For the last three years, I have not had any kind of tree topper on my Christmas tree. Why? Honestly, I don’t know. It’s just one of those things I didn’t get around to. I got the tree up, I got the ornaments out and put on, I even have a cute DIY no sew tree skirt that Laura gave me a few years ago that I still use and love. But I just never got around to getting anything for the top of the tree.
This year I decided to do SOMETHING but still had a hard time committing. Should I invest in something really nice that I’ll keep forever because-it-was-expensive? Should I get one of those weird singing Santas and at least my niece will probably think it’s HILARIOUS when she comes over? Maybe something simple? Maybe something that lights up? I did walk up and down a couple aisles of holiday decor but ultimately got a bit overwhelmed and just didn’t buy anything.
So, I thought, why not just make something cute that I like for this year. After the holidays, I’ll store it in my holiday decor giant tupperware and pull it out next year. If I still love it, great, but if not, at least I had fun making it and used it one year.
But then I ended up kind of loving this project. I ended up making three options, but two are really favorites (I’ll tell you which at the end, I promise). It’s one of those craft projects that you can do (at least most of) while watching a movie. I tend to think of these as “keeping your hands busy” crafts, like knitting or crocheting. This one involves looping wired garland or pipe cleaners around wire so you may end up sprinkling a bit of glitter as you go—holiday decor bonus?
Oh, also any craft that involves pipe cleaners will always have my heart. It’s such a return to childhood, I kind of love it this time of year. Anyway, it’s also super easy. Here’s what you do.
-easy to bend wire (bought mine from the floral section at a craft store)
-metallic pipe cleaners or thin wire garland (see above)
-small (needle nose) pliers
Step One: Use the easy to bend wire and white tape to create an outline of your design. You could do a shape (star, pineapple, cactus, reindeer, whatever!) or a cursive word (Joy, Merry, your last name, etc.).
Step Two: Wrap the pipe cleaners or wire garland around the outline you’ve created. At this point your shape or word will still be quite bendable but should hold its shape on its own. If not, use another layer of pipe cleaners or wire garland to add more stability.
Step Three: Cut the top off a clothes hanger, see above. Bend the wire into a spiral with a longer top. This will be the bottom of your tree topper and will make it more sturdy as this wire will be much stronger. You may want to use the pliers to help bend the wire here as it’s a bit harder to work with by hand.
Step Four: Cover this bottom piece with white or green pipe cleaners or wire garland depending on the color of your tree. My tree is white, so I used metallic white pipe cleaners so that it would blend in with my tree once placed on top. Then just wire the two pieces (top shape/word and bottom spiral) together with more pipe cleaners or wired garland.
As I mentioned, I created three different toppers because I sort of got TOO into this project once I got started. I had thought the pineapple would be my favorite (I have a pineapple glass ornament on my tree too), but I ended up loving the star and the “Joy” much more. Guess I’m a traditionalist when it comes to tree toppers. 🙂 But also, I don’t think my pineapple looks the most pineapple-y. If any of you make this project and do a pineapple (or any shape) and do a WAY better job than me, please, please tag it #abmcrafty or post it somewhere because I WANNA SEE!
Currently the star is up on our tree, but I’m gonna save the “Joy” topper so next year I have choices. 🙂 Happy (crafty) holidays, guys! xo. Emma
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with the NEW A Beautiful Mess actions.