How to Make a Tomato Cage Christmas Tree

A Christmas Tree Made From a Garden Tomato Cage

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

Find a Tomato Cage

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 usually get stored away until spring. Tomato cages come in sizes ranging from 3 to 6 feet tall.

Gather Supplies and Make a Tree

tomato cage
Ken Mayer

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 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

Reshape Wire Frame

tomato cage christmas tree
Lisa Hallett Taylor

Now you have something that resembles a cone-shaped tree. The largest round wireframe 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.

Wrap Garland Around Cage

tomato cage christmas tree
Lisa Hallett Taylor

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. This is the part of the project that will take the longest
  • Continue wrapping and gluing. At some point, you'll run out of wireframe to which the garland can adhere
  • Hot glue the rows of garland to one another, allowing time to dry before moving on

Stuff the Tree

tomato cage christmas tree
Lisa Hallett Taylor

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. Don't close up the hole at the bottom of the tree yet.

Bead-Dazzling the Tree

applying beads to tree
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.

Step Back and Check for Even Distribution

tomato cage xmas tree
Lisa Hallett Taylor

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.

Oh, Tomato Cage Tree, How Lovely Art Thou Branches

tomato cage tree
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 about $30.

Display it for All to Admire

tomato cage tree
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.