Earlier in the year, when New Zealand was in lockdown, I was looking for something creative and a bit different to do to occupy some of my time. I decided it would be cool to do something with all of Astros horse shoes that I had collected over time! I spent a bit of time thinking about what I wanted to create as I didn't want to have to place the shoes with the ends pointing downwards - all of the luck runs out that way!! I did some googling and decided I would make a horse shoe Christmas tree!
It was actually pretty easy to do, you could make one too, although we did use a welder, so you will have to have someone who knows how to safely operate a welder if you don't - perhaps a friend, parent or partner. My partner did the welding on our tree. I'm going to let you know what to do, step by step, so you can make your own! If you do make one Id love to see! Message me on Instagram!
You will need:
- 14 horse shoes
- White vinegar
- A Steel Brush
- A Welder
- Spray paint in a colour of your choice
- Some Christmas decorations
- Glue or clear sellotape
Put a few of your horse shoes in a bucket and pour in some white vinegar, until the horse shoes are covered.
You will need to leave them to soak for a while. The longer the better. I left mine for 12 - 24 hours.
I put three shoes in the bucket of vinegar at a time and used the same vinegar for a second lot of shoes before refreshing. If you can fit all of your shoes into a bucket and have enough vinegar to submerge them all then that should work too.
After your shoes have finished soaking, wash them in some clean water and use your steel brush to scrub and stubborn rust that hasn't come off with the vinegar soak. Make sure you are careful not to scrub your hands! I can confirm the steel brush hurts!
I would recommend cleaning and scrubbing the shoes as soon as they come out of the vinegar.
Now I recommend laying all of your shoes out on the ground and figuring out how they best fit together in the tree shape - One shoe for the top, two for the next row, then three, then four. Then you will have one as the trunk and three to make the base.
I had a mixture of front and back shoes and a couple of different sizes so played around a bit to arrange them in the way they fit best.
Once you have that sorted it is time to weld them together! Try and make sure each shoe is joined to the others at at least two points.
This is what my tree looked link once welded.
Now that your tree is welded, it is time to get it painted in a colour of your choice! I decided to stick with traditional and use silver spray paint. However there are so many options - I considered gold, and also green so that it would look more like a tree! Use your imagination.
I used a spray paint as that was fast and easy. I did one coat and then once dry I did some touch ups.
Remember to lay some old newspaper or something similar down on the ground in the area you are spraying - we don't want to get paint on anything else. It is also good to do the painting in a well ventilated area as the fumes can be quite strong. Outside is a good idea.
Once the paint is dry it is time to get decorating!
I used red and green Christmas baubles. Remember to get a bauble size that works well with your shoes. You can decorate your tree however you like. Make it as simple or as expressive as you want, it is yours after all!
The sellotape and glue is for this step - you may need something adhesive to stick the decorations to your tree. I just used clear sellotape for mine.
And here we have it - the finished result! I am very proud of it! And remember, if you make your own please send me pictures - I would love to see them. I hope you all have a great Christmas xx