DIY Outdoor Christmas Tree
This year I’m really getting my Clark Griswold on and adding LOTS more lights to our outdoor Christmas decorations. I have this spot by my front door that really needed something with a little height that was sort of thin. So when I saw tomato cages being used as Christmas trees for outdoor decorating – I knew just what to do! It was time to make a DIY outdoor Christmas tree.
I went straight over to my local big box hardware store and picked up two generic tomato cages for about $5 each. They had ones that were already colored, but I could already see little rust spots through the paint so I knew that would be a decoration that wouldn’t last. I went with plain old galvanized steel finish.
I spent about $15 each tree for all of the necessary materials. While it might not be the cheapest DIY outdoor Christmas tree ever made – I love that I made it!
- tomato cage
- 300 count mini lights (LED or otherwise – whatever color you prefer)
- twist ties
- tinsel garland
- wooden star
- spray paint (I used silver with red glitter on top)
- Drill (to punch holes through the stars in order to attach to tree)
Step 1 – Decorate Stars
To allow the stars enough dry time – the first thing I did was get started on painting them. I have lots of spray paint laying around (I tend to buy pretty colors when I see them to use “later”) so I had metallic silver and glitter red already.
I just laid the stars out flat on some cardboard and gave them a nice thick coat. Let dry, then flip and paint the other side.
Once that coat is dry – pick the best looking side and add a coating of glitter red.
Please ignore the weird black spots on the star on the right in the picture above (I think the paint was wet and I caught a bad angle.)
Once the glitter was fully dry – I took my drill and made two small holes in each star. Then I was able to string a pipe cleaner (but a twist tie would work just fine) through the holes to attach to the top of each tree. Go ahead and put that pipe cleaner through and set it aside for now.
Step 2 – Wrap Lights Around Tomato Cage
Now that the stars are ready to rock – you need to get lights wrapped around the tomato cage. Using a twist tie – wrap it around the top wires so they aren’t splayed out. You want a nice little bundle to attach your star to in a few minutes.
Next, take one of those twist ties and secure the lights to the base of the tomato cage on one side.
Then, it’s as simple as wrapping the lights up the entire cage. Try and keep them somewhat evenly spaced, but this is a very forgiving project. It doesn’t have to be perfect to look great!
Step 3 – Add Finishing Touches
The last step is to add the finishing touches. Grab that tinsel garland and starting at the top (stick it between the bars at the top) – wrap it evenly around the tree going downward. I had to wrap and re-wrap a few times to get it evenly spaced to my taste. Just eyeball it and wrap it to your heart’s delight. The tinsel makes the whole tree very sparkly in the dark.
And last but not least, attach the stars by twisting the pipe cleaner or twist tie behind the wires at the top of the tomato cage.
Here’s a shot of the finished trees during the day.
And a shot of the trees at night! The stars don’t show up as much as I’d like (a future project to remedy), but I think it still looks great!
These light up the walkway to my front door very nicely. The cool thing about this is that you could do a whole string of them and have them connected to each other for a really impressive light display that doesn’t break the bank.