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What is a Christmas Tree Pin?

By Nychole Price
Updated May 17, 2024
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A Christmas tree pin is a piece of holiday jewelry, similar to a brooch, that is worn on the clothing. The Christmas tree pin was designed in the early 1930s and, since then, has been worn on the lapels of people everywhere. There are several types of pins made from designers such as the Schultzes and the Lains, who are well-known for the Bakelite and Catalin Creations trees.

Christmas tree pins can be made from various types of jewels, such as rubies, rhinestones, or diamonds, or just plastic and glass. The jewelry may be gold or silver plated on the edging, adding a dramatic flair. This holiday jewelry usually ranges in cost from $25 US Dollars (USD) to $300 USD, but some can cost much more.

Many people don't want to spend a lot of money on jewelry that is only worn once year. This feeling is what led to the invention of the homemade Christmas tree pin. They are very inexpensive and make wonderful personalized gifts. It is also a fun holiday project for adults and kids, alike.

Making a homemade Christmas tree pin requires a half ounce (14.17 grams) of each of the following colors of clay: sap green, pearl green, red, black, cobalt, white and cadmium yellow. Additional supplies include a Christmas tree cookie cutter, small paint brush, crafting knife, plastic wrap and translucent liquid Sculpey®, which is available at most major craft stores.

Roll together the two different shades of green clay so they are flat and wide. A pasta machine, if available, will make this process easier, but a rolling pin works just fine. After the clay is flat and wide, fold it in half. Lay plastic wrap over the top of the clay and cut out a Christmas tree with the cookie cutter. Remove the plastic wrap and the final product should be a Christmas tree with rounded edges.

Give the Christmas tree the appearance of layers by scoring it with the craft knife. If desired, add ornaments to the tree with the red, black or cadmium yellow colored clays. Young kids may enjoy adding a face to the Christmas tree pin.

Create a star from the cadmium yellow clay using the craft knife. Accent the star as desired and attach it to the top of the Christmas tree using the liquid Sculpey. Bake the Christmas tree in a 275 degree Fahrenheit (135 degrees Celsius) oven for 30 to 45 minutes. When the Christmas tree is done baking, attach a pin to the back of it, using the liquid Sculpey.

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Discussion Comments
By croydon — On May 09, 2012

@bythewell - I let my kids make me a Christmas tree pin every year. Then, I take turns wearing them.

Yes, sometimes they aren't quite what I would ordinarily wear, but I know they were made with love, so it doesn't matter.

They do like using polymer clay, but if you aren't worried about making an heirloom, silver card can work just as well as a base, or if the kids are a bit older you can even use jewelry wire and beads.

Twist the wire into a Christmas tree shape and thread on appropriate kinds of beads. It's pretty effective, particularly if you can find dark green wire.

By bythewell — On May 09, 2012

@Iluviaporos - Ah, but the reason subtle is so memorable during Christmas is that no one wants to be subtle. The whole point of the season for some people is to celebrate, to be loud and proud.

I think it goes too far if they've got fifty bits of Christmas themed jewelry on, but I don't think you can really go too far with a single piece, particularly if you manage to get a vintage Christmas tree pin. They can be quite cheerful, but it's all in good spirit.

By lluviaporos — On May 09, 2012

If you are looking for a Christmas tree pin, and you don't want anything too garish, I would recommend you follow a simple rule.

Make sure that you either have lots of colors or lots of shapes, but don't try to do both.

I've seen a lovely crystal Christmas tree pin which was made with lots of different colors in circles put together in the outline of a Christmas tree. It looked beautiful mostly, I suspect, because it was fairly uncluttered.

I've seen similar designs that didn't work because they had too much going on. Too many colors, too many tiny decorations and so forth.

But, even that can work if you stick to a monotone palate, or maybe two colors like red and white.

I would also suggest that you try to keep it flat, rather than going for a 3D look. Subtle is often more memorable in this season.

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