It’s time for another geeky holiday DIY! As I mentioned in my DIY Geek Ornament post, we have a geek theme for our Christmas tree. For awhile, we had a traditional star at the top; a light up one selected by our daughter. But once that stopped working last year, I wanted a new topper. I wanted something geeky, but also something gold and shiny to invoke that shiny Christmas star feeling. I immediately thought of the Triforce! As usual with my DIYs, I wanted this project to be relatively simple and relatively cheap. It’s definitely more time and supply intensive than the DIY ornaments, but still pretty simple and inexpensive! Here’s what I came up with for a DIY Triforce tree topper.
You Will Need:
Paper Triforce template
Large white foam core board (roughly 22 x 28)
Paintbrushes (medium and small)
Black permanent marker
Step 1: Print & cut out your paper Triforce template. I found a large Triforce image online, and made an image of half of it in Photoshop. Then I printed two halves on standard size printer paper (using the ‘Draft’ setting on my printer to save ink!). Once printed, I cut them out, and taped them together to make a large Triforce image.
Step 2: Tape your template down to the foam board. Make sure to tape it using minimal space (such as in the corner like above), as you will be cutting out three Triforces from this board!
Step 3: Once taped, trace around the edges with a permanent marker. Try and keep your marker lines symmetrical in thickness on both sides, as this tracing will be your cutting template. This will all be painted over too, so it’s okay if the outline isn’t even all around. As long as each side mirrors the other.
Step 4: Make adjustments if need be. I felt like the top wing section was a little droopy, so I adjusted that top wing section. Like the last step, just make sure any changes you make are reflected symmetrically.
Step 5: Once your outline is done grab your Exacto knife and (carefully) start cutting. Keep the paper template on! You’ll need it to cut out the center triangle of the Triforce. The cutting is a slow process. Rushing it ends with frustration and ripping the foam core (not that I know from experience…) so it’s much better to take your time and make sure the cuts are straight.
Step 6: Once your first Triforce it cut out, trace IT (not the paper template) back onto the foam core. Cut out, and repeat again so you end up with three total foam Triforces. Hot glue all three together, making sure every edge and corner is sealed down tight. At this point, you may notice some of the edges don’t exactly match up, or the corners. Now is the time to take that Exacto knife and make any and all adjustments to the shape.
Step 7: Once you’ve got all three glued together and adjusted, it’s time to bust out the paint! Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pics of the painting process…oops. But you want to cover the front and back thoroughly, painting over the black lines. This may take up to three coats. Also, DO NOT spend time painting the edges! Those will be black, so there is no need to waste time and paint making them gold.
Step 8: Once you have painted the front and back gold (all coats), paint the side edges black. Once the sides are painted and dry, add the thick black outline to the front and back with a permanent marker. You could use paint for this too, but I find I have more control over line weight with a marker vs a brush. You’re almost done now!
Step 9: When I first made this, I didn’t even consider how I was going to actually ‘attach’ it to the tree! But after a bit of brainstorming, I came up with a really simple solution. Take your paperclips, and unbend each one. Then form them into concentric circles, closing each one with some tape. Use your tree top to gauge the circle sizes you will need – you want the largest rings to slide over the top pretty easily. See where I’m going with this?
Step 10: Hot glue each ring (largest at the bottom, going up to smallest) to the back side of your Triforce.
Finished! You’ve done it! Once the glue is dry, slide it over the top of your tree for a fantastically geeky Triforce tree topper.
Not a Zelda fan? No problem! This tutorial can be adapted to pretty much any 2D shape for a great custom topper. Honestly, I may make another one that is Magic the Gathering themed (which is my partner’s fave) so we can alternate each year. A TARDIS would be pretty great too. There are so many options!
The best part of this project? It cost me $1. ONE. DOLLAR. I had to buy the white foam core from the dollar store. Everything else I already had on hand. Even if I’d had to buy the paint this would still have only been about a $5 – $8 project, which is so much cheaper than a purchased tree topper!
Would you enjoy having a Triforce tree topper? What kind of geeky topper would you like on your tree?