If you don’t have space for a Christmas tree, why not create one for the wall? This month’s upcycled project uses off cuts of plumbing pipes to create a tree shape, so that you can display your treasured vintage baubles inside the circles. This is a great idea for parents of young children or even owners of naughty cats who like to play with your glass decorations as they are now safe and out of harm’s way!
- Different sizes of plumbing pipes from drainpipes to 1 inch pipes in white. The amount you use depends on the size of your design.
- A large piece of ply wood or MDF
- Cream paint. I used Ronseal’s Floor Paint in cream that I had left over from decorating my home.
- Vintage baubles
- A fine tooth saw
- Sealant and mastic gun
- Paint brush
- Sand paper
- Picture hanging kit if required//
HOW TO MAKE THIS PROJECT
Saw the piping into 3 inch lengths. Choose a variety of widths so that your end design has different sizes on, which will add interest. It is important that you do this safely so saw outside, with safety glasses on. I clamped the pipes onto trestles so it was held in place while I sawed them.
I started with the smaller ones first to get used to sawing them. I found the larger ones harder to saw, so take your time and ask for help if needed!
Ask a local plumber for no longer needed off cuts to save buying new. Alternatively, find a plumbing shop that sells piping by the metre.
When you have about 30 pieces, position them into the tree shape to check that you have enough. Spread the sizes out across the design and make a small trunk too from the smaller pipes. This then gave me an idea of how big I needed the piece of ply to be.
Gently sand down the ends of all the pipes with sandpaper and wash them.
Cut the piece of ply to the size needed for your design. Mine was 75 cm wide and 80 cm tall. Gently sand the edges and the top to get a smooth finish.
You may wish to use something you already have rather than a piece of wood such as a vintage blackboard or an old mirror.
Prime and then paint the wood with paint. I chose what I had in the garage, but you may wish to paint it a different colour. I chose cream rather than white so that the pipes would have better stand out on the finished design. Leave to dry. I used three coats to get a good finish.
Re-position the pipes onto the dry board until you are happy with the spacing. Using sealant and a mastic gun, glue them into place. I chose sealant as it could fill any gaps if my cutting wasn’t perfectly straight! Smooth any excess away before it dries. Leave all the sealant to dry fully before moving it.
When fully dry, position on a mantelpiece and place your baubles inside. If you want to hang the board, attach metal screw hoops and wire to the back, position on the wall, then place the baubles inside.
You could add sweets in coloured wrappers instead of baubles if you wish. Or add small numbers to every circles to create an advert calendar for next year.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas! For more Christmas ideas check out my digital book, Style Your Vintage Party: Christmas.
This is a tutorial from the current issue of Reloved Magazine – look out for my next project in the new issue due out on 22nd December. Styled images by Sharon Cooper Photography.