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New guy starting mini trees.....LOL


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Well I did it, I went to Lowes yesterday and bought 6 tomato cages, the small ones, you know the ones. I think they are about 30-36 inches or so.... I thought that 300 mini's would be enough, not after showing them to the wife......"Oh Honey you should put some more on there", so I did and now they have 400 on them. They are just multicolored as that was what we had from about 2 or 3 years ago that were left overs. They did turn out OK and she is happy with them, BUT she told me that she want at least 40 of these and some of the bigger ones for our front yard. That is 16,000 lights and I haven't even started on anything else.........I don't even have any controllers yet. What am I thinking about...OMG. It must be my second childhood or maybe its just a phase or maybe it is a sickness AGGGHHHHHH. Just kidding.

That being said, I want to thank all of you PC'ers for putting the info out here for others to use and make our hobbies better and more fun for people to see and watch.

Thanks again, from the wonderful state of Georgia.

PS I am thinking about making a wireframe of the Grinch and Max the dog on the peek of the front of my house and making look like a sleigh and having the Grinch on one side and Max hanging on the other. Somehow I am going to have it teeter back and forth. Still working the details on that.....to be continued, same Christmas channel same Christmas Time..

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Well, welcome to the insanity. The little decorating bug that just bit you... it bites harder. :giggle: Be very glad your wife is up for it right now, a supportive partner is a great thing. This is the best place to be, soak it all up, and ask lots and lots of questions. Best of luck to ya!

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Well, like me, you got hooked pretty quickly and are sinking fast. Has anyone to you about the weekly meetings yet?

Jerry in La.

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OMG, what have I gotten myself into.....

Wow..where have I been! I've been here over ten years and I didn't know there were weekly meetings! :eek:

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I think you'll find that just 100 lights on a 3' tomato cage will be just fine.

Try it.

Make a bunch and stick them out in the yard and step back.

Welcome to all the Newbies! Good Luck with your displays glad you have gotten off to a early start preparing!

Chuck thank you so much for creating such a wonderful site for us to come to and share our ideas and get new ideas for this years display :) It is so nice that you join in on the forums and provide your advice to us extreme decorators :D

One question... Chuck did you create these weekly meetings?

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Looks nice.

One aspect I enjoy about this hobby is building my own elements so can't see myself purchasing it.

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Easy:

Steps

1) Buy 2 Tomato cages for each tree (I use "medium")

2) Insert 1 cage into another and offset the supports

3) Wrap with lights. Use cable ties to strap wire down

You might also consider CoroTrees which don't require any zip ties, are easier to store in the off season, have an actual "tree" shape, assemble faster than tomato cages, are easier to fix when strings go bad, reflect more light toward the viewer than behind (like tomato cages) and are just about the same price as the entire tomato cage/zip ties process.

CoroTreeFamilySmall.JPG

Coro Tree at night:

corotree-night%20(Large)_small.jpg

Coro Tree during the day:

corotree-day%20(Large)_small.jpg

http://www.holidaycoro.com/CoroTrees.asp

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You might also consider CoroTrees which don't require any zip ties, are easier to store in the off season, have an actual "tree" shape, assemble faster than tomato cages, are easier to fix when strings go bad, reflect more light toward the viewer than behind (like tomato cages) and are just about the same price as the entire tomato cage/zip ties process.

I had a string go bad this year, I wrapped a new set of lights on it in about 5 mins. (Including bringing the tree in).

I get a lot of high winds and I have my trees sitting on top of 3 foot stakes, they barely move. I'll give you the fact that they may be harder to store, but I have them stacked in a place out of the way

BTW, total investment? Less than $3.00 including lights and stake.

Edited by indytycoon
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I had a string go bad this year, I wrapped a new set of lights on it in about 5 mins. (Including bringing the tree in).

You are way better than me - it takes me 5 minutes to get the coat on, tip-toe through the cords and then unplug the tree and then haul it back inside.

BTW, total investment? Less than $3.00 including lights and stake.

Less than $3? My tomato cages in the past were about:

* $2.50 for the tomato cage

* ~ .30 per stake

* $5-8 for mini incandescent lights (300-400) per tree

How did you get to less than $3 per tree with lights?

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I made my own version of the "j" tree out of floral easels. I also wrapped mine in garland so they look like real trees during the day. They are open on one side (like the "j" tree), and that allows me to stack them for storage. When I saw the idea originally I loved it, but I didn't have a welder so I made due.

4128283824_40819050f6.jpg

I actually liked them being open on one side. It allowed me to tuck all the LEDs so that they were pointing out toward the curb. (like a coro tree) I also hid two controllers inside each one. They actually helped protect them during the two feet of snow and ice that lasted 2 months. I'm making six more four color trees for next year and at $2 for a floral easel with all these advantages, I will be making the rest exactly like this. BTW, The floral easels collapse so these store flat. (also like a coro tree)

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Nope, didn't think to take pics of the backs. The reason I used floral easels was I found a bunch at a garage sale last summer when the "J" tree thread was originally posted. I thought it was a great design so I wanted to try it. Basically they are just these things:

easels.JPG

They are already made to collapse, I just had to modify them a bit. (the wire at the bottom) Other than that, I just ziptied four strings of LEDs back and forth, same as a "J" Tree. Then I wrapped the garland over the top and poked all the "inside" lights to point "outside" through the garland. Looked great from the street and took about 20 minutes each to put together. I do have closer up pictures on the New Jersey Street Christmas facebook page.

Edited by magii
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I have the same flower easels, got them last month from hobby lobby, think they were $3.50 ea and free shipping with $25 order. I've assembled 2 so far, used 210 lights - more than enough. Btw, the 210 were incandescents i had left over from last year. This yr they will be converted to LED's, thinking that 210 may be too much. The shape IMO looks better than tomato cages, plus they fold down flat for easy storage.

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You are way better than me - it takes me 5 minutes to get the coat on, tip-toe through the cords and then unplug the tree and then haul it back inside.

Less than $3? My tomato cages in the past were about:

* $2.50 for the tomato cage

* ~ .30 per stake

* $5-8 for mini incandescent lights (300-400) per tree

How did you get to less than $3 per tree with lights?

I bought the

cages = .50 each (Menards off season, Sept) $1.00

Stake = .99 Ace hardware.

Lights 3 sets /100ct at .33 a string Including tax. (I bought after Christmas)

Total $2.98

So I have to add .14 for tax on the Stake and the cages

So total with tax = $3.12 So it's a bit over $3.00 I stand corrected.

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You are way better than me - it takes me 5 minutes to get the coat on, tip-toe through the cords and then unplug the tree and then haul it back inside.

Less than $3? My tomato cages in the past were about:

* $2.50 for the tomato cage

* ~ .30 per stake

* $5-8 for mini incandescent lights (300-400) per tree

How did you get to less than $3 per tree with lights?

I don't know why you are paying $5-8 per light string... Last year with all of the extra lights that Wal-Mart had after christmas I got lights for 50cents a box and I get my Tomato cages for $1 so they would cost me about $5

I am not knocking the Coro Tree they look cool and I wouldn't mind having a few but the price is too much currently with all the other expenses of controllers etc to buy.

With a Tomato Cage Tree you are able to make the entire tree a certain color and the entire tree be fully that color, I don't see this happening with the Coro Trees....

Just my 2c

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