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Astar's Craft: Alternative to a Christmas Tree

With Astar

Alternative to a Christmas Tree
Great idea and they don't take up much room and the best part is that they can be relocated easily.  When Christmas is over, no worries in ditching the dying faded tree, simply remove the decorations and you once again have a fully functioning ladder. OR, wait until next year and I'll show you how to turn it into a picture gallery&

From Spotlight you can purchase a 'ladder shelving unit'. They come in kit-set form and are easy to assemble. The colour is black, and can be painted if desired.
I love this unit - it's such a great idea! Dressed with decorations to suit, it also has the added shelving trays upon which to place Christmas presents. Thank goodness, as I don't like things littering the floor!
You will also need a selection of Christmas decorations to suit - which Spotlight has a large selection of, along with:
Fairy lights (either battery or mains powered.)

Once assembled and placed in location, wrap lights down both sides.
Dress to suit. As a general rule I like to work small at the top, down to bigger forms at the base, but really it's over to you and what you like.

I'm calling this ladder my organic version. I love all things Kiwiana and figure why go for tradition English decorations, when it's hot and beachy and I can have something that represents summery New Zealand.
For those who want to recycle, why not make your own ladder using twisty willow, tree branches or bamboo?
The painted bamboo in various lengths can be purchased from most Spotlight stores.
Twine or string + wire to wrap and bind steps.
Fairy lights.

Hand-made Christmas decorations and bunting - depicting all things Kiwi
Artificial Pohutukawa branch with flowers
+ Vines and other artificial native NZ ferns
Little black birds to resemble 'tom tits' - the birds I most miss living in the North Island.
Paua shell chips (which I will demonstrate how to make into flowers) - available from Spotlight.
Hot glue gun and cord or ribbon to hang above flowers.

Determine length or height you wish tree ladder to be then cut to suit.
Mark widths and depth of steps then cut to desired width.
Allow around 3" to extend beyond central stays.
Once cut either glue or wire into place, then use string or twine to bind and hold fast in position.
Once completed wrap with twine for a more organic look.
Wrap fairy lights along both sides, then dress to suit with artificial ferns, vine, along with tiny kite bags, birds, pohutukawa flowers and paua flowers.

To make Paua Flowers
You will need around 6 evenly sized rounded paua chips + one large and two smaller than rest
+ cord, string to fix and hang

Take the largest chip and use this as the base to glue 6 rounded chips in a daisy pattern down on top of base chip. Allow to set, then glue a smaller chip into the middle of formed flowers. Take a piece of twin and glue to back of formed flower, then immediately glue the remaining chip on top of twine.

(Broadcast 13 November 2012)