During one of my many, many trips to Hobby Lobby, I saw these really cute Christmas trees that were basically styrofoam cones wrapped with jute and sprinkled with "ice" crystals. (I have no idea why I didn't snap a picture when I first saw them, but when I went back to do that, every single one was gone. Must have been a popular item!) They were priced at $24.99 each!! And they were no more than 12" tall! Even at 50% off, I still thought they were overpriced, and figured I could easily make my own.
So I waited until things were either on sale or I had a coupon, and bought a styrofoam cone, jute, and a bag of crystal filler.
Believe it or not, I didn't have any glue in the house, so I decided to just go ahead and use Mod Podge for adhesive. I think it's a little pricey to use when regular glue will do, but I was too lazy to go out and buy glue, plus when I'm ready to make something, I need to just do it while I'm in the mood.
I worked in small sections, about 3" wide, applying Mod Podge, then wrapping the jute tightly around the cone. The rows of jute need to be as close together as possible so you won't see the styrofoam.
Once I reached the tip of the cone, I applied Mod Podge to the entire tip. I estimated how much more jute I would need to finish, then cut it for easier handling. I wound the jute in increasingly smaller circles until the entire tip was covered, then I trimmed the end and tucked it in to hide it.
After the Mod Podge had dried, it was time to apply the "ice" crystals. Again, I used Mod Podge as an adhesive because it was all I had on hand. In the future, I think a spray adhesive would work really well. I worked on one side at a time, applying adhesive in a random pattern, then rolling the jute-covered cone in the crystals.
It looks a little weird up-close, but it's really kinda cool. I like it! And my total cost was about $2 (although the initial outlay was more because I purchased an entire bag of crystals, which would make tons of trees). In hindsight, I think making a posterboard cone would work just as well, if not better - and would make it even cheaper to make!
Now I need to make more!