Tree toppers. I’ve always felt kind of ‘meh’ about them because I never really loved any of the options I saw available in stores. So I was determined to make something I love this year, and when I saw this tutorial from Lowe’s (you should peruse their idea gallery sometime because they have some seriously cool projects on there!!), I was a smitten kitten!
All I purchased for this project was a 300-ct. box of strike matched from Ace Hardware..I think it cost me like $2 or $3??
The tutorial on Lowe’s website is great, so I’ll just do a quick recap here.
I printed off the template for the star and traced it onto some cardboard, and then I cut it out with an exacto knife. You could probably use foam board, too. Or, ooh, how about corkboard? Then you could just paint or stencil a cute design right on it! Oooh, my wheels are turning!! But, back to what I actually did. Once I had my cardboard star cut, I drew a few guide lines on it.
Then, I started striking matches! Obviously, you’ll want to do this in a well-ventilated area because of all the smoke. I’m sure my neighbors thought I was an absolutely lunatic standing on my back porch in 30 degree weather, striking up and blowing out 300 matches (and yes I ended up using all 300 for this project)! One tip: when you’re burning the matches, hold them a downward angle and kind of roll them back and forth to get even charring. I let them burn for 2-3 seconds and then huffed ‘em out.
After the matches have cooled, you need to remove the burned tip. Just pinch the burned end of the match and it should pull right off. This will leave you with just the wooden stick, charred on one end of course.
Once that’s done, it’s time to start gluing the matches onto the cardboard star. I used regular craft glue and it worked just fine. Start by laying your center matches. These will help you determine the pattern as you work your way around the star.
From there, I just studied the picture with the tutorial to figure out how to lay the matches (which end points in/out, etc.). And there’s not a wrong way to do this..if you want your pattern to look different, you could always change things up!
After I had everything glued down, I did a thin layer of Mod Podge over everything.
Then I attached an empty toilet paper tube to the back with some hot glue and stuck it on top of the tree! You could also use PVC pipe, if you want it to be a bit more sturdy. Just make sure to try and put the tube in the center (or even a bit higher) because if you put it at the bottom, your star will probably lean away from the tree.
This picture doesn’t do it justice (stupid winter, with your getting dark at 5:00), but doesn’t it look so b-e-a-utiful?!?