Dec 142015

A few years ago, I posted about Birthing New Traditions during the holiday time, and when I shared a photo of my DIY Solstice Tree, made entirely from bits found on the forest floor,  I was amazed to see it go viral! I’ve had so many requests since then to explain how the tree is made so with the help of my sweet friend Luma, here is a step-by-step process for anyone who might like to try one for themselves.


Step 1:


We start with a teepee structure, using 4 thin logs of around 7 or 8 feet in length. We saw off the ends to get them roughly even, then create a cross-brace the width we want the tree to stand, binding it with sturdy string at the joints and the peak.

Step 2:


Then comes the spiral technology, a messy but strangely satisfying business for two curlyheads. Here on the west coast, you can find these dried honeysuckle vines dangling from the fir and cedar trees. We just weave them organically around the structure, tucking it into itself and occasionally fastening with string.


When all is said and done, the spiraling creates a perfect weave to then tuck the boughs into.

Step Three:


We harvest whatever greenery we can find from the forest floor. We lucked out with a big windstorm last week, so this year’s tree is a lot bushier than previous years. With a terrific frame, we don’t even need fasteners to weave in the boughs. The fir is usually pretty moist from the rain and lives a long time inside. Makes great firestarter later too, but please don’t leave your lights unattended because it’s still dry tinder!



Decorate and TA DA!


As you can see the result is lush, vibrant, and sustainable! The tree often gets mistaken for the real deal. The only difference is ours has our prayers, laughter and creativity woven into it. Enjoy and please feel free to share your tree pictures with me and others!

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A writer, artist and tender of dreams, Toko-pa has been interviewed by CNN News & BBC Radio and her writing has appeared in publications around the world. Thanks to Skype, she works with dreamers internationally in her Private Dreamwork practice, based on Salt Spring Island in Canada. You can find Toko-pa on Facebook or sign up for her mailing list to receive news about upcoming events.

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  13 Responses to “DIY Solstice Tree”

  1. Lauren, THe tree is beautiful, Great job!0

  2. Lovely and grounded in real connection to the natural world.

  3. love this……I like it without the branches….just the wood….try it next year with birda and fruit…….I would do it myself but I live in NYC…..

  4. This is a beautiful tradition! Sense striking out on my own, I haven’t been able to bring myself to buy or cut down a tree for Yule, but have brought in the tops of fallen spruce.

  5. thank you for sending this- beautiful!

  6. thank you for this e mail- beautiful!

  7. Really simple & beautiful. Thanks.

  8. My uncle lived on Saltspring Island for many years. His widow still does. I visited there about 15 years ago with my father to celebrate Uncle David McGann’s 80th birthday. When we landed on the seaplane from Vancouver, where my cousin lives, Dad and Uncle David took the ferry, the pilot said, “Welcome to 1969!” What a beautiful, peaceful place. Marjolaine (spelling?) and I went for a hike and I spotted a Harlequin Goose!

  9. Fabulous creation. What could be better! Thank you for sharing.

  10. Beautiful result – Looks like lots of fun and creativity went in to the process- very satisfying I’d imagine ! Happy Solstice and Festive Season !

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