How to Make a Christmas Tree Topper DIY

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.

Living room with Christmas tree that has a plaid fabric wrapped frame tree collar around the stand.
DIY Plaid Wrap Around Tree Skirt

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.

Christmas Ornaments that have a special meaning made from a loved ones favorite Christmas shirt.
Handmade Ornaments Made From a Special Shirt

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.

DIY Christmas Tree decorated 3 ways

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.

Close up of red Christmas tree ornaments on the tree. Some handmade. Others purchased.

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.

DIY Star Christmas Tree Topper on tree

So you know what I did… I made one myself. :-)

How to Make Any Item Into a Christmas Tree Topper

Two Christmas tree topper gadgets that make it easy to use anything as a 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.

1 – Christmas Tree Topper Holder | 2 – Pre-Made Glitter Spring Coil |

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.

supplies needed:

  • Scrap wood – I used a piece that was 1″ thick and 7-1/4″ square
  • Scroll saw
  • Print: Star pattern
  • Pencil
  • 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

  1. Print Star Pattern

    Link above in supply list.
    Christmas tree topper star pattern DIY

  2. Cut Star Shape Out

    Using a scroll, coping or jig saw, cut the star out.

    supplies needed to make a wood star topper for a Christmas tree.

  3. 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.

    Painting a wood star red and sanding it.

  4. 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.

    DIY Wood star tree topper painted red with soft wax

  5. 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.

    How to make make wrapped wire to attach a Christmas tree topper.

  6. 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.

    Tools needed to make make wrapped wire to attach a Christmas tree topper.

  7. Spray Paint the Wire

    Using spray paint, paint the wire a color that will blend in with the tree.

    How to attach a Christmas tree topper to top of tree. Wrapped wire.

  8. 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.

    Completed DIy wood star topper ready to place on tree.

  9. 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.

    DIY Star Christmas Tree Topper on tree

My Decorated Christmas Tree at Night

Christmas tree lit at night adds glow to the room.

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.

You May Also Like:

Rustic red wood star Christmas tree topper on tree. Text overlay on image says DIY Christmas tree topper.

Leave a Reply

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


  1. Futura Interiors says:

    Very creative idea.Just loved it.
    Futura Interiors provides the best office interiors in Chennai by providing the best service.We commit ourselves to wholeheartedly dedicating our time, efforts and energies into creating solutions that are innovative, finely nuanced and financially sustainable for our customers.

  2. That is the perfect topper for your tree, and I am happy to see that you popped on some sentimental ornaments, too. Looks beautiful! You are a marvel!

  3. I love your tree topper–very pretty, Diane! My favorite ornaments are the handmade ones my kids and I have made. My tree is decorated very simply this year with them. Merry Christmas!

  4. Your tree is just beautiful! I decorate my tree with ornaments made and bought throughout the 47 years my husband and I have been married. It is lovingly called our “memory tree.” I would not trade it for any other!

  5. Your topper is perfect!
    Our artificial tree does not have a ‘trunk’ that extends up like yours and I struggle to attach a topper. Target has a line that has a clip instead of a coil. I wonder if I could find a diy similar to theirs. I think I could clip it to a fe branches at the top. Hmmmm.

  6. Once again, you prove that you are a brilliant innovator and decorator whose middle name has to be McGyver!! I never tire of your eye for detail and creativity. Beautiful tree, lovely topper. Merry Christmas!

    1. I totally agree with Regina! McGyver strikes again! Great idea Diane.

      1. Diane Henkler says:

        Thank you KJ. :-) I enjoy creating and coming up with new ideas.

    2. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Regina – Thank you so much. Your reference to McGyver made me smile. I loved that show. He was pretty darn cute which made watching it double fun. :-) Merry Christmas.

  7. Patti Painter says:

    I love your tree with the added touches. I have never been one to follow “trends’ in my daily life and especially not at Christmas. I decorate my home with the touches that bring back my memories and make me happy. Glad you have that in your home for this Christmas. Merry Christmas to you both, thanks for sharing your talents.

  8. The tree looks great. I could not imagine a tree without a few ornaments from my childhood, the ones my children made in school and the ones my family has collected on vacations. This year my sister and I texted photos to one another as we reminisced about the ornaments from our childhood. We dug through photos trying to date some of the ornaments. The oldest ones were from 1968. It just would not seem like Christmas in our house without our ornaments that hold so many memories for us. Glad you decided to add some favorites into your tree. Have a Merry Christmas and be safe!

  9. Love your topper! Thank you for sharing. I have so many ideas for a tree topper now as my favorite broke years ago. I have a woven star I prop up but the gadget would help a lot and allow me to change things up in the future.

  10. Your star looks great – the perfect topper for the tree! I can also envision it (without the coil) on my mantle or a side table as a Christmas accent.

  11. Love your tree topper! It’s perfect! Thanks so much for the tutorial. Merry Christmas!