‘O Tannenbaum’

Look for a unique twist to your holiday tradition

Newspaper tree Made out of coned newsprint and advertising inserts, The Marietta Times Christmas tree this year is held together with a cardboard center, staples and a bit of tape, then topped with two plastic poinsetta flowers and adorned with ornaments.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere you go.

And some are even celebrating with a bit of creativity when it comes to trees.

With 32 layers of books, some spines facing outwards and others facing in, copies of encyclopedia Britannica editions, the Ohio Revised Code, United States Code, Africa Contemporary Record and other hard backed books lead the eye up to a paper star atop the Christmas tree in the lobby of the Marietta College Library.

“We started this four years ago,” said creator Barb Binegar at library. “That first year it took a couple tries to get the books to stay up but the kids just love it.”

Binegar said the library’s “tree” is made from books that have been pulled from the shelves of the institution, retired either for newer versions or those with less worn bindings.

Dress Form trees An alternative Christmas tree can be made with a dressform. The base, or skirt, can be made out of artificial greenery, such as the one made by Julie Davey on display at the Dickens Welcome Center in Cambridge, or simple tinsel and garland, such as one displayed in a Marietta home.

“I got the idea first with these top ones that are small,” she explained. “They were red and green and I immediately thought of Christmas.”

Doug Anderson, director of the library, said part of the trick for supporting the weight of the tree is having a piece of circular wood inside at differing intervals.

“And when you start at the bottom, make sure that base is stable before moving inward,” he said.

At the Marietta Brewing Company the libations theme continues with the restaurant’s “tree.”

It’s made up of a pyramid of 10 silver kegs, draped in colorful string lights.

Book Tree Made from pulled editions of encyclopedias, older versions of the Ohio Revised Code and other retired works the Marietta College Legacy Library welcomes students during the last weeks of school with a Christmas tree in the front lobby.

“I was decorating for Christmas and decided to put a little twist on it,” said Tony Styer, owner of the brewery. “We had empty kegs here so I thought why not do something different?”

The keg tree is just one of the creative trees for the Styers, though.

“My son is 5 and is a huge Star Wars geek so we got a black tree and made a Darth Vader tree with his helmet at the top and a light saber,” he explained. “Then there’s a bunch of Star Wars ornaments all over the tree between the lights too.”

Over at The Marietta Times a tree made from coned newsprint and advertising inserts stands near the front entrance.

In the center there’s a core of cardboard to hold the tree up as the layers of cones splay outward and the tree is topped with a glossy booklet rounding out the peak of cones with two plastic poinsetta flowers above.

Dress Form trees An alternative Christmas tree can be made with a dressform. The base, or skirt, can be made out of artificial greenery, such as the one made by Julie Davey on display at the Dickens Welcome Center in Cambridge, or simple tinsel and garland, such as one displayed in a Marietta home.

But the alternative trees aren’t just present in Marietta. Thanks to ideas on Pinterest many are trying their hand at easy trees made out of feather boas and tomato stands or even using dressforms found in the sewing room to decorate for the holidays.

Julie Davey, manager of the Dickens Welcome Center in Cambridge, made a tree with a dressform and garland that is displayed in the center. The top is a black shirt with a bow at the waist, while the “skirt” is all greenery.

“I saw it on Pinterest and I started fooling around with what I had,” said Davey. “So (the dressform Christmas tree) was on an antique frame I already had and I strung lights like a skirt up and down it, then strung garland up and down. Then I added a lace shirt and a top hat.”

So for much less than the $40 to 100 plastic tree or $70 to 200 cut tree, holiday cheer can still be made, with a little wire, tape, staples or stacking.

At a glance

Low-cost Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas:

– Feather boas, lights and a tomato stand.

– Dressform.

– Halloween costumes.

– Prom dress.

– Books.

– Christmas cards.

– Garland.

– Ribbon.

Source: Pinterest.

How to make a tree dress:

– Use a mannequin or pinnable dressform as the core.

– Drape chicken wire or a hoop skirt from the waist to create the underlying form of the skirt.

– Add garland, tree clippings or organza ribbon to build the body of the skirt.

– String lights between the skirt body.

– Hook ornaments and candy canes surrounding the skirt.

– Add a tree skirt, shawl or blouse to the top of the dressform.

Source: Times research.