I love Christmas, and I have fun making it my own. Every year we do crafts like gingerbread houses and making cookies. This year, I stepped it up a little by making tabletop Christmas trees for the wee ones’ rooms using mint gum, a floral foam cone and straight pins. Though we brought many of our Christmas decorations with us when we moved into our temporary home, many others went into storage, and the wee ones are a little sad that they won’t have all their favorites. Once they saw the trees I’ll let them have in their room, all complaints died.
Best of all, this was a relatively quick and simple craft, one that you can do in under a half hour even if you don’t feel super crafty. All the materials are ones you can easily find at your local Walmart. The floral foam is in the craft section, near the pins, and you know where to find gum – it’s always right there in the checkout aisle! For under $10, you can create and adorable tabletop Christmas tree from mint gum that will last all season long. And if you’re like me and you have some extra gum (no pun intended, I promise!) once you finish your tree, those sticks makes a perfect stocking stuffer to fill in those last few spaces in your child’s stocking. It’s a win all around!
Before you start, please be aware that this gum tabletop tree is not intended to be edible. You are using straight pins and do not want to accidentally have anyone ingest one, nor do you want anyone to eat some of the floral foam that inevitably sticks to the gum. If you have children who would be tempted by a gum tree, please do not keep this anywhere they could access it. Personally, I chose the spearmint flavor knowing not just that it is a lovely light green color to make the tree but also that it’s far too minty and spicy for the wee ones to even think about sneaking a piece.
Mint Gum Tabletop Christmas Tree
What you need:
1 floral foam cone
4 packs of sugar free stick gum like Extra Spearmint gum (to keep any bugs away!)
125 (or so) straight pins
Unwrap your gum five to ten sticks at a time to ensure they don’t dry out. Use a knife to cut the sticks in half, which is what will form the boughs of your tree. Carefully tilt the floral foam cone to the side. Lay your first half stick of gum against the cone at the bottom of the tree. Push a straight pin through the gum, attaching it to the tree. Overlapping slightly, continue with the next stick and all around the base.
As you get to the next row make sure the bottom of the gum covers the silver of the straight pin. Continue building up your tree, overlapping the sticks of gum just a touch and covering the previous row, just like shingling a roof for a gingerbread house.
Floral foam is delicate, so be sure that you are gentle when handling it. If your cone isn’t perfect, that’s ok. My cone’s top completely crumbled as I removed the plastic covering (although yes, you could cheat by leaving the plastic on, but I didn’t want to risk the extra shine coming through once I was finished). If your cone has crumbled around the sides, the gum will easily cover it. If it crumbles at the top like mine, you can simply make a new top using your gum wrappers.
To make a new top, crumple four or five wrappers into the shape of the top of the cone, being sure not to press them too tightly together, as that will make it more difficult to stick the pins into it later. You essentially want the general shape of the cone, and that is sufficient.
Place it atop your floral foam to ensure it fits with the shape, and use two additional wrappers like you’re wrapping a present to secure the cone. Place the edge of the open wrapper on the floral foam cone so that you can secure it under the gum layers. Do the same on the opposite side and fold the excess over, continuing to secure it with layers of gum as you go. Once it is secured, you can continue with your layers pinning them now into your new cone top instead of the nonexistent foam.
Just like all Christmas trees, the top of the tree is smaller than the rest. For the top layer to two layers, instead of using halves of gum sticks, cut the gum into thirds and pin those to make it look more natural.
Lastly, you’ll want a start top your tree to finish it off and make it look complete. Using the box the gum came in, trace a star. If you have my artistic style, you may need to adjust it a little to make it look right once you’ve drawn your initial star. Turn the cardboard over and glue a silver wrapper to the back side, then cut out your star.
Cut a second small strip of cardboard to be the base of the star and glue it to the non-silver side of your star.
Place it into your tree under a layer of gum, and voila – you’ve created an adorable tabletop Christmas tree from mint gum! So you will you share this tree with as you #GiveExtraGum this year? #shop #cbias