A Sequined Tree, by Lindsay

By Kate Riley November 23, 2009

Happy Monday friends!  I’m so happy to bring you one amazingly beautiful DIY project from my great friend Lindsay over at Living with Lindsay

Lindsay is one of those inventive gals that I admire so much because if nobody’s done it, well she’ll figure out how, and then teach you.  When she showed us how to paint laminate, I was hooked.  When she transformed this Craigslist coffee table, I almost spit out my coffee.  Then she made this amazing wreath that was featured on Apartment Therapy.  She even watches Glee (love that show!).  Lindsay is just a DIY gal after my own heart. 

Today, in continuation of Guest Blogger Week, I’m proud to present her vintage inspired sequined holiday tree. 

Take it away Lindsay !

“When thinking about decorating my home for the holidays this year, I’ve been really drawn towards the vintage inspirations of my past. Growing up, we had a gorgeous array of ornaments handmade by my grandmother on our tree. I’m not sure if the ornaments exist anymore (unless they are hidden in my parents’ attic), but I am still inspired by their beauty.

lindsay ornaments

These aren’t my ornaments, but I wish they were.

With that inspiration in mind, I decided to create a sequined tree tablescape for my dining room table featuring the same handmade technique that my grandmother used on her ornaments. It’s a simple, yet time consuming process, so I’m going to show you how to replicate it. This is definitely one to do while sitting in front of your TV while you are watching Glee (don’t you just love that show?).

What you’ll need:

  1. Styrofoam cone or ball – Small cones (around 8” tall) and balls can be found at Dollar Tree. If you can’t find them there or want a larger size, be sure to use your 40% off coupons at craft stores.
  2. Sequins – I chose 8mm
  3. Beads – I chose 4mm
  4. Straight pins – I like using just regular dressmakers’ pins.

I began by separating my beads and sequins into a sectioned box. I had this neat little Tupperware box in my cabinet, but you could even use inexpensive Gladware or bowls from your kitchen. You’ll just want to get your sequins and beads out of the little plastic original packaging.

lindsay beadbox

As you can see, I’m using a turquoise, lime green and silver color scheme for my tablescape, but you can choose any colors that work for you. I like to keep my sequins colorful and my beads either metallic or clear.

Next, slide a bead and a sequin onto one of your straight pins. Craft stores sell sequin pins, but they are absolutely unnecessary. They are more expensive than regular dressmakers’ straight pins, and you’ll need a ton of pins. You’ll just want to make sure that the pin is large enough that bead won’t slide off the head of the pin.

lindsay pin

Push your pin into your Styrofoam base. If you are making a tree, start from the bottom of the cone and work your way up making horizontal rows around the cone. If you are making a ball, you’ll want to make a ring of sequins around the ball vertically and then a ring around the ball horizontally. I am making trees in this tutorial, but a good ball tutorial can be found here.

lindsay 4

You will want to slightly overlap each sequin on each side and each row so that the Styrofoam cannot be seen underneath the sequins.

lindsay 5

With this tree, I am doing alternating stripes of turquoise and lime green sequins. On another, I did a solid silver tree. I also have a larger cone that is solid lime green with touches of a turquoise and silver design.  Just be creative and come up with an interesting pattern!

When you have about one row left until you get to the top of your cone, go ahead and fill in the flat top. I put one sequin in the center and then made a ring around it.

lindsay 6

Then you can go ahead and finish the top row around your tree.

lindsay top row

Now you have a fun, vintage-looking tree to add to your holiday décor! You could take it a step further and add a star or other ornament to the top, but I personally like the plain look.

lindsay christmas tree

I can’t wait to show you my full tablescape using these trees! Be sure to follow my decorating adventures at Living With Lindsay to see the big reveal.

I’d like to give a huge thank you to Kate for having me at Centsational Girl !  Kate’s my idol, as I’m sure she is yours, so I feel extremely honored to have been asked to be with you here today. Thank you, Kate !”




Thank you so much Lindsay for sharing your creativity !  I’ll be hopping over to Living with Lindsay to see her tablescape.  Come on along – but first, please be sure to leave a complimentary comment for Lindsay !


  1. Lindsey! What a beautiful color scheme–lime and turquoise with silver–and what a striking center piece this will be for your table. Yes, I want to do this, too, and thank you for showing how!

  2. I remember making a lot of sequined ornaments back in the 70’s (as well as sequined fruit). It’s a fun, easy project but I do vividly remember my thumb getting sore from pushing all of those pins! With the great variety of beautiful beads and sequins they have out now, I might have to try my hand at this again.

  3. Beautiful tree! Thank you for showing how to make it! I can’t wait to try one. I made a tree out of glass ornaments, and this one would be a welcome addition to my holiday decor. Have a great day! From, Courtney @ redheadscraftmorefun.blogspot.com

  4. I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS! I have been looking for some creative, cute and easy things to make this year and this just went on the top of my list. I’m going to put on my favorite Christmas movie and make one of these tonight. I am so excited! Thanks Lindsay for sharing. I already read your blog and I’m looking forward to seeing all of the trees together!

  5. Oh I LOVE IT!! I have been fascinated this making trees and this one will have to go into the arsenal for Christmas decorating this year!! Love it!

  6. Gorgeous!!! I have a styrofoam wreath that’s hanging around. I wonder of something like this would work for that? Hmm….its something to try!! :)

  7. I used to have a ton of this sequined stuff. I collected it for years, some of it was very old. I moved to AZ from PA 12 years ago. I lovingly packed my vintage ornaments myself, I did not trust them to the movers. Imagine my dismay when I discovered a few weeks after arriving in AZ that they had all vanished, stolen by the movers. Boy they knew what they were taking. Some of those ornaments were woth a bit of money. That first year we had nothing on our tree, very sad.

  8. Gasping!! I am almost blinded by the cuteness…so pretty!! Lindsay, my dad used to make ornaments just like the ones you showed in the post. When T and I got married, my mom and grandma each gave me a few of the ones he made, and I treasure them. I’d love to have several trees like yours.

    Do the sequins come in bulk, or tiny packages? I can see how some people might get antsy sitting and putting one of these together, but I think it would be therapeutic. ;) I could sit and watch “Holiday Inn” or “White Christmas” while I put one together.

    Kate, thanks so much for sharing Lindsay’s tutorial! :) I am loving your Guest Blogger week, and I’m not just sayin’ that because I was one of them. ;)

  9. These look beautiful! I remember doing these when I was a kid and it was “the” craft project to do at Christmas time. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  10. I can’t wait to see the tablescape it it’s entirity.

    I am lucky enough to have my grandmother’s sequined ornaments. But I love the idea of making trees.

    Stop by and see the guest room I created for under $500.

  11. I love it! I don’t have the patience to work on something like that though. Maybe I can find some, because I already have a Styrofoam tree!

  12. This is absolutely charming!! I can’t wait to see the finished tablescape! Thanks Lindsay for the inspiration and tutorial!

  13. How did I just find you? What a wonderful blog and you have an amazing eye for design sweetie. From one NorCal girl to another. Stop by when you have a chance for a slice of San Francisco… Under the Sheets~shhh.

  14. This is such a cool craft to do! I love the colors she chose. It seems a little time-consuming, but the payoff is huge. I want to try this! Thanks Lindsay for sharing with us and thanks Kate for letting her! :)

  15. I am lucky enough to have a few of my grandmother’s sequined ornaments, and they take a prominent position on our tree each year. I’m eager to add to my collection and can’t wait to make some sequined balls or trees. They are great!

  16. What a great idea! I love it!! I have been looking for a great holiday craft and I think this might be it for me. Thanks :)

  17. This is just the thing to do while watching movie reruns. Relaxing and you have something beautiful at the end of it! Thanks Lindsay and CG!

  18. My mom has some of those ornaments you posted. I love the trees so much I would be at the craft store right now if my son wasn’t napping. Just a few questions. How tall is the tree you used? How many packages of sequins, beads and pins did you buy? I can see this being a return to the store several times project. I can’t wait to do it!!!!

  19. I actually have a couple of my grandmother’s ornaments that were made this way. I remember when her entire tree was covered with them. This tree is so cute and brings back such memories. I also love Glee! My daughter was a Show Choir kid and we spent 6 years very involved in it. This show really nails it.


  20. I am lucky in that I still have some of my grandmother’s sequined ornaments and we prominently display them on our tree every Christmas. I look forward to adding to the collection with some homemade ornaments of my own or making these trees this holiday season. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I love these…reminds me of the ones my mom made when I was just a baby (in the early 70’s). I still have a few of them and they are among some of my favorites!

  22. Thanks everyone!

    Yes, they do take a really long time. It’s something mindless to do in front of the TV, though. That’s why I loved them.

    As far as the number of pins and sequins – gosh…tons? LOL I know my bag of turquoise and lime green had like 1200 each in it, but I still have plenty left over. Would y’all think I’m crazy if I said it took something like 800 to 1000 for a 8 inch tree? Maybe not quite that many, but more than you would expect!

  23. I LOVE this! It is so classy and beautiful. Lindsay must be the most patient person ever though! I don’t know if I have it in me to stick in that many pins after assembling all of them!

  24. BEAUTIFUL! It does look like tedious work, but the outcome is gorgeous. BTW, I’ve seen Lindsay’s coffee table makeover too……I didn’t spit out my coffee, but I would have–had I been drinking coffee at the time. A-MA-ZING!

  25. Oh My…I don’t think I would have the patience to make that. It is pretty though!!

    I’m hosting our 2nd annual Christmas Cookie Recipe Party every Friday in December. Please stop by and pick up the button and spread the word! Thanks!!

  26. I remember my Mom and Aunts making ornaments like that every year on Thanksgiving when we would get together at m Great Grandma’s house.

    ONE MORE THING-do you have a smaller version of your Christmas button-it won’t fit on my side bar?


  27. TOTALLY going to do this. I actually just got three cones (12, 18, 24 inches) for my mantel and planned on using fabric on one and buttons on the other…but was lost on what to do with the third. I was thinking glitter (because my fireplace is begging for sparkle) but that seemed so boring, so thank you Lindsay {and CG} !

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