DIY with Dariana: Tree-t Yourself This Valentine's Day!

     Hey there HC Cuties! I bet you opened this article thinking “It’s barely mid-January! Why is there talk of Valentine’s Day so early in the year?” Well if you haven’t come out of your room in the past couple of weeks, chocolates and V-Day cards have been filling the shelves of your local stores since New Year’s ended, meaning that it’s never too early to start preparing for the great day of love. In this segment of DIY with Dariana, I’ll be showing you how to make a cute V-Day themed tree for hanging jewelry or any Valentine’s Day related ornaments (like candies, cupids, cards−anything your heart desires). It’s perfect for decorating your dorm room or even to give to that special someone…or your mom. Sometimes there just isn’t money to go out and buy expensive jewelry, right? And girls do always love a good gift made from the heart (*wink wink, nudge nudge boys).


·         Sticks/branch−ones that have lots of little branches work best

·         Clay or play dough

·         Container−anything from coffee cans to flower pots work

·         Filler−like pebbles, seashells, those little rocks you put in fish bowls, etc.

·         Paint and paintbrush or spray paint

·         Glue

Tip: To make it even more cost-effective, you can get all of these materials at your local 99 cents store or use things you have on hand.


STEP 1: Prepare your tree!

The cool thing about this project is that you have the liberty to choose how big or small you want your tree to be. Small trees are best for hanging earrings, rings and lighter jewelry or ornaments while bigger, sturdier ones are best for long necklaces and heavier jewelry. Pick your branches to suit what size tree you want to make.

Use the clay to provide a base for your branch inside the pot. If you have lots of little sticks, use the clay to help them stay into the shape you want your tree to be.


STEP 2: Use the power of the glue!

If your branch or sticks don’t have as many branches as you would like (remember: more branches means more hanging space), use the glue to stick more on. Let them dry for about 30 minutes before returning to work.


STEP 3: Paint it!

Here I’m just using some white paint I had left over from when I painted my room, so it just goes to show you that you don’t need to always go out and buy stuff every time you want to do a craft. To keep with the V-Day theme, I would suggest using red or pink or white, but you can paint it any color depending on the occasion. Make sure to cover all the nooks and crannies and especially cover all the parts where you glued on more branches. Put on as many coats as you need until you can’t see the original color of the branches. I gave my tree two coats and it only took me about 40 minutes total to finish painting. Let dry for a couple of episodes of American Horror Story.


STEP 4: Fill ‘er up!

Use your filler to weigh down the clay and stop your branch from moving around. This not only makes it that much cuter, but also covers up that unsightly clay you used to help your tree stay in place. The filler can also be changed to accommodate for the season, maybe use sand or seashells for summer and glitter rocks for special occasions.

I ended up using some red, pink and white bracelet beads I had from my friendship-bracelet making days. I also added some chocolates because it's not a Valentine's Day DIY without chocolate! My vase was too tall though and I didn't have enough beads to fill it up all the way to the top. To fix this, I just wadded up some pieces of paper and then added the beads on top, so in the end all you were able to see were the beads. 


STEP 5: Break it in!

When you’re sure your tree is finally dry and stuck in place, try it out! Hang your favorite jewelry on display or any V-Day ornaments you want to show your holiday spirit. Just make sure not to put too many heavy ornaments or jewelry on one side because the tree is fragile and could topple over!


Remember that decorating for the holidays or finding the perfect gift doesn’t always have to be a pain in the butt−or in your wallet!


Happy Crafting, HC Cuties!