How to Make a Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

  • 01 of 10

    A Christmas Tree Made From a Garden Tomato Cage

    tomato cage tree
    Tomato cage tree: after and in progress. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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...MORE lights that appeal to you and your personal style. Follow along as we show you how to make a tomato cage Christmas tree.

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  • 02 of 10

    Find a Tomato Cage

    tomato cages in a rainbow of colors
    Tomato cages in a rainbow of colors. Flickr member FarOutFlora

    A tomato cage is that wire contraption you 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 will be stored away until spring. Tomato cages come in sizes ranging from 3-6 feet tall.

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  • 03 of 10

    Gather Supplies and Make a Tree

    tomato cage
    Turn cage upside down and gather wires at top to form tip. Ken Mayer

    So, why not put those tomato cages to work during the winter holidays? If you turn a cage upside down—the opposite of how it's positioned when it's used to support a tomato plant— and bring the loose wires together, the cage makes a cone shape. Wrap them together with wire.

    Tools & Supplies Needed

     

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  • 04 of 10

    Reshape Wire Frame

    tomato cage christmas tree
    Use gloves to reshape your tomato cage tree. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Now you have something that resembles a cone-shaped tree. The largest round wire frame is at the base, and the "tree" comes to a point at the top. Wearing gloves, adjust and reshape the wire tomato cage so that the cone shape is even all around.

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  • 05 of 10

    Wrap Garland Around Cage

    tomato cage christmas tree
    Wrap the garland of your choice around the tomato cage frame. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Now it's time to add the fluffy stuff:

    • Starting at the narrow tip of the wire cage, hot glue garland.
    • Continue applying hot glue to back of garland every few inches, pressing it onto the wire frame. This is the part of the project that will take the longest.
    • Continue wrapping and gluing. At some point, you'll run out of wire frame to which the garland can be adhered.
    • Hot glue the rows of garland to one another, allowing time to dry before moving on.
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  • 06 of 10

    Stuff the Tree

    tomato cage christmas tree
    Recycle bubble wrap and stuff it inside the tree's cavity. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    When the garland-wrapping session is done, turn over the cage. To help it retain its shape and fullness, stuff the cavity of the tree with a lightweight packing material like bubble wrap. Don't close up the hole at the bottom of the tree yet.

     

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  • 07 of 10

    Bead-Dazzling the Tree

    applying beads to tree
    How you decorate your tomato cage tree is up to you. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    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 are carefully applied from the top of the tree on down.

     

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  • 08 of 10

    Step Back and Check for Even Distribution

    tomato cage xmas tree
    During the decorating process, walk around the tree to make sure it is evenly adorned. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    If you plan on keeping your tomato cage tree as it is and not disassembling 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.

     

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  • 09 of 10

    Oh, Tomato Cage Tree, How Lovely Art Thou Branches

    tomato cage tree
    The finished product. What will yours look like?. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    In one afternoon or evening, you've got a decorated tree made from a repurposed item (that would be the tomato cage). If you use garland you already own or buy it at a discount store, you can complete this project—ornaments, hot-glue sticks and all—for well under $30.

     

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  • 10 of 10

    Display it for All to Admire

    tomato cage tree
    Completed tomato cage tree is displayed by front door. Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Place your tree anywhere outdoors: this one has been positioned by a front door, on top of a black patio side table to ensure stability and at a height that can be viewed from near or far. When your guests arrive at the door, ask them to guess what the tree frame is made from. You'll be praised for your remarkable ability to repurpose objects.

    Happy eco-holidays!