How to make a photo tree stand Christmas tree collar using picture frames. It is a very easy DIY holiday decorating project that covers the tree stand with favorite family photos that once made will surely be passed on through generations as a cherished family Christmas tradition.
When it is time to put up your Christmas tree, what do you use to cover the tree stand?
Simply draping fabric around a tree stand or buying a pre-made tree collar are the most common ways to cover a tree stand.
If you are looking for something a bit more unique, consider making your own one-of-a-kind fabric-wrapped photo frame Christmas tree collar. It is similar to a photo tree stand, but wraps around a basic or existing tree stand.
When you make your own wrap-around-the-stand Christmas photo frame tree collar, you can customize it in many ways that include using holiday themed fabric or fabric that coordinates with your decor.
A nostalgic option would be to place your family’s favorite Christmas photos over the years into each frame.
Making the photo frame tree collar is quite easy. If you can put a photo in a frame and use a heavy duty stapler – you can have this Christmas tree collar or stand cover completed in an hour or two.
How to Make a Christmas Tree Collar Using Photo Frames
The best frames to use to make your tree collar are inexpensive 8″ x 10″ size frames from a dollar store. I used all the same size to make my plaid tree collar, but you can mix and match frame sizes. See this option at the end of the post.
You will also need a stapler like this heavy duty one.
Arrow Fastener offers a full line of manual, electric and cordless versions of staplers rivet tools, hot glue, nailers, grommets, hammer tackers, and its flagship product, the heavy duty T50® stapler which I have used forever.
The stapler has it’s very own easy to reach spot in my studioffice.
To make the tree stand collar, my classic Arrow T-50 would have worked just fine, but since we are entering the holiday gifting season, it was nice to get a new tool that will make my decorating projects easier.
I got a T50AC Professional Electric Stapler and Nailer. I had never used an electric one before, have you?
Using it makes stapling fabric to a wood frame a breeze and much easier on my hand since you don’t have to have a strong hand to set staple after staple. I wish I had this when I worked in retail display and was using a stapler for hours a day.
- Assortment of frames – I needed 7 – 8″ x 10″ size.
- Fabric – yardage needed is determined by size of frame and pattern on the fabric. Figure about 1/4 – 3/4 of a yard to cover 2 frames.
- Corrugated cardboard – craft store or from inside packaging
- Arrow T50AC Stapler & 5/16″ staples
- Paper cutter or scissors
Time needed: 1 hour and 30 minutes.
How to Cover Frames With Fabric to Make a Christmas Tree Collar
- Cut Fabric
If the fabric you are using has a pattern, before cutting it to wrap around a frame, lay the fabric over the frame so the pattern is placed where you want it, I centered the plaid on some of the frames and the plaid pattern off-centered on two.
Cut fabric larger than frame so that you have enough to wrap around the back to secure.
Press fabric to remove any wrinkles.
- Wrap Fabric Around Frame
Place fabric right side down and center frame on top.
- Staple Fabric To Frame
Starting on one side of the frame, pull fabric up and over edge. Turn raw edge under, and staple.
Repeat on all sides, pulling the fabric taut and making sure if there is a pattern that you don’t pull it too tight where the pattern may get skewed when viewed from the front.
- Finish Each Corner
To finish the corners on the frame, pull the fabric as shown below and staple. Then bring the fabric over and staple. Repeat the process on each corner of the frame.
- Repeat These Steps for Each Frame
Cover each frame and then set aside.
Depending on the fullness of your tree – you may see the back of the frames that wrap around to the back of the tree. The back of the frames I used are black – this color makes them disappear.
Option: You can cut a piece of fabric or use card stock in a color that coordinates with your fabric. Cut one of these to the same size as your frame and staple to the back of the frame to secure.
How to Make Cardboard Hinges to Attach the Photo Frames
Since the tree stand cover will be stationary – heavy duty hinges are not required. I saved time and money by making hinges out of corrugated cardboard from packaging. If you have real hinges – go for it, but the cardboard ones work just fine.
Where to Find Corrugated Cardboard
- Free Option: To find bits and pieces of corrugated cardboard to make hinges, look at all the packaging that comes with items you buy. For instance, inside cosmetic boxes, china, and other boxes that fragile items come in.
- Buy It: Corrugated cardboard is sold in two places at the craft store:
- As scalloped trim in many colors that is used for teachers to decorate bulletin boards.
- It is also sold in the scrapbook paper aisle where you can buy an 8″ x 11″ sheet.
How to Cut Corrugated Cardboard
How to Assemble Frames to Make The Christmas Tree Collar
Lay the frames face down on a work surface. Line up the bottoms of each frame. Staple the cardboard – corrugated side down or up (either way will work) to the frames as shown.
Try to get the staple as close to the edge so when the stand is around the tree, you don’t see the hinges where the frames are connected.
How to Place Tree Collar Around Tree
To place the cover around the Christmas tree, find the center and place it on the floor in front of the tree. Wrap each end around the tree until the ends meet in the back. Arrange so the cover is symmetrically around the stand.
Optional Decorating Ideas For Your Photo Frame Christmas Tree Collar
What makes the tree collar unique is that it can also be made without wrapping fabric around the frames.
More ideas showing other creative ways you can make your Christmas tree stand cover:
- Family Fun: Put a photo of each family member in each frame with their name written on the frame.
- For a total glam look: Spray paint the wood-framed mirrors gold.
- For a vintage look: Use old black and white family photos of past Christmases.
- Create Magic – Frame or buy frames mirrors at the dollar store to create a tree collar that will reflect and double the tree lights and the amount of presents under the tree. :-)
- Chalkboard – Frame chalkboard and use chalk or a white paint pen to draw a design on each. Here are two designs to use.
How to Store the Photo Frame Christmas Tree Stand Cover
When the holidays are over, I loosely fold the frames on top of each other and place them in a box to store.
If you have thick frames, you may not be able to fold them over on each other for storing.
If this is the case, you may have to remove the hinges on one side of each frame so you can stack and store them. The next time you use it, you can simply re-staple them together.
Where to Buy Arrow Staplers
You can find out more about the Arrow T50AC Professional Electric Stapler and Nailer I used and many other styles that Arrow sells over on their product page.
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