noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

craft, holiday, projects

jeweled Christmas tree

I have always wanted a Christmas tree made of jewels like you see in your grandmas house, my grandma still puts hers up every Christmas. So finally, I made one of my very own-

I’ve had this frame forever- I got it at Hobby Lobby years ago when I began dreaming up this project. It was super on sale- I think I bought it for $9.99. You can’t tell from the backside in this picture but it’s thick and gaudy- the gaudier the better for this project. I cut a piece of masonite to fit inside the frame and built the tree on. The material had to be thick enough to support the weight of all the sparkly gems.

I used a sponge brush to cover the masonite with a thin coat of fabric glue, then pressed on the velvet fabric for the background. I lightly drew the outline of the tree onto the velvet with chalk, any lines left visible rub off easily in the end. I prearranged the jewels on an extra piece of velvet, in the exact shape I was after.

All of the pieces are glued on with a hot glue gun. I tried to use a little glue as possible so it wouldn’t be blobby and visible. I started with the edges and worked my way in, gluing the biggest jewels down first.

I have been collecting all the costume jewelry for years. This project can get very expensive if you’re not careful. I found a few lots on ebay, a few are family heirlooms and I’ve done lots of digging in local antique shops for cheap broken and mismatched earrings and brooches.

I wanted the tree to look as solid as possible so I filled in the little gaps with tiny jewels and pearls.

A kind blogger friend gave me this bee (it was a belt buckle) and the 2 tiny bees (cuff links?) that are hidden in the mix at the last Beehive Bazaar– Midge, you are so sweet and thoughtful; what a treat to have a few bees to put in the mix!

I can’t believe this tree is finally finished. I feel like I’ve really accomplished something. It’s going to be like the best Christmas present ever when I get to put my jeweled tree up this December.


  1. VaLene Hulme

    September 26, 2011 at 2:38 am

    That is stunning. I love that gold rose. I love it all. I want to see it in real life.

  2. Crazy Auntie Barbara

    December 2, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Fabulous is all I can say. I have wanted to make one for a long time and this year is the year. Thanks for the inspiration to get off my you know what and do it!! Merry Christmas!!

    1. noelleodesigns

      December 2, 2011 at 4:28 am

      All I can say is- enjoy the journey. If you’re like me, you’ll get addicted to the search and end up with twice as many jewels as you really need. But then you can make another one in the shape of a heart for Valentine’s Day! Good Luck!

  3. Theresa

    December 30, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    I love these trees as well. My mother-in-law was saving pins and brooches but never got the tree made. I want to make it now for my sister-in-law. One question: do you butt the velvet material up to the edge or do you roll it around the edges and glue to the backside of the board ?

    1. noelleodesigns

      December 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm

      I rolled the velvet around the board and glued it to the backside of the masonite. Wrapping it around the edges around the board just gives it an extra level of hold. Also, the jewels are so heavy, it’s not a bad idea to put some sort of glue all over the board underneath where the tree will be so there will be chance of sag.

  4. tutorial: Jeweled Valentine Heart | noelleodesigns

    February 1, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    […] don’t have many in the Valentine category, but the few I have are favorites.  When I made my jeweled Christmas tree a few years ago, my zeal for gathering sparkly gems left me with a pile if unused splendor. I […]

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