I’m all about decorating, so when this time of the year comes around, I’m always looking for how I will wow the neighbors this year. We get something new each year, and then we pack it away until the next year, giving us the opportunity to rework our display anew. This year, we decided that we needed to do more than just run the newest BrightTouch lights around the house and the yard.
So we came up with a pretty cool way to make a really pretty tree without spending a ton of money or time. The result is something I’m quite happy with, and the process allows me to make a few trees for this year’s display.
Here’s how to make one of these lighted tomato cage Christmas trees.
What you need:
Tomato cage. Any size will work, but if you get one bigger than 42 inches, plan on purchasing extra lights or garland to ensure you get the right coverage.
1 Strand of BrightTouch lights
Hot glue gun and glue
15 Feet of tinsel garland
Bolt Cutters or a Dremel with a metal cutting attachment
What to do:
First things first, always gather your materials. Make sure that you have enough tinsel garland and lighting to wrap around the tree as explained below without having to stretch it or leave large portions of the tree blank. For a 33” or 42”, the materials listed above are adequate.
You can use bolt cutters, or heavy duty aviation snips to cut the metal rings on the tomato cage. This allows you to make a less bowed tree in the end. My husband doesn’t get to use the Dremel too often, so he offered to help me out with this step.
What you end up with is a ring with three long poles sticking upwards. This will be the base of your tree. Don’t throw out the pieces you cut off though – those will come in handy a bit later!
Take a piece of duct tape a few inches long, bring the tips together, and tape around them to hold them securely in place. Take care to make sure the tree is even, or in the direction you want it to be before finalizing this step. If it looks crooked, simply undo the tape and re-tape it again.
Next, you’ll want to string the lights. Start at the bottom and secure the point where the electrical cord meets the copper wire to the base somewhere. Then begin wrapping the copper wire around the bottom ring of the cage. Once you have made it all the way around, continue until you arrive at one of the poles. Continue wrapping around the metal frame all the way to the point of the cage. Wrap it once around the top, secure with a small piece of duct tape, and then wrap downwards around one of the other poles.
At the bottom you will have to cut across to get to the remaining pole. Do so and wrap up the remaining pole. Again, secure the wire at the top with a small piece of duct tape, then bring the wire straight down to the base ring halfway between two of the poles. (For the 33” cage, make this a third of the way from one of the poles.)
Continue until there are 3 (or 6) segments of copper wire lights between the poles on the frame.
This setup provides the perfect place for tinsel garland to rest in a manner that makes these look like much nicer and prettier versions of the spiral Christmas trees you can buy in the store. Hot glue the tip of the tinsel garland to the top of the tree and wrap it around evenly without pulling too hard. The garland should just rest on the wires giving a spiral effect. Apply hot glue on every other pole you come to while wrapping so that the garland stays in place.
Now you can step back and marvel at your creation.
Take it outside and set yourself up a nice little set of trees. Remember when I said to keep the ring parts you cut off earlier? Now is when they come in handy! Take a pair of pliers and form three of them into hooks. Take them outside with you and use them as anchors to hold your trees into the ground!
We used different colored tinsel garland and BrightTouch light combinations to achieve this. The neighbors have already said they love it too! Simple, affordable, and bright, these little tomato cage Christmas trees have now become part of our yearly tradition!