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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Neat Holiday Idea #2

My grandmother and my late uncle made the neatest holiday wall hanging years ago. Growing up, this piece meant Christmas to me. As a child, it hung on the balcony railing of my grandparents' home. Now, it's displayed in the window of their apartment.

I think it's beautiful.

Knowing that this will be inherited by my aunt, I asked my grandmother to share the instructions for making the Memory Tree.

Of course, she did. I haven't made my Memory Tree yet (There's not enough time in the world to do everything I want to do...and I don't have enough mementos yet. Maybe in a few years!), but it's such a wonderful idea I thought I'd share it with you.

Christmas Memory Tree
  • Picture frame (size depends on size of picture you wish to make)
  • Plywood (1/8" or 3/16", cut to fit frame)
  • Foam rubber or poly foam, 1/4" thick (cut same size as plywood)
  • Velvet, preferably a darker color, cut 2" larger than plywood
  • Gold braid, enough to outline design
  • Twinkle lights (35 or 50 count set)
  • Old jewelry (rhinestones especially pick up lights)
  • White glue or hot glue
  • Stapler
  • Drill with 3/8" bit
Trace the pattern of the design on the back of the plywood.

Mark the location you wish to place the lights. Drill holes through the plywood just large enough for the light sockets to go through.

Glue the foam over the plywood.

Stretch velvet gently over the foam and staple to the back of the plywood.

Stick pins through the holes of the plywood from the back, through the foam and velvet to mark the location of the lights. Cut a small X in the velvet and foam with the point of the scissors. Now trace the pattern onto the velvet with chalk.

Glue gold braid onto the velvet, following chalk line, to outline the picture.

Insert the light sockets from the back of the picture through the plywood, foam and velvet. Place the bulbs into the sockets from the front.

Remove clips and pins from the back of the jewelry and glue jewelry onto the velvet within the gold braid outline.


  1. I think it is beautiful, too. It was a really clever idea and it was wonderfully executed. A very nice memory, indeed.

  2. I believe there's a list on the back that gives a bit of history regarding many of the pieces....i.e.,the Impala Chevrolet logo accidentally torn off the new 1955 car on the garage door by the junior member of the family. The perpetrator kept quiet about what happened until quizzed further and he confessed. Costume jewelry worn by a great grandmother every Sunday, doodads collected over the years, memento from Frank Phillips 66th birthday celebration in 1939 (founder of Phillips 66 Oil Co.), ignition key to a new car, Planter Peanut man,etc. etc. "Junk" to some, "memories" to others.

  3. I like sentimental junk. It has a story!