Now, how to base them up? I would need washers for the base, of course. When the branches pop off, it creates a hollow plastic cylinder about 3mm in diameter, and about 1 cm long. I picked up a box of carpet tacks that the cylinder would fit tightly over. I found out after gluing the first batch down, though, that I needed heavier fender washers to keep the tree upright on the tabletop. So, it was back to the hardware store for about 30 big fender washers.
So, without further ado, here's the tutorial for creating pine trees for the tabletop on the cheap!
|The carpet tack was epoxied upright over the hole in the smaller washer (1/8th inch hole by 3/4" diameter). However, the washer is not heavy enough to keep the tree from tipping over. Thus, it is epoxied to the thicker fender washer, as above.|
|One of the Christmas pine branches from Michaels craft store. This larger one is good for about 20 separate trees.|
|Pop! The pine bristles pop easily off into a branch with three fronds that looks very, as Pippin would say, "Tree-ish"|
|I used a hot glue gun and placed a blob atop each carpet tack. Then the branch was pushed onto the carpet tack. The excess glue ran down onto the base to give a good contact with the washers.|
|I have a premixed batch of white glue and brown paint. I squirted some of this into the palette and brushed the glue/paint mix over the washer and onto the bottom of the trunk.|
|Quickly dip the wet washer into a tub of brown coarse ballast and swish it around to make sure the washer is fully covered. You will need to scrape or brush off the ballast that adheres to the bottom.|
|And here they are -- my pine trees on the cheap -- with a 28m Conquest Miniatures Indian for scale.|
So, how much did it all cost for about 32 trees? Well, I have lots of the small washers and carpet tacks left over, of course. I would estimate it cost me just a bit over 50 cents per tree. They were quick and easy to create and will look fine in mass on the tabletop. So, if you're interested, head out to the local craft store while they have the plastic Christmas pine branches on sale...!