It’s almost time to start decorating for Christmas, right? Seems like most people start decorating shortly after Thanksgiving, so I wanted to share an idea today that I think you’ll enjoy: farmhouse Christmas tree centerpieces using vintage tins.
I’ve found that vintage tins like the ones you’ll see in the post–coffee, ricotta, salmon, etc.–have not been selling well for me lately. After giving it some thought, I wondered, “Wouldn’t they make perfect little Christmas tree bases??” And yes, they do!
Materials to Make Farmhouse Christmas Tree Centerpieces
- Faux mini Christmas trees
- Flat white spray paint (see photo below)
- Vintage and/or antique food tins (these are new, but super cute and double sided)
- Newspaper (or wrapping or shipping paper)
- Hot glue
- Cardboard or tin (for stars–I used a cereal box)
- Sizzix Big Shot die cut machine (for making stars–optional)
- Star die (optional)
- Spanish moss (or excelsior) (optional)
Step 1: Spray Paint “Snow” on the Trees
Most of the little trees that I picked up over the past couple of months for this project were a dark, uninteresting green. I decided to add some snow and tried two products.
Ultimately, it was the flat white spray paint (picked up at my local ACE franchise) that worked the best.
I gave the trees a few light coats spraying from the side, the bottom, and the top to get good coverage. In the end, it took quite a bit more paint than I expected to get the farmhouse look I wanted.
The first product that I tried, this snow-in-a-can, went on rather pale and it looked and felt like chalk. It took quite a while to dry and then when I touched a branch, the “snow” kind of crumbled and fell off the tree. I don’t recommend it for this project!
I wanted my trees to last for several holiday seasons, and I planned to sell some as well. I didn’t want potential buyers touching the trees only to have them “shed” their snow all over the place, LOL.
Step 2: Glue Paper to the Bottom of the Vintage Tins
In order to give your trees stability once you place them in the tins, you’ll want something for them to connect with.
For my purposes I found that hot gluing some crumpled paper (newspaper, wrapping paper, shipping paper, etc.) to the bottom of the tin was the way to go. I used one large piece of shipping paper and pressed it tightly into place.
If I decide later that I want to sell the tins separately or use them for another project, the paper and hot glue will be relatively easy to remove.
Step 3: Glue Trees into the Tins
If the base of your tree doesn’t fit into your tin (as was the case with one of mine) then you can remove the base.
This process wasn’t too difficult for me, but if any of yours give you trouble, grab the metal “trunk” with a pair of pliers and give it a good yank.
Apply hot glue to the bottom of your tree, whether it’s the original base or just the wire “trunk.”
Tuck the base/trunk into the center of your crumpled paper and hold it there until the glue hardens.
Step 4: Fill in Gaps with Spanish Moss (optional)
If there’s a gap between the lower tree branches and the edge of the tin, allowing you to see some of the paper, you can fill in the gap with some Spanish moss or excelsior (as shown). Shredded paper or shredded cellophane in silver or gold would also work.
Step 5: Top Trees with Cardboard StarsWhile I wanted the trees to have a simple, farmhouse look, I felt they needed some sort of star to finish them off.
I made mine using a Sizzix Big Kick die cut machine (which I LOVE), using cardboard from a cereal box. Of course you can simply draw and cut your own stars from whatever material you have on hand, yellow cardstock or the tin lid of a disposable pan, for example.
Glue the star on with a good dab of hot glue; I glued one onto each the front and back of the tree.
As I mentioned, I’ve been collecting these tins for a while now in anticipation of this project.
I love the deep red of the Folgers can, but I’m enamored with the almost coral-colored salmon tin, too. Those are the two that I took to the annual craft show I participate in at the nearby Shaker site.
I priced them at $18, but depending upon your location and the type of shop/sale you sell at, I could see them priced at $25-30 each.
The three remaining trees are nestled in a basket waiting to find their home on my dining table once Thanksgiving is over and all the Christmas decorations come out.
At the moment they grace my country cupboard located in my kitchen, later some will serve as a table centerpiece, but I could see them just as easily providing a vintage accent in other rooms of the house, whether singly or in a group.
I hope you have a blessed time this Thanksgiving with family and/or friends whether in person or via Zoom!
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