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

    Oh Diane I love these! I don’t need another decoration this year but I am going to keep my eye open for some ornaments on sale after Christmas, simple, easy and you can reuse them the next year if you don’t want to do it again. And as for the cat, when I first saw him in the picture I thought what is that, too funny!

  2. says

    This is TOTALLY cool. It just amazes me how someone can come up with such beautiful things made from ordinary objects. Well done!

  3. says

    This has just got to be the most Clever Holiday Decoration I have seen all season! and just Beautiful! Thanks for Sharing~

    Huggs, Nancy

  4. says

    this is such a cute and clever idea! the coolest thing about it is, is that it is so extremely easy and looks like you may have spent some good money or it would at least be a tricky project. thank you so much for sharing! i love both of them by the way: the pink & purple is right up my alley but the other one looks like antique bulbs which is so classic

  5. says

    This is so pretty, and so clever! I will TOTALLY be stealing this idea in the future – and I’m pinning it to my Pinterest board to make sure I don’t forget it!

  6. says

    I am in awe- that is so gorgeous! I love this- it looks fabulous and seems super easy. Luckily you got some feline assistance, hahaha, I agree fuchsia IS Trax his colour- just divine :-).
    I am so going to try this project, thank you so much for the inspiration!!

    • says

      Hi Bea-

      I figured I might as well have some fun with Trax since he wasn’t going to move. I was surprised he even let me tie the ribbon on.

  7. kathy t says

    Oh my goodness You are so creative! These are right up my alley in terms of price and ease of decorating :-) I always enjoy seeing your cat. She looks so cue in that picture.

    • says

      Hi Kathy-
      Thanks. Trax is such a bub. He is like a magnet as soon as I start doing a project. No matter how hard I try to get him interested in something else- he likes what I am doing better.

  8. says

    These are beautiful and so adaptable to different decors. Just found you via Dittle Dattle. I just joined your followers. Hope you stop by my blog when you can. I saved it to my how to file for next year. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      Hi Kathy-
      Thanks- I totally understand as I keep saying I am done, too-but somehow I keep getting ideas that I don’t want to have to wait to next year to do.

  9. says

    Oh I love this! What an easy idea! This is definitely going into my “save” file for next year. (We’re moving to a different house so Christmas decor is mostly boxed up till next year.) I can imagine it in any and all colors to fit one’s house decor and/or Christmas time decor! Totally neat!

    • says

      Hi Connie-
      Good luck with your move. I hope you can still have a stress free holiday season getting everything organized and packed up.

  10. says

    Wow! You are a Christmas crafting genius! So glad I found you via Centsational Girl.

    Please stop by for a visit to my blog. I am currently in the midst of a Gifts to Make series.

    Be Merry and Bright!

  11. Sheryll & Critters. says

    Oh how wonderful…. I love this… you always have the most fabulous and inexpensive ideas and the clearest, most detailed instructions.

    And Trax is so much help (grin) and you would be so lonely without this dear baby. And any color would just shine with Trax wearing it.

    Oh yeah, I lost my knitting needles years ago (can’t remember how to knit anyway), but I am going to try this with some cheap, wooden bbq skewers. We will see…….

    • says

      Hi Sheryll-
      You could use the skewers, chopsticks, or even a wood dowel placed in the foam stuffed ribbon spool – great idea. Thanks for sharing it here.

  12. Nan Tee says

    Love this idea! Could you look through some more old decorating books? This one is definitely a keeper :)

    • says

      Hi Nan –

      :) I enjoy looking through the old books when I stumble upon them at flea markets and thrift stores. I will keep searching.

  13. says

    I absolutely love this! It’s just like the wire hanger ornament wreaths but in a straight line. Makes me wonder why I never think of these things! I love the colors you chose. I need to make some of these next year – so cute!

    • says

      Hi Sarah –
      That is a good comparison to the wire hanger wreath – in a straight line instead but just piled on. The more the merrier.

  14. debbi says

    This is so adorable !! I’m having one of those moments “how come I never thought of that !! ” Thanks for sharing ! So easy – still time to do for this year !

    • says

      Thanks Debbi-

      If you have the ornaments and the knitting needle on hand, you can have one made in minutes -Truly that is all it takes and there still are 12 days till Christmas.

  15. says

    What a great idea and beautiful for a tabletop or mantle. I might have to try this as I’ve been struggling what to do with our dining room table – two of these and I’m good to go.

    • says

      Hi Holly – they would look stunning on your dining room table. They would look extra special in the candlelight as the light is reflected off of the shiny ornaments.

  16. says

    I absolutely adore your knitting needle trees! So incredibly clever. My favorite one is the vintage one and I think am going to have to try this idea myself. I love the fact that it is not permanent. Thank you so much for sharing. I am a new follower!

  17. Yvette O'Brien says

    Fantastic idea , thank you! Love how the little cat paws appear in the photos now and again! Sweet!!

  18. K Jerread says

    Love this idea. I decided today I wanted one. I had everything needed. In five minutes flat I found my makings and had it displayed on my hutch. So easy and nice looking. Thanks.

  19. says

    I absolutely LOVE THESE!! They are stunning. Each one more beautiful than the next!
    This is a ‘must do’ for me this year.
    Wonderful Idea. Thanks for sharing.

  20. Vittoria says

    What a GREAT idea!!!! I want to make this right now!!! This would make such a wonderful gift!!!

    Absolutely Stunning!!! Thank You for sharing!! :-)

  21. says

    What a gorgeous (and simple) idea. I have tons of these metal needles and will pack a couple pair in my holiday decorations so I can make some next Christmas.

    Thanks for sharing!


  22. says

    Are you kidding me? Knitting needles ??? – of which have too many to count!! You are brilliant – beyond brilliant!! I probably don’t have time to make them this year – but next year for sure. Too stinking cute – and easy!

  23. says

    Stunning idea! Love arrangements that can be made, disassembled and used in other ways. Want to share on my blog with links back to you for your super easy to follow instructions)) Thank you for sharing these ideas!

  24. Lisa says

    Thank you for this beautiful idea. My mother passed away April and she was a truly amazing women who was never seen just sitting. For her, to just sit and watch TV was unproductive and even when she was sick she would never just sit. Knitting was wer go to hobby on days when others would have just curled up. So when I saw this, I thought what better way to celebrate this 1st Christmas without her than to make these trees out of my mom’s knitting needles. So I started making this for each of her grandchildren. Each one took on it’s own story of a wonderful women. Thank you for this beautiful idea. It helped me and my family through a very difficult season. I gave the trees with pride knowing each family would have a little piece of my mom with them.

    • says

      Hi Lisa –

      Thanks for the nice note. My mom passed away in March so I know how you feel. She was a knitter, too as was my mother-in-law. Not sure why I never learned. My mom was super creative and I know she was smiling down from heaven over the holidays as we continued doing all the traditions that she started. She always went all out with decorating the house. I fondly remember coming home from school in early December and she transformed the house into a holiday wonderland while we were at school. It was magical. I hope you have a very happy new year.

  25. 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.

  26. 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!

  27. 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! :)

  28. 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.

  29. 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

  30. 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.

  31. Barbara says

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

  32. 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:)

  33. Donna Lee says

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *