Winding down your garden for the winter season? Put those tomato cages to good use! For a mini Christmas tree, all you need are some tree scraps, a tomato cage, and an empty planter. It’s a great no-cost/low cost decor idea that fits any style. Each year I usually try to use my empty tomato cages for some kind of holiday decor, but the results have been lackluster…. until now.
Our local Christmas tree lot is so generous with their trimmings. For the last five years or so, they’ve allowed me to “help myself” to the trimmings from their trees. Usually, when someone purchases a real Christmas tree, the bottom branches are removed, so the tree can fit in the stand. If you trim your tree at home, then you may already have branches to use. If you happen to use an artificial tree, then check out your local tree lot for tree scraps for this easy craft. You’re helping our your local lot by getting rid of their extra branches, and you’re using what’s available instead of buying more stuff. Win-win!
Here’s what you’ll need:
1 Tomato Cage (It’s totally fine if it’s rusty!)
Christmas tree limbs (I used 8-10)
1 zip tie
Decorations (ribbon, lights, bulbs, etc.)
- Place empty tomato cage upside down in an empty planter. (Our planter was a bit oversized, so I “filled” the bottom with an upside down hanging basket.) Zip tie the loose bottom pieces of the tomato cage to create the triangular tree shape
- Start at the bottom of the “tree” and begin adding in tree limbs. Layer the limbs so that some rest on the planter, and others on the horizontal rings on the tomato cage itself. It’s going to look strange until it’s filled in, so don’t lose hope!
- The limbs may not be perfect in shape, so trim off small branches if you need to. You will use these later to fill in bare spots.
- As your “tree” begins to fill out, use one or two limbs standing up as the top of your tree. You can simply stick them into the top of your “tree” and adjust as needed. Just like with your tomato plants in the summer, work these limbs to suit your needs. They’re flexible.
- You’re almost done! If you have any rogue limbs hanging out further than the rest, use your pruning shears and trim them. Then you can take the trimmings and stuff them into any holes you may have.
- Decorate! We opted for a star, simple ribbon, and old Christmas ornaments. But you could use lights, tinsel, berries, etc. (The little gardeners were totally bummed that I didn’t use multi-colored lights. Alas, I could not bring myself to do it.)
You could use this tomato cage tree inside or out (ours will be on the porch). But be aware (especially if you keep it inside), the limbs will eventually dry out, but they should retain their color for several weeks. We use tree trimmings each year, and I’m always pleased with how long they hold up.
This is a great way to have a beautiful Christmas decor item for little or no money. When the season is over, simply toss the limbs into the compost or any natural area in your yard, and put your cage and pot back into storage. Boom!
I’d love to know how you’ve used a tomato cage for decorating! I hope you have a wonderful Christmas season; Happy Gardening!
You can also check out this post and many other DIY ideas at Hometalk!
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