Upgrade Your Home Decor This Holiday Season
When hosting events during the holidays, incorporating seasonal decor is an easy way to create a warm and cozy atmosphere for guests. While premade decorative pieces save time, the cost can quickly add up. With a creative eye and shopping seasonal bargain sections, you can create jaw-dropping decorative accents at a fraction of the cost. Learn how to make this winter-themed Christmas tree centerpiece easily and be one step closer to holiday cheer!
What You Will Need to Create a Christmas Tree Centerpiece
One of the benefits of creating your decorative accents is that you have total control of the presentation and cost. To make this festive centerpiece, you will need the following items:
- A centerpiece base (see instructions at the end of this article for creating your own out of cardboard)
- Mini artificial Christmas trees
- Fake snow blanket (or quilt batting)
- Battery-operated fairy string lights
- A hot glue gun
- White craft paint
- Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue®
- Ultrafine glitter, either silver or white
- A paint brush
- Craft knife
- Parchment paper
- Velcro strips (to attach the battery pack to the base)
Getting Your Trees Ready for Christmas
Mini artificial trees are popping up everywhere this year making them an easy and affordable Christmas tree centerpiece addition. Find trees with a white base to blend into the snow more easily. If your tree has unfinished wood or a color other than white, you can paint it white.
Choose trees with fake snow sprinkled on the branches if you’d like the effect. If snow-speckled trees aren’t available, you can easily create the look at home. To do so, mix:
- One part Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue®
- One part white paint
- Add as much glitter as you’d like to create a sparkled effect
Preparing a Christmas Tree Centerpiece Base
If your base does not have legs, be sure to add some. The battery pack will be attached to the centerpiece underside, so ensure the legs are tall enough to create space for the pack. I found wooden blocks in the wood crafting section and attached them with hot glue. If necessary, paint your base and legs white. Any other color or an unpainted surface may show through the fake snow and take away from the effect.
To conceal as much light wire as possible, map out where you will place the trees and any decorative accents you’ll add. Once you have a layout you like, make a mark near the base of the tree you will string lights on. Then, carefully drill a hole through the mark, wearing proper safety equipment and following the safety guidelines of the drill manufacturer.
The Secret a Seamless Snow Coverage
When I was testing out ways of creating this centerpiece, the biggest challenge for me was to add the fake snow layer while maintaining a seamless look. First, I tried gluing the pieces down and stretching the quilt batting over each piece. The problem I ran into was that the branches would pull at the batting, and the final result was sloppy.
My attempted solution was to place the batting down first and then glue the trees and snowman on top of the snow. While this method is more straightforward, it still had flaws. The glue would cause the snow to clump, and the glue marks were visible. The result was not as visually whimsical as I intended.
The best method I discovered is to create a cut in the quilt batting and slide each base of the pieces through the slit. Then, you can glue the decorations to the centerpiece base, and the branches hold the snow down. If there are places where the snow does need to be attached, a small drop of glue does the trick and is easily concealed. It may not sound straightforward, but I promise it’s easier than it sounds.
Assembling Your Centerpiece
Decide on a Centerpiece Design
Once any paint that you may have added to your centerpiece base or pieces has dried, you can begin assembly. The first step is to arrange your decorations in a design you like. Once you have created a layout, trace an outline around the pieces onto the board. Remove the decorations and set them aside. If you are drilling a hole to feed the light wire through, add it now.
Copy the Design onto a Piece of Parchment Paper
Place a piece of parchment paper on top of your base. On the parchment paper, copy the outlines you made on the base. The parchment paper will act as a guide for where to cut your quilt batting.
Cut a Piece of Quilt Batting for Your Project
Place your base face down on top of the quilt batting. Using the base as a template, cut a piece of quilt batting that extends 3 inches beyond the edges. The overhang creates extra batting that you can wrap around the side and glue on the underside of your base.
Use the Parchment Paper to Cut the Quilt Batting
Place the parchment on top of the quilt batting and in the center. Then, using care and caution, carefully cut a line straight through the center of each outline with a craft knife, cutting both the parchment paper and batting. Please note you are not cutting the outline’s edge, only straight through the center as if you folded it in half. Be careful not to cut yourself, and use a thick piece of cardboard or a self-healing cutting mat to protect your working surface from cut marks.
Once Cutting the Batting, Insert the Bases Through the Cut
Double-check the batting to ensure all cut lines were made cleanly, making any additional cuts as needed. Once all cuts have been made, pop the base of each piece through their cut to make sure they all fit. The next step has room for personal judgment. One option is to slide the batting onto the base with the pieces attached. You can also remove the pieces and place them back as you glue them down.
Begin to Glue the Pieces to the Base
Slide the batting onto the top of the base and line the pieces up with their markings on the base. To glue the pieces down, fold the batting back and work left to the right or out from the center. Hold the hot glue gun in your dominant hand, and fold back the piece you will glue in your opposite hand. Create a spiral of glue inside the outline matching the piece you are gluing. Place the matching piece onto the glue and press it down to seal. If possible, avoid touching the quilt batting with the glue. Continue gluing until the remaining pieces are attached to the base.
Velcro the Battery Pack to the Underside of the Centerpiece
To make it easier when changing the batteries or replacing the lights, I Velcro the battery pack to the underside rather than gluing it. Once attached, feed the lights through the drilled hole, poking the wire through the batting.
Begin to String the Lights onto the Tree
To help hide as much of the wire as possible, I start at the tree’s base, push the wire into the branches and press it where there would be a trunk, working towards the top. I then wrap the lights around the outside of the tree working my way down. Once at the base, I move to the closest tree I’m adding lights to if lighting additional trees. You will still see some of the wire, but not as much if you connect the top of the trees with the wire. Once you’ve added the lights, your Christmas tree centerpiece is complete!
Sit Back, Relex, and Enjoy Your Christmas Tree Centerpiece's Ambiance
Once you’ve added the lights, you can choose to decorate the trees further if you’d like. For example, you could cut small pieces of tinsel, add mini ornaments or garlands, or even a tree topper if you can find one small enough. This project will take about 2 to 3 hours, depending on how many pieces you attach and the size of your centerpiece. But once assembled, you’ll feel a sense of pride knowing you created it by hand and even happier knowing you saved money!
If you’ve ever made your own centerpieces, where are some of your favorite places to find craft items to use? I’d love to hear in the comment section below!
Tips to Save Money on the Centerpiece Base
If you want to save money on a centerpiece base and also upcycle, make your base out of cardboard! Here’s how to easily create a base with cardboard:
- Using a plate as a template or a drawing compass, draw about five circles onto your cardboard and carefully cut the circles out. You can also draw a design freehand, cut the design out, and use that as a template.
- Stack the layers together, gluing hot each layer together. For larger centerpieces, you can add additional layers for a sturdier base.
- To create legs for the base, cut a long piece of cardboard that is as wide as you would like the legs tall. Roll the cardboard as if you were rolling a cinnamon roll, adding a bead of glue along the inside of the roll to hold its shape. Once formed, glue the legs to the base. You can cover the end by gluing a cardboard circle for a clean finish.
To cover the corrugated edges or any print on the cardboard, paper mache brown paper bags onto the surface. Mix one part glue with one part water, and dip strips of the paper bag into the glue mixture. Squeeze two fingers along to strip to remove the excess adhesive and press the paper onto the base. Once the paper mache layer dries, you can paint the centerpiece to match your project.
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