Marie makes a merry masterpiece…
Have you ever seen a Steampunk Christmas Tree? Made from a vintage floor lamp, lamp shades and a collection of metal odds and ends, Marie Niemann set out to build her dream Christmas tree, layer by layer. We will ask her all about it!
Marie, where did you get the idea for this Steampunk Masterpiece?
“I have a folder I keep for future projects that inspire me. This cool junk tree was something I really wanted to make someday. I found the photo on Pinterest and there was no artist’s name so I can’t give them credit for this wonderful tree that inspired me to create my own.”
Marie, where did you get all the pieces and parts?
“I’ve bought old lamps for the past several years at thrift stores and I thought the brass parts could be used for other projects one day. So making my Steampunk tree was fairly easy since I already had a lot of the parts on hand.”
Parts Marie used:
- Vintage floor lamp
- Lamp shades
- Cultivator disk
- Fan blades
- Various lamp parts
- Jello mold
What is Steampunk?
Steampunk is a subculture encompassing fashion, music, literature, movies, DIY model-making, and gaming. Taking inspiration from a retrofuturistic mashup between a Victorian aesthetic and cyberpunk, it entered mainstream pop culture in the late 2000s
Planning your tree
“I bought the old floor lamp while on vacation in the Black Hills. It was perfect with a heavy base to support a future tree and only $10!
After dismantling it down to just the base and the pole, I knew I wanted my tree to be a little taller.”
TIP: “I discovered that they don’t sell a threaded rod that ‘vintage’ size anymore. All new lamps are made with smaller diameter threaded rods. Most of my parts were from newer lamps and required drilling them out larger to slide over the old rod.”
Building your tree
“To make the tree taller, my husband welded a smaller rod we found at the hardware store to it so the tree is now over 6’ tall. Start with the largest metal part at the base and work up with smaller and smaller parts to gradually create a tree shape.”
TIP: “If you want to simplify making one yourself, I would buy a threaded rod at a hardware store to replace a vintage one. You can also buy threaded couplers to extend those rods to the height you desire. It will save you drilling everything and make it much easier on you to find parts to fit, including lampshades.”
Spacing the parts
“If you have a threaded rod, you can use a nut to space them. Or use something decorative that slides over the rod as a spacer. I used all sorts of things, brass lamp parts, washers, springs, and even tart pans.”
Marie’s dear husband Randy, who has welding skills, fixed the parts together to Marie’s specifications and made sure the tree was perfectly straight. He also drilled out some of the parts to thread onto the rod.
Marie added a 40 ft string of copper wire lights from Amazon, which had a delicate airy look. She just used ornament hangers to hang the colored crystals.
Marie says the tree is very sturdy! Being metal it can be installed out in a garden. Rust and weather can only make it more precious! Marie says, “It’s going out on the deck after Christmas, just outside the sliding doors, so I can continue to enjoy it and I’m planning to put a string of solar lights on it.”