Baby Juliza has reached a
destructive mobile phase. That gave me great pause when the time came to put up a Christmas tree. Understand that I love decorating the Christmas tree. It’s probably my favorite part of the holidays, especially because we opt for a real tree every year. We take great pains in picking out a beauty that gets turned to mulch after Christmas. Not this year though. Not with a baby whose greatest joy is stuffing everything she can get her hands on into her mouth.
So when Walmart challenged me to share a Christmas craft, I knew I wanted to come up with an alternative, baby- and toddler-proof Christmas tree.
DIY Wall-Mounted “Christmas Tree” made of Garland
The most important feature is that the tree needed to be out of reach. Because while I’m completely down with boundaries, I really don’t feel like spending the next several weeks saying “no” every time Juliza approached the tree or tried to eat the pine needles or ornaments. Plus, I have this awesome blank wall in the living room:
In an ideal world, that corner on the left is where a tree would’ve gone. I’m trying not to lament that fact too much. I knew the blank wall would be my palette, but I wasn’t sure what my medium should be. Washi tape? Maybe. Strings of lights? Nope. Pine garland? Sounds promising.
Pine garland comes on wire that’s easy to bend and shape. So I came up with the idea to shape a few strings of garland into a “tree”. The process is simple. Start with one end, and zig zag bend the garland, making it progressively wider as you move down. I’d suggest doing this on the floor before you move to the wall so you can get the shape set where it’s easier to manage.
This will create a triangle, or with some imagination, a tree shape. One 12″ strand of garland made for a pretty small tree, so I added a second. You can use lighted garland, but keep in mind that it is a lot heavier than plain garland, so I can’t guarantee the mounting process would work the same.
The garland has a few inches of wire at both ends. Simply twist the end of one garland strand to the end of another to connect them.
The idea is to make the tree small enough and hang it high enough to keep it out of baby’s reach. As such, 24″ of garland was enough. However, if you have larger walls, or want a larger or taller tree, you can add a few more strands of garland. This photo shows two strands of garland zig-zagged and stretched out a bit vertically.
But how the heck to get this on the wall, right? Well, a wall-mounted 3M hook is the first step. You’ll want one that can handle 3-5 pounds of weight, but don’t worry too much, as it will be reinforced elsewhere. Just be sure to hang the hook high enough the baby won’t b able to reach the bottom of the tree. Make a loop from the wire at the top of your tree shape and hang it on the hook.
Your zig zags should still keep their shape, albeit hanging more loosely. As you bring a row to the wall, secure it in place with a piece of green painter’s tape. It’s important to use green, or if you’re lucky, tape that matches your wall color. This will make it less obvious when the tree is done.
Keep moving down, with at least one piece of tape on each row. As you get closer to the bottom and the “branches” get wider, you may need more than one piece.
Once you’ve added all the tape, be sure to spread out all the branches on the garland, which will cover the tape. You’ll see that once the tree is finished, the tape is visible, but not glaring. And more importantly, baby Juliza can’t reach it.
Because you’ve used wire garland, you can add ornaments and other decorations just like you would to a regular tree.
I actually used a lightweight pick and a clip-on feather ornament to make the tree topper.
I really love this idea because we’ll be able to stack up gifts under the tree after the kids go to bed on Christmas Eve.
Option 2: Tiny Tabletop Tree
Still, I did want a lighted tree. So I also grabbed a tiny, but cute $15 LED tabletop tree so that we’ll get the benefit of glittering lights. We put it on table that’s too high for Juliza’s reach as well.
Overall, it’s not the same as a huge, real tree that comes with the smell of pine and even some sap, but it’s a lot safer and will be a lot less frustrating until baby Juliza is old enough to leave the tree alone — or at least not eat it. Plus, that tabletop tree is going on my desk in my office next year, so it won’t be a waste of resources.
What do you think, mamas? How did you handle having a baby or toddler getting around during Christmas?
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and effort in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been used.