Thanksgiving is over and it's finally time for Christmas music and decorations! I don't know about you guys, but we spend a lot of time on the road visiting family for the holidays. We walked back in the door from Thanksgiving and realized we only had about 2 and a half weeks before we would be gone again for Christmas and New Years... I love Christmas decorations, so a big part of me was still tempted to rush out and grab a tree, (what's better than a fire, hot chocolate loaded with whip cream, some Christmas music, and a tree to decorate????) but we're also on a tight budget this year. I'm currently back in school with no income, which means extra money to spend on a tree for two and a half weeks just doesn't exist (not to mention the environment considerations). That being said, I LOVE our Christmas ornaments and didn't want to leave them boxed up for the year. We don't buy a lot of souvenirs when we travel, but we do grab an ornament (or a key chain that can be passed off as an ornament for cheaper) everywhere we go. So we got creative, and I have to say I think it turned out pretty well!
**Here's what you will need if you want to make your own:**
* Twigs/branches/sticks of various sizes (we collected branches that had fallen in the woods behind our apartment)
* Twine or strong string (I used some leftover I had in the closet)
* Hot glue gun
* Knife/saw/scissors (something to trim the branches with)
* Christmas wreath adornments (if you want greenery)
* Christmas lights and other decorations of your choosing
*Step 1:* Gather a variety of sticks of roughly the same thickness. Ideally you want dry sticks or you will need to let them dry out before gluing.
*Step 2:* Trim the sticks so that you have a variety of lengths that will form a tree shape. I chose the length that I wanted for the bottom first and then trimmed each subsequent twig to be about 2 inches shorter on each side than the previous.
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree0.jpg "Step 2")
*Step 3:* Using a hot glue gun and twine, attach the sticks together, leaving an equal space between each row. I cut a piece of twine about 4-5 inches in length and used that to measure the space between each row to keep them equal. I also wrapped the twine entirely around each branch for extra strength.
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree1.jpg "Step 3")
Finish one side of the tree and then repeat with the other.
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree2.jpg "Step 3")
You should have a complete tree frame.
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree3.jpg "Step 3")
*Step 4:* Add any additional decorations that you want to your tree frame. I used some wreath decorating accessories that I found on Black Friday sale at Joann Fabrics to add some green and simulate pine leaves.
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree4.jpg "Step 4")
I stripped the plastic pine "leaves?" off and glued them to the tree frame.
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree5.jpg "Step 4")
*Step 5:* Hang and decorate! We used our Christmas tree lights and decorations from last year!
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree6.jpg "Step 5")
And there you have it! One budget, travel friendly Christmas tree for a total of **$2!**
![blogPics](/static/img/147/xmastree7.jpg "Finished Tree!")