Christmas spirit (on a budget!) by Kristen

Posted on 2019-12-03

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 **Instructions** *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!")

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