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DIY Christmas Tree Sized to Fit Your Space

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece on the coffee table | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com
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Who doesn’t love vintage toys? Especially at Christmas?

A custom-sized Christmas tree in a Radio Flyer centerpiece is paired with antique toys | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

And, to celebrate all things vintage, these little gems have been taking their holiday places.

Christmas tree in Radio Flyer with packages wrapped in plaid | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Gifts are wrapped in plaid fabric and tied with sparkling bows…

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece fits well with traditional sparkle | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

…. then nestled among the cherished old toys.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece with a vintage to CocaCola dispenser | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Everything has been really humming along.

Well, except for this little 19-inch wagon.

For some reason, it just didn’t seem to fit anywhere.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece Wagon | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

At my wits end, I lamented this woe to my sweet friend Laura, who, incidentally, is clear across the planet in New Zealand.  It sounds crazy, I know.  But, in what seemed like the twinkling of an eye,  she calmly responded, “Whoa, girl, you should totally put a little Christmas tree in that wagon.”

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece is combined with plaid accessories | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com
And, just like that…..  In less time than it takes for a message to fly across the world-wide-web, the brilliant Laura had struck decorating gold.

So, on the next day, the design and build got rolling.

And, by nightfall, the little vintage wagon had finally found its fit.

Here’s how it happened.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece is loaded with a handmade tree | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

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Custom-Sized Christmas Tree

STEP-BY-STEP:

(1)  Determine the height and diameter for your tree.  This tree is approximately 27-inches from the bottom of the stand to the top of the greenery and about 15-inches in diameter.

(2)  Gather scrap wood, if you have it, or purchase 3 kinds of inexpensive wood.

*One furring strip, which comes in an 8-foot length and costs about $1.00.

*Wood for four “wings.”  I used leftover 1/4 inch plywood, but thin pine would also work.

*Quarter round molding

*Wood glue

*One wood screw

(3)  Have the wood pieces cut to size and assemble.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece basic stand and tree frame | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

(4)  Have quarter round molding cut to size.  Four same-size pieces are needed.  One piece is glued to each side of the furring strip.

Inner frame has four pieces of quarter round glued in place to hold the wings | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

(5)  Have the tree’s “wings” cut to size and glue each wing to the furring strip and quarter round molding.  The frame will look rather crude, but will be covered with greenery, so not to worry.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece has a four-sided tree made with triangles | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Another view.  I know!  It looks like it was made at NASA, but just bear with me.

Inner frame for the Christmas tree is crude but effective..and will be totally covered by the garland | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

A closer look at how the quarter round and wings fit together.

Fully assembled inner Christmas tree frame | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

(6)  Spray paint the entire frame.  I used black with a brown topcoat.

Combo of black and brown color the Christmas tree inner frame | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

(7)  Then, starting from the bottom of the frame, wind a strand of plain garland to the top of the frame.  I didn’t use any adhesive, but I did twist some of the greenery pieces together so they would hang on to the frame.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer with a garland wrapped frame | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

A view of the stand and wrapped garland from the bottom.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece illustrating stand and garland attached to the frame | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

(8)  Tie the tree to the wagon with twine and spritz it with spray-on snow.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece tied with jute twine | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

Then place your beautiful creation in a favorite spot…..

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece on the coffee table | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

…..to share with loved-ones during the holiday season.

Christmas Tree in Radio Flyer Centerpiece full front view on the coffee table | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com

********************************************

Thank you, Laura, for this terrific idea.

And, although we are physically many miles apart,

you’re an internet bestie that is close to my heart.

*********************************************

Tabletop Christmas Tree is made to fit your space | The Chelsea Project | www.thechelseaproject.com 

And, as always, many thanks to all of you for stopping by.  It is such a joy to share projects and ideas.

Signature

#RadioFlyer #Wagon #Centerpiece #Christmas #christmastree

 

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29 Comments

  • Reply Erika November 12, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    That is so cute!!!

  • Reply Laura Sait November 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Love sharing crafty ideas with you dear friend… Your cutie pie tree is PERFECT! You are such a clever thing, with such a great design eye. (Now to get you some wooden skis, lol! :))

  • Reply Kristi Bennett November 12, 2015 at 10:30 pm

    Such a cute idea. Thank you!

  • Reply Mary-The Boondocks Blog November 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    Just adorable. Has anyone ever told you what an incredible storyteller you are? We used to have a wagon like that many years ago but we had to sell it when we moved across the pond… I remember it fondly, althought mine didn’t have a christmas tree in it.

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog November 12, 2015 at 10:39 pm

      Thank you, Mary. Your kind and encouraging words give me confidence. And, no….nobody ever said I wan a storyteller. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

  • Reply Prairie Kari November 12, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    I love this – it totally brings thoughts of yesteryear and kids would go to the local tree lot and drag a tree home on their wagon 🙂

  • Reply Prairie Kari November 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Pondering how you did this with wrapping garland just solved a dilemma I have in a Christmas decoration I am making. I have been stalking our Cdn Prairies version of CL for old un-lit xmas trees to reuse the branches in the various lengths to wrap, wire and make fit and duh I have a big box of pine garland I think will work to wrap and repurpose like you did! Need to take off a few cones and twigs but it should do the job! Maybe it is karma all the trees have been sold before I get there – I just had to wait for a post of inspiration from you and the light to come on! Today it is like one of those new fangled spiral mercury light bulb ones that take a minute or two to warm up before fully lit – ugh! Thanks for reducing my project cost and more so — the bulk of no longer loved decorations I accumulate and still hoard unused for years!!

  • Reply Lucy @ Patina Paradise November 13, 2015 at 7:28 pm

    Great idea Susie! I have to go digging for the garland I found last year for a few bucks at the thrift store. Thanks for the idea! ;o)

  • Reply Charm Bracelet Diva {At Home} November 13, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Wow Susie! You are definitely resourceful like nobody’s business! My father was a mechanical engineer but I shy away from projects like this. You make it sound so easy! It really is perfect! I have my son’s old wagon that I’ve never used for Christmas decorating. Might just be time to pull that thing out! Thanks for linking up over at our Vintage Charm Party! xoKathleen

    • Reply thechelseaprojectblog November 13, 2015 at 10:37 pm

      Thanks, Kathleen. So happy to hear you have a wagon you can whip out for the season. I just put out a few pieces of my husband’s electric train when he was a little boy. Remember Lionel trains in the late 1950s-1960s? It’s so totally awesome and vintage. Love these old toys!

  • Reply Chef Carol November 15, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    Susie what a great project. Love the wagon. We have an old sled that has never been used. You’ve inspired me. Thanks for sharing on Your Inspired Design Link Party.

  • Reply frontporchtraditions November 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    What a great idea!!! I love how it it fits in the little wagon perfectly!

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  • Reply Janine |Happy Happy Nester| October 27, 2016 at 12:05 pm

    Such a adorable project! Love this post!

    • Reply theChelseaProject October 27, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Thanks Janine.

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  • Reply Debrashoppeno5 November 1, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    This is so adorable. I need to look for a little wagon in my travels or make one so I can do this idea.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 1, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks Debra. Watch garage sales and Goodwill. I can’t believe people want to get rid of them, but they do.

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  • Reply Susanne November 8, 2016 at 11:29 pm

    I just love how this is made and it looks wonderful in that wagon!!! Pinning and sharing my friend!!

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 9, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Thanks so much!! Hope you can make one for yourself… Remember to send photos.. XOXO

  • Reply Marie Blackburn November 11, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Seriously girl, that is such a great idea for the perfect custom size! Thanks for linking up your adorable Christmas Tree to our Power Tool Reader Challenge.

    • Reply theChelseaProject November 11, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      LOL….thanks Marie!

    Thanks so much for your comment!