(Planting a pine tree isn't an option because we like the look of the yard exactly as it is the rest of the year.)
So we had the great idea to build a tree. (Reeeeaaal traditional, I know!) Oh, we were well aware that this could be a total waste of time, but we like to live on the edge.
Off to Home Depot.
We didn't have a list or a plan. We talked about ideas in the truck. That was our plan.
After walking around Home Depot aimlessly for a while, here's what we bought:
4 x 1/2" x 10' of conduit pipe (these are super fun to carry around in Home Depot - I didn't look back to see the carnage left behind..)
1 x Conduit T or Junction Connector
3 x 1/2" x 2" Re-rods
A Twinkle Light Star
Twinkling Icicle Lights - we got the kind with random twinkling so it looks like they're shimmering. Here's a link if you're interested!
Celebrations Lighting V84B4112 Shimmering Icicle Light 100
Looks like a tree already, huh? Can you see it yet? Me either.
We needed the pipe bender. (We spent 45 minutes searching our basement for this thing! If you're looking for yours - look on the table in plain sight - that's were it will be.)
It was sunny, but frigid outside, so we were working fast! The whole project (not including searching for the pipe bender) took about an hour.
The first thing we did, was use the pipe bender to bend the conduit about 66 degrees, so that it would fit into the T and taper down to the ground.
Once the pipe was bent, we put it into the T and tightened the screws. This is what the top of the "tree" looked like:
It's about 8" across at the top, but don't worry, it's 10 feet tall so it looks pretty pointed once it's lit.
To keep the frame secure we used 3 re-rods which Big A sledge hammered into the dirt. This is where the blood came in. Poor Big A sledged hammered his finger! We then fit the conduit pipe onto the re-rods.
We wrapped the icicle lights around the tree frame at 6" intervals. We secured the lights with about a million zip ties. This took FOREVER. (Maybe it was only half an hour, but at this point our feet and fingers were frozen.)
The actual frame cost about $20. (The lights, star and extension cords are worth about $100 extra).
It looks tiny in this photo, but it's actually 10 feet tall and 5 feet wide at the base. All in all we were pretty pleased with ourselves. We might have high-fived. In fact, we might build a couple of smaller trees to keep it company.