I love Christmas.
I love the food, I love the movies and music, I love the family time,
I love being showered with gifts, and just the general pageantry of it all. My mom (and her mom before her) does Christmas up RIGHT, which is most likely why my sisters and I have such an affinity for the season.
The only Christmas tradition I have never been truly compelled to participate in is the decorating: I enjoy it immensely in other peoples’ homes but I haven’t really had the urge to do it in my own. Come Christmas we spend all our time at my Grampie’s and my Mom and Dad’s, so it never feels necessary. Truth be told, it seems like such a big investment to buy all the decor, put it out, pack away our everyday things, enjoy the decorations for a couple of weeks only to take it all down again (which is super depressing, btw) and drag all the other crap back out. Hard pass: I’ll be getting smashed on eggnog in the corner, thanks.
But this year, something has changed.
You might say my heart has grown three sizes since this little bubby came along (see what I did there?) Certainly having Wild Billy around for the holiday this year has given me the motivation I needed to make it a little more special-feeling in the house. However, as previously mentioned, decorating for Christmas can be $$$, and I am basically starting from scratch (aside from a rachet-ass fake tree that we got five years ago). So in an attempt to build up my holiday decor arsenal on a serious budget, I’ve got a few wallet-friendly crafts to share with you guys over the next few weeks; the first being this super easy string art Christmas tree.
OK, disclaimer time: these process photos are bad. Real bad. I’ve decided I am OVER comparing my blog to everyone elses’/trying to make every aspect of it “Instagram worthy” because doing so is a total fun buster! So I’m returning to my little corner of the internet with a fresh perspective and much a more laid back approach. You with me? Yeah you are.
First, gather your supplies. Here is exactly what I used:
- 1″ black panel nails
- 1/2″ 2×2 pre-cut spruce plywood panel
- black crochet thread
- paper and pen/pencil
- lots of Christmas cheer (oh my sweet baby Jesus I am on FIRE today)
All in, this cost me about $18. The plywood panel ate up the majority of the cost at around $11. Not bad.
(Again…these photos are TRASH.)
Step one: sketch your Christmas tree onto a piece of paper. I wanted my tree to be large on the plywood square so I made it about 20″ high. Don’t stress if your tree isn’t perfect; it does not need to be the Mona Lisa. Exhibit A:
If you are seriously artistically challenged, you can always print a template off from Google images to make life easier.
Ok, now see all those dots on my tree illustration? Yeah. I thought I would be needing a nail in each one but that was o-v-e-r-k-i-l-l. You will not need nearly that many nails so just slow your roll.
Step two: sloppily cut out your tree and center it on your plywood. Once you’re happy with the placement, tape it down.
At this point I moved from our dining room to the garage because the baby was in bed and it was about to get HAMMERY UP IN HEEYAH. Also, I didn’t want to accidentally nail into our dining room table which I painstakingly built for us a few years back. I would suggest placing a piece of scrap wood or another barrier underneath your plywood if you are working on a surface you do not want to damage.
Step three: hammer those nails in! Once you start nailing, you will get a feel for where you need to place each nail. As long as you have the general outline of the Christmas tree (like connect-the-dots) you’ll be fine. (Make sure when you are hammering the nails in you don’t get too over zealous and go right through the other side of the board!)
Step four: start stringin’. I started at the top point of my star and triple knotted the thread. Rather than cutting a long piece to work with, I continuously unspooled it so I wouldn’t run out/have a bunch of knots throughout the tree.
By the time I’d completed the star I was definitely in a rhythm. I simply zig-zagged my way down the tree, making sure to pull the thread taut the entire way down.
The stringing honestly took about ten, fifteeen minutes tops.
Step five: carefully tear away the paper from the nails and admire the shit out of your holly jolly masterpiece.
This project took no more than an hour, start to finish, and I LOVE the end result. I have it sitting on the shelf above our TV, but you could easily hang this on the wall using some eye hooks and wire or other hanging hardware. (Just make sure if you do hang it up, you drill into a stud or otherwise use a drywall anchor because the plywood is heavy-ish.)
What I love most about this project is that it is crazy versatile and can suit any taste/aesthetic you want it to. You could do a reindeer, wreath, some Christmas typography (ho, ho, ho would look cool!) and even use color (BARF) if you wanted to go really nuts! What do you guys think? I have some more Christmas goodies cookin’ up so stay tuned!