Looking for a happy non-traditional Christmas tree? Love flowers? This DIY Sunflower Christmas Tree is gorgeously cheerful and maybe a little bit country!
This year I’m pretty much bypassing Thanksgiving decorating and crafting in favor of getting an early start on the Christmas season. It has been decided that to really Christmas up my parents’ house, where we will have our festivities this year, we’re going to have a bazillion Christmas trees. Each bedroom will have a 4-foot tree with its own fun and unique design that reflects the personalities of the people sleeping within. The first tree design I shared just a few days ago, a unicorn Christmas tree so magical and pretty that my sister, whose room it is for, is sure to love it.
My dad, on the other hand, appeared to be less stoked :) He’s more of a traditional Christmas guy and there was a distinct lack of red and green making the design a flop for him! My mom, however, loved the non-traditional design and wanted something also very unique for her bedroom tree.
If you love cheerful and non-traditional Christmas decor, this Sunflower Tree is FOR YOU.
In comes the humble but super happy sunflower. I don’t know if it’s that chipper yellow or what, but sunflowers just look cheerful, don’t they? And with tons and tons of them around to be purchased for fall decorating they’re currently easily sourced and super inexpensive.
- Green Christmas Tree
- Lots of Artificial Sunflowers
- Crocodile Clamps
- Needlenose Pliers
- Woven Laundry Basket
- Cardboard Box
- Craft Knife (Amazon | Cricut)
- Black and White Ribbon
- Large Black and White Bow
- Cheap Green Christmas Garland
The vast majority of the supplies used for this tree came from one shopping trip to Walmart. This includes the tree itself, some of the sunflowers and the basket it sits in, the ribbon, bow, and garland used in dressing it. I purchased the clamps used to make our clip-on flowers on Amazon because they, hands down, had the best price.
How to make clip-on Christmas decorations out of artificial flowers.
Whether you’re using sunflowers or something more traditional like poinsettias, creating clip-on flowers for your Christmas tree is super easy.
These are crocodile clamps (also called alligator clips) and work perfectly for creating your own clip-on Christmas ornaments. See how they have the teeth on the side that looks like an animal’s head? That’s the clamp part that you use to affix things to the branches of your tree so they stay put. On the opposite side is a round tube. This is where we will put the stem of the fake flowers to make the clips. The neat thing about this is that you don’t need any kind of adhesive for this. It’s a super simple and clean craft though it is a bit repetitive.
Trim your fake flower to the length you’d like it to be. Run the wire end of it into the tube on the crocodile clamp. Using a pair of needlenose pliers, squeeze one side of the clamp around the wire.
Once the first side is nice and secure, squeeze the other side of the clamp shut with your pliers.
Your first DIY clip-on Christmas floral is done! This sunflower Christmas tree is really on its way!
How to secure an artificial Christmas inside of a woven basket.
Artificial Christmas tree bases are plain ugly. If a tree skirt doesn’t work well for you it’s possible to secure a small Christmas tree inside of a woven basket.
Firstly you’ll need a woven basket that is to scale with your Christmas tree. This is a large-ish water hyacinth basket I got for $17 at Walmart. In all honesty, it was something I planned to use as a laundry basket. But after realizing how well my tree would look in it the purpose of it changed for just the season.
Trim a box down so that it sits down inside of the basket about 2 inches deeper than the sides of the basket. You can cut the bottom of the box clean off to make it size accordingly. If the inside of your basket is tapered, like mine is, you might need to trim away a few inches of each corner for the box. Cutting your box in this way means that it will be firmly wedged into place in the basket making a nice, secure base for our Christmas tree.
Cut an “X” shape in the center of the box for the tree to be inserted through. Make the cuts small, you want the pole to fit snugly inside of this shape.
With your cardboard box snugly in place, shove the pole end of the tree into the X cut on the top of the box. You might have to remove the plastic base pieces the tree comes with, but they should easily slide off.
Making sure the tree is secure and will stay in place.
Once you’re happy with the fi,t remove the tree and box from the basket. To make my tree stand up nice and straight, I popped the foot holder back onto the bottom of the tree and slid one of the plastic feet into place. Placing the box back into the basket I used the remaining 2 feet to push into the “X” shape at the top of the box to really wedge the tree’s pole into place.
This has 2 purposes… 1 – I’m forgetful and lose things. Just because I don’t want to use the plastic stand in the traditional way this year doesn’t mean I won’t want to next year. To keep from losing the pieces I wanted to keep everything together and this was a way to do that. 2 – Wedging those pieces in through the top makes a HUGE difference in the stability of the tree. I tried moving the tree-filled basket around as I would need to for vacuuming and it would sort of flop and go a bit crooked when I did. Not wanting to have to replace flowers and ribbons and whatnot every time the tree needed to be pushed to the side a bit, making it stay in place more securely was the way to go.
Getting your tree ready to decorate.
Having a pretty base tree is always the start of having a gorgeous tree in the end. My 4-foot cashmere Christmas tree came from Walmart for $25. It’s a nice enough tree for the price but, in all honesty, it looked nothing like the photo I selected it from online. It came with only 50 clear lights. I’m extremely pro-light-heavy when it comes to decorating trees. My dad grabbed me this set of LED C9 bulbs from his storage building and with 50 of those in addition to the 50 tiny bulbs that were already on it, I was finally happy!
Though you can’t really tell it in this image, in real life the tree looked spotty and bald in spots and that just wouldn’t do. When working with a white tree I fill in the gaps with white deco mesh but a green tree is a bit different. I found a green pine-like garland that is soft and fuzzy just like a traditional tinsel-like garland. Though quite a bit darker in needle color, it worked well when shoved into the tree around the pole inside to help hide it and fill the tree out. With the darker added only deep inside of the tree, the addition of it makes our tree look more like a more dense pine.
Adding the sunflowers…
For my sunflower tree, I decided to use 3 different sizes of flowers. The largest and smallest sunflowers were purchased by the bunch for $3 apiece at Walmart. I used 1 large and 2 small bunches for this tree. The size of sunflowers in between the largest and smallest were purchased by the bunch from At Home for $3. I used 6 of those bunches for this tree.
Since this tree is mainly sunflowers a little bit of variety in their shape and sizes adds some interest to the tree so that it doesn’t just look like a big sunflower bouquet. We do want this to resemble a Christmas tree, after all!
Since the sunflowers are the most important part of this Christmas tree design, we’ll place those first and then place our other items around them…
Place the largest sunflowers nearer the bottom of the tree and the smaller nearer the top. The medium-sized, which make the bulk of flowers should be placed from top to bottom. Find the place that you’d like your sunflower to reside and then push it into the tree using the crocodile clamp to firmly keep it in place.
Continue placing flowers until you are happy that their coverage is fairly even.
Once the tree is well covered with sunflowers we can add our accents to finish the tree.
How to finish dressing a sunflower Christmas Tree.
A large black and white buffalo check bow makes a pretty and inexpensive tree topper. I purchased this one from Walmart for $7.
Garland is something I always feel like a Christmas tree needs to have to look “Christmas-y”. But with all of our sunflowers already jam-packed we don’t have a lot of room left for ribbon. Rather than wrapping the ribbon around and around the tree, cut 12-15 inch sections of ribbon. Shove one end of the ribbon deep into the tree and then place the other end a few inches away making sure the ribbon bubbles outward in the process. Continue adding ribbon around the tree until you’re happy with the coverage.
My black and white buffalo check ribbon came from Walmart for around $5 and I used less than half of the roll.
The final touch to a gorgeous sunflower tree is to add a spray or pick that will stand out from the tree.I purchased these interesting curly-q burlap things from Walmart (are you sensing a trend here) for $1.49 apiece and I purchased 10 of them. Add your sprays to the tree evenly making sure they stick out from the rest of the tree well. This also helps this look more like a Christmas tree and less like an oddly shaped sunflower bouquet :)
It all comes together for one gorgeously cheerful and unique Christmas Tree!
Now isn’t that just too cheerful and pretty? It’s not traditional in the least but I think that makes it super awesome. I can’t help but think it looks like something that would fit in beautifully at a store that specializes in cowboy boots or horse tack, but a little bit country is definitely a lot of fun in this case :)
And the good news is my mom loves her Sunflower tree and, well, that was the whole point in the first place, wasn’t it? :)
I hope you loved my second Christmas Tree design of 2019. Be sure to come back because I’ve got 4 more in the coming weeks!