Several years ago I figured out I could make some really pretty and unique things using drinking straws. Rather than throw them out, wash them and save them up. Also, most everyone winds up with styrofoam from packages. Don't throw it out, use it instead of buying it in the craft department. I'm going to show you how I changed these items most people throw away into a tree you can decorate how ever you please. Hope you enjoy!
Step 1:Gather Supplies
Scrap block of wood
Glue gun and glue sticks
Ruler and pencil
String or ribbon
Mini curling iron
Soda can tabs and wire
Step 2:Cut the styrofoam
This part is messy! I used a serrated knife and cut the styrofoam into the shape of the tree. You can choose what size you like at this point.
Step 3:Make the base
We always have scrap wood lying around, so I just use a small piece of it. I measured the bottom of the styrofoam shape I cut out and made the base the same width. I then marked the center of the block and drill a hole about 3/4 of the way through for the dowel to go into.
Step 4:Paint and glue the base
I cut the dowel so that it will go about 1/4 to 1/2 way into the tree and leave enough space for it to have a trunk. I carved out a bit of the styrofoam in the center of the tree to make it easier for the dowel to go in. I also used a sander and made a point on the dowel which helps too. I paint the base before I attached the tree because I used spray paint and I didn't want it on the tree. Apply hot glue into the hole on the block and insert the dowel and then do the same for the tree.
Step 5:Cover the dowel
I used string and hot glue to wrap it around the dowel to make the trunk of the tree. You can choose whatever you like or you may choose to just paint it.
Step 6:Cutting the straws
I cut the straws into approximately 2 inch pieces. I used approximately 35 straws for my tree which is 8 inches tall. After you have all of the pieces, cut the ends into little strips by putting the scissors into the end and just rotating the straw as I cut. I do the same on both ends of the straw.
Step 7:Curling the straw
Once all of the strips are cut on the ends I fan them all out. I then use the mini curling iron to curl them a bit. If you don't have the curling iron, no worries. You can also curl them with your fingernail by pulling your nail from the bottom up, much like you would curl ribbon for presents. If you choose not to curl them at all they are stillll pretty just fanned out also. I just prefer the curled look. Once the straws are curled cut them in half. I do the curling on both ends before cutting them because it is easier to handle them. Preparing the straws is a time consuming process but you can easily do it while relaxing on the couch watching tv.
Step 8:Time to make the tree
Once all of the straws are ready you can start attaching them to the styrofoam. I use a small dowel or a pencil to make a hole where I want each piece of straw to go. Apply hot glue into the hole and then put the straw in. Move in a horizontal line around the tree attaching the straws.
Step 9:Placing the straws
When you go to the next line up place the straws in between the first row. Staggering them this way helps fill in all of the spaces better. Just keep moving up doing the same thing until the entire tree is covered.
Step 10:Time to Decorate
When all of the straws are attached you can now use your imagination and decorate the tree anyway you like. I attached beads in Christmas colors because I have a Christmas village I put out and these trees look great sitting with it. I used soda can tabs to make the topper. I used hot glue to hold them together and wrapped wire around them to secure them as well and just glued it on top. Your tree can be decorated for everyday decor to sit on a table or bookshelf. You can paint the entire tree if you would like to add some color in a room. I hope you enjoy making this trash to treasure project. Get Creative and Always Have Fun!!