How to Make a Chenille-Stem Tabletop Christmas Tree

Create custom holiday decor with this chenille-stem pine tutorial from Stephen Brown at Glitterville Studios.

A pink chenille stem tree with a droopy tip and bead ornaments.

Chenille Stem Christmas Tree: Handmade Craft on Display

A chenille stem Christmas tree is a whimsical way to decorate for Christmas. Create the handmade tree by using a variety of chenille stems, floral foam, and beads to create an adorable forest of brightly colored trees that you can display on your tables, mantles and kitchen islands.

From: HGTV Handmade

Photo by: Emilee Ramsier

Emilee Ramsier

Chenille-stem Christmas trees are completely customizable and work great for DIY holiday centerpieces or trees for small spaces. Learn how to create a whimsical handmade Christmas tree display that you can use throughout your home this Christmas season.

Chenille-Stem Tabletop Christmas Tree
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Materials + Tools

  • wood finial
  • paint of your color choice
  • chenille stems in your color choice
  • 3-inch by 6-inch floral cone
  • scissors
  • white glue
  • kitchen skewer
  • beads for ornaments and star

1. Prepare and Insert Finial

The wood finial will serve as the base of your chenille-stem tree. Paint it a color of your choosing. Add glitter or other embellishments as you wish (Image 1). Insert the end of the finial approximately 1.5 inches deep into the bottom of the cone or until it seems secure enough to support the tree (Image 2). Remove the finial, coat the inside of the foam hole with white glue, and reinsert the finial.

2. Cut Chenille-Stem Branches

Choose a color and pick chenille stems in 2-3 shades of that color. The tree branches are made by cutting the stems into pieces ranging from 1.5 to 3.75 inches long. Use wire cutters or scissors to cut approximately 25 stems into branch pieces (Images 1 + 2).

3. Make the Tree

Begin inserting the stems into the bottom edge of the floral cone (Images 1 + 2). To help it keep the tree shape, use the longer chenille-stem pieces along the bottom and work up to smaller pieces as you get closer to the top of the cone (Image 3). Take care that you insert enough branches to make a full tree, but not so many that the foam structure breaks down. You can always add more chenille stems later if you find you have a sparse spot in your tree.

4. Extend the Tree

When the exterior of the floral cone is covered in chenille-stem branches, press a kitchen skewer into the top of the floral cone to give the tree more height (Image 1). Cut more full-length chenille stems in half to wrap around the skewer and build the tree up (Images 2 + 3). Optionally, once the skewer is covered in chenille stems, add another piece of chenille stem to create a curved piece and cover it in more short sections of stems to make it look like the treetop is drooping (Image 4).

5. Trim the Tree

Take a step back and study the shape of your tree. Fill in any bare areas with more chenille stems and feel free to trim any out-of-place pieces with scissors (Images 1 + 2).

6. Prepare and Hang the Ornaments

You can get as detailed as you want with the ornaments. Use regular circular beads in varying colors and textures from the craft store, or purchase wood beads and paint your own for a handmade look (Image 1). Plan on three different types of ornaments to give the tree some extra visual interest. Slide the beads onto the chenille stems to decorate your tree (Images 2 + 3). Hang a star bead from the droopy tip (Image 4).

7. Display and Enjoy

Use the tree by itself as a centerpiece or make an entire forest using different-sized finials and floral cones to create a larger display. Chenille-stem trees can be used to decorate mantels, hearths, kitchen islands and side tables this holiday season.

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