Tabletop Knitting Needle Ornament Tree

I haven’t done a lot of holiday decorating this year – keeping it simple, but I found this idea in an old Christmas decorating book and wanted to try it out. It is a non-permanent way to use your ornaments,  very easy, and can be done in many variations. It is perfect to place on a mantle, table, or just to accent your decor.   All you need for the basic version is a knitting needle and about 16-20 classic ball ornaments of varying size.   I found my color coordinated ornaments at Walmart.  They were $2.50 for a box of 10 -18 balls.

Here is the basic version.  The ornaments are just placed over the needle – largest ornaments on the bottom – smallest on top. I removed the metal ring from the top ornament and hid the tip of the needle by placing the ornament upside down over the tip.   The four bottom ornaments hold the tree up.  Super simple!

Knitting Needle Christmas Ornament Tree

The bottom can be simply left alone, adorned with some greenery, or placed in an urn or planter.

I put this tree in my dining room using a collection of vintage ornaments. I left about 4″ of the needle empty so I could place an old-fashioned peaked tree topper over the tip of the needle for the finishing touch.

Vintage-Ornament Tree for Christmas Decorating

For this one, I added a star ornament on the top and made a coordinating tree stand from an empty spool of ribbon and some scrapbook paper.  The smaller one in the photo is the basic version.

How to make a knitting needle Tabletop Christmas Tree

Experiment with different style balls and your favorite colors.   Use all one color or try a different color for each size ball you add to the knitting needle or try four balls of varying sizes in each color. This will give you a spiral effect.

How to Make the Knitting Needle Ornament Tree

Supplies Needed:

A mix of round Christmas ornaments in 4 different sizes –for one tree you will need about 20 balls.  At least 4 of each size.

Knitting Needle – 14 inches long (tall tree)  Spray paint the needles if needed to match your ornaments.

Optional: Christmas tree peak topper or a star ornament, ribbon spool, spray paint, scrapbook paper, glue, spray paint, paper cutter

Supplies-Needed to make an ornament Christmas Tree

To make the ribbon spool tree stand: Spray the spool with spray paint to coordinate with your ornaments.  Cut scrapbook paper the width of the spool. You could use ribbon, but I like the more finished look of the paper on the spool.

Decorating for Christmas

Attach the paper with glue. I used Aleene’s Tacky Line Roll Adhesive.

Holiday decorating ideas for Christmas

Attach to the spool.


Thread the knitting needle up through the bottom of the spool.


If the spool has a large hole – you can stuff it with pieces of STYROFOAM to make sure the needle stays straight.


String four large Christmas ball ornaments (about 4” diameter) onto the needle, slipping the metal loops on the balls over the point of the needle. These four balls will form the base of the tree.  If you do not want to use the spool tree stand  and want to make the basic tree – the four balls when placed  squarely on a table will hold the needle upright.

Tabletop Knitting Needle Ornament Tree instructions and tutorial

Next string onto the needle four balls of a slightly smaller size. Each one will fit between two of the larger ones.  Then string on another four, slightly smaller, and finally four more again, slightly smaller, so that your tree has sixteen Christmas ball ornaments in all.  You can add more or less depending on the size of your balls.

How to make a ornament tree using a knitting needle

The tip will look like this.

Ideas for Chistmas decorating

On top of the needle place a Christmas star ornament.  I found this one at Michaels.  It had a “spring” style attachment that I removed.  I used that existing hole to place the star on the top of the knitting needle.  I used an awl to make the hole a bit larger so it fit over the tip of the needle.

Decorating for Christmas

Another way to display the tree is to place the whole thing in or on top of a planter.

How to make a tabletop Ornament Tree using a knitting needle

For the holidays I thought this one would look nice in my kitchen.  Adds some color and festivity to the space by my sink.

Knitting-Needle Ornament Christmas Tree

Trax, of course had to assist in the assembly of the trees. I tied a pretty coordinating ribbon around his neck in lieu of wanting to wring his neck because he is always getting in the way.   My daughter was shaking a ribbon in front of him to get his attention.  I think fuchsia is his color,  don’t you?




  1. says

    I love this idea! So cute and frugal. I also love finding cool things from books or magazines I already have. I’m totally going with pink and purple when Christmas comes along! Thanks!

    • says

      Hi Amanda –
      Years ago when I worked in display – the store I worked in used pink and purple as the colors one year. I loved it, but had so many traditional color decorations that I never did use the color scheme in my own home until last year. I loved how it looked – more modern and bright. I gave the green and red decorations to my daughters who love it for nostalgic reasons.

  2. Katie says

    Definitely doing this, during this upcoming Christmas season. We got married 2 weeks before Christmas and used Christmas balls as the favors so we have tons leftover even after 3 years so this is a great way to use them up since we just stuck a simple sticker on them that can be taken off. They all color coordinated anyway, so this is a great and easy way to use them up!

  3. Joan says

    Worst use of a knitting needle ever. Buy a dowel rod and use that. Much cheaper than knitting needles. Yes, I knit.

    • says

      Hi Joan –
      A dowel would work, but you would have to paint it and that is an extra cost and step. Knitting needles are shiny and colorful just like the Christmas ornaments so they make the perfect instant stem for the ornament tree. Since the needles are not altered in any way – once the holidays are over the needle can used for its intended purpose once again :)

      • Linda Gray says

        I love crocheting and thought I would like knitting. Bought the needs, but never learned how to knit. I love this idea and am glad I will be able to use those needles afterall! :)

  4. Sandra L. says

    This made me smile. My mother’s best friend back in the mid 1950’s made my mother one of these. It looked pretty similar and was basically constructed the same way. She used a wire hanger instead of a knitting needle. My guess back then everybody had tons of wire hangers and the needles were expensive. And the base was much larger, she traced a dessert plate and covered it with beautiful silver foil gift wrap.

    The only big different was her’s was done more in a layer effect starting with 4 very large balls and going up until at the top there was about a dozen of those really tiny ones. There was always a gorgeous topper on it. My mother cherished it and even up until her passing a few years ago, she still brought it out every year and somehow managed never to break a ornament.

  5. Nancy says

    I see this is from last holiday season, BUT! I just found this post. I LOVE this idea so simple beautiful and inexpensive! I have been searching the net for hours on end for the perfect centerpiece for my daughters winter onderland birthday party. I am so excited I found this now! Thanks for posting I only hope my trees come as as beautiful as yours. Thanks a bunch happy holidays

  6. Lisa D says

    Good afternnon. I sure like your idea using the knitting needle/ribbon spool, the ornament and the spray paint. But I am very puzzled. I can see using the thin knitting needle for the project but my question where do I use the thick knitting needle and where does it belong to. I am going to use this idea for a christmas/birthday retirement party. And I would like to use it for my tables. You can contact me at 916-628-6422. Thank you Lisa

    • says

      Hi Lisa – You only need one knitting needle. It can be thin or thick. What matters is the height. The longer the needle the taller your tree will be. I created two different trees and used a different needle for each.

  7. Barbara says

    Just saw this and love it!!!! Now I know why I saved those odd knitting needles people are always giving me:-)

  8. says

    This is awesome and the perfect quick craft to jazz up the corner of a room. Plus, from decorating for the holidays I have a ton of those ribbon spools:)

  9. Donna Lee says

    I just love this fast and easy tree!! Now to find a knitting needle somewhere and buy more balls, lol


  1. […] With Christmas just a few days away, chances are if you are still searching for decorating ideas, you want quick, cheap, and easy.  Ideas like this ornament tree from Diane at In My Own Style, which uses an empty ribbon spool and a knitting needle to create a base.  Genius!  They take just minutes to assemble, and when the time comes to pack everything away, they are just as quick to take apart.  (This is especially good news if you plan to use a collection of vintage or family heirloom ornaments, since there is no gluing or other potentially damaging process involved!)  [how to make a tabletop ornament tree] […]

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