In sunny 60 degree weather and fortified with some amended eggnog, we gathered the rest of our supplies: glue gun, pot, rope, tomato tower, spray paint, duct tape, weights, twine and artificial garlands.
We wanted our trees to look expensive, but not actually be expensive! So we used 2 plastic pots we saved from some garden shop purchase and hot-glued on a piece of plastic rope to add texture and a touch o'class. Spray with some gold paint picked up at a tag sale, and our cheapo pots look pretty spiffy!
Next, get the towers ready. For making trees, we'll be using the towers upside down - the circular ringed top becomes the bottom. Bend the wires at the narrow end together and secure with duct tape. We hid the silver color by wrapping it with florist tape.
Then the fun starts - wrapping with garlands. We needed more garlands than we anticipated, so best to buy extras and return the ones you don't need. In order to make the trees nice and full, we used 6 -seven 9 ft. garlands. We snagged them at Michael's Black Friday madness for $1.99 each.
Start by straightening out the garland, and then pulling out each branch so the garland is nice and full. Then push it all to one side so when you wrap the tower all the bushiness of the garland will be on the outside of the tower. Your prepared garland will look something like this:
Starting at the top of the tree, secure one end of the garland to the tip of your "tree" form and wrap securely around the wire form. We twisted the wire branches around the form every few inches to keep the garland from sliding down. Here's the tree, partially wrapped and beginning to look like a tree already! Continue wrapping, securing the garland as you wind it all the way down. Then stand back, find any bare spots and fluff out the garland until all the bare spots are filled and the tree is nice and full.
Turns out our pots were a bit narrow, so we couldn't jam the bottom of the tower into the pot. We rigged up a base ( the old cookie rack seen above) to help secure the tree to the pot. If your pot is wider, you'll be able to just jam the base into it.
We added some weights to our pot so the trees wouldn't blow away. You could use sand, rocks or whatever - we used some weights. Because our tree base was just sitting on the top of the pot, we threaded twine through the holes in the weights and then threaded the twine through the tree base so the tree was tied directly to the weights. Let me know if you think of an easier way !
Once the trees were secured to the pots, we added some pine cones that we got for 37 cents at Michael's! We split the cones apart, then made some stems for the individual cones by twisting on some thin florist wires. Place the cones where you want, adjust as needed, then wrap the wire around the garlands to secure.
Add some twinkly white lights we already had on hand and our tomato tower trees are complete! Here's a closer look:
At less than $25.00 per tree we now have a dressed up front door for the holidays.