A Christmas tree topper, traditionally a large star or angel, is a special ornament that puts the finishing touch on a decorated tree. Unlike other tree ornaments, the topper doesn't hang from a hook or string but instead sits like a crown on the tree's uppermost branch. This arrangement can be tricky, with the topper often wobbling around and refusing to stand straight, which really detracts from its role as the striking focal point of the festive tree. If you're having trouble putting an angel or star on a Christmas tree, consider several straightforward techniques for anchoring a tree topper.
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Christmas Tree Topper Anchoring Considerations
The best anchoring technique to use for your Christmas tree topper will depend on various factors. Some toppers are heavier than others and require a sturdier anchoring method. Most toppers have an intended way to be mounted, such as a spiral or conical base that fits over the vertical top branch of the tree. This gives you something to work with in anchoring the ornament with additional supplies such as floral wire, pipe cleaners, zip ties and ribbons.
Antique, handmade and other heirloom ornaments might not have any obvious mounting method in their design, which means you'll need to improvise with your anchoring tools. Many toppers have obvious points, such as decorative holes or loops, through which you might attach wire, ribbons, pipe cleaners, zip ties or a dowel.
Consider whether you are willing to use hot glue or staples on the topper or if you'd prefer a method that leaves it intact. Also, think about the position of your tree. If it's in the corner of a room, you can conceal the anchoring tools at the back of the topper, but if the tree is visible from every side, opt for a less-visible technique.
Putting a Star on a Christmas Tree
Most star tree toppers have a spiral or conical base at the bottom of one of the star's points, which is designed to sit on the vertical top branch of the tree. If this method for putting a star on a Christmas tree doesn't adequately secure the star or hold it straight, anchor it by using a wooden dowel, a metal skewer or an extra tree branch (real or fake) in the manner of a splint. Insert one end of the stick into the topper's base and hold the longer end straight against the top tree branch. Secure the stick to the base and tree using pipe cleaners, floral wire or ribbons.
If your star doesn't have a base, figure out a way to glue, tape or tie the stick to the back of the star. To conceal these supplies, you could paint a dowel dark green or brown to blend in with the tree and choose brown or green pipe cleaners, floral wire or ribbons. Alternatively, make the anchoring tools part of the tree's festive look by using, for example, sparkly ribbons or red and white twisted pipe cleaners.
Putting an Angel on a Christmas Tree
Traditional angel tree toppers generally balance on top of the tree with the vertical top branch placed under the angel's skirts. This balancing method means the angel often sits insecurely and lopsided. There are a few ways to more adequately anchor the angel ornament. One is to sew, glue or staple ribbons, floral wire or pipe cleaners to the inside of the angel's skirts and then tie or wind those ties around the top of the tree.
Another way to secure an angel on the top of a Christmas tree is to create a stand from a craft foam cone. Use a sharp, serrated kitchen knife to cut a hole vertically through the center of the cone so that it can sit on the vertical top branch of the tree. Sit the angel's skirts over the cone. You will probably need to trim or carve the cone for a custom fit and to make sure it's invisible under the tree topper.