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Roundup: 12 DIY Christmas Tree Ideas You Should Make This Year

by DIY Maven

Roundup: 12 DIY Christmas Tree Ideas You Should Make This Year

We love DIY Christmas trees here on Curbly for lots of reasons: for one thing, they're incredibly creative, and, for another thing, they can cost very little to nothing to make. They also make great alternatives for apartment dwellers and other small space-rs. So, to share our favorite ideas and inspiration this holiday season, here's our 2011 guide to DIYable and other handmade Christmas trees. We'll start with small options and end large!

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The Ultimate DIY Christmas Wreath Roundup

by Mod Home Ec Teacher

The Ultimate DIY Christmas Wreath Roundup

Christmas decor reassessment is underway at our place. I've grown so tired of the same tree, decorations, mantle lights and wreaths we've used year after year. Instead of buying new versions of our old stuff, I've decided to design and make our new holiday decor. Mr. Mod loves the traditional. Sorry, but he'll have to adjust to the new look of Christmas around here. First project: wreaths. As an appetizer, I've rounded up some not so ordinary DIY-able wreaths to get the creative juices flowing. You won't find these in the wreath aisle over at Hobby Lobby.

1. The ornament and yarn ball wreath pictured above stretches the definition of traditional by using un-Christmas-y colors. Refreshing and textured, this DIY project can be found over at LifeThroughTheLens.

2. Next up is the Mod Bubble Wreath tutorial posted right here on Curbly. It's so unusual, it had to make an encore appearance. Even though pricey, it has lots of individuality going for it. Since it was really created for a catalogue shoot for CB2, you know you'll be one out of, maybe 100, who has this. Mod, sleek, very unique.

3. Wouldn't my suburban neighbors flip if they saw a wreath made out of old cd's on our front door when they came to deliver their tins of baked goodies? Paul Hogan on Instructables created this recycled CD wreath with old cd's, a wood ring, hot glue and a festive ribbon. It looks like there are lignts, but theydon't appear in the tutorial.  Im liking the techie twist on an old favorite.  

4. If you thought you'd shock the neighbors with a cd wreath, think again. How about putting together an Anthropologie-inspired wreath using an old bike wheel and some spray painted flowers cut from plastic bottles? Of course you could "Christmas it up" with your own take on reds and greens. This wreath just drips with possibilities. See Victoria's full tutorial over on TheCityCradle.com.

5. For the super industrial, non traditionlist, how about making a wreath out of old signs in alternative color schemes? I know it doesn't even hint at Christmas, but artist Boris Bally did create a couple of red and green themed street sign wreaths for the industrial traditionalist, (or is that the traditional industrialist?).  I see the rivet but what kind of tool and blade would you use to cut through street signs?

6. Last year we saw a lot of square wreaths, which I still like. It feels a tiny bit irreverent to go square, but maybe that's the draw. This 19" wreath sells for $39.95 on Amazon. It may be a little tedius to DIY, but the wood curls and the orange dye are idea starters get you started on your own version.

7. Another hard surfaced, non traditional wreath is this simple ceramic ring covered in handwritten sayings called the Well...Come Ring. VERY minimal. A clay wreath with an sgrafitto surface comes with inscribed sayings. Since this one sells for $175.00 at artfulhome.com, I'd be tempted to locate my own ceramic ring, hang a Sharpie and let my guests expound their own holiday tidings. You have to love the minimal look for this to fly.

8. One of my all time favorites is this scrap wood wreath that was on Design Sponge last year. Since I'm on a wood kick and was able to get all kinds of grown up wood tools at an estate sale, I'll probably spin off this idea, but paint the scraps different colors. In fact, I may add some lights if it doesn't make it too slick. I just adore the odd shape and overlapping pieces. The project came from RockScissorPaper.

9. This could be a new permanant inside decoration. The photo wreath from CountryLiving.com leaves you wide open for several takes on the original, depending upon what you like. Right off the bat I thought about how clever it would be to collect old Christmas family photos, get multiple sets made and make everyone in the family their own "family photo wreath". I'd attach them to a wooden circle so they could hang (get it?) around for years. 

10. Well, well, what have we here? A dramatic white felt rosette wreath against a dark wall, Ahhhhhhhhh... Over on Etsy, SweetSweetCircles is selling her 15" x 15" monochromatic wreaths for $35.00. I would possibly use a different material, but I absolutely love the white against the dark background. Lots of possibilities.

11. Speaking of black and white, what about using a black and white striped shirt, sweater, or other knit vintage garment to whip up an eye popping fabric covered DIY wreath. Once you get into using vintage duds, the floodgates open.  See how easy it is to use garments to decorate wreaths. Full tutorial over on Smile and Wave

12.  Old tires are plentiful, and a reuse of a giant tire isn't such a bad idea. If it wasn't found on A Rowdy Redneck Christmas and labeled "The biggest reef I ever saw", I may think it was an environmental statement.  Notice the nice big spot light on the ground.

Looking for more seasonal DIY projects and ideas?

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How To: Create an Art Easel from a Pair of Recycled Crutches

by Chris Gardner

I know this is weird, but when I was a kid, I longed to break my ankle or a foot so I could walk around on crutches. I know, I know, but the kids always got to leave class early, and everyone did all these nice things like carry their lunch tray....

http://img.diynetwork.com/DIY/2007/01/12/dbor409_1ff_e.jpg

Had I broken something, and were there a pair of 12-year-old crutches in my parents' basment, I'd probably make one of these: an easel. And even though I don't have a pair, the technique could...

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Corn Fed Furnaces

by DIY Maven

Corn Fed Furnaces

Sometimes, in exploring alternative energies, one must look back to look forward. Case in point: The biomass stove. It all started with Ben Franklin, who invented the iron furnace stove. Then, in 1973, Mike Haefner tweaked Ben’s baby and created the first certified biomass fuel stove. The improvement lay in the fact that Mike’s creation burned biomass.

Magnum T40 Leg Unit

Question #1

What’s biomass? Biomass itself is the process of turning trees and plant material...

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