Friday, December 2, 2011

Homestead Experiment #30: Hiding That Tree Trunk!

One of our earliest Christmas traditions has been setting up this particular artificial tree. We bought it during our second year of marriage (Farmer Brent was underway the first Christmas) at the Going-Out-Of-Business sale at the local Woolworth's.  I paid a whopping $19 for it, and it's been a stalwart little ornament rack ever since.  We've contemplated upgrading to a taller tree that is pre-lit, or that the branches aren't color coded by layer, but neither one of us can stomach getting rid of a tree that is perfectly good and has so many memories tied to it. We've been married for 15 Christmases now, and that little tree has been the centerpiece for 13.  (During our Christmas back home in Cordova, I begged to go cut down a real spruce just like when I was a kid.  That's a whole other saga...)

So, the tree is staying, but for some reason, that metal pipe trunk has really been bothering me lately.  It is not covered with the fake needles like many artifical trunks are, and since we do not put presents under the tree until Christmas morning, it definitely shows. In the past, we have used piled up tulle under the branches in lieu of a skirt. It looks like snow and I have always loved it. I never found a flat skirt that I liked as much until(!) after Christmas last year.  But now that the tulle is gone, the metal pipe is very prominent. What to do?
Well, I was wandering the aisles at the local craft store and came across a package of the extra long cinnamon sticks for crafting. I had a crazy idea, and was sure it would be a dud, but with my coupons, two packages of sticks only cost $3, so I figured it was worth a gamble.  I am so glad I was a bettin' Mama that day!  Just wait 'til you see it!

I gathered my floral wire, my sticks, and my hubby's help.  It's really good to have an extra pair of hands to hold the sticks while the other person wraps the wire.

Basically, I just had my hubby kind of bundle and rub the sticks around the pipe until they settled into place, and then I wrapped several rounds of floral wire around to hold in place.
Ta-Daaa! A much improved tree trunk!
Yay!! I love it when a lo-tech method works so smoothly. We put my new skirt around it, and then let the children do their part with the decorating.  I am so thrilled with it!
Doesn't this tree skirt rock? It looks like a retro, knitted poncho. LOVE!
So what about you? Are you an artificial tree kind of decorator, or is your homestead only about the real thing? Maybe, like some families I have seen, you opt to use a manger or some other symbol in lieu of a tree for your centerpiece. If so, I'd love to hear ideas or see pictures!
Also, you can view last year's post about our edible tree (pictured above with the tulle) that we made last year here.

Blessings and Merry CHRISTmas to your and your homestead,
Hillary At Home

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