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reasonforseason

My first attempt at a mini tree

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Did not go well at all. I am using 42 inch tomato cages doubled up.

I spent 3 hours rolling and unrolling lights, I could not keep the strings from sliding up the cage.:-x My zip ties were sliding too.

I ended with 500 lights on it and it wasn't even half way down.

Anyone have any advice? I tried rolling tight, rolling loose, no luck.

I might just get some chicken wire but not looking forward to extra work or expense.

Thanks in advance.

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John are you starting at the top or bottom? You may try using a bunch of ties too. That seems to help me. Also may want to try putting some ties on the hoops. That may stabilize things. I used 500 on my 42" trees and it covered the whole thing.

Good Luck!

Did not go well at all. I am using 42 inch tomato cages doubled up.

I spent 3 hours rolling and unrolling lights, I could not keep the strings from sliding up the cage.:-x My zip ties were sliding too.

I ended with 500 lights on it and it wasn't even half way down.

Anyone have any advice? I tried rolling tight, rolling loose, no luck.

I might just get some chicken wire but not looking forward to extra work or expense.

Thanks in advance.

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I add one string and zip tied it at every point where the string crosses the wire on the cage. I spend extra time on the upper most part. Once this is done I add an second sting and do the same. I probably use close to 100 ties per string.

I feel your pain. I wrapped 8 with 1200 lights and totally unwound them because I didn't do a neat job and pay attention to the lights sticking straight out instead of being smashed under wire.

Once I was done with this I re-wrapped all 31 with 12 strings each. I was very happy as the lights all stick out nice.

I hope this helps. It can be done but it does take time. I know I probably spent two hours on each one.

Good luck,

Jeff

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I start at the top and use very few ties. If you start at the top, the coil cannot go anywhere except where you put it. Zip tie in spots and you're done. My mini trees have 300 LEDs on each as well as pine garland.

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I start at the bottom but I'm guessing it doesn't matter as long as the male plug ends at the bottom.

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John are you starting at the top or bottom?

I was starting at the top.

Thanks all for your advice, I'll try again tomorrow using more zip ties. I may use garland too. That would make it look nice and help with the strings sliding up.

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I wrap each string from the top to bottom.. meaning the first 100 lights will go up and down the tree a couple times.. then the next string will do the same and on.. I only put 300 lights on each tree anymore than that and half the lights are out of view.. with only 300 lights you can see through the tree to the lights on the other side...

-Christopher

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I use 3 colors and start at the top also. I zip the top in a point. Then take out 3 colors stretch them across the living room. I grab all 3 at once and my son starts to turn the cage. I zip them every other cage wire all away down to the bottom. I found If I do one at a time it takes forever and you use way to many zip ties.

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I wrap each string from the top to bottom.. meaning the first 100 lights will go up and down the tree a couple times.. then the next string will do the same and on.. I only put 300 lights on each tree anymore than that and half the lights are out of view.. with only 300 lights you can see through the tree to the lights on the other side...

-Christopher

Same here I found that 300 lights are perfect. Any more and you are blocking the lights from coming in from the back. Looks very bright at night.

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I used 300 lights, I just made some mini trees. Here is what I figured out, might not be the best method, but it workes for me. I started at what is the top of the tomatoe cage (the bottom of the tree) and worked my way up from there. I would wrap the bottom area around the three legs pretty neatly for the first hundred lights. The second hundred, I would string them up and down the top and bottom, using the first 100 lights to help hold them in place and some zip ties. I didnt do this with the whole string, just about half of it. The then last hundred I would wrap on the top part only in a nice fashion. I was able to do this because the lights that I strung up and down on the top part holds them in place. Now if I have a light malfunction I will have to up wrap the entire tree to get to the first 100 lights, but this really made the mini tree making go much quicker.

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I used 300 lights, I just made some mini trees. Here is what I figured out, might not be the best method, but it workes for me. I started at what is the top of the tomatoe cage (the bottom of the tree) and worked my way up from there. I would wrap the bottom area around the three legs pretty neatly for the first hundred lights. The second hundred, I would string them up and down the top and bottom, using the first 100 lights to help hold them in place and some zip ties. I didnt do this with the whole string, just about half of it. The then last hundred I would wrap on the top part only in a nice fashion. I was able to do this because the lights that I strung up and down on the top part holds them in place. Now if I have a light malfunction I will have to up wrap the entire tree to get to the first 100 lights, but this really made the mini tree making go much quicker.

This is exactly what I found out for my 16 mini trees. However, I would ALWAYS zip tie the line on either side of the tree...in line with the opposite side. Keep the strings nice and tight. Of course turning the bulbs facing out as well. 300 lights for one color is just fine. Haven't tried 2 yet. Not enough channels. That is next year ;-)

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Did not go well at all. I am using 42 inch tomato cages doubled up.

I spent 3 hours rolling and unrolling lights, I could not keep the strings from sliding up the cage.:-x My zip ties were sliding too.

I ended with 500 lights on it and it wasn't even half way down.

Anyone have any advice? I tried rolling tight, rolling loose, no luck.

I might just get some chicken wire but not looking forward to extra work or expense.

Thanks in advance.

A few years back I made 8 trees from the cemetery easel. There are a few tricks I will share with you (while I realize you are working with a tomato cage and mine were 3-legged easels but the concept is still similar)

1. Don't ever try to do if you are low on patience, tolerance, or it has been a long and exhausting day.

2. Start at the bottom and stretch the male cord and take hold of the first light in the string and zip tie it to the cage at the lowest point you want your lights.

3. Start wrapping the string around the cage and at every point your string makes contact with the cage zip tie it.

4. When you have made a complete circle around the cage move up by about 1/2" and repeat the process.

Practice makes perfect. Your last tree will look nothing like your first tree. As you continue to make trees they will get better. It took me until about my 3rd tree before I really got the hang of it. Grab a zip tie gun this will speed up the process.

I know you are probably thinking this is zip tie overkill. Let me tell you from personal experience that after the holidays and you put them away for the season I stack the trees on top of each other. I got them out this past week and every light is still in the same place I zip tied it maybe 5 years ago.

Here is the link to the How to build mini trees that I used that I found extremely helpful. You can modify it to suit your needs.

http://www.planetchristmas.com/Build3DTrees.htm

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Thanks Jeff, very informative.

I was afraid of using too many zip ties but I guess that is not a good point.

I find it amazing how some don't use any ties at all while others zip tie everything.

I think a trip for bailing wire and a zip tie gun is in order.

Hopefully this weekend I can try again.

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Guest Lightzilla

The bottom in my eyes (looking at it as a tree and not a tomato cage) is the big ring, and I start half way between the ground and the 1ft ring and electric tape them on all 6 metal poles (double cages) and then I just keep wrapping around and ever now and then I stick a few lights between the gap of the two cages and I need no zip ties.

I leave that 8 inch gap for snow issues. Now we have snow and cold, and I mean (-19c) or (-2F) this morning, with temps going down to (-22c) or (-8F) Sunday.

So I hope you all enjoy your (0c) or (32F) mild temperatures. It will feel like summer here when that temp comes around again.

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i used 400 lights and it went very fast....i started at the bottom ,went diagonal to top then down the other side 2 times so it kinda made an X then around around a few times, then made the X then around , very sporatic and only used maybe 8 zip ties i did 8 trees with 2 different colors...i a really short time.

good luck to you!

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Here are mini trees I made out of coro that solve a fair number of the issues mentioned here:

* Inserting 500 perfectly spaced lights takes about 15 minutes

* Cost effective - $7 in materials

* Weather proof (the coro part), the stakes can be replaced if they rust

* Easy to store flat

* The ability to put more lights in the given space

* Can incorporate muti-color designs

* Focuses more light toward the viewer, not facing backward toward the house

*When using white coro, it reflects the light to amplfy the brightness

http://forums.planetchristmas.com/showthread.php?t=37139

"Regular" mini tree on floral stand on left, coro mini on right:

[ATTACH]26646[/ATTACH]

Un-lit coro tree:

[ATTACH]26647[/ATTACH]

Of couse this isn't going to help you this late in the game but it might be something to consider for next year.

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