How to Turn Any Item Into a Christmas Tree Topper Using a Handy Gadget or Making a Simple One on Your Own.
I was going to leave the Christmas tree in my living room decorated only with white twinkle lights this year and nothing else.
The Christmas tree in my foyer is decorated with just twinkle lights. I love the simple and classic look even though the tree is pre-lit, I alway add more lights using the Christmas tree lighting tips I learned when I worked as a display designer.
But in my living room I began to miss seeing festive color and my favorite ornaments that have passed through the generations.
So before I posted my Christmas decorating tour last week, I added a few traditional red ball-style ornaments and then made a red wood star tree topper for the tree.
The tree looked more festive with the touches of red and white, but it was still missing something.
It was missing history and fond memories in the way of family favorite ornaments, a few that have decorated Christmas trees since I was a child.
So over the weekend, I went to my ornament stash and picked out every family loved red ornament and hung them on the tree. This way my tree still looks “styled”, but also holds lots of fond memories.
I know it is “trendy” to have a bare tree or one with just lights. Or “tres chic” to decorate a Christmas tree dripping with so many ornaments and ribbons that you can’t even see the tree itself.
Now I feel my tree looks just right for my decorating style and Christmas memories.
When I initially decided to go with the red and plaid scheme for the tree this year, I realized I didn’t have a Christmas tree topper to use. My previous one shattered.
To replace it the last two years, I made a ribbon bow to use as the tree topper.
I didn’t want to go the ribbon bow route this year and envisioned a red & rustic wood star tree topper with rounded tips.
So I went shopping to buy one. YIKES! Nice tree toppers are pricey – $50 for the look I envisioned. I wasn’t ready to spend that much.
So you know what I did… I made one myself. :-)
How to Make Any Item Into a Christmas Tree Topper
In my quest for the tree topper, I came across:
1. This tree topper gadget can be used to make just about anything into a tree topper. Watching the video about it on the product description page (link below), gave me an idea on how to make my own Christmas tree topper.
2. This is another way to make your own tree topper. It is a spring coil that is sold pre-made to add to anything to make it into a Christmas tree topper.
To make my DIY rustic Christmas tree topper, I went to my supply stash and gathered a few supplies.
In a few hours (it would have been about 30 minutes if I didn’t have to wait for the paint to dry) I had a tree topper like I had envisioned.
How to Make a Wood Star Christmas Tree Topper
I made my red wood star Christmas tree topper from cutting the shape out of scrap wood. If you don’t have a saw you can make a tree topper using a wood star bought at the craft store. Some of these stars are thin, but you can buy 3 or 4 (they are very inexpensive) and glue them together to make a nice size star.
- You can also use just about anything you like to make a tree topper as long as the item can be attached using a coil of wire to the bottom of it.
Look around your house or in your Christmas bins for an item to use. Maybe a decorative item that broke that you can’t throw away because it holds too many fond memories. Try using it or a part of it to make a one-of-a-kind tree topper.
- Scrap wood – I used a piece that was 1″ thick and 7-1/4″ square
- Scroll saw
- Print: Star pattern
- Folk Art Red chalk paint in the color Imperial
- Dark wax or antiquing stain
- Small drill bit
- 12″ easy to bend 12 – 14 gauge wire
- Dark green, black or bronze spray paint
Time needed: 2 hours
How to Make a DIY Rustic Christmas Star Tree Topper
- Print Star Pattern
Link above in supply list.
- Cut Star Shape Out
Using a scroll, coping or jig saw, cut the star out.
- Sand & Paint
Sand the star with 100 grit sandpaper to smooth any rough edges.
Apply one coat of red chalk paint, let dry. Apply a second coat. Let dry.
Sand around the edges exposing the bare wood to create a rustic look.
- Apply Dark Wax or Antiquing Stain
Using a rag or paper towel, apply a thin layer of dark wax or antiquing stain to the painted surface and rub in around the edges to darken them. Buff to a subtle sheen until the cloth glides over the surface easily.
- Create Wire Coil
Find a stick that is a little larger than the top branch of your tree and wire. Wrap a 12″ long piece of wire around the stick. Broom sticks work well for this.
- Remove Wire
Pull the coiled wire from the stick.
Note: This is the first size I made. It was too short. I went back and made one a little longer so it was about 4-inches long.
Keep about 1 – 2 inches of wire uncoiled. This uncoiled section is what is attached to the wood star.
- Spray Paint the Wire
Using spray paint, paint the wire a color that will blend in with the tree.
- Drill Hole in Wood Star
Using a thin drill bit that is same size as the diameter of the wire, drill a hole in the star as shown.
Place a drop of glue into the hole and on the the straight length of wire.
Push straight end of wire into drilled hole. Let glue dry.
- Place on Tree
Find the branch that the tree topper will go on and place the coiled section over it. Squeeze the coil a little if the topper is not sitting straight.
When it is time to take the tree down, you can loosen the coil and lift the tree topper off.
My Decorated Christmas Tree at Night
My favorite time to enjoy the Christmas tree is at night when the warm glow and twinkling lights make the room look magical.
The tree now holds a handful of ornaments that were on the Christmas trees of my childhood that my mom and dad decorated. They made Christmas truly special when I was a kid with the traditions they embraced. I continued these traditions when I was raising my daughters and they now incorporate them in their own Christmas decorating.
If my mom and dad were still alive, I can envision my mom wanting to simply sit in the room and look at the tree and commenting… “what a pretty tree” or my dad getting up close to the tree and circling it, asking, “how many lights did I put on this year?” :-)
It makes me smile to follow in their traditions. And I can picture my Mom spending a lot of time perusing all of these other holiday decorating projects and ideas.