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Three-Ring-Circus Christmas Tree

This tree, created by crafts director Marcie McGoldrick, offers a different take on a three-ring circus. The "tree" itself is actually a graduated trio of white wreaths, suspended from the ceiling with lengths of monofilament.

Photography: Katya De Grunwald

Source: Martha Stewart

Introduction

Winter white garland, 10', $78, treetopia.com. Double-rail wreath forms, in various sizes, from $5.50 each, mainewreathco.com. Gold crepe paper, $12, cartefini.com. Styrofoam balls,  15/16", 1 1/2", 2", and 3", from $4 for 16; and wired wood picks, by Ashland, from $3.50 a package, michaels.com.

materials

  • 2 white garlands, each 10 feet

  • Three double-rail wreath forms, 20, 24, and 30 inches

  • White thread-wrapped wire

  • Wire snips

  • Monofilament

  • Plant hanger

  • Stainless steel S-hooks, 3 inches

  • Gold crepe paper

  • Styrofoam balls

  • Fringe scissors

  • Craft glue

  • Wired wooden picks, 3 and 6 inches

steps

  1. Make wreaths: Place garland on top of a wreath form, and wire it in place approximately every 4 inches. Cut off excess garland.

  2. Fluff up garland to hide wreath form and wires. For a fuller wreath, add another length of garland to bottom of wreath form. Repeat, making 2 more wreaths.

  3. Assemble "tree": Determine how far from ceiling you want to suspend top wreath (this will depend on your ceiling height). Cut 3 lengths of monofilament, each about 6 inches longer than that measurement. Tie them to smallest wreath at equal intervals and knot strands together at their other ends. Hang from plant hanger in the ceiling. Hook S-hooks onto wreath next to spots where monofilament is tied.

  4. Determine how far down you want to hang next wreath. Cut 3 more pieces of monofilament, each about 6 inches longer than that measurement. Make a small loop at both ends of each piece, and loop onto S-hooks of the first wreath. Hook 3 S-hooks onto second wreath, and hang from loops at other ends of monofilament. Adjust loops as needed to make wreaths hang evenly.

  5. Repeat to attach third wreath.

  6. Decorate with gold balls: Stretch out gold crepe paper (it comes slightly gathered). Cut pieces that will wrap around Styrofoam balls with overhang at ends. Fringe overhang. Dab with craft glue as you fold down fringed edges, smoothing as you go. Insert a pick into each ball, and then into wreath.

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