How to Make a DIY Tree Topper (with a plastic cup!)

This tutorial for how to make a DIY tree topper uses bows made out of deco mesh ribbon and a simple Solo plastic cup as a base for an easy homemade Christmas decoration!

This is one of the best ideas for a DIY Christmas Tree Topper I've ever seen! She uses a plastic cup as a base...such an inexpensive project!


It's that time of year again - time to start thinking about those Christmas tree decorations! And who would have thought that a college relic would make such a perfect Christmas tree accessory?

A few years ago, we bought a new Christmas tree for our playroom. Before that, I had used the same little white tree for years (it made it through three years of teaching and my daughter's entire toddler stage...that's saying something). However, one year the lights quit fighting the good fight around the 23rd of December. We found the cutest little replacement and, of course, it needed new holiday decor.

The Inspiration for this DIY Tree Topper

I had a set of red and green ornaments that I had retired from the main tree that were just perfect for this little tree. The only thing we didn't have for this tree was a Christmas tree topper.

There are so many different Christmas tree topper ideas out there. Of course we could go with a classic star tree topper or an angel topper for the top of the tree...those have such traditional charm. But I wanted something a little bit different than the old star topper. I love the look of deco mesh bows on top of a Christmas tree.

I knew what I wanted, but if you know me at all, you know that if I can make it with things around my house (without it looking like a 6 year old made it in art class), I'm going to do it. And this craft/diy project was born.

Want to know what I used to make our playroom tree topper?

This is one of the best ideas for a DIY Christmas Tree Topper I've ever seen! She uses a plastic cup as a base...such an inexpensive project!

Oh yes're seeing that right. The red Solo plastic cup we all know and love from our college days. It was just the right size for what I was wanting and would be a perfect hot glue base. It also worked out well that red is a classic Christmas color, so the color of the plastic cup doesn't stand out too much against the red and green deco mesh/ornaments.

This is one of the best ideas for a DIY Christmas Tree Topper I've ever seen! She uses a plastic cup as a base...such an inexpensive project!

It's such a simple idea and ended up being such a perfect topper for the tree! Let's take a look at how I made this easy DIY tree topper.

Find more ways to get into the holiday spirit on the blog! Try my Easy Eggnog Cake, or learn how to make my simple tulle gift bows.

How to Make a DIY Tree Topper with Christmas Deco Mesh

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Supplies needed:

  • 1 red plastic Solo cup
  • hot glue gun
  • 2 rolls 6" deco mesh ribbon (different colors if desired) I think getting the kind with a glitter strand running through the middle makes the tree topper really pop!
  • craft wire (can also use pipe cleaners, but craft wire is thinner and easier to use)
  • 8-10 matching pieces of floral stems
  • 6-8 matching Christmas ornaments (varying sizes)
  • (I didn't use these, but other accessories like snowflake ornaments, pom-poms, or Christmas tree picks would be great fillers as well. These are available at most big craft stores.)


Step 1: Make x's with deco mesh ribbon.

From each roll of deco mesh, cut 5 2' pieces of ribbon with a sharp pair of scissors (so the ends of the deco mesh don't unravel). No need to use a ruler - just eyeball it.

Take the first piece of ribbon and loop it into a simple 2-loop bow. Do the same with an alternating color of ribbon and cross the bows (making an x). Thread a 1' piece of craft wire or pipe cleaner through the middle of the x and tightly wind it around the 2 crossed bows to secure them together.

make an x with deco mesh ribbon bows

Repeat this five times for a total of 6 deco mesh bows.

Step 2: Hot glue x's to the cup.

Take one of the completed x's and glue it on top of the cup with your hot glue gun. You'll need to hold this down until the hot glue dries to ensure that it is secured (careful not to burn your fingers!).

start gluing deco mesh to the plastic solo cup

Glue remaining deco mesh ribbon x's all around the cup.

glue deco mesh ribbons all around plastic cup
cover plastic cup with deco mesh ribbon bows

You should be starting the see the DIY tree topper form, but you should still see parts of the Solo cup at this point.

Step 3: Make deco mesh loops.

make a loop with deco mesh

Next, take your roll of deco mesh and cut out 5-10 1 foot pieces. Wind them up pretty tightly in a roll and glue the end of the loop to the cup so the loop will stick out from the topper. This will cover up some of the remaining plastic cup that you can see.

Step 4: Add in ornaments and floral stems to your DIY tree topper.

ornaments for your diy tree topper

I also used floral picks and ornaments to cover up the remaining visible cup. I probably used 6-8 ornaments and 5-10 picks (I had an old floral piece and I just removed the ends for the picks).

Final DIY Christmas Tree Topper

diy tree topper on a white tree

Not too bad, right? I'm guessing you probably have most of the supplies for this craft project on hand right now, and from starting the project to the top of your tree, making this DIY tree topper took maybe 30 minutes.

I love how it looks on top of your Christmas tree. You can't tell it's made with a plastic cup at all and it was so much less expensive than shelling out the money for a professionally-made Christmas tree topper. I think it will look fantastic on top of your own tree!

Guests will gush over your super cute tree topper. And they will never know what you used to make it. 🙂

diy Christmas tree topper made with a plastic solo cup

Pin this post to Pinterest for later.

Hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season! You can check out a few more of my Christmas posts by clicking the links below.

xo, Leslie - signature at the end of blog post.

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  1. Love the tree topper! Not understanding the direction where you say " Now take your roll of deco mesh and cut out 5-10 1' pieces . Wind them up pretty tightly......". You don't have a picture of this step and I can't picture what is done.

    Can you clarify this for me?

    1. Sure! You're really just making small pieces of mesh and rolling them up, making a cylinder out of them. Kind of smash the end together and glue that end to the cup.

      1. Still not understanding. Sorry to be so dense!
        Where on the cup do I glue this and what purpose does it serve?

        1. You're really just filling in any gaps with specific place for them. They are for covering any cup that is still showing.

          1. Thanks. Leslie! Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Paula Short says:

    Lesley, this is beautiful! You do lovely work. Bookmarking this to try later. Blessings.
    Visiting today from FF#12&13

  3. Never would I ever have guessed and this is just brilliant! Featuring when my party opens.

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      Oh thank you so much Carol!

  4. Kerryanne says:

    What a fun DIY for Christmas Leslie!
    Thank you for sharing this project at Create, Bake, Grow & Gather this week. I'm delighted to be featuring your DIY tree topper at tonight's party and pinning too.
    Happy fall,

    1. Leslie Lambert says:

      That's wonderful, thanks so much Kerryanne!