I have another variation on the "substitute Christmas tree" for 2011! (For previous years, see my earlier post here).
I have to say that I didn't come up with this idea on my own - it's my own interpretation of a tree I saw featured on "Stephen & Chris" (incidentally one of my least favourite programmes on CBC, but on account of a viral infection I was laid up on the couch and formed a captive audience to whatever happened to be on channel 2 at that time!). For a truly hideous alternative Christmas tree, find the lampshade one featured on the same show here.
I murdered a novel last year to make a secret-compartment book, and I've been using up the cut-out pages for various crafts ever since. If you'd like to make a Christmas tree out of pages of print, I have a few suggestions for you before you start hacking to death a great work of fiction:
- Buy one of the 6 copies of "Breaking Dawn" on the shelf at the Kits Salvation Army. Clearly you won't be removing a rare or beloved book from circulation by chopping up one of these. There's a few others that are in surplus - I also saw multiple copies of a novel whose title I forgot (but it's turquoise, and features a person covered in candy beads)
- Used copy paper in the recycling bin. Black and white is effective, but colour print-outs could be cool, too!
- Find a book you really, really hated. It's cathartic to cut out pages, fold and hot glue them to a wrapping paper roll core.
As I added pages (started in rounds, but changed to a spiral pattern on the way), I started to change the "slope" of the glued on pages from gentle to steep, in order to (hopefully!) mimic the shape of a tall pine like a lodgepole pine or white spruce. If you use different sizes of pages (bigger on bottom) and keep the slope of the pages relatively constant, you can recreate the fuller-body of a blue spruce or other stumpier but traditional Christmas tree.
I put on a reused bow decoration for a temporary star (there's some really neat tutorials out there for Polish and Finnish stars I'd like to try - maybe I'll do a separate post on those if I get to them!).
Drawbacks to a printed page tree - it's not very tall (less than a metre), and it's a terrible thing to have around advent candles or a menorah! But on the upside, it's free (or very cheap!), it's unusual, it doesn't weigh anything at all, and it's mostly recyclable (and makes good reuse of landfill-bound styrofoam - read up on Green, Broke & Living in Kits plastic recycling in Vancouver here!).