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Guest Don Gillespie

Building of Mini trees

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Guest Don Gillespie

I am in the process of building quite a few mini trees so I thought I would post some pics on how I am building them everyone tells me to zip tie them together tried that didn't like it here is how I am building my mini trees first you need some tomatoe cages start with one




Attached files 299615=16513-Mini tree 001.jpg

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Guest Don Gillespie

take a second cage and put it over top of the first cage make sure your vertical bars are not lined up to each other makes wrapping lights easier.

Attached files 299616=16514-Mini tree 002.jpg

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Guest Don Gillespie

next I take a pair of wire cutters and bend the tops in a half circle




Attached files 299618=16515-Mini tree 003.jpg

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Guest Don Gillespie

next I grind off the 3 vertical stubs so the cage will sit flat on the ground (this step is not mandatory you can leave them if you want)




Attached files 299620=16517-Mini tree 005.jpg

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Guest Don Gillespie

looks like this when done grinding also in this photo you can see how I tied the tops together I just used chain link fence ties




Attached files 299621=16518-Mini tree 006.jpg

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Guest Don Gillespie

last but not least wrap with 50 feet of garland that you can pick up cheap ( I got mine from H/D for 50 cents each) add your lights (which I am waiting for ) and you have a great looking mini tree.

Attached files 299622=16519-Mini tree 007.jpg

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Darn nice looking tree you have there. Looks like your about to start a forest in your garage. Here it is 3 days after the season and already building props.

Thank you for the DIY How To.

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Bend the tips more so that they are touching the vertical. Then thread the wire tie through the loop. Makes them easy to pick up without stabbing your hand.

Just the way I did it.

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Just went out looking for garland... found about 40 units of 50' garland. Regular priced $8 a piece. I got them 75% off + a 10% discount... so i 2000 ft of garland for less than $100. Get ready for a army of mini trees!!



They had boxes of artificial 12" mini wreaths for .60 cents after discount, i think im going to go back tomorrow and clear them out. Not sure what ill do with them yet but the price is too cheap to pass up

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I wrapped the first 8 I made with plastic chickenwire (honeycomb) then wrapped lights, then garland.. the second set of 8 trees I made with doubled cages llike George did above. I like the fullness of the chickenwired cages (no flatspots) but it required more zipties and creative cutting to make it "cone" correctly over the single cage. The doubled cages, tho not significantly, did add a little more weight.

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TJ Hvasta wrote:

I wrapped the first 8 I made with plastic chickenwire (honeycomb) then wrapped lights, then garland.. the second set of 8 trees I made with doubled cages llike George did above. I like the fullness of the chickenwired cages (no flatspots) but it required more zipties and creative cutting to make it "cone" correctly over the single cage. The doubled cages, tho not significantly, did add a little more weight.


Can you take pictures of both? Im looking to start building my mini trees because i have a lot of free time in the next week, but would like to find the best way to do it. I really like Don's version. Seems very simple and looks pretty good.

How many lights do you guys use on your mini trees? Ill be doing the classic RGBW if it takes 50 feet of garland im expecting at least 2x that of light per color...

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Don, your trees look great. I'm sure people will pass by and remark to themselves how cute and/or handsome those little puckers look during the day.

As for me, I don't care what they look like during the day. Not even a little bit. In fact, the uglier the better... (I don't particularly want people attracted and snooping around and discovering all the secrets behind the magic anyway.)

I see that garland and wonder why would I bother putting lights all the way around when most of them aren't even going to be visible at any given time? I'm not into bulb-count mania - quite the oppposite. I prefer to use the fewest lights possible to get the effect I want. Naturally, everyone should do it the way they want to, but I use one 50 ct LED set per color on the neighbor's mini trees and with being able to see all the lights from any angle they look just fine with that number. In fact, they look so good that I'll be re-doing all the mini trees in my yard the same way.

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Guest guest

Champion Sound Entertainment wrote:

TJ Hvasta wrote:
I wrapped the first 8 I made with plastic chickenwire (honeycomb) then wrapped lights, then garland.. the second set of 8 trees I made with doubled cages llike George did above. I like the fullness of the chickenwired cages (no flatspots) but it required more zipties and creative cutting to make it "cone" correctly over the single cage. The doubled cages, tho not significantly, did add a little more weight.


Can you take pictures of both? Im looking to start building my mini trees because i have a lot of free time in the next week, but would like to find the best way to do it. I really like Don's version. Seems very simple and looks pretty good.

How many lights do you guys use on your mini trees? Ill be doing the classic RGBW if it takes 50 feet of garland im expecting at least 2x that of light per color...

Like TJ, I did both over the last 2 years..plastic chicken wire, and the double-cages. Comparing them this year (setting aside the issue of faded blue incans on last years chicken wire trees), I like the double-cage idea approach better than the chicken wire, both from a looks standpoint, and a time-to-build standpoint.

As far as light count, I did some bigger trees last year, using 200 and 300 lights per color, 3 colors.

For 2012, they are all going to 33 inch cages/trees, 100 lights per color, 3 colors.

I agree with George, you hit the point of diminishing returns, (and, even a level of ugliness) with too many lights on a mini-tree.

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Guest guest

Don Gillespie wrote:

looks like this



Don..glad to see you found your (get ready, first one of the year) frickin' wire cutters...:D:D:P:P


Attached files 299804=16527-dons_frickin_wire_cutters.jpg

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Guest guest

ok, ok (don, quickly backpedaling..realizing it is too late to quietly edit the original post...), first one of the year with a picture of the frickin wire cutters.

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I got tired of cutting my hands/arms whenever I was working on them. I bent the tips over part way. Then kept getting stabbed when I picked them up.

So this was my solution.


Attached files 299832=16530-MT1.jpg

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Guest Don Gillespie

shfr26 wrote:

DonFL wrote:
Don Gillespie wrote:
looks like this



Don..glad to see you found your (get ready, first one of the year) frickin' wire cutters...:):D:P:P


beat ya to it, post 7:Dhttp://forums.lightorama.com/forum81/31792.html


I should have known it was either going to be Pete or Don to bring up the old wire cutters, actually the wire cutters in the photo are not mine as you can see there is a lot of rust on them, oh wait a minute maybe they are LOL :D

George I was just going to wrap the trees with lights but my wife said they would look garish, so she forced me to use the garland I am like you I could care less what it looks like during the day its at night that is important.

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Guest guest

Don Gillespie wrote:

shfr26 wrote:
DonFL wrote:
Don Gillespie wrote:
looks like this



Don..glad to see you found your (get ready, first one of the year) frickin' wire cutters...:):D:P:P


beat ya to it, post 7:Dhttp://forums.lightorama.com/forum81/31792.html


I should have known it was either going to be Pete or Don to bring up the old wire cutters, actually the wire cutters in the photo are not mine as you can see there is a lot of rust on them, oh wait a minute maybe they are LOL :D



keep them out of the washing machine and that rust issue will subside.

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So if they are not yours, why are you using them? Don't you yell at people that take your tools? And now you do the same thing.

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my grass is thick so what I did was cut off the bottom ring which left me with a two inch "stake" to push in the ground. even with strong winds my mini-trees didn't budge.

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Guest Don Gillespie

shfr26 wrote:

So if they are not yours, why are you using them? Don't you yell at people that take your tools? And now you do the same thing.

I think they might be yours :)

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Don Gillespie wrote:

shfr26 wrote:
So if they are not yours, why are you using them? Don't you yell at people that take your tools? And now you do the same thing.

I think they might be yours :)

I was looking for them, even looked in the washer. When your done with them, clean them up and bring down to me please, will have a bottle of RC waiting.

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Do you have to use garland? I really don't care about what they look like during the day.

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