Christmas Decorating on a Budget – Cone Trees

November 25, 2013


Christmas is quickly approaching, and I am getting super excited about decorating.  Last year, I was expecting our son, Joshua and was quite sick around Thanksgiving and Christmas.  My dear Aunt and Mother put up my tree and decorated for me!  It was such a blessing! I think Brett and I can handle it this year, so I’ve been making plans along with a “honey-do” list.

This year,  I’ve put a lot of thought in how I want to decorate our mantle.  I really like the trend of the “cone trees.”  Brett blessed me with a Mom’s morning out this past Saturday.  I went to our local craft stores to look for cone trees that were just my style and just the right height. I had no such luck.  My crafty gears went into action.  I knew I could make them, but would it be cost effective?  I perused the Styrofoam cones at Hobby Lobby and Michaels.  Goodness!!!  Styrofoam cones are quite pricey – not to mention, they weren’t tall enough.  Gear turning faster, now.  I could make the cones out of poster board! I purchased at 10 pack of poster board for $4.99 at Staples.

Here is how it all came together –

My hot glue gun was my best friend for this craft. Form poster board into cone and trim base to height you want.  You can make up to a 20″ tree with a standard size piece of poster.  That is the height of my two taller trees.  Hot glue edge of poster board to secure.  You then need to decide what material you want to cover your cone with.  Here are some ideas: burlap ribbon, satin ribbon, paper stars, die cut fabric, fabric strips (great way to use scraps), crumpled packing paper (my favorite saved from an Amazon shipment), or glitter and glue (I can’t handle that mess.) Gather your materials and get started.  I cut strips of the packing paper (about 24″ in length and 4″ wide) and crumpled them. My 4 year old, John, helped me crumple some strips. 🙂

Crumple Strips

I attached the paper to the cone with hot glue starting at the bottom and twisting my way up to the top.  As I attached the crumpled strip, I also gave them a little twist.

Glue down your strips using a little glue at a time. Work in small sections.

Glue down your strips using a little glue at a time. Work in small sections.

Finsihed Packing Paper Cone Tree

This turned out to be my favorite. I would estimate the total cost for this with hot glue included was $1.75!

The first cone I completed was covered with paper stars that I cut out using my Big Shot. The paper was type print scrapbook paper.  After I glued on all. of. the. stars (it took FOREVER), I distressed the edges with some walnut stain ink.

On a side note – Brett lovingly teased me as I worked on the star cone.  He said the baby would be 5 by the time it was complete.  It seemed as if I would never finish because I had to work in small time increments.  I would steal away 5 minutes here and there between homeschool and caring for the baby.  That’s how I craft, scrapbook, quilt, blog or do anything hobby related around here. I don’t mind, though. These seasons of life will move into others.  We must find joy in the everyday things.  Awww.

Okay back to crafting! I really like how the star cone turned out, but I knew there was NO WAY I would have time to complete two more like this. Choosing other materials to cover the remaining cones would also give a more interesting look.  For the second cone, I chose burlap and red grosgrain ribbon.  I found the burlap ribbon 50% off at Hobby Lobby, and the red ribbon was some I had in my stash. I looped 6″ sections of the burlap and glue them all the way around the cone in layers.  Each new layer going up the cone overlaps the glued top of the previous layer.  Make sense?  I also added bits of the red ribbon on top of the burlap layer.

Here you can see the star tree and the burlap ribbon tree.

Here you can see the star tree and the burlap ribbon tree.

My 8 year old daughter, Emily, was so sweet and helped me with some of my pictures.  I would have cleaned up my craft area for you, but I’m doing good to finish the craft and take pictures to blog and share while baby Joshua takes a nap.  🙂

We will be decorating this weekend, so I’m excited to use my crafty decorations.  It is quite satisfying to create something I really like and that was just what I wanted!  I’ll post pictures of the completed mantel when we are all done.

What are decorations are you making this year?  I’d love to hear what you have in the works.

Happy crafting!

All Things with Purpose

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  • Lauren

    Rachael, those are gorgeous! You’re so talented. I know your house will look amazing all decorated for Christmas. Can’t wait to see photos!

    November 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm Reply
  • Deanna

    These are gorgeous! Love them.

    December 13, 2013 at 9:49 am Reply
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