Hello everyone and now, with Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, it’s all eyes locked on Christmas.
A few blogs back I mentioned a project in progress – Tart Tin Christmas Trees. You’ve probably seen other Christmas items made out of upcycled tart tins such as Christmas tree ornaments but these trees are a new take on upcycling tart tins.
Home decor made of tin has been popular for quite some time especially for the Primitive, Country, Prairie and Farmhouse folks. For Christmas, tin tree ornaments can be very simple or lavishly decorated – and absolutely charming.
But I was looking for something to do with these little fluted tins besides hanging them on the the tree. Wait a minute – tree – I almost missed the obvious. These tins come in a range of sizes, just right for – you guessed it – making them into trees.
These Tart Tin Christmas Trees are the perfect size to accent your Tin House Christmas Village or to create a little woodsy scene of deer and snow drifts.
I’ve made a few of these trees and used two different methods. I wouldn’t claim one way is better than the other, I’ll let you decided which way works best for you, but come, let’s do this step by step.
I had a couple sizes already, and a quick scan through Etsy netted me one more size and I went to Amazon for the the largest size @ 2¾” wide. Just the large tins are new, the other three sizes are Vintage/Used.
This is the basic material list needed to make a tree using the first method I tried. But you can also get a good idea of the size range of tins I used here.
This covers some of the decorating ideas I had – but really, the sky’s the limit as to what you can use to decorate your trees (or don’t decorate them at all).
Starting from the bottom using the largest tin, I hot glued a wood plug in the center of the tin.
I then checked the gap by setting the next size tin on the plug, nope, too short. So I added another wood plug.
Three plugs did the trick and gave me the spacing I was looking for. I added a blob of glue to the top of the third plug and set the next smallest tin in place.
It only took two wood plugs to get the spacing I wanted for tin number three.
And two plugs again for tin number four. But I wasn’t sure what I wanted to use for the top of the tree and while I was searching for ideas through my crafting stash I came upon these metal tips for cake decorating that I’ve used for Steampunk projects in the past.
I realized that if I glued a single wood plug on the top tin and then ran a bead of glue around the edge of that plug then the cone shaped metal tip would fit down over it perfectly.
I think I can even make good use of the opening in that tip. The next step is to make the trunk for the tree and a wood spool for crafting will work just fine.
Place a ring of glue around the top and center it on the inside of the bottom tin and it’s a perfect fit.
So now my little tree has a solid wood core and trunk, I like it.
This was my first attempt at decorating a tart tin Christmas tree. With a dot of glue at the tip, I then just started wrapping the string of beads down the body of the tree with more dots of glue as I went along.
There’s lots of different colored bead strings available, I only had gold, but it came out pretty good.
I chose one of the miniature tree ornaments, clipped off the ring used for hanging, and made it into another arm of the snowflake.
And then I just glued it into the opening of the cake decorating tip. The first tree is finished. That was fun! Let’s do some more.
Another tree with gold beads, only these are added just on the edge of each cup. The other is little tiny Styrofoam balls that are covered in red glitter with a silver star on top. (Note: I did go back and correct the star’s placement, don’t know what I was thinking there.)
So that was the first method of building these tart tin Christmas trees. Another way I came up with is using a wood skewer.
Just a few tools are required here: hammer, awl or punch, wood skewer (like for kabobs).
I just went through and punched a hole in the center of each of the four sizes of tins that I will be using.
This time we’re going to reverse the order though. Starting with the smallest tin I slid the skewer through the hole and left about 1/4″ to 1/2″ sticking up through the top of the tin. Underneath, I ran a line of hot glue around the skewer where it meets the metal. As the glue cools, hold your tin in the position you want it to be on the “trunk”.
Just keep adding the next size up in tins, positioning and gluing as you go until you’re at the largest tin.
Slide the wood spool on and mark where the bottom is. Then take the spool back off and cut the extra skewer off about a 1/4″ above the line where you marked. Glue the top of the spool and around the tin where it will sit and slide it into place.
The advantage of the skewer is you have something sticking out of the top of the tin to securely anchor little decorative toppers to, like these miniature pine cones. The hanging ring on these was easy to pull off leaving a hole that fit almost perfectly onto the skewer tip – just a little hot glue and it’s done.
I really like the simplicity of this tree. I also had a card of those little pine cones in red:
The Vintage/Used tart tins came with lots of character or ‘patina’ as we like to say. I love patina – make mine rusty, please.
This is an old clip on earring that I removed the clip part from. Some hot glue and that old earring is now a pretty little tree topper.
I also made a couple of fairly plain trees because I thought making a small grouping of trees would be nice, kind of like a little forest. Add the two plain trees to the ornate one and you have the perfect Christmas topiary collection.
The plain trees are topped with silver metal bead caps.
Like I said, there’s a fairly unlimited selection of things you could do with these little trees. But each one will be quite unique and that’s the best part of all.
I’ve started listing these Tart Tin Christmas Trees in my shop Old Raven on Etsy. These would make great Christmas gifts for the neighbors, family and friends or start a small forest for your own mantel display.
Here’s the link to the first tree I have listed, all of them will follow shortly:
Thank you very much for taking a look at this “how to”, let me know if you give it a try and how you chose to decorate your tree(s). Enjoy the Holiday Season – Kriss
This project and it’s instructions have been approved by Smokey – you may care on.