Outdoor Christmas trees—real or artificial—are popular decorations for front entryways, porches, patios, and decks. But they don't have to be expensive. Take this faux-snow Christmas tree made from a recycled/repurposed wire garden tomato support cage. Garland and ornaments cost under $30, and it will last for years if packed and stored carefully along with your other holiday decorations.
Your tree can be any color in which garland is available, and you can add ornaments, decorations, and lights that appeal to you and your personal style.
Equipment / Tools
- Hot glue gun
- Thick gloves
- Tomato cage
- Wire, thin to medium
- Garland (whatever color you desire) or another material, like tulle
- Decorative picks, which can be found at craft stores
- Spools or strands of beads
- Shatterproof indoor/outdoor ornaments
Find a Tomato Cage
A tomato cage is that wire contraption you usually place over your tomato plants or other vegetables when you want to train them to grow up and off the ground. Unless you grow tomatoes year-round, the wire cages usually get stored away until spring, although you should be able to buy a new one year-round at a high-quality gardening store. Tomato cages come in sizes ranging from 3- to 6- feet tall.
Turn the Cage Upside Down and Shape
When you turn a tomato cage upside down—the opposite of how it's positioned when used to support a tomato plant—and bring the loose wires together, the cage makes a cone shape. In this position, the largest ring will be at the bottom and the stakes that normally go into the ground will be at the top. Wrap the loose stakes at the top together with wire.
Next, wearing thick gloves, adjust and reshape the wire tomato cage so that the cone shape is even all around.
Wrap Garland Around Cage
Now it's time to add the fluffy stuff! Starting at the narrow tip of the wire cage, apply hot glue from the glue gun to the garland. Continue applying hot glue to the back of the garland every few inches, pressing it onto the wire frame until the entire frame is covered.
Hot glue the rows of garland to one another, allowing time to dry before moving on.
Stuff the Tree
When the garland-wrapping session is done, flip over the cage. To help it retain its shape and fullness, stuff the cavity of the tree with lightweight packing material like bubble wrap.
Bead-Dazzle the Tree
Decorate the tree with whatever you want: It's your tree, which means it's time to show off your individual style and creativity. If your tomato cage holiday tree will be displayed outdoors on a front porch, patio, or at an entryway, make sure you choose weatherproof decor and shatterproof ornaments. Here, a strand of silver beads that came on a spool is carefully applied from the top of the tree on down.
You can also place actual tree branches (or artificial equivalents) through the garland to add texture and visual interest.
If you plan to keep your tomato cage tree as it is and not disassemble it after the holidays, you might want to hot-glue the ornaments or beads onto it. You can also attach ornaments and picks with thin wire wrapped on part of the frame. Walk around the tree to make sure it's evenly decorated.
Display Your Tree
Place your tree anywhere that will ensure stability and at a height that can be viewed from near or far. While we didn't include lights as part of our design, you could definitely string twinkle lights around your tree, or light it from below with a spotlight for a dramatic effect.