Seasonal and Local: A Tumbleweed Christmas Tree

For native Christmas decor, some turn to local plants, such as these folks who tried some cool tumbleweed crafting for the holidays.

| December 2015/January 2016

When I moved to Colorado in 1979, I was fascinated by tumbleweeds — something the locals considered a nuisance. I decided to use this native material for a homemade tumbleweed “Christmas tree,” so I gathered three tumbleweeds, set them on newspaper, and spray-painted them white. One can of spray paint covered all three tumbleweeds.

After the paint dried, I used picture wire to hold the tumbleweeds together before adding a string of white lights with a white cord. A white cord is best because it blends in with the white paint, but there isn’t any reason why you couldn’t spray the tumbleweeds green or another color of your liking. Tumbleweeds tend to roll around, so lean them against a wall for support.

If you prefer a free-standing “tree,” however, you could get a thin dowel and paint it the same color as the tumbleweeds. Anchor the dowel in a large flowerpot filled with sand or dirt, and then attach the tumbleweed Christmas tree to the dowel with picture wire.

I think the finished project looks nice, plus it’s a fun, nearly free way to create native Christmas decor. While tumbleweed crafts aren’t a wild and free option in all parts of the country, other regions have their own dried weeds and branches that can be used in similar ways.

Arlene Shovald
Salida, Colorado

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