The Ultimate Artificial Christmas Tree!
(aka, How to Make the Mountain Dew Christmas Tree)

Have you seen the Mountain Dew Can Christmas Tree making the rounds in forwarded emails? Looking at the photo of the illuminated tree at right, it looks beautiful... and then you look at it more closely, to find it is made out of empty Mountain Dew aluminum soda cans and coat hangers. 

Wow!  What can one say to this? Is it grotesque trailer-trash redneck culture?  Or the ultimate recycling plan, an expression of transforming trash into functional art?

Would you like to make one yourself? Whether you like it or hate it, you have to admire it's creator's ingenuity, creativity and construction skills! He even shows you, step by step how to make it! I received these photos in an anonymous email, so if you know the first guy who made, let me know so I can give him credit for the idea.

Construction flags, coat hangers or similar heavy gauge wire. The wire use to hold batted insulation between wall/ceiling studs would work, too. 

How to make a Mountain Dew soda can Christmas tree.

(or "pop cans" if you live in the Midwest, or "Coke cans" if you live in the South!)

If you have any feedback, questions or improvements to suggest, write me!

Materials needed:

  • Empty Mountain Dew soda cans (other green cans, Like Sprite would work, too, but the caffeine buzz from drinking the Mountain dew will definitely help you to finish this project!)
  • Construction flags, coat hangers or similar heavy gauge wire. The wire use to hold batted insulation between wall/ceiling studs would work, too. 
    Decide how tall you want your tree to be.  The taller it is, the more cans of Mountain dew and wires you'll need!)
Desired tree height Approximate number of both empty Mountain Dew cans and construction flag wires (obvious each can requires 1 wire)
24 53
28 70
32 90
36 113
40 138
44 166
48 196
52 229
56 264
60 229
64 342
68 384
72 430
  • Power drill with a 1/8 inch drill bit.
  • PVC pipe (from Lowes, Home Depot, etc.) - 2 inch diameter, height from table above PLUS 8 inches (for the base)
  • Pliers
  • Silicone bathtub caulking cement (optional)
  • Ordinary Christmas tree stand that will fit a 2 inch diameter trunck

Directions to make the soda can Christmas tree:

Step 1. Drill holes for the wires in the PVC pipe. You will need to use a spiral pattern, turning the pipe as you drill.  Each full revolution should equal 4 inches of height. the spacing does NOT need to be precise, as long as you have the total number of required holes within each 4 inch length of pipe.

This table will help you drill. O inches represents one end of the pipe that will become the top of the tree. Whatever height tree, you choose to make, stop drilling at that number of inches minus 8!  You will leave the last 8 inches (as the bottom trunk of the tree) bare and therefore undrilled. Each drilled hole will receive the end of a wire for a can.

Inches from one end of the pipe Number of holes to drill in the next 4 inches
0 0
4 3
8 5
12 8
16 10
20 13
24 15
28 18
32 20
36 23
40 25
44 28
48 30
52 33
56 35
60 38
64 40
68 43
72 45

Step 2 - Clip the construction flags, coat hangers or heavy gauge wires to the lengths specified in the table below:

Where to insert the wires - Inches from one end of the pipe Number of wires to cut to this length Length of wires for these holes
0 0 0
4 3 3
8 5 4
12 8 5
16 10 6
20 13 7
24 15 8
28 18 9
32 20 10
36 23 11
40 25 12
44 28 13
48 30 14
52 33 15
56 35 16
60 38 17
64 40 18
68 43 19
72 45 20

Step 3 - Bend the last 3/4 inch of both ends of each wire to a right angle (L shape).  The is what will help to hold the wires in the can and pipe. For a permanent attachment, you can also put a dap of silicone cement (like bathtub caulking) on each end, as you insert them.

This guy drilled as he assembled.  I wouldn't recommend this approach

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