I needed a way to display an assortment of gnomes and this snowy tree display was very easy to make. The materials were simply
- One 15″ styrofoam cone
- 29 (approx.) 2″ x 3″ wood ovals
- One 2″ wood circle
- Joint compound or similar
- White acrylic paint with gel thickener
- Hot glue
For tools you will need
- A long serrated knife
- A ruler
- A hot glue gun
- A paintbrush
I cut the cone into 5 even pieces about 3″ tall each. Be sure to do straight horizontal cuts. (My gnomes were about 2 1/2″ to 4″ tall and I knew some would have to have their hats between the shelves above them.)I made a mark of about 3/4″ on each oval which would show me roughly where to hot glue them to the cone.
I then glued the ovals to the bottom of each foam piece. (They can be scored with an blade and snapped if you want to cut them, but I just put whatever fit easily on each layer without being overly exact.) Going from the bottom of the cone up it was 9, 7 , 6, 4 and 3 ovals.
I then hot glued the cone tree back together. Start from the bottom up. I recommend doing it on a kitchen counter so you can easily see if each layer is level. I put a little cardboard in some areas to make mine straight. Glue the circle on top last. This gluing part does not have to be perfect as the paint, texture, and mica hide a lot.
I rubbed a little joint compound on foam to help fill the holes in the foam and give it some “snowy” texture.
I then painted the display with a warm grey-white acrylic paint that had some gel thickener in it for more texture. I started at the bottom and sprinkled it with mica as I finished each section.
That was it!
I was pleased with this project. I think it could be used for other figurines or items as well. Next time, I might try painting it green and covering it in greenery for a woodland effect. Wrapping the cone in tinsel could be great as well.
- I bought the ovals and circle at woodcrafter.com
- I originally foolishly thought I could just push the ovals into the foam. That did not work.
- My 3 oval shelf was very tight to glue 3/4″ onto the cone. I probably should have trimmed off 1/4″ from each oval tip.
- I think I might glue pebbles in the foam underneath to weight it a little more at base.
December 24, 2017 at 8:24 am
This tree display is absolutely brilliant! So perfect for the little gnomes too. I’m pinning this to hopefully make one of my own… now the quest to find more gnomes to fill it. 😉 Liz
January 6, 2019 at 7:40 am
Just came across this old post, love it! I have my own little collection of pinecone men .
December 19, 2020 at 12:37 pm
Wow, thanks for sharing how you created this tree. Just saw it on IG and it’ll be perfect to keep my own gnome gang from disappearing in the snowbanks on the mantel. Merry Christmas!