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Making a Costume Jewelry Christmas Tree

Perhaps you have seen one of these at a craft show, but it was too costly. You can make your own Christmas tree wall hanging, using your old costume jewelry or pieces from yard sales and thrifty stores. This is a page about making a costume jewelry Christmas tree.
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August 30, 2013

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.

Supplies:

Old family pieces are nice or just collect them at yard sales. They are getting harder to find.

  • jewelry tool set ($8.00)
  • pair of tweezers ($3.00)
  • good strong craft glue ($3.00)
  • one felt or black cotton velvet scrap
  • one shadow box frame ($10.00)
  • several glass beads several sizes ($10.00)
  • odd pieces of jewelry

Steps:

  1. Choose the size based on the amount of jewelry you have. I have made some small enough to fit in a 3x3 inch box lid for the tree. Others are 5x7 inches and 16x20 inches. That is up to you.
  2. Find a nice piece of cardboard for the back, then glue the fabric to the board with spray glue. Let that dry good.
  3. Start with the top of the tree down about 1 1/2 inches for a header space. Then poke straight pins in measuring same space on each side as you come down the tree. Be sure you have a space at the bottom as well, about 1 1/2 inches.
  4. I line up several large pieces down the center and lay all of the large pieces out before I glue any. I step back and look at it sometimes for several hours. Then glue them once you like the look.
  5. Then go around the edge with small pieces and fill in with small stones or what ever you have. No two are the same. I have made over 30 and hate to part with any of them. Most have been for gifts to relatives using family items they sent me.
  6. Dust the item with a piece of tap rolled around your finger.
  7. Then add the frame.
  8. Do not use super glue, it off gasses really badly once the glass is in place and will turn gold black.

You can also use buttons and let the kids make them.

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The other day, I had two funnels in my pantry. When I moved the biggest one, it knocked the next smaller one off the shelf. When I picked it up, I realized it sat on the larger one like it was stacked, like a Christmas tree. More on that later in the post. This was a labor of love and I hope you like it.

Total Time: 3 hours

Yield: 1

Supplies:

  • 4 pack of funnels
  • 8 hot Gorilla glue sticks
  • 3 crimpers and cutters
  • lots of broken jewelry
  • hacksaw
  • scissors

Steps:

  1. When I went shopping for funnels, it was amazing how many there were. I could have used the cheaper ones, but for two reasons. One, there were only packs of 3, and two, and they were rounded. I wanted a shape that looked like a tree would.
  2. The first problem I had was the next largest didn't go into the 3rd largest without a significant gap. The spout was too wide to fit. So I hacked off about 1" and it fit with the same space as the others. Then I trimmed off the little tabs and fired up the hot glue gun!!
  3. Once the "tree" was stable, I started at the bottom with the broken pieces I had. Now, yours will be different, and I will give you some suggestions at the end. I had 4 of this first gem, and that was the first glue-on for the base row.
  4. From there, I just kind of "went random" and glued on what I liked, and what I had. I probably could have covered more of this than I did, but wanted it to be evident that the funnel was kind of the "cake" and the "bling" was the "icing".
  5. I bet I looked in 5 places for a broken star. But I found this angel and it was even better. But finding something to put and keep her on the top of the tree was tricky. Finally I found an old plate hanger, and with a little work, made it work.
  6. I found I couldn't bend the cheap metal too much, so I left the little flat surface alone. The way it worked out, my angel looks to have two sets of wings, but I can live with that. I like how it looks and that is all that matters. N-JOY!!
  7. Variations on a theme: I thought of using buttons as well as gems, and might do this again for 2020.
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18 Questions

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.

December 22, 2017

What type of glue do you recommend for the tree or decoration of jewelry on velvet?


Answers

December 22, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

I do all kinds of crafts and find that "Gorilla" glue will just about do for any project, go to a craft shop and read the label and this way you will find the one need for what you are doing.

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December 22, 20170 found this helpful
Best Answer

There is Aleene's Super Fabric Adhesive.

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December 29, 20174 found this helpful
Best Answer

All the glues mentioned above have issues in one way or another. If you are making the tree on a board covered with velvet, then glue a gold chain in the outline of your tree, then fill in the outline with the crackled, broken glass of a green wine bottle (specific instructions on how to do this!) and then will be gluing down the heavy vintage bejeweled rhinestone brooches and such, there are only two glues out there that cut the mustard. One is Beacon 3-in-1 Advanced Craft Glue (crystal clear, instant grab, fast dry.) It is very good if your tree is not going to accumulate a lot of weight by the size of your tree. But if you are making a larger tree with a heavy frame and crackled glass and jewelry, like I make, then the very best glue that meets all the criteria and will hold forever is E-6000. Only about $2.50 per tube on Amazon and at Walmart stores, elsewhere, they charge $5 -7 per tube. Happy crafting, Ladies! Pam

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Is this a Christmas tree kit? I got it at a sale a long time ago. No one seems to know what I have, but I just came across your site! Maybe you have the answer. Thanks!

By suzanne from Lafontaine, IN

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August 12, 2018

What type of glue do you use to attach the jewelry to the fabric? I want something that I know will stick, but I don't want it to be noticeable. Thanks for your time and consideration.


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December 15, 2009

Can I buy a Christmas jewelry tree kit?

By kim from Canada

Answers

December 15, 20091 found this helpful

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.

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December 21, 20093 found this helpful

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.

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December 21, 20094 found this helpful

Here are some pics of my tree I made about 30 years ago and still use.

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December 21, 20095 found this helpful

More pics

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December 21, 20092 found this helpful

Last one

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July 27, 2010

How do I make a Christmas tree out of jewelry?

By carol from Bay City, WI

Answers

July 27, 20100 found this helpful

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. :)

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July 29, 20100 found this helpful

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.

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August 1, 20100 found this helpful

Momma J,
Where is your picture. Would love to see it.

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February 4, 2015

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.

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December 30, 2009

I am looking for instructions for a Christmas tree made out of old jewelry.

By Donna C. Eaton from Gibsonville, NC

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November 7, 2014

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.

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October 27, 2012

I am looking for information on making a vintage jewelry Christmas lighted picture frames.

By Rita from Maggie Valley area

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October 20, 2011

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

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