Last year, err 2012, my dad and I did a craft on Christmas Eve. It was one of the highlights of my Christmas break and I was looking forward to doing one again this holiday season. My family loves traditions, and when you do something awesome, why not do it every year?!
Well, turns out my dad scheduled carpal tunnel surgery the Thursday before Christmas Eve. ON BOTH HANDS! He is crazy, and tough, and did I mention crazy?
If I had asked him to Christmas craft with me on Christmas Eve, he probably would have said yes. So I didn’t ask. Sometimes the kid has to play parent.
Instead, I set out to make a craft as a final Christmas gift for him.
When we made our Christmas Tree craft in 2012, we cut out one extra base for this year — we had grand plans to make a light up tree!
With the base already cut, I got out my supplies for my craft: shims, paint sticks, Minwax stain cloths, wood glue and battery operated lights.
First, I cut off the “tree stand” from the tree we created last year. Basically, I trimmed down the tree so it was a triangle with an itty bitty rectangle stump.
Then, I lined my shims and paint sticks in rows to see how many I had and if I wanted to cut any down to size.
I definitely had a few to trim and sand, but first I got to staining.
Speaking of stain, I was fortunate to receive a few Minwax goodies before the holidays. One of the goodies I got was a new product I hadn’t heard about. Minwax now makes stain cloth wipes! They look kinda gross (OK, really gross), but they are awesome.
I wanted two different tones of wood on the tree, so I opened both pouches. Each wipe is soaked in stain and each pouch comes with a handy set of gloves (it’s like they know I won’t wear gloves if they aren’t taped to the package!)… use a wipe, toss wipe, toss gloves, you are clean! I am pretty sure this product was designed for me…
I let the stained shims dry for about an hour before moving on with the project.
Dry stain meant time to get moving. I was doing all of this on Christmas Eve after all. I used wood glue to adhere the shims to the tree base (after trimming down a few here and there with a hand saw). When all of the shims and paint sticks were in place, I smushed the entire tree under a heavy bin to put pressure on the shims to help them stay in place.
With the three dried and holding up well, I moved onto the lights. I bought battery-operated LED lights from Target. The strand had 18 itty bitty lights on it, so 18 itty bitty holes I drilled. I taped all of the wired down against the back of the tree and added the battery pack to the back with velcro command strips. Last, I drilled a hole in the top and wove a ribbon through the top.
Unfortunately, this next picture doesn’t do the tree justice. But in the hustle and bustle of the holiday, I didn’t really care to get the perfect picture. Forgive me?
All that really matters is that my dad loved the tree. He hung it up immediately 🙂 In 2014, we are definitely crafting together though. That was just better, even if my tree is pretty darn cool.
Did I mention the lights twinkle, too? Light-up tree? Mission accomplished!