How to DIY a retro, starburst holiday tree

It’s glittering, glamorous and totally retro – it’s a DIY Starburst Christmas Tree made with toothpicks and balls of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. Yes, I said toothpicks! This sparkling, tabletop Christmas tree will take you through the season, including New Year’s Eve. It’s stunning, isn’t it? (Like I said, I have some fun trees planned for this year’s Festival of Trees.) Here’s how to make a Retro Starburst Christmas Tree.

Totally retro, and really cool! Tutorial for this Sparkling Starburst Tree is on

To make a Retro Starburst Christmas Tree, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: At least 17, 1-1/2” balls; a block or other scrap
  • Acrylic craft paint in metallic silver
  • Wooden toothpicks – 50 per ball, or 850 for 17 balls
  • Mod Podge
  • Silver micro glitter
  • Optional: Miniature glass ornaments; small metallic stars (Kathleen cut hers from a garland)
  • Tools needed: Scissors; 17 wooden skewers; 1” soft paintbrush

Silver Starburst Tree by Kathleen George.

To make a Retro Starburst Christmas Tree:

1. Insert a wooden skewer into each ball to use as a handle. Paint the balls silver. Insert the wood skewers into the foam block to hold upright while the paint dries.

2. Insert 50 toothpicks, evenly spaced, into each ball.

This retro, Starburst Tree is perfect for the holidays, right through New Year's Eve.

Be sure the glitter covers the toothpicks completely.

3. Brush a generous coat of Mod Podge onto a foam ball and all sides of the toothpicks. Work on just a few balls at a time, so the Mod Podge doesn’t dry before you’re finished.

4. While the Mod Podge is still wet, sprinkle generously with gold micro glitter. Work over a cookie sheet or gift box so you can recycle excess glitter. Let dry.

For a retro vibe, make this tabletop, Starburst Christmas Tree.

Look closely — this tree is decorated with small glass ornaments in different colors.

5. Remove the skewers.

6. Build your tree:

  • Bottom layer: Arrange eight starbursts in a circle.
  • Second layer: Arrange five starbursts in a circle on top of the bottom layer. Gently press the toothpicks into the first layer for added stability.
  • Third layer: Arrange three starbursts on top of the second layer.
  • Top: Top off with one last starburst.

7. Optional: Decorate the tree with mini glass ornaments and small stars.

Here’s another tabletop Christmas tree with a retro vibe. This Silver Starburst Topiary is topped off with just one of the silver starbursts. Imagine how striking a grouping of these sparklers would be!

Retro glam -- a Silver Starburst Topiary. Stunning for Christmas.

Retro, Silver Starburst Topiary by Kathleen George.

The Festival of Trees continues tomorrow. See you then.

Happy crafting.


This entry was posted in Christmas Topiaries, Craft Tutorial, Home Decor, Vintage Crafts and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How to DIY a retro, starburst holiday tree

  1. Pingback: Three Vintage-Inspired Christmas Trees to Make - Modern Retro Woman

  2. Pingback: Link Round-up: Thanksgiving and Christmas Crafts, a Lotion Review, Journal Prompts, and More | Modern Baby

  3. Beautiful! My mother made 1 of these when I was a girl. She sprayed it with artificial snow & hung small red balls on it, then sat it on a mirror on the dining room table. I loved that tree! Just thinking of the possibilities……!

    • Sharon says:

      Thanks so much for the comment, Taffie. Your mom had a wonderful idea — this would be very pretty sprayed with fake snow, and I love the idea of adding red accents, too. I’m so glad you shared. Happy crafting. Sharon

  4. Oh my! This speaks to my sparkle loving heart! I am giddy with delight at the thought of creating one or two or twenty of these gorgeous creations!! OOOOOOOO! Shiver me timbers!! Happy dance time! TFS!

  5. LisaM6 says:

    Wow. So bright and shiny. Great tuts for yesterday and today.

  6. Kristie says:

    Love it. Starting to make one right away. It will be the only one as kids are grown up and interstate for Christmas.

    • Sharon says:

      That’s awesome! So glad you’re inspired. Please share a photo of your Starburst Tree when you’re done — I’d love to see it. Thank you. Sharon

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s