Upcycled Christmas Tree- DIY Urn Base

imageTo further the remix of our old, tired Christmas tree, and because I had to adjust its height anyways, I decided to dress up the base.

I love the look of trees with alternative bases such as urns and pots!  I’ve pinned several inspo photos over the years and referenced them in this project.

via Nell Hill's

via Nell Hill’s

via The Yellow CapeCod

via The Yellow CapeCod

Since our new ceilings are a full 2 feet shorter that in our last home (that’s a whole other topic I’ll touch on later), I either had to shorten our existing 9ft tree… or buy a new one.  Obviously, from my DIY Flocking post earlier, ya’ll know I chose the first option.  I asked the hubby to cut the 9 foot tree down to 7 1/2. It was a fairly easy fix with just the simple purchase of a metal saw blade. It took him no time to cut through the hollow metal rod that runs up the center of the tree!

Then, I grabbed an outdoor urn that I already had (just sitting in our garage begging to be used for something, anything!), and spray-painted it a beautiful brushed nickel.  I followed up later with a topcoat of white pearl- both by Rustoleum and purchased from Lowes.

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I purchased a run of PVC pipe and I For the bottom and a 50 pound bag of Quick Crete. I lined the bottom of the urn with plastic, placed the PVC in the middle and poured the Quick Crete around it (keeping the pipe leveled and centered the whole time). The 50 pounds of concrete will aid in creating a sturdy base for the tree and to give us a channel to slide the interior tree rod into for stability.

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I allowed the concrete to dry and set up for several hours- just to be on the safe side- then I brought it inside and positioned it in our room.  I sat the tree rod into the PVC and started adding the branches.

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*If your tree will be sitting on carpet like ours does, you may need to use shims to level it.  Because the front of my tree is always heavier than the back, mine leans forward a bit.  I just placed 3 shims under the front edge of the base and it did the trick!

As a tip- for unlit trees- I find it easier to add lights in small sections.  I start at the bottom of the tree and insert two rows of branches at a time.  I wrap two different types of bulbs around each branch and work my way up- two rows at a time.  (I use larger bulbs on the interior portion and smaller, LED mini lights along the outside of the branches for added dimension).

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Viola!  The easiest concrete project I’ve tackled so far!  What unique alternative tree bases are you planning for your holiday display this year?

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Upcycled Christmas Tree- DIY Flocking

I have always loved the look of a snowy white flocked tree!flocked-hunter

I’ve been fighting back the urge to replace our 9 foot, basic, Fraser fir with a beautiful flocked Alpine for the last few years- the huge investment just always got in the way.

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a truly terrible photo (but the only one I could dig up) of how dark and basic the tree was originally (circa 2010-ish)

With this being the first year in our new home, I had to make a decision because our ceilings in this house are 3 feet shorter than our last. So, I had to decide if I was going to make the investment, or work with what I had.
*Side note: Because of a side project I’m working on this year that required me to purchase a new tree and a full load of decor, I decided to wait until next year to invest in my own dream tree.

The more I scrolled through Pinterest and Instagram, the more I was dying for that beautiful white tree!
This is where the craftiness begins. I decided to ask the hubby to shorten the 9 foot tree down to 7 1/2. It was a fairly easy fix with just the simple purchase of a metal saw blade. Took him no time! Read about that process here!

To update the overall look of the tree, I applied Snow White glittered flock to every branch as well as the center rod. I searched high and low for professional grade flocking and found, by far, the best deal (and free shipping!!) from a retailer on eBay (Aquatic Reflection). I chose the 5lb bag and I had just enough to give the 7 1/2 foot tree a heavy coating.

bondingflockI started by covering my work space with a plastic drop cloth- our garage was the best area to work in.  I laid out all of the branches, right side up.  I worked on 3 or 4 branches at a time.  With a basic water bottle, I misted the areas I wanted to be flocked.  Immediately after, I sprinkled a handful of flock over the misted area.

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I continued this process until I liked the heaviness (um, yeah…) of the flock.  I went over each branch appx twice.  Then, because I wanted a ‘whiter’ tree, I flipped the branches over (once they were dry) and flocked the underneath edges of each.

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For appx $50, I upcycled a 7 year old basic tree into an updated, snow covered beauty! Compared to the $600-900 trees that I’ve been drooling over online, I’d say I came pretty close… and saved a car payment in the process!

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Stay tuned for the real fun… Decorating!

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Halloween with a 1 year old…

…went over way better than I ever expected!
Not a single meltdown, and he went all night long.
After coming across the cutest lobster costume at TJMaxx for our furbaby, I knew I had to find a coordinating costume for the babes! Luckily, there’s a slue of crafty folks on Etsy that make custom outfits for Chef Boy-R-Babies.
With the addition of a big red spoon, a giant pot, and three hilarious mustache tattoos, we were in business!

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Chef Costume | Etsy
Lobster Costume | TJMaxx
Mustache Tattoos | http://www.stachetats.com
Adult Chef Hats + Aprons | Party City

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