Share on ThriftyFunThis guide contains the following solutions. Have something to add? Please share your solution!
I make costume jewelry Christmas trees as gifts for family. This one on black background was given to me 30 years ago and made by my 86 year old aunt. It is one of the most loved things in my home.
Old family pieces are nice or just collect them at yard sales. They are getting harder to find.
You can also use buttons and let the kids make them.
Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.
By Suzanne from Lafontaine, IN
I have known people in the past that made those trees out of old costume jewelry. I have always wanted to make one but never seem to have enough of the right kind jewelry to use.
I saw something similar on Antiques Roadshow. It was a sculpture made from old jewelry and other small objects. There was a name for it. I can't remember the name but at one time it was fashionable to make these things from objects that a loved one owned and wore in their lifetime, after they passed on. They are a form of folk art and had a lot of value.
I bought costume jewelery in bulk off Ebay and designed and made my own Christmas trees. I have 3 of them. This was popular back in the 30's and 40's. I don't know if there are kits but I think a persons own imagination, a velvet backed picture frame or shadow box, and some junk jewelery makes it good to go. You can even drill holes in the backing and add some Christmas lights through the back, I use battery operated ones.
Can I buy a Christmas jewelry tree kit?
By Kim from Canada
I have not seen a kit for making the tree, but I am in the process of making one. I bought a green floral cone at the craft store and covered it in dark green velvet from an old pillow. I have been adding sparkly old jewelry, from thrift stores and family, as well as the flat back craft stones. The base will be a wooden block, sprayed gold, and encrusted with more craft stones. I also bought some of the small clear lights with a battery pack at the Dollar Tree. This will, I hope, be a beautiful heirloom project, with very little expense involved.
Take a large piece of thin ply board. On the backside, draw a large tree. Drill holes here and there, evenly spaced as you would like them to insert tiny colored lights through. On the front side I glued a large piece of black velvet and make holes where the lights will be placed so they can pop through okay. Where the tree is, glue jewelry: pins, bracelets, pretty buttons, break apart necklaces and bracelets. Use good glue (I can't remember what kind I used but it has to be effective on the jewelry and fabric). Use bracelets as the trunk and base. Be creative. Find a star to use at the top. When I make mine, I always put something to the outside of the tree like a dragon fly, butterfly, bird or something shiny. I will try to get a picture posted later.
You can take a large frame. Paint it if it isn't pretty.
Here are some pics of my tree I made about 30 years ago and still use.
So you just let the felt or velvet cloth show? How would it work to fill in the visible cloth with glitter glued to the cloth? Do you think this would work or would the glue streaks show through...
How do I make a Christmas tree out of jewelry?
By Carol from Bay City, WI
I haven't a clue as to how to make an actual tree structure out of the jewelry. I did however purchase a cheap fake Christmas tree at a craft store and simply strung some necklaces about it and adorned it with earrings ( the ones with the hook backings ), I've kept the tree up just as it is year around and I find it works wonderfully just as a jewelry stand. :)
I made two several years ago like the one pictured. It has some special pieces on it like little gingerbread men and some small leaves from the craft store amidst all the beads. These special pieces really made it meaningful to me. The girl scout pin is a great idea, nursing pin or caduceus etc would be neat.
My friend loaned me a magazine with instructions to make a Christmas jewelry tree and pictures. I lent it to a friend who has mislaid it and can't find it. I don't know the name, but it was a few years old. Can you help with the name of the issue? I would like to purchase it if I can.
By Susann S.
The website below is from a past Thrifty Fun question re a possible jewelry tree:
I am looking for instructions for a Christmas tree made out of old jewelry.
By Donna from Gibsonville, NC
I have collected the costume jewelry, frame. I am ready to organize the jewelry on the black material. How do I make a tree shape? How do I sew on the jewelry? I have many signed pieces and do not want to cut them or glue them onto the fabric. Thanks for your help.
By Lee B.
I am looking for information on making a vintage jewelry Christmas lighted picture frames.
By Rita from Maggie Valley area
Years ago, my grandmother had a lot of junk jewelry around. Using a desired pattern (Christmas tree for example), she painted the frames, covered them with felt, added wood to the back of the frame (so it stood out from the wall), drilled holes through the pattern, and added tiny Christmas lights from the back. The lights were also the reason for it not to hang flush against the wall. Finally she put some type of hanger on back of frame. They look beautiful during the day and even more lovely at night when the lights are turned on.
Does anyone have this pattern or directions for making these? Also do you have other crafts that can be made out of junk jewelry?
By Rita N
ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.
I am trying to locate a pattern for a costume jewelry Christmas tree. I have spent hours on the web and still cannot find one. Can anyone help me?
By Carole from Monterey Park, CA
You really don't need a pattern. If you have a nice shape for a tree, whether it is the kind that have the points of the limbs straight down or pointed it, simply get a piece of thin board. I used to cover mine with red felt, velveteen, or sateen (fake satin).
Then you put your pattern on it, draw it, and place your jewelry on it. If you have sets, like earrings, it's fun to place them on the same points on each side of the tree, or if your pieces are all different, you can put the larger ones in the middle and the smaller ones on the tips of the trees.
Shiny ones work wonderfully, and the best glue is E-6000. Take off the earring backs, pin backs, or anything that keeps the pieces from being as flat as they can be.
Keep something magical for the star on top, or just make a glitter glue one by drawing the shape and filling it in. If you make one, send it to us. (11/16/2009)
I am looking for a Christmas tree wall hanging made of costume jewelry. If any one has one I would appreciate a picture. Thanks.
Susan from Grand Prairie, TX
Here's a few:
Some of the pictures will show a larger view if you click on them.
I found this one on craigslist, a bit to much for me, but I thought it was neat the way it lights up. (09/20/2009)
You can buy a jeweled Christmas tree kit at www.piecemakers.com in Costa Mesa California. I did'nt see it online, but I did see it at the store. (08/08/2010)
By Mrs. Teresa
I am looking for directions on how to make a memory or Christmas tree out of jewelry. It uses one of a kind earrings or old jewelry that is not being used.
Norma from Cedaredge, CO
My mom made one many years ago. She took all the pieces and glued them on felt-like background within the desired shape. Hers just happened to be a big round circle, then she took a strip of velvet and glued it on for the stem. Then she framed it and had it on the wall for a long time. Hope this helps. (07/13/2007)
Buy a small tree and wire on the old jewelry. Add some small red yarn bows and maybe a pearl garland. Save an especially pretty or large piece for the topper. Glue gun can be used, but fine wire is more permanent. I've done this before and it's gorgeous. (07/14/2007)
One year I found this hideous wooden Christmas tree decoration. It was green. I just glued miscellaneous junk jewelry and now it is my only Christmas tree. After using brooches earrings and such for ornaments, then I used pearls, chains, and bracelets for ropes, dangle earrings are placed on the tips of the branches. If you have a handy man, get him to cut out the design you want.
Paint or cover with velvet or felt. My next project is a small toddler's horse on wheels. I have been saving and scrounging for jewels. (07/15/2007)
I covered a thin piece of Masonite with green felt. It was cut to fit a large frame. I drew an outline of a Christmas tree on the felt and then glued strung pearls (6mm to 8mm in diameter) from the craft store along the outline. I filled (glued) the tree with beautiful costume jewelry that was my mom's before she passed away. Many pieces remained from my childhood. I even put my girl scout pin on it. Every Christmas is a walk down memory lane and a way to keep my mom part of the holiday. (07/15/2007)
By Lanell S
I am also looking for ideas for a Christmas tree to hang jewelery on, but I don't want to glue the jewelery on, I want to be able to take it off and wear. Years ago I saw one like this, but when I decided to make one, the lady who had it had died and no one knew what had happened to it. It also had Christmas tree lights on it and it stuck out from the wall about an inch or two. Hers was about 18 inches by at least 24 inches. It was in a frame. I wish I had asked more about it at the time I saw it . Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated, cause I inherited lots of jewelery from my mother. (07/22/2007)
Hi. I just created a Christmas tree made out of vintage jewelry and it is beautiful. Here is a picture. (08/19/2009)
I want a pattern to make a cone shaped Christmas tree out of old costume jewelry. I saw one at "The Best of Everything" in Naples, Florida.
By PatD.S. from Cincinnati, OH
I found this one on Craigslist in Sacramento. It was a bit too pricey for me but it was beautiful, and when it lit up it was even better. The costume jewelry was really old, I hope it was not valuable. Sorry the picture is not that good. (09/20/2009)
Years ago I made a costume jewelry Christmas Tree for a Pollyanna gift. It went over big. All you do is purchase a Styrofoam tree from a craft shop, take straight pins and tacky glue. You just get the costume jewelry and stick it all over the tree until the entire tree is covered. For those pesky blank spaces just buy chain links from the craft store and glue them to the tree. They are very inexpensive. You can also paint the tree first, or cover it with cloth if you'd like.
The straight pins give the jewelry stability. If you have old pierced earrings, the post can be used as a pin to stick into the Styrofoam. Just make sure that each piece of jewelry gets glued on and give it time to dry. For the base, I took a Styrofoam disk and covered it with gold cloth. For the topper I went to K-mart and got "star" shaped earrings. I put one on top of the tree. These days you can just buy stars as tree toppers from the craft store. It was a lot of fun doing this tree. This year I am making smaller trees for my family. (09/23/2009)
I posted one I had made last year on Thrifty Fun. I used a cone and E-6000 glue (09/25/2009)
Does anyone have the old pattern for a junk jewelry Christmas Tree Picture wall hanging? You place in picture frame with small lights inserted from back and hang as picture during Christmas.
My mom has some great vintage costume jewelry from my grandmothers. She wants to make velvet covered Styrofoam Christmas trees with jewels and beads adorning them for gifts for her daughters and granddaughters next Christmas. How do you make these?