Caught in a Pinch: Revamping a Tree Topper

Caught in a Pinch: Revamping a Tree Topper

Do you have a tree topper on your Christmas tree?

I had an angel I really loved for many years. But last year I noticed the lights under her skirt were melting the plastic casing they were in. Yikes! Can we say ‘fire hazard’?

So my beloved angel had to go. And I’m still searching for something really nice to replace her, only this time I want a star. So this year we have an interim star that I made a few revisions to. This star is from the Martha Stewart collection, but it came in chrome. And chrome does not work with the rest of our decorations.

So I got out my trusty can of gold spray paint left over from the mirror I painted for Kaleigh.

Here is the star ready to be painted.

I used a cardboard box with one side cut out for a mini spray booth, and hung the star from the top.

It actually worked really well.

Here’s the star with its first coat.

I gave it 2 good coats and a final touch-up. And I was surprised that it took 24 hours before the paint fully dried.

Once it was dry I gave it a test-run on the tree.

Not so bad for an interim measure.

But once we got the lights on the tree, there was still something missing with the star. Since the star doesn’t light up, I tried to weave the lights into it, but that just looked silly.

So instead I decided to weave a crystal into the middle of the star hoping it would catch the light and twinkle a little bit.

And it did, a little bit…

But not as much as I had hoped.

Since this is our interim star, I decided to leave it as is.

Here’s the tree with the lights on it, but no ornaments yet.


I was really hoping the crystal would catch the light, but as you can see, no such luck.

Did you notice Santa in the tree? He’s hand-knit by my grandmother, and as a child we always had one in our tree. So now I do the same, and by the time the tree is all decorated,  you hardly even see him hiding in there… but I know he’s there!

Here’s the tree fully decorated.

Can you see Santa now? Did you recognize the straw stars from Sea to Canvas? I think they really tie the topper in.

So this is our traditional tree. It’s full of meaningful ornaments, a jolly old Saint Nick… and a revamped star on top!

How do you finish the top of your tree? Do you leave it without a topper, do you have an angel, or a star, or something else?

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13 thoughts on “Caught in a Pinch: Revamping a Tree Topper”

  • Love that you thought to paint the star to make it work with your decor – most people don’t even think about that, they just keep searching for the right thing in the right finish – which they may never find! I have a vintage angel on the top of my tree – it’s kinda plush like a baby doll and it doesn’t have a light, but we like it. Thanks for sharing your pretty tree – hope you have a wonderful Christmas, Sheila!

    • Thanks Kristie! I noticed your angel in your post and had a hunch she was vintage. That’s where we’re headed, hoping to find vintage, but my husband grew up with a star, so that’s why we’re making the switch to a star. It’s his turn! 🙂 Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you too, Kristie!

  • I grew up with a star as well that I think my Mom made for our tree, but I’m still on the hunt for a tree topper as well. I’m open to anything really – just something that will be pretty and hopefully won’t break the bank. Each year I say I’m going to look after Christmas and never find anything. Maybe this year and I’m going to scope for vintage too. I love Santa nestled into your tree – how special that your grandmother knit that for you too!

  • I read so often ” my Mom made – my Grand-mom made” I like it, but young people should start traditions too- give to your Kids, because making home-made stuff is not the ” IN ” thing with the young generation.
    And I really like your tree, Thanks for putting my “handmade” straw-stars on it

    • It’s true, you are so right. We were just talking about that this morning, and wondering what Kaleigh will take away in her memory bank, what she will do and what she will leave behind! But I think Christmas is a time that takes you back to your childhood memories and all the people and things that you hold dear. Bringing traditions forward often takes on a new shape because you give it your own twist, but it allows you to reach back to the past for just a moment in time. And when you join your life with someone else, a blend of new traditions also begins. Before Clemens I didn’t do an advent wreath, but now our Christmas wouldn’t be complete without it… I am so thankful for that, and it means a lot to him. My hope for the younger generation is that home-made, at least some home-made as a choice, returns. We have lost something if it doesn’t…

  • Good job making it work! It looks great. I think we may go down as the spray paint generation… when we all pass down our decorations to the next generation I wonder how many layers of spray paint all of our stuff will have on it?! lol 🙂

  • OH I love the hidden santa…we have 3 trees & one is a mouse one with a hidden cat a friend gave me!
    Your star is great and I love the addition of the crystal…how about one on each point that is pointing out on the top sides?
    Your kids are very blessed to have such a pretty tree & talented willing parents!

    • Hi Colleen! Thank you for your comment – I love the sound of your cat & mouse tree! And also your idea for my star! I bet crystals on the end of each point would do the trick… If I keep this up I won’t be needing a new star afterall 😉

  • Hey Sheila, love the spray idea!! Over the years we had angels on top of our trees while I was a kid but for some reason after moving out, getting married etc. my hubby and I never seemed to have a tree topper until recently. This is horrible but we bought one at home depot. I think it’s made by Martha Stewart and it’s a glittery snow flake.

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