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Evette Rios: How To: Tomato Cage into Christmas Trees - Crafts, Decorating, Design, Holidays, In the Garden -

How To: Tomato Cage into Christmas Trees

Published on December 28th, 2012

Take a useful summer item and turn it into a holiday decoration. You might have to search the depths of your local hardware store or garden center to find them this time of year, but tomato cages are the perfect tree shape which makes them easy to transform into a Christmas tree. They come in several different shapes and colors, and generally cost under $5. I was originally going to make these with just a silver colored cage for a nice rustic look, but when I found these red ones I couldn’t resist.

Materials:
Tomato cage
300-light outdoor christmas light strand
3/4″ nut
Colored electrical tape
Aluminum wire
Wire cutters
Needle nose pliers

Start by joining the ends of the tomato cage with a 3/4″ nut. It doesn’t need to attach to anything; it should just stay in place after jamming it in a couple inches.

Tuck the female end of the light strand into the center of the cage, and drape the wire over the joined ends of the cage and nut. If you want your tree topper to light up, this plug will come in handy.

To my surprise, I found a 3-pack of colored electrical tape that was red, green and white. The white would work great if using lights with a white wire. The red or green worked fine for my purposes, but if using a metal colored tomato cage, I would recommend using the tape that matched the wire on the light strand.

[tape.jpg]

Wrap the lights around the tomato cage about an inch to an inch and a half apart, taping the wire to the frame. Continue until the whole frame is covered.

If you want to make your own tree topper, aluminum wire is great because it’s rust resistant, and it bends easily while keeping its shape.

Use needle nose pliers to help shape the star. I like things that look a little rustic and homemade, so I didn’t spend a lot of time making my star look perfect. I think a short strand of miniature lights wrapped around would look nice on this too, but the shiny aluminum casts a nice glow as well.

Wrap the end of the star around the ends of the tomato cage, and the tree is complete. Make a couple to frame a doorway, or display them in the yard. This also makes a great indoor tree for a small apartment or home.

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