Magazine article Sunset

Tabletop Tannenbaums

Magazine article Sunset

Tabletop Tannenbaums

Article excerpt

Spice up your holidays with a cluster of miniature trees made from seasonal greens and cinnamon sticks

Suddenly it begins to look a lot like Christmas when you set these 2-foot trees on a mantel or coffee table, or by a window lit with minilights.

The beauty of the trees lies in their simplicity. Fresh leaves from your garden and fragrant cinnamon sticks lend natural elegance to the slender cone shapes. Arranged in a small grouping, the miniature trees hold their own against full-size noble firs laden with holiday ornaments.

Designer Franqoise Kirkman cloaked plastic foam cones with redwood, camellia, and eucalyptus foliage to create three distinctive trees. You can use almost any foliage, but short, thick leaves like camellia are the easiest to work with. It is a little harder to artistically position long, spindly leaves like eucalyptus while concealing the pins that anchor them.

A bundle of cinnamon sticks forms the long trunk. Shorter cinnamon sticks and a handful of moss conceal a plaster of paris base, which is heavy enough to give tall trees stability.

The foliage will keep its fresh green beauty for as long as 10 days. We found that eucalyptus leaves held their shape and color the longest.

TIME

21/2 to 3 hours (plus 1 hour for plaster of paris to dry) WHAT YOU NEED

A strip of cardboard, 1 1/2 inches wide by 14 inches long

Masking tape

A pencil or pen

A ruler

A square of acrylic plastic, tile, or foil

Six to eight 12-inch cinnamon sticks, from a craft store Rubber bands

A narrow-blade saw, craft scissors, or floral clippers

A knife

A 9-inch-tall plastic foam cone

Tacky glue

Plaster of paris

Dry moss

Leaves and greenery such as camellia, citrus, eucalyptus, magnolia, redwood, or salal

Florist's pins

DIRECTIONS (FOR A TREE WITH A 9-INCH-TALL CONE)

1. Line the cardboard strip with masking tape (a). Starting at one end, mark three points along the strip-at 31/2, 7, and 10l/2 inches. Fold the cardboard at each point to form a square, and seal the ends with masking tape on the inside to prevent seepage. Tape the cardboard square to the acrylic plastic or tile to prevent seepage out the bottom.

2. Bundle five or six cinnamon sticks with a rubber band at each end to form a 1-inch-diameter trunk. Use a saw to shorten the sticks as necessary to match the size of your cone and the height you want your tree to be (b). …

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