A favorite show element of ours when watching videos are typically mini trees. After seeing Mangrove Lights mini trees in person we knew we had to make some. We wondered about 2d trees for storage reasons and ended up making trees just like Mike. He gave us some pointers and also mentioned Belardo.
We found the Belardo Lights webpage and ended up making something very similar. He called his the J-tree because of the j-like hook he put on the top of his trees. We didn’t plan on hanging ours, just stacking them, so we left this feature out.
We started by making a simple jig by placing drywall screws on a piece of scrap wood to keep the trees uniform as they were built. They were welded together into our six mini tree forms. We planned for 6 trees our first year and these were used again in 2012.
Once the forms were built the rest of the construction was simply wrapping them with light sets one at a time and hundreds of zip ties. We put 1 set each of Red, Green, Blue, and White with a 4-channel SSR board attached to the back of each tree. We have received many compliments on the trees and realize how much we like being able to control color of elements. Adding color changing to elements really opens doors creatively with sequencing.
With the shape of the trees they stack relatively well. They are just over 3 feet tall and all trees stack to just over a couple feet deep. This makes them really easy to store and we have room for many more.