Upgrade! Make a Miniature Tinsel Christmas Tree

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I love Aluminum Christmas trees, and so of course, The dollhouse must have one!  After owning a few of the full-size vintage Aluminum trees, I have become more particular about the quality and sturdiness of my trees. The original Mini Tinsel Tree was cute but a little flimsy, and after years of displaying it, mine is not looking so festive. I set out to improve the quality and resilience of the tree, drawing inspiration from the vintage originals. The upgrade is not only stronger, but easier and requires less measuring to make.

Here’s how to make your own:

Download the illustrated instructions here!


  • 20 + pipe cleaners (chenille stems) – cut 8 of them into 3 equal pieces (making 24 small branches) and cut 8 of them into 2 equal pieces (making 16 large branches).
  • small wire cutters
  • a spool or similar small wooden object for the base (optional)

Procedure (follow along with the illustrations on the printout)

  1. pick up one full-length pipe cleaner. this piece will be the trunk and will be kept straight. Cross a second pipe cleaner over it about 5cm from the end of the first. tightly wrap the end of the second pipe cleaner around the first. Continue wrapping  until about 1 cm is covered.  this pipe cleaner will spiral down the trunk and hold the branches on.
  2. pick up 4 of the small “branches” and line them up around the trunk so that the tips are about 2 cm away from the tip of the trunk. wrap the spiraling pipe cleaner around these branches to secure them to the trunk. wrap until you have covered about 2 cm of the branches.
  3. continue adding branches in this way, with about 2 cm between each set of branches
    The next set of branches uses 4 small branches,
    then 5 small branches,
    then 6 small branches,
    then 6 small branches,
    then 8 large branches,
    then 8 large branches.
  4. You could keep adding branches this way until you run out of pipe cleaners if you wanted a taller tree. This tree will be about 8″ tall.
  5. when finished, cut off any excess of the wrapping pipe cleaner and push the stump into your wooden spool stand. (or bend a tripod stand from excess pipe cleaners.) Fluff up the branches and cut any tips that stick out too far until you have a nice tapered shape!
  6. decorate and enjoy a long-lasting miniature Christmas tree!

5 responses to “Upgrade! Make a Miniature Tinsel Christmas Tree”

  1. Laura Adams

    I bought a wire tree at Target, bronze in color, 5 years ago, and I have it on my mantel year-round. In the fall, I wire a few paper leaves to its branches, in the spring it may get some flowers, and at Christmas, it gets a few tiny ornaments and a star topper. I treasure it. My friend has admired it so much that she wanted one, too. We have looked high and low for another one. Apparently, none exists. So, for Christmas this year, I thought I would try to make her one. I have found tutorials for making them, but they are very involved. I stumbled upon your post while looking for a tute on how to make a tinsel tree. I couldn’t believe it – the shape of your tree is identical to my little tree, and about the same height! I am going to attempt to make one out of wire. Thank you for your help! Wish me luck!

  2. Lisa Joe Guzman

    I made one of these bitch and it dont’ work right. I want you to pay me for the matterial cost I spent making your scam tree.

    1. Someone something

      Well you are VERY rude then!

  3. Kathy Norton

    Your math doesn’t add up and your directions make no sense. If you are starting w a 12″ stem, your tree is going to be taller than 8″–plus your first winding stem runs out before you even get to the longer ones.

    I’d love to make this but I can’t make heads or tails of your written directions. I guess I’m on my own here.

  4. Vicki

    I made this little tree out of a $1.49 25 count pack of silver pipe cleaners from Hobby Lobby. I was confused about the directions until I looked at the visual PDF directions and my little tree came out super cute. Not quite like the one in the picture (which is my fault though since I didn’t measure it like I should have while assembling it.) I ran out of pipe cleaner while wrapping it around but I just added another one when I got to the end of it. I don’t know what’s with the two butthurt comments prior to mine…the materials are inexpensive and the directions are clear once you see the visual and read the written directions. So I just wanted to say that this little thing is awesome and thank you to the person who created this design and posted the directions on how to make it.

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