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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Making a Palm Tree








  •       I have made MANY party palm trees over the years.  Most of them had the same can with cement nailed to a 12" square wooden base, as I described in my last blog on making PVC decorations.  The top picture above is my newest palm tree base.  It is a green plastic buckets with a 3" diameter piece of PVC pipe.  The three way connector is buried in the cement in the bucket.  It took 1/2 bag of quick setting cement to make this, so it is not too heavy to lift, but is very stable.
  •       In the past I have gone to carpet stores to use empty carpet rolls (free) for the trunks.  These are very large and work great for big spaces.  Lately, for office parties, etc.  I have gone to the Container Store or other office supply stores to buy mailing tubes.  They make a 3" or slightly larger tube that fits EXACTLY over the pipe.  These tubes come in two pieces.  I extend the two pieces to the height I want, then tape them with packing tape to hold. 

  •        I simply paint the carpet tube brown.  For the last party, I bought 3 yards of tan burlap.  I cut it in 5" strips the length of the fabric.  Then I took each strip and cut 2" cuts all along one side for fringe.  Starting at the top of the tube, putting the uncut edge on the bottom, I started winding the strips around the tree.  When completed, the fringe fell forward.  This gave it a realistic palm effect.
  •      Previous palm tree toppers have been made from Stumps foil leaves, felt home-made leaves, long balloons, etc.  But, for the last office party, I ordered large green golf umbrellas.  I drew a leaf pattern in pencil on the fabric at each spoke.  I had practiced on an old small umbrella.  You can NOT cut out the fabric totally from the material between the spokes, because they just FLOPPED.  I drew something like the picture above, but I drew a big V between each palm leaf.  Believe it or not, it made a GREAT and easy to put up (and store) palm tree topper.
  • I found this youtube demonstration of how to twist the balloons onto the pole:             http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojmjUj0jfJs
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