Our old Christmas lights would have been far too big for my new tree so I bought some very cheap battery operated lights: Battery Operated Fairy Lights with 20 White LEDs by Lights4fun. I’m not sure what their lifespan is but they’re exactly what I needed for now.
I already had the cute clip on white bird, and my favourite fairy that I’ve had for about ten years went on the top.
I’ve saved myself a lot of money making my own tree. (In total I spent about £7 and the trees in the shops were all over £100.) I think a unique, hand made item is so much nicer at Christmas as well and I hope we get to use it for many years to come.
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