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Military Themed Christmas Tree

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My son is an 8th grader in military school (his choice). I promised him a military theme for next year's Christmas tree. I've started buying little action figures and camouflage vehicles at the 99cent store, but they are mostly olive drab colored. I may enhance them with silver or gold paint, but need other 'crafty' creative ideas for decorations that will stand out on a green tree. Or should I get a campy silver tree (ugh!) and keep camo decorations as is? Help!

Claudette from New York, NY

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By Clueless (Guest Post)11/30/2008

If you're looking for color, do an internet search for "nose art." That's what they call the images airmen had painted onto their aircraft. Of course, most of 'em are pinups of varying levels of attire, (and some might be too racy for your tastes), but tamer ones were also popular in the 1940's, as well as Warner Bros and Disney characters. These could be printed out and glued to card stock.

You can google "division insignia" for some colorful designs.

Check out your local hobby shop for decal sheets that are used on models of military vehicles. Maybe these can be affixed to plain ornaments.

Perhaps popsicle sticks can be glued together and written upon with a fine tip marker to make military signposts (remember the one on M*A*S*H? New York X,XXX miles this way, Paris X,XXX miles that way)

Camo comes in many colors. Forest. Desert. Urban. Then there's what I'd call "fashion" camo which is a camouflage pattern, but in bizarre colors, like pink, blue, purple, and red/orange/yellow.

Consider bags of "Green Army Guys" which are available in any dollar store or toy store. Sometimes these troops come in tan, red, or blue.

Does your li'l soldier tend to favor one particular branch of the service? I think the Marines' mascot is a bulldog, Navy's mascot is a goat, and the Air Force is a falcon. Army's used to be a mule, and the Coast Guard's is a bear. These could give you some ideas.

What are the school colors for your guy's military academy? There could be another source of color.

By Keri [2]09/20/2008

My aunt is a military wife and she has made some combat boot christmas stockings. This is her website. ww.BrownHound.etsy.com I'm not sure if this is something you would be interested in but I think they are very tasteful.

By pjmccann (Guest Post)07/24/2008

I would try getting some stuff at military surplus stores, and I see the dollar tree and dollar general are now selling the plastic soldiers, Also you could go online and find insignias for the different branches of the military and print out on card stock them and put on decorative felt and hang on cording in gold or whatever color. If you have family members that were also in the military, why not print out 4x6 or smaller prints and frame them on little frames and hang them in the tree, make it a family military remembrance tree?

Hope these ideas help you. I myself am working on a family military remembrance scrapbook. Good luck I would love to see pictures of your tree. email me at froggypjs10 @ hotmail.com just take out the spaces to get the complete email address. Tell your son I am proud of him, not to many kids his age do wonderful things like that.
Patti

By deb (Guest Post)07/05/2008

They now have lights that are rifle shells that light up they are really cute, you can also get camouflage material at stores and tie little strips at the end to make it look more military. You can also make little tents out of Popsicle sticks in the shape of tents and you your material and a glue gun to cover them and in toy sections you can find little army tanks and jeeps and so on. Have fun

By laura 05/29/2008

Check with your local recruiting station and get pamphlets for the different branches and use to make ornaments. You can also use the different colors of the dress uniforms such as the Marine Dress Blues and Navy Cracker Jacks.

By Holly (Guest Post)05/09/2008

For ornaments, try little guns, bugles, drums, jeeps, tanks and colorful soldiers or nutcrackers!

By Holly (Guest Post)05/09/2008

I have seen plenty of soldier nutcrackers too! Try www.orientaltrading.com to see if they have any or any little soldier craft kits. My brother collects soldiers and we have collected these for years.

By Holly (Guest Post)05/09/2008

Try using some gold cording or red grosgrain ribbon to use as garland UUUUU around the tree. The ribbon should look like the kind the military use on uniforms. You could even tie a simple bow on the limbs that hold the ribbon/cording and add some kind of pin or insignia to it.

By Gary Dominicus [23]03/26/2008

Military medal. Fake or buy real ones at a flea market. Gary Dominicus

By Claudette [1]03/07/2008

Thanks everyone for really great, creative ideas. I was very moved by the number of responses. You really got my creative juices flowing! This project now seems do-able. I promise to send pictures of the tree to those who asked. Who knows -- maybe you'll see it on HGTV! Meanwhile, here's a picture of my 14-year-old future Marine or Air Force pilot. I'm so very proud of him! ---Claudette

RE: Military Themed Christmas Tree

By Laura03/07/2008

I second the white tree. I bought one this year and put my red ornaments/deocrations on it. Mine is not flocked but it was beautiful.

By Cathy S. (Guest Post)03/06/2008

Are you doing the sand camouflage colors? The clear hollow Christmas balls with a little sand and your military figurines and vehicles or planes in them would be neat looking. Why not make him a separate small tree of his own?

By Barbara J Snyder (Guest Post)03/06/2008

Beside green how about what they are wearing now. I think the colors are tan and brown. Definitely have a green tree and a gold star on top but for the skirt of the tree try camouflage and find all kinds of army stuff like the people said and put them in plastic balls like the one person decide and then see if you can maybe get a box of post cards that your son can fill out and send to the people who are fighting over there. Also make sure you get all the branches and maybe buy an NCIS video because they deal with the navy and the marines and stuff like that. Just hints have fun and use your imagination even get him involved. Good luck please send pictures if you can.

By Kim Churchman [3]03/06/2008

You could throw a sheet over the tree painted to look like a mountain in the winter. It could look like a little reenactment.

By Linda (Guest Post)03/06/2008

Why not check with Hobby Lobby and Michael's for ideas. Our local store still has some Christmas decorations on the shelves. These are in packages. You might also try The Oriental Trading Company. They have 24 hour ordering by phone or the Internet.

By Shirley Darby [7]03/06/2008

Get some of those clear plastic hollow ball ornaments at the craft store. They usually come apart in two pieces. Decorate the inside of one half with bright fabric or paint (even create a diorama) and use some of the figurines or tiny vehicles to finish up. Use hot glue to attach. Then close the ball up, and glue some trim around the seam and make a hanging loop with it at the top.

By Dennis03/05/2008

i know it may seem odd but... The "Iowa 80" truck stop, who also has a web site, carries a wide variety of military regelia such as pins, insignias and yes, ornaments, military themed. Don't know if they carry the full inventory on their web site or not...

By Cyinda [214]03/05/2008

If it were me, I'd buy a White "FLOCKED" Christmas tree next year. These white fluffy trees are nice looking (better than silver!). We had flocked trees when we were growing up. I think it's really the only way to get olive drab & camouflage to stand out & look classy. You can either flock the tree yourself, or easier yet, just buy one already flocked, or you can buy an artificial white tree. Believe me when I tell you, Your Military stuff will REALLY stand out on white! Plus, flocking looks like snow, & what could be better than a white Christmas! -----> HAVE FUN! <----- & Flock You - ( I'm sorry, I just HAD to say it! *grin*)

By LuvMyGingerKids [45]03/05/2008

I think it's awesome your son is in military school! Have you checked out your local NEX or AMEX? The exchange will have medals and small flags and all sorts of military things. And absolutely they will have military themed ornaments.

You'll need someone with a military ID to sponsor you in order to go to a military exchange -- shouldn't be too difficult with your son in military school!
http://www.aafes.com/
https://www.navy-nex.com/

By Julie [49]03/05/2008

for under the trees decorating ideas you could buy camo fabric (walmart 1.99 per yard would take 1 yard for a simple circle cut tree skirt) and if he has some army boots set them under there and place some of the gifts in them wrapped (small ones) keep all your wrapping paper colors the same colors like solid green paper then some light green paper. try to find old dog tags and string them through fishing line for tinsil trim. maybe make little card stock cards with saying on them like salute! or Go Army! things like that and hang on the tree using a paper hole punch. solid green tiny christmas lights on the tree.

By Diana (Guest Post)03/05/2008

Insignias. Check out flea markets or gun shows for military items,scrapbook "uniforms", flags, military buttons secured to a wooden nickel in a collage format, origami for planes, caps/hats, toy jeeps, trucks, military transport vehicles. Check out military websites for ideas-

Search on line for images and print on cardstock, and laminate for longer shelf life Old photos of family members in uniform? I saw some cute insignias made out of those iron on beads in a recent post.Print compelling speeches or patriotic phrases on paper to create a 'garland"--or you could print onto patriotic or other ribbon of your choice. Send us a photo when completed.

By Regina Arlauckas [26]03/05/2008

What about patriotic? Red, White and Blue?

Is he attracted to any particular branch of the miltary? Small planes, ships, etc... could be more colorful?

"medals" on ribbons would be fun, too.

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