Things You'll Need:
- Contact cement
- Stems of greenery
- Pea rock (or something for weight)
- Spray insulation
- Large pot
For best results, work your way from the bottom to the top. Leave about 3 inches bare starting from the top of the pot for your silk plants or Spanish moss.
When purchasing greenery, try choosing silk plants. Plastic ones do not look as nice and tend to look fake.
- Be careful with the spray insulation. It will stain your clothes and anything else in comes in contact with.
If you’ve ever gone to a flower shop or craft store, you know how expensive artificial trees can be. However, there’s an inexpensive alternative to buying an artificial tree--make your own! Artificial trees are easy to make and you can customize them to fit your individual décor and preferences. They also make great additions to any office or place of business.
Gather your materials. You can use small tree limbs from your backyard or purchase stalks from craft or specialty shops. You will also need sealer if you are using your own tree limbs or else they will dry out and become very brittle. You will also need a big strong pot, stems of greenery, a drill, contact cement and spray insulation.
Clean and seal the limbs. If you are using your own tree limbs, clean them by scraping off all the loose bark. You can then spray them with the sealer. The best types of limbs to use are birch or ficus limbs because they don't have much bark to clean off.
Add weight to the pot. Without adding weight to the bottom of the pot, your artificial tree will be top-heavy and fall over. Pea rock is ideal for adding weight, but you can also use rocks and other heavy materials as long as they are small and fit inside the pot. The weight you add should be proportional to the height and size of the tree, too.
Spray the pot and insert the limbs. Before you put the limbs in the pot, cover the inside with spray insulation. As it grows, you can put the limbs in and situate them they way you like them. Hold the limbs still as the spray insulation closes in around them. The insulation will hold them in place once it hardens and sets. If there is a space between the limb and the insulation once it sets, you can spray some insulation in the hole to fill it.
Drill holes in the stalks. This is where your creativity comes into play. If you can visualize it, then start drilling holes where you think branches would look best. Make sure the holes are just big enough for the stems of the leaves and contact glue to go on. If the holes are too small, you can use a hammer and nail to widen them. Also, make sure you drill your holes in a downward angle. This ensures that your branches have room to arch and look natural. Also when drilling your holes, make sure you drill them close together so your tree is nice and full. Just make sure they aren’t too close or the wood will split. Also, when you get to the top of your limb or stalk, make sure you drill a hole in the top center so you can put leaves at the top as well.
Insert the stems of greenery. Dip each end of the branches into the contact cement then place them in the hole. The glue should dry enough in about 15 seconds so you can hold it in place until it sets. When the glue dries, break off any gobs that are noticeable. Once you’ve reached the top of your artificial tree, place a bunch of limbs in the center letting them arc in a downward and outward way. This will complete the look of the tree, making it seem more natural.
Cover the insulation. The tree does not look complete until you cover the ugly color of the spray insulation. You can use Spanish moss or anything else you think would look nice. Just be sure to use an adhesive on the insulation so the ivy or moss doesn’t fall out.
Chad Hagy is based in southern California and he has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. He has a Bachelor of Arts in English with a specialization in writing from the University of Michigan and his articles have been published on several prominent websites including eHow and others.