Cheapskate Christmas: DIY Decor

Yeah, it’s eight months too early, but it’s been on my mind since last Christmas. I was feeling festive enough to want a tree, but not festive enough to want anything bigger than a desktop-sized tree, and those are surprisingly hard to find. And the 4′ ones started at over $50 dollars are got worse as they got bigger. It was only after the holiday season that I had the time to dink around the Internet and find what I want.

It’s pretty easy to find patterns for garland, tree skirts, and ornaments, but mini-trees are apparently more niche. Most of the ones I found were made with crocodile/alligator stitches and those floral foam cones, which is okay but not what I had in my head.

But I found The One in a forum somewhere in iffily-formatted written instructions, copyright 2006 by a SallyAnne Hopping (I want to be a Good and give credit where due). I like to store my patterns as PDF’s, so I’ve whipped up one for download as well as to save space in this post.

This one can be used with a foam cone for more stability, but it will stand on its own (IMO, less complicated is more better). It’s made with an underlying dc-crochet cone for stability (and opacity) with rows of a modified shell for the “branches” themselves. And with the crochet-thread trim on the ends of the branches, it’s even pre-decorated!

Best mini Xmas tree crochet pattern

Great for around pets (or kids) as it’s non-fragile and won’t kill them if they chew on it (swallowing acrylic yarn is still no bueno). Also great for storage because it can be folded relatively flat and fluffed back up again. Also A+ for lazy decorators (IT ME).

But I feel compelled to include a second-place for people who do like the look of the crocodile-stitch version. This one is by The Crochet Crowd and even comes with a YouTube video and plentiful online resources.

Crocodile Stitch Mini Xmas Tree

It’s another of the ones that are made with a base cone with the “leaves” crocheted on top of it. Way better than the ones made up of individual rings that need to be attached to the cone itself, which probably also needs painting. Those seem too fiddly.

But after I watched a few versions, I spent some time overanalyzing and making a few samples to see which version of crocodile stitch I liked best, varying the number of dc and chains. This is an excellent way for indecisive people to be 100x more so. Conceivably you could combine the two to use the Best base cone with crocodile stitches, though you might want to take care on whether/how the rows alternate, since the Best cone is straight-rowed while the Crowd’s version is spiraled.

And then you can put it on a crochet snowflake as a tree skirt and coat the as much of your space in fiber-arts foolery as you damn well please. All while giving overpriced decor the finger. (Up yours, Hobby Lobby).

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