These mini trees are absolutely adorable!
There’s something so precious about miniatures, isn’t there? Take something down a few sizes or more, and it almost automatically becomes adorable, and often the perfect holiday decoration, especially during the Yuletide. That’s why bottlebrush trees are one of the very best Christmas decorating ideas. Whether on top of your holiday mantel, under the tree, decorating your Christmas table or so much more, the bristly little trees that look like evergreens but are often sisal make whatever space they adorn extra lovely. They’re proof positive that sometimes something small can be mighty—festive, that is.
Bottlebrush trees first became popular decades ago, but they’ve made a big comeback thanks to a booming nostalgia for vintage Christmas decor. If you’d like to get in on the craze we’ve collected the coolest bottlebrush tree Christmas decorating ideas, including DIY Christmas centerpieces ideas, a cake topper, and even nifty place cards. And if you’re a DIYer, we also have projects that will let you make bottlebrush trees that are a beautiful bone white, or almost any hue of blue and green you can imagine. We even have a craft that will create bottlebrush trees that sparkle like the sun on snow. Best of all, these bottlebrush decorating ideas will go with any style decor!
Sharing is caring!
Make designing your dream room a breeze with my Printable Room Planner.
DIY bottle brush trees are prefect for a retro Christmas look. They’re so easy to make and it’s possible to make a whole forest of bottle brush trees for your mantle!
I’ve been making these colorful bottle brush trees for years. They have such a vintage charm to them and look great with DIY Christmas decor, like this tinsel wreath or retro tree topper.
They’re even cute enough to leave up in January for non-holiday specific winter decor. (You might also like this fun pom pom wreath for winter.)
This post contains affiliate links. By purchasing an item through an affiliate link, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
DIY Bottle Brush Trees
- Sisal bottle brush trees*
- Plastic Cups for Dye
- Wooden Blocks
- Hot Glue Gun
*Bottle brush trees need to be made of sisal for the best results. Bleach doesn’t work on other brush types.
**Dye Alternatives for Coloring Bottle Brush Trees
In the past, I’ve had success using a few different things to dye trees. The color saturation varies, but these choices allow you a wider variety of color.
- Food coloring
- Watered down acrylic paint
- Watered down chalk paint
Bleaching the Bottle Brush Trees
You can use straight bleach for faster results. Just stand nearby and don’t leave them submerged for too long.
I’ve also noticed that a new batch of bleach and water works better than an older one that you’ve been using. If you’re not getting the white trees you want, dump the solution and try a new batch with more bleach.
- Fill a container with bleach and water.
- Submerge the trees.
- Remove the trees when they turn white.
- Rinse the bleach from the trees.
- Bigger trees will need to be turned to get full coverage.
How to Dye Bottle Brush Trees
Dye can stain surfaces, so work in an area that doesn’t matter or is easy to clean.
- Fill containers with hot water.
- Add a few tablespoons of dye. Use more for a more vibrant color.
- If you’re using powder dye, mix the solution.
- Place the tree in the dye solution. For a pastel tree, only leave it in for a few seconds. For brighter trees, let them sit longer.
- Remove the trees and let them dry on paper towels.
Getting a Dip Dye Effect when Dyeing Bottle Brush Trees
- Dip the top of the tree into the dye solution for a few seconds.
- Remove the tree and dip it in the dye, right side up.
- Hold it in for a few seconds before pulling it up and letting the bottom sit for another few seconds.
- Let dry on paper towels.
How to Comb Your Bottle Brush Trees
Sometimes bleaching and dyeing bottle brush trees leaves them looking a little worse than wear. Some of mine were clumpy.
Luckily it’s pretty easy to fix.
- It’s easier to fix the trees while they’re still wet. Hot water makes it easy.
- Straighten the tree as needed by bending the main wire stem.
- Use a paintbrush comb to comb the bristles.
- Try to remove any snow clumps.
- Comb until it’s fluffier.
- Let it dry and comb it some more if needed.
Making Wood Bases
I hate the look of the plastic bases, so I decided to give them an upgrade with wooden blocks.
The trees I bought also had fake snow clumps in them that turned into a gooey mess when wet.
- Remove the plastic bases from the bottom of the tree. Twisting slightly makes it easy to remove them.
- Drill holes into wooden blocks. They can be painted or stained as desired. You can even use wood slices for a natural look!
- It might be necessary to remove old glue or even trim unsightly bristles before gluing the trees to the wooden blocks.
- You’ll need a slightly bigger hole for the bigger trees.
- Use hot glue before you shove the wire into the hole.
Storing Bottle Brush Trees
There’s nothing sadder than a crush bottle brush tree, so take care while you store them.
I normally store mine in a plastic bag. They provide cushion for each other. A box is another good solution.
Don’t place anything heavy on them.
Store them in a temperate controlled environment. I haven’t had any yellow over time, but I’ve ruined other Christmas decor by storing it in a hot attic, so now I’m trying to be more careful.
Easy to make Christmas decorations for your home.
Bottle brush Christmas trees are very cool for easily adding a holiday feel to the space or piece and cost very little – they can be widely incorporated into Christmas décor and won’t break the bank. We’ve gathered some easy and cool crafts you can make for these holidays and all of the include bottle brush trees. Let’s begin!
This is a very creative and cool holiday sign for the holidays, it’s a Christmas tree sign composed fully of bottle brush trees in various colors. The idea is very simple and very cool, it will fit both indoors and outdoors and it will be a nice alternative to a usual Christmas tree. Go for bolder colors to make your Christmas tree super cool!
DIY colorful bottle brush Christmas tree sign (via www.deliciousanddiy.com)
Make an easy holiday centerpiece using bottle brush trees! This one is composed of a wooden tray, some faux snow, colorful bottle brush trees, a toy ornament and candles in candleholders. You can actually make the whole scene very fast, in a couple of minutes, and if you don’t like the elements, just swap them for different ones.
DIY quick colorful Christmas centerpiece with bottle brush trees (via blissmakes.com)
If you need catchy and creative Christmas tree ornaments, these are right what you want! These ornaments are made of toy cars and bottle brush trees, and they feel very chic and retro-like. These ornaments can also become cool gifts for the holidays, get inspired!
DIY Christmas tree and truck ornament (via thethingsshemakes.blogspot.com)
Here’s another cool and cute Christmas ornament idea – a bottle brush tree in a jar with faux snow. This is a very simple idea to realize and you’ll make them fast and as many as you need. These can be also nice Christmas gifts if you’ve forgotten to buy some.
DIY Christmas tree in a bottle ornament (via inspirationsbyd.blogspot.com)
This wreath looks very wintry and very cozy – it’s a white wreath with little bottle brush trees – what can be more natural than that? Go for neutral trees and a plaid ribbon and you’ll make a very cool Christmas decoration for your front door. Besides, making it isn’t difficult at all and won’t take much time. Merry Christmas!
DIY Christmas wreath with bottle brush trees (via aprettylifeinthesuburbs.com)
Make cool colorful gift toppers for Christmas to make your gifts stand out. Top your gifts with bold bows and add tiny bottle brush trees with ornaments on them to make the gift cooler. Rock bold and bright shades or go for traditional red, green and white and enjoy!
DIY bottle brush Christmas gift topper (via www.vitaminihandmade.com)
Make cool holiday snow globes with bottle brush trees! These jars contain bottle brush trees and faux snow, so they look super natural and cool, you may also add other items like houses, snowmen and other stuff. Get inspired!
DIY bottle brush snow globes for Christmas (via www.acasarella.net)
I’m head over heels about this bold Christmas wreath! It looks frosty, fresh and bold! It’s a chic white snowflake wreath decorated with colorful bottle brush trees done with colorful pompoms. Making it won’t take much time and its effect is cool – it’s so snowy!
DIY snowflake Christmas wreath with bottle brush trees (via designimprovised.com)
If you want to add a touch of vintage to your holiday décor, make cool bottle brush Christmas trees attached to spools and styled with mini ornaments. The bottle brush trees are styled with faux snow and mini ornaments and look very festive and cute.
DIY bottle brush Christmas trees on spools (via www.petscribbles.com)
The last but not least craft is bottle brush photo holders for the holidays – you may rock them after, too, and give them as gifts. These colorful bottle brush trees contain wire holders where you can place your pics, take a look at the tutorial and make them!
Laura from Dacian Moon Handmade will show you how to make this, in 4 easy steps.
– bottle brush
– craft glue
– glass or plastic colored pearls
– a piece of paper
Place the piece of paper in front of you…
… take the bottle brush and give it a haircut.
You should cut it in small steps until it looks like a tree.
Take the eraser…
… and fix the tree in the middle of it. It should be a large eraser to support the tree. You can use polystyrene , wood or anything else strong enough to support your tree.
Spread glitter on the paper…
…then apply glue on the tree, using the paintbrush…
Before the glue is dry, roll your tree over the glitter.
Take care to have glitter on all sides.
It will look like this.
The final step is to add to it some globes, so put the glass / plastic pearls in the branches without glitter. They will stick in place because of the glue. I used a toothpick to place them in place.
Your little tree will make a wonderful decoration.
Isn’t this Bottle Brush Christmas Tree adorable? This Christmas Tree will make for a great table top decoration for Christmas. And, your child will love that they made this Christmas decoration themselves.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclosure policy here.
So I have fallen in love with bottle brush trees. I have started collecting them the last few years. Picking them up here and there and adding to my collection.
But I wanted more.
I was having a hard time finding anything but the dark green ones they sell by the bagful to use with your Christmas village. So I bought a bag of those for $10.00 as they were 50% off at Michaels and decided to try some DIY Bottle Brush Christmas Trees.
I didn’t want dark green trees though. I wanted more of a vintage look to the trees so a friend told me you could bleach them so I decided to give it a try. Guess what?! It works.
I put together a mixture of 80%bleach and 20%water in a bowl. I then added in the trees and waited.
Let them sit for several minutes and they will magically turn into this!
Use your metal tongs to remove them from the bleach and then rinse under water.
You can pull them out before they turn totally white if you like. I did that on a few of them.
Your bleach mixture will get dirty and sludgie as you go. If you are doing a lot you may need to change your mixture out part way through. The dirtier the mixture gets the longer it will take for the trees to bleach out.
For the bigger trees you may have to get creative with your container.
I love my little forest of bottle brush trees.
I love the vintagey look of the creamy white trees but if you want a more colorful forest get out some spray paint and paint away or even use Rit dye. You even add little beads or jewels to them to dress them up.
I decided to use them to dress up my mantel in the family room.
Let’s just say the lighting is less than favorable in my family room even on a sunny day so please excuse the mediocre photos.
I love my little forest.
I can’t wait until my paperwhites and hyacinth bulbs fill in the space on both ends of my mantel
Also, loving my new joy frame! Thanks to Pinterest for that one. I found the cute heart shaped wreath at Cost Plus World Market!
I got a little sidelined with my holiday decorating due to Jim’s emergency eye surgery and decorating for the church Christmas party this week but I’ll be back the first of next week with a complete tour of my holiday decor for you!
- 20 Nov 2020, 8:11
- Updated : 20 Nov 2020, 8:11
- Invalid Date,
A MUM has revealed her amazing DIY Christmas tree made entirely out of wine bottles.
Taking to the Facebook group Extreme Couponing & Bargains UK, she posted photos of and videos of the very unique tree.
The towering tree is made up of over 100 empty Echo Falls wine bottles, which the mum has then fastened into a tier shape to mimic a festive fir.
She topped the tree with a star and then added fairy lights meaning that the bottles shimmer and glimmer in the dark.
However, the mum was keen not to reveal exactly how she made her “one of a kind” creation.
Captioning her post, she wrote: “My wine bottle Christmas tree 🎄 I made 6 years ago and still going strong.”
Her post has since gone viral amassing over 3,000 likes and hundreds of comments from seriously impressed group members.
One joked: “Wow you drank a lot of wine 😱😂😂😂😂 looks fab”
“I reckon I could make this in time for Christmas” said another, while a third wrote, “Now that is a piece of art 🙌🏼😂”
Most read in Fabulous
In other festive news, Britain’s biggest family the Radfords do Christmas as they share their savvy Christmas tips.
Meanwhile, if you’re looking to save in other ways these the cheap flooring alternatives if you can’t afford new carpet .
More from The Sun
Prince Charles has a secret code name for Meghan Markle. so can you guess it?
What the Queen REALLY thinks about Meg & Harry’s attacks, according to an expert
Influencer caught ‘PRETENDING to fly business class’ as she’s spotted in economy
Sleeping naked to drinking hot tea. we debunk heatwave myths
Follow The Sun
- Sign Up To The Sun
- About Us
- Editorial Complaints
- Clarifications and Corrections
- News Licensing
- Contact Us
- Commissioning Terms
- Help Hub
- Topic A-Z
- Cookie Settings
- Contact Preferences
Bottle Tree Made From Christmas Tree
HGTV writer Felder Rushing is a longtime fan of the bottle tree including this one made from an old Christmas tree with a black-eyed Susan vine.
Photo by: Image courtesy of Felder Rushing
Image courtesy of Felder Rushing
“Then coming around up the path from the deep cut of the Natchez Trace below was a line of bare crape-myrtle trees with every branch of them ending in a colored bottle, green or blue.” – Eudora Welty, “Livvie”
Bottle trees once cast so much kaleidoscopic light across yards on back country lanes throughout the rural Southeast that they were nicknamed the “poor man’s stained glass.”
Now, as part of the recycling movement and rising popularity of folk art, the easy-to-assemble yard ornaments are making a comeback. Most garden-supply stores offer kits, and high-end landscapers commission artists to reinterpret the tradition, which dates back centuries and revolves around the belief that the bottles capture evil spirits and protect the home.
“For years I subscribed to the common thread of lore that dates the origin of bottle trees to the Congo area of Africa in the 9th century A.D.,” says HGTV writer Felder Rushing, who just published Bottle Trees and Other Whimsical Glass Art for the Garden. “After extensive research, I find that bottle trees and their lore go back much farther in time…and that the superstitions surrounding them were embraced by most ancient cultures, including European….Clear glass was invented in Alexandria around 100 A.D. Soon around then, tales began to circulate that spirits could live in bottles—probably from when people heard sounds caused by wind blowing over bottle openings.”
In the United States, though, the bottle-tree practice was preserved primarily by slaves and their descendants.
A Bottle Tree
This bottle tree is made from reclaimed steel and used wine bottles, at Guard’n The Planet in Texas.
Photo by: Image courtesy of Dave Goodwin
Image courtesy of Dave Goodwin
“I always wanted one as a child, but my parents thought they looked too country, too tacky and too much a violation of the homeowners’ association,” says Mary Elizabeth Phillips, a North Carolina native who operates Guard’n the Planet, a gallery for sustainable art and homestead education near Fort Worth, Texas. “Now they’re an increasingly desirable, practical and beautiful way to lend sparkle and dashes of year-round color to a garden.”
To construct a bottle tree, first choose your trunk, and make certain it can stand on its own. Dead trees are commonly used, and crape myrtles and cedars are the natural favorites for their gnarled forms and sturdiness. Increasingly, though, gardeners opt for artificial materials—large dowels with nails protruding as “branches,” rebar or metal materials for welding, or even a simple pitchfork offering its tines for limbs.
“I worry that the ends of most live tree branches might droop under the weight of bottles so that the bottles fall off, which may explain why my distant and dreamy memory of North Carolina bottle trees is of bottles perched on the ends of dead trees,” says Phillips, whose bottle trees are made from reclaimed steel. “I don’t, however, think bottles will damage living trees, other than perhaps accumulate moisture inside them and create conditions favorable for disease. That should be monitored.”
Richard George, a master gardener in Macon, Georgia, commissioned a “found object” bottle tree from artist Zoë Alexandra, who scavenged from a junkyard to decorate his grounds, which emphasize whimsy and storytelling. “There’s a ‘repurposing’ of found objects for creative expression that I find very satisfying,” Alexandra says, “and this metal is always twisted, broken and bent, which emulates trees.”
Backyard artisans advise securing the bottles at an angle, at least six inches apart to keep from clanging against each other in a stiff breeze. Many gardening vendors sell vessels specifically for this purpose, primarily in cobalt, for its coastal associations with “haint blue,” used as a talisman in other contexts against evil. (Rushing has playfully dubbed the bottles Silica transparencii, for “clear glass,” and describes a “cultivar” as ‘Milk of Magnesia’ blue.)
“Another reason I like blue bottles,” adds Phillips, “is that they echo the idea of sky and water, and offset the ‘hot’ colors in my Texas garden. Of course, I also enjoy the wine and sake that comes in those colors, so there’s that added bonus of recycling.”
When the morning sun strikes the bottles, goes the legend, the evil spirits evaporate, along with any residual, friendlier libations.
Delight in the Seasons
The fun thing about creating these trees is that the sky is the limit! You can dye them any color to match any holiday or special occasion. To take the look even further, use a paintbrush to apply a thin layer of adhesive, then roll the tree in a pile of mica or glitter. Once you tap off the excess you’ll have a shimmery tree that is ready to decorate any project. These trees are perfect for shadow boxes, and if you trim the back of a tree to make it flat, it is a great embellishment for a card or tag. Go wild with this technique!
The large bottle cap base
of this sculpture has been painted with chalkboard paint so a Halloween sentiment can be added with chalk and changed easily.
© 2021 Lisa M. Pace / F+W Media · Reproduced with permission.
- mmotse03 favorited Altered Bottle Brush Tree 11 Oct 17:38
- PixieFey added Altered Bottle Brush Tree to Feeling Festive 14 Oct 12:05
- Rebecca M. favorited Altered Bottle Brush Tree 26 Jun 12:02
- Pimke added Altered Bottle Brush Tree to Upcycling 18 Mar 17:30
- zoegirl221 added Altered Bottle Brush Tree to Christmas 15 Sep 21:33
- Roxe L. favorited Altered Bottle Brush Tree 09 Jul 01:21
- BlauPiepmatz favorited Altered Bottle Brush Tree 27 Feb 02:59
- Linda Y. added Altered Bottle Brush Tree to Christmas 25 Jan 18:20
- Romana S. favorited Altered Bottle Brush Tree 24 Jan 11:55
- isobel.l favorited Altered Bottle Brush Tree 22 Jan 20:50
You Will Need
Mix 3 parts water and 1 part bleach into a bowl. Place a bottle brush tree into the mixture and let it soak until it turns off-white. Remove the tree from the mixture and rinse it well with cold water. Pat the tree dry with a paper towel, then allow it to dry completely.
For a tree that is one color, use ink spray directly on the tree. Work over paper towels or newspaper in a cardboard box.
For a tree with multiple colors, mix water and ink spray together in a bowl or cup. Dip the tree approximately two-thirds of the way into the mixture.
et the tree dry completely. If you dip the tree again before it is completely dry, the new color will bleed up the tree, so be patient! Mix water with a second color of ink spray and dip the tree approximately one-third of the way into the mixture. Allow the tree to dry completely again. If you like, accent the tree with beads, glitter, or anything else that strikes your fancy.