Pipe Cleaner Decorations: Christmas Tree
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.
Photography: Howard Bjornson
Source: Martha Stewart Living, December 2000
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.
Twist each group of three sticks together at midpoint for six-pointed stars. Twist smallest two sticks into a cross.
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.
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.)
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.