Christmas trees are great, but floating, abstract Christmas trees? All kinds of amazing. Round up some unused paint stir sticks, a bit of green craft paint, and some fishing line and you're just a few steps away from some showstopping seasonal art.
- 100x 9" paint stir sticks
- Round commercial steaming rack (ours was 17" in diameter)
- 100x lightweight carabiner hooks
- Green craft paint: we used metallic, high gloss, satin, and glitter
- fishing line or monofilament
- hot glue gun and sticks
- ceiling hook
- offset spatula or butter knife
1. Paint the front, back, and edges of each paint stick. Use one color for twenty-five sticks, then switch to another color for the next twenty-five, and so on until all 100 sticks are covered. For a fuller tree, use more sticks. Set aside to dry.
2. To hang our piece, we're using a technique inspired by this ornament tree project from Not Martha: a steamer rack, fishing line, and small carabiners. Determine where you want to hang your tree, and install the hook into the ceiling, securing into a joist or using an anchor. Place the steaming rack upside down on a table, and extend the feet so they are pointing upward. Attach four equal lengths of fishing wire to the feet of the rack, and tie the ends together. They should be equally spaced along the two feet to create a level rack once it's hung. Hang the rack, with the feet towards the ceiling, on the hook.
3. To create the tree, you'll make four tiers of paint sticks arranged in concentric circles.
Cut a length of fishing wire, and attach both ends to one side of the paint stick using a small dot of hot glue. Using the side of a butter knife or other flat instrument, press the wire into the semi-cool glue. Your lengths should be as follows for each tier:
- Tier 1 = 32"
- Tier 2 = 48"
- Tier 3 = 64"
- Tier 4 = 80"
Set aside to cool.
4. Suspend each paint stick from a carabiner. Hang the shortest strands from the steamer rack in a circle in the center of the rack. Arrange the second longest strands in a circle pattern outside the first circle. Continue hanging strands in a circular pattern with the shortest strands closest to the center of the steamer rack.
Voila! Check out the finished giant Christmas tree mobile. We told you it was fab.
How to Store: Remove each paint stick one at a time, starting with the outer circle. Wrap the fishing wire around each stick, then bundle all the sticks of that tier with a large rubber band. Repeat for each tier. Once bundled, place the four bundles inside a plastic bag. For the easiest reinstallation next year, leave the carabiners in place on the steamer rack.
Photography by Michael Haug