Whenever I make something and think to myself, well, someday I’ll replace this with something better someone should stop me. So often, when someday arrives, what I’ve made for “temporary” purposes works out just fine. This Christmas tree topper is a perfect example of a project I made because there was a need, we wanted to save our money and not spend it on something new, and what was for sale in the stores wasn’t all that appealing.
Homemade is better, heart-felt, and usually comes with a story.
Here’s the story…
Way back in 1990, when we celebrated our first Christmas together as a married couple, aside from our home, we owned only a few basic items. Of course we owned what all newly weds need most: a bed. Next on our list of worldly possessions, an old trunk, 2 bed side tables, and a refrigerator. (Side note: 21 years later, the trunk and tables still sit next to our bed.) Aside from a few tools for renovating our 1890 row-house, that was it. Busy re-building our home, paying off student loans, and living on one income by choice, we didn’t have much money left for anything else.
The next Christmas, we splurged and bought a tree. I’m sure we overpaid on that Christmas tree because we lived in the city and went to our favorite neighborhood market, (Eastern Market, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.) and bought the tree. Trust me, having grown-up in Oregon, I couldn’t believe how much money could be charged for a simple evergreen tree. Every Christmas tree needs a topper and this is what I came up with for ours.
Warning: This site isn’t Go Martha Stewart. This is Go Gingham where projects are made without staff help, from items you have around your home, a recycling bin, or a trash pile. The projects here won’t cost you lots of money, they’ll look good when you’re done, and you won’t have any buyer’s remorse.
Here are the instructions…
Materials needed for a Christmas tree topper
- Cardboard paper tube (toilet paper tube was used here)
- Cardboard shape of cut-out star
- Masking tape
- Spray paint – gold or silver
How to assemble your Christmas tree topper
- Tape paper tube to back of cut out star with masking tape.
- Go to a well ventilated area, lay out a few newspapers or another drop cloth and spray tree topper.
- Let dry.
- Place on top of your tree.
- Stand back and admire your handiwork.
- Store your tree topper flat. The cardboard wants to curl along the sides.
That’s it. It’s so easy and very Go Gingham!
I traced the star shape from this star. This star was in a trash pile at an abandoned building near our Capitol Hill home. These stars are used while laying bricks when constructing a brick building, to keep the bricks in line. These days, my stars are used for backyard decorating.
I made this topper in 1991 and it’s still in great shape. This topper has proven it has staying power. And, don’t worry. I abandoned my plans to replace it long ago. I think Dr. Seuss said it best, “Christmas doesn’t come from a store, maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more….”
What does your tree topper look like? Did you make it yourself? Is it a treasure you found somewhere?
Go Gingham related links:
Displaying holiday cards – don’t put them away, just leave them out to enjoy
Homemade Christmas gift tradition: family calendar
Quick and easy holiday decorating: very easy
Green holiday living: generate less waste this holiday season