Back in the 1970s, my mom became infatuated with the concept of a jewel Christmas tree. She was tired of the whole putting up and taking down of the annual, traditional evergreen and wanted to try something different.
She had a lot of junk jewelry and also found that it was fairly easy to come by junk jewelry in thrift stores as well. Dad designed a cone shaped core for her. Actually, the first one they made was made with Styrofoam, which is alright, but does not stand the test of time so I don’t recommend it at all. Dad made his cones out of triangular pieces of wood, and tacked and glued them into a nice base in which he also inserted little tiny Christmas tree lights. Some of the stands he even set up to rotate! The cores were painted black, and then handed over to Mom to do her magic.
Mom would just sit and randomly choose a piece of jewelry here and another there and put on the cone with hot glue. In the end, a sparkling, magical, and romantic jewel tree would emerge to add to her collection.
So Mom has three now – one is about three feet tall! And the others placed with it make a spectacular grouping at Christmastime. My sisters have both made trees, and even their daughters have caught the bug and are also making them. I finally started to work on one myself last year. I still haven’t finished, but I’m more than halfway there, and I’ve pledged to make this the year I finally get my own jewel tree!
Sometimes it might be difficult to find enough junk jewelry to complete a tree, but you can also add little trinkets that you might find at crafting stores like Michael’s or JoAnn’s. I like to add little glittered snowflakes, for instance, to fill in blank spots. It’s fun to add your own personal favorites to your tree so that when you are enjoying it during the holidays you are reminded of the time and place where that piece of jewelry was relevant in your life. I especially like the little photo lockets of my grandkids on my tree.
For a fun project that will be a conversation piece in your Christmastime décor, try making your own jewel tree.