How to Make a Christmas Tree Out of a Bottle Brush

Two Parts:Making the TreeDecorating the Tree

Here's a very easy holiday craft that requires only a simple cleaning tool (a bottle brush), wire cutters, and a base to stick the tree into. Those trees used in holiday villages are often constructed with similar methods and materials. Start with step 1 to get crafting!

Part 1
Making the Tree

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    Select your bottle brush. Purchase some in the cleaning department of stores or in a place that deals in restaurant goods. Long tube cleaners also be purchased in a science lab company catalog. These can vary in size and shape greatly, depending on what size or shape the container the brush is normally used to clean. The best ones are in cone shape that also come in a spiral bristle arrangement already in the cone shape of a tree which will eliminate the need to really trim the bristles.
    • The longer the bristles the better. The shorter ones are good if you are not using thick wires or heavy decorations on the tree.
    • The bristles can be made of natural hairs like from a pig or synthetic like nylon or plastic. Ones with copper or metal bristles are sharp! These metal ones also aren't good to have around lights for the fact that metal conducts electricity causing shock. These cleaning tools also come in many colors and can be easily spray painted if desired.
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    Trim the bristles into a desired shape of the tree, if desired. Using scissors trim the top bristles shorter than the lower bristles. This will give the brush a lovely pyramid shape that echoes an evergreen Christmas tree.
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    Remove the handle and & adjust the length of the "trunk" (optional). If your going to stick the "tree" into a base like a flower-pot the handle of the "tree" will come in handy to help give it some support. If the tree is to become part of the center of a wreath or you want to shorten it. Use some wire cutters to cut the wires down to size so it can be stuck into the wreath without the trunk sticking from the bottom
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    Mount the tree. If you're doing this on a wreath use a grapevine wreath. Press the tree firmly into the wreath form the tangle of vines will hold it in place. You might want to add tacky or hot glue to the trunk to help keep it secure.
    • If mounting in a container, you can get what is called Smoothfoam or Wet Florist Foam ball the circumference that fits the container inside; then press the trunk into the foam.
    • Alternatively, pour Plaster of Paris or concrete in a suitable container and set the tree into the base container; let cure following instructions on the packages of the product.
    • Heavy items like rocks, glass marbles, glass pebbles etc. will allow you to just place the tree into the container. How you mount it in a container will depend on how heavy the tree is or how thick its trunk is.

Part 2
Decorating the Tree

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    Add small lights (optional). It's best to use lights with tiny wires. Also try to opt for the lowest number of lights possible and the shortest wire length. Use lightweight light sets as heavier ones will slide off the tree. LEDs are good candidates. Some LED sets come with very pretty clear, gold or silver wires. Also some lights are too hot for use with the plastic bottle brushes. Small LED lights operated by batteries, rice lights, or a small LED regular sized set with thin wires can work. When installing lights, start with the end of the set on the top and loosely wrap the lights tightly against the trunk of the tree spacing the wire evenly as you go up in a spiral pattern. When you reach close to the top stop and wrap on the way down. Fluff out the bristles when you're done wrapping the lights to help hide the wires. If there is a plug connector on the end start wrapping at bottom going up.
    • If you're using the thicker, heavier wires use thin wires or twist ties covered in plastic to hold the wires in place you can also use a garland or ornament with wires to hold the wire in place. You can also loosen up the light wire twist in between the bulbs carefully.
    • If you're wiring the tree on a wreath with lights, start at the tree first. Using the same method as above, wrap the lights going up wrapping evenly and tightly up first in spiral pattern and going down if the end is a bulb. If the end is a plug, start at the bottom of the tree making sure the plug is in the back of the tree and not seen and wrap up to top and around again. This can be tricky with some of the thicker wires and you might want to wrap the wire only in a single wrap and move on.
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    Wire garlands to tree (optional). This can be done with dental floss, twine, thread, or maybe mono filament wires. For heavy things, consider any jewelry wire or florist wire.
    • If you don't like the clasp or don't want a clasp on the tree, or to shorten the garland cut the string, cord, that holds the necklace at a knot. If you cut at away from the knot you'll loose beads or the garland! Thread the twine through the loop/ring part of the necklace gather the ends of the twine and make a knot (like tying shoes the first knot) and once the knot is started position the thread loop and garland in desired position and pull tightly until the string is tight against the trunk of the tree. You can always fluff brushes out so the twine string isn't showing.
    • OR If the clasp is large enough to fit over the treetop find the desired place and clasp the necklace to the center "trunk" of the tree and wrap the garland around the tree.
    • Wrap the garland on the tree tightly like you do the lights lifting bristles as you go so the garland is up against the trunk. When you come to the end of the necklace attach the clasp to the trunk. If the garland slides out of position tie several locations between beads with the twine the same fashion as mentioned above to secure it in place.
    • Look around for other alternatives to use as garlands. A decorative fabric braid, trimming or sparkling yarn.
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    Place your ornaments on the tree (optional). Many ornaments can be purchased with wires already on them. You simply gather the two wire ends or the one wire end and wrap it tightly against the trunk. Ornaments or beads that hang can again be tied to place with twine or dental floss. You can also tie ribbons, twines or roping into bows for the tree easily. Brooches can be used with a little tacky glue or tape and can be latched against the trunk of the tree. With these however, it's better to go with smaller ones or ones with lacy designs or stars as the larger ones will distort the tree.
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    Add a tree topper (optional) with a bow of fabric. Alternatively, if a large brooch suits your taste take a sturdy piece of a heavy gauge ( thick) wire that's strong enough to support the weight of the brooch and a strong glue. After the glue is dry, stick this wired item's stem either against the trunk in the back or in the front using the beaded garland as a support or the wires of the light. Be careful not to poke the wire into the light cords. Also being careful not to cut the garland threads or wires in the process.


  • An old branch of an artificial tree or even a tabletop tree can be used and decorated in very similar ways.
  • Bottle Brushes can also be called tube cleaners. The size and shape will vary greatly depending on what the brush was used to clean.
  • Use light wire colors that match the color of the brush your using unless the wires are gold clear or silver.


  • Wires can be sharp! Bottlebrushes can depending on which one you use can be prickly like a cactus! Use gloves when working with the bottlebrush tree, handling the wire cutters and handling the wires and after cutting.
  • Don't use high temperature glue guns or hot lights on some plastics! It will melt the plastic in some causes!

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Categories: Christmas Trees