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DIY Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

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Winding down your garden for the winter season? Put those tomato cages to good use!

For this Tomato Cage 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.

fir limbs in a tomato cage in the shape of a Christmas tree

Real Miniature Christmas Tree

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. This real mini Christmas Tree turned into a stunner, and now I create one every year!

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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!

DIY Tomato Cage Miniature Tree Supplies:

  • 1 Tomato Cage (It’s totally fine if it’s rusty!)
  • Christmas tree limbs (I used 8-10)
  • Empty planter
  • 1 zip tie
  • Decorations (ribbon, lights, bulbs, etc.)

How to Create a Real Mini Christmas Tree:

First, for your tomato cage mini Christmas tree, 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.                                                                        

planter with a tomato cage inside
Planter with an upside down tomato cage inside

Next, 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!                                                                                                                                                                  

unfinished mini christmas tree
Adding the limbs in a layer at a time

At this point, 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.                                                                              

pruners trimming extra limbs off of a mini Christmas tree
Use pruners to cut off any branches extending too far

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.                                                                                                                             

limbs standing up towards the top of the mini Christmas tree
Limbs placed vertically towards the top of the tree

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.

almost finished mini Christmas tree
a tomato cage mini Christmas tree after being shaped up

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.)   Update: I have since created this tree each year from fresh limbs and added battery operated lights so it shines on the porch.                                                                                                                                                                       

cropped-minitree010-scaled-1.jpg
A simply decorated mini Christmas tree

Display your Tomato Cage Mini Christmas Tree

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. They are usually still green on New Year’s Day, when we take down our decorations. 

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!

Yield: 1 tree

DIY Tomato Cage Mini Christmas Tree

fir limbs in a tomato cage in the shape of a Christmas tree

Use those leftover tree limbs and a tomato cage to create this DIY real mini Christmas tree. It's a cheap way to add more Christmas decor to your home, and to use up those extra Christmas tree limbs!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Difficulty Moderate

Materials

  • Christmas Tree Limbs
  • 1 Tomato Cage
  • 1 Planter
  • 1 Zip Tie
  • Ornaments, ribbon, and lights

Tools

  • Pruners

Instructions

    1. 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.     
    2. 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!   
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Decorate! We opted for a star, simple ribbon, and old Christmas ornaments. But you could use lights, tinsel, berries, etc. 

I'd love to hear from you

Carole West, Garden Up Green

Tuesday 14th of November 2017

Neat Idea - Love the simplicity and guess what? No freeze here yet so I'm still enjoying my new garden.

Courtney

Tuesday 14th of November 2017

Awesome, Carole! I totally looked through the pics of your new tiny house, and it's wonderful! Tiny House Hunters is one of my favorite shows, so I love seeing the good use of storage space!

Kathleen

Saturday 28th of October 2017

This is such a cute idea (if you are able to gather enough limbs) and I know it will stay fresh for quite some time as I use my extra for swag-like decorations. I can see solar lights being used if you put this outside. I recently turned a tomato cage upside down and used it to corral my leggy mums that fall to the ground. Worked like a charm.

Courtney

Saturday 28th of October 2017

What a great idea to use the cage for your mums, Kathleen! And you're right, the limbs for this project stay fresh until after Christmas. I actually picked up a few battery operated light packs after Christmas last year and am planning to add them this year. Thanks for stopping by!

Refresh a Planter for 3 Dollars-The Kitchen Garten

Tuesday 28th of February 2017

[…] while browsing around the paint section a few months ago. I used a rather worn out planter for my Tomato Cage┬áChristmas tree in December, and I was looking for something to bring it back to life. Large planters, whether […]

Karen

Wednesday 7th of December 2016

This is a great idea for using up trimmings and creating something gorgeous for little or no investment! Your tree is beautiful - thank you for sharing your tutorial, Courtney.

Courtney

Friday 9th of December 2016

Thanks for stopping by Karen! The tree was surprisingly easy and is a great porch decoration.

Jennie

Thursday 1st of December 2016

What a clever idea! I love how your little tree turned out. :) My daughter would LOVE this. :)

Courtney

Thursday 1st of December 2016

Thanks Jennie! Several of my neighbors thought it was a real tree. Thanks for stopping by!

I'd love to hear from you

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