With its pipe-cleaner candles, this small fir recalls a time when Christmas trees were brightened with flame. Five "snowflakes" encircle a 12-inch spine of wrapped floral wire.
The tree is made of five snowflakes in graduated sizes and a cross for the top. With a wire cutter or old scissors, cut two 1-inch sticks and three 2-, 3-, 4-, 5-, and 6-inch sticks.
Christmas Tree and Snowflake How-To
1. Twist each group of three sticks together at midpoint for six-pointed stars. Twist smallest two sticks into a cross.
2. Add branches to largest star: Starting at center of each spoke, twist on two 2 1/2-inch sticks; tighten by clamping down on twist point with round-nose pliers. Follow with a 2-inch stick, then a 1 1/2-inch stick. Keep spacing even.
3. Finish other snowflakes as shown. For 5-inch snowflake, use six 21/2-inch sticks, six 2-inch sticks, and six 1 1/2-inch sticks. For 4-inch snowflake, use six 2-inch sticks and six 1 1/2-inch sticks. For 3-inch snowflake, use six 1 1/2-inch sticks. For 2-inch snowflake, use six 1-inch sticks. You now have five snowflakes and a top cross. Twist three 12-inch stems of same green chenille around an equal length of 16-gauge floral wire, working from bottom up for about 3 inches. (A wooden spool makes a good tree stand.)
4. Slip biggest snowflake onto "tree trunk"; the three sticks fit between spokes of snowflakes. Twist three trunk sticks tightly, for another inch before sliding on next snowflake. Continue in this way to top, leaving a 1-inch trunk above. Trim excess wire.
To decorate tree drape lengths of silver tinsel as a garland. Make candles (dab tips of white pipe cleaners with red pen); wrap tinsel around base of each. With hot glue, affix candles to ends of branches. To make candy canes, use permanent red marker to draw stripes spiraling around white pipe cleaners. Cut 1-inch sticks; hook ends. Slide a pretty bead onto top of tree.