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Shaping and Decorating a Tabletop Tree with Eric

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


If you would like to try a smaller Christmas tree this year or simply want to create a distinctive holiday decoration, you might consider a tabletop tree. As Eric Pike, our executive vice president and creative director, demonstrates, with a little pruning, you can easily transform a small blue spruce into a beautiful, festive centerpiece.


  • Small blue spruce

  • Urn

  • Masking tape

  • Plastic bucket

  • Pea gravel

  • Pruning shears

  • Brown liquid shoe polish

  • Floral foam

  • Sheet moss


  1. Once you've selected your tree, stand it upright in a metal bucket filled with pea gravel. Decide which branches you want to prune, and place a piece of masking tape at the inner and outer ends of those branches. Use pruning shears to cut the branches away, and disguise the cut ends with a dab of brown liquid shoe polish.

  2. Line an urn with a plastic garbage bag, and cut a piece of floral foam to the same size as the urn's mouth. Place a plastic paint bucket inside the urn. If it doesn't fit snugly, fill the space around it with gravel. Transfer the tree to the bucket, and fill the bucket three-quarters with gravel. Pour in water until it reaches the top of the gravel. Soak the floral foam, cut it in half, and place it around the trunk of the tree so that it acts like a collar. Cover the foam with sheet moss, and use the ornaments of your choice to decorate the branches.

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