Being from the UK, the whole Thanksgiving Holiday is quite new to me. Whilst I am definitely a fan of the two days off work, turkey and cranberry dinner and plenty of delicious desserts, I haven’t got into decorating for this particular festivity.Â Yet.Â Christmas on the other hand, I’m a BIG fan of.Â I usually start thinking of buying chrissy pressies in September.Â And I love it when stores play festive music and have Christmas ornaments on display in October.Â Yes, I’m crazy. So by the time November comes around, I’m-a-ready to start decorating. This Christmas we’re going to be in the UK.Â Although it will beÂ the first Christmas in our new house, I’m not sure whether it is worth going over board on the decorations.Â So, I wanted to find a quick and easy (and cheap!) way to impart the festive spirit without going the whole hog.
Sparklies always bring a smile to my face. I figured something sparkly at the front door would be a good place to start. So, here’s how I made two sparkly Christmas trees to flank the front doors .. for a grand total of … wait for it…. $5.98.Â Yep, forÂ under 6 bucks, we now have these beauties welcoming our visitors and friends to our home.
How did I do it? I’ll break it down:
2 x Tomato Cage: $5.96
String lights: $0 (already had)
Electrical ties $0 (already had)
Imparting Festive Spirit: Priceless.
You can get theÂ tomato cages from your local DIY store.Â They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from little 2 feet ones up to 6 feet ones.Â I scored a couple of theÂ 4.5 foot high onesÂ for $2.98 each. You’ll also need some string lights and some electrical ties.Â We already had these on hand, thus costing us zilch. zero. nada.
Before starting to wind your light onto the frame, check to make sure your lights are working.Â We forgot to do this on the second christmas tree, got to the end of the project, plugged the lights in …. and theyÂ didn’t work.Â We swapped out every single bulb in case one had blown.Â No luck.Â So we ended up having to undo all our hard work and start again with lights that did work.Â Lesson learned.Â Always test the lights first.
Starting at the bottom, tie the lights onto the frame using the electrical ties.Â These also come in a variety of sizes – I found the 4″ ones to be most effective. You can snip the excess plastic off the tie once you have tightened them around the frame.Â To make sure the lights are evenly spaced, IÂ used small pieces of blue painters tape to guide me. Rick thought this was terribly funny seeing as I am always ribbing him for being the OCD one.
Keep winding the lights around the frame, securing them with the ties, until you get to the apex of the tree.Â How many lights are used will depend on how tightly the frame is wrapped.Â We had a few lights left over when we reachedÂ the top, so we started winding them back down the frame until they run out. Et voila, in no time at all, you have a sparkly-in-the-making christmas tree. Repeat process for the second tree.
Rick set up the wiring outside so these babies will automatically come on when it gets dark.Â He also covered the electrical plugs in these helpful protector boxes.
So, there you have it.Â A quick and easy way to spruce up your hoose. The sparkly lights definitely make me feel more festive.
What decorations are you putting up this year to get you in the festive mood? Are you going all out or keeping things minimal?