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DIY Fisherman's Net Coastal Christmas Tree

Posted by Rae Lynn on 11/19/2017 to Do-It-Yourself (DIY)
Combine the spirits of the season and seas for a fisherman’s net coastal Christmas tree for the holidays. All you need are a few push pins, a tape measure and a fishing net to have a ready-to-decorate, super-easy, no-mess symbol of Jesus and his great catch miracle.

What you need:
  • 5’ x 10’ heavy gauge fish net 
  • Tape measure 
  • Indoor: Push pins or thumb tacks 
  • Outdoor: Small nails with large heads & hammer 
  • Paper clips 
  • Decorations 
    • String lights 
    • Garland 
    • Ornaments 
    • Starfish for the top 
    • Optional: Plastic crabs & seashells
Where to put it:

Hang your fisherman’s net coastal Christmas tree on an indoor wall or outdoor fence. The net, ornaments and lights are relatively lightweight and require very little support. 

The fish net tree is 76” tall x 56” wide, plus we added a 10” space at the bottom to add a planter and 6” on top for our star. The total area measurements of our tree are 92” tall x 56” wide. 

We made a beachy background by covering an indoor wall with a roll of Fadeless Design Weather Wood paper from Blick Art Supplies

Step 1 - Pin the points:

Measure and pin the points to hang your net Christmas tree first. We used PartySwizzle.com’s Heavy Gauge Fish Net, but you can cut any net to 5-feet x 10-feet to use with these measurements.

Place a push-pin or nail at each of these points: 

Center Top is the point below the star: 
-- Point A: In the center, 86” from the ground. 

Top tree boughs are the points at the ends of the top level of branches, 42” apart: 
-- Point B: 21” from the center to the left, 54” from the ground. 
-- Point C: 21” from the center to the right, 54” from the ground. 

Upper mid-sections are the points at the top of the middle section, at the same height as the top boughs, 14” apart: 
-- Point D: 7” from the center to the left, 54” from the ground. 
-- Point E: 7” from the center to the right, 54” from the ground. 

Middle tree boughs are the points at the ends of the middle level of branches, 48” apart: 
-- Point F: 24” from the center to the left, 36” from the ground. 
-- Point G: 24” from the center to the right, 36” from the ground. 

Lower mid-sections are the points at the top of the lower middle section, at the same height as the middle boughs, 34” apart: 
-- Point H: 10” from the center to the left, 36” from the ground. 
-- Point I: 10” from the center to the right, 36” from the ground. 

Bottom tree boughs are the points at the ends of the bottom level of branches, 56” apart: 
-- Point J: 28” from the center to the left, 18” from the ground. 
-- Point K: 28” from the center to the right, 18” from the ground. 

Step 2 - Plan the lights:

If your string light sets have end-to-end connectors, you will be able to connect them together from the top to the bottom of the tree with no extra accommodation. For our tree, we used: 
  • Top: Lobster & Crab Buoys (end-to-end connectors) 
  • Middle: Realistic Seashells (no end-to-end connectors) 
  • Bottom: Glittered Teal Seahorses (no end-to-end connectors) 
After hanging the net, we attached a white extension cord plug in the center of the top level of branches, 54” from the ground. Our extension cord plug had a plastic safety flip cover that we used to fasten to the net. 

Then, we were able to run the lobster buoy string lights from the extension cord plug around the top edge outline of the tree. From that point, we could plug the sea shell lights into the lobster buoy lights’ end-to-end connector, and run them through the mid-section of the tree to the bottom. 

Step 3 - Hang the net:

The heavy gauge fish net can be stiff, so we scrunched it up, shook it out, pulled, tugged and put it in the dryer to loosen it up. The good news is that the stiffness also keeps the edges in place. 
  • Point A: Find the center of one of the short sides (5-foot), and hang on the top center tack, Point A. 
  • Point B: Fold the top left corner down the remaining length of the short-end edge, toward the center. Hold the left corner in the center and stretch the net left to find the point where the long edge folds over to create a triangle, then hang this point on the left top tree bough tack, Point B. 
  • Point C: You can adjust this point to add/remove swag in the top outline of your tree. Repeat on the right to match the left side, Point C. 
  • Point D-E: Measure 14” along the net’s edge from the left top tree bough tack, Point B, and hang this point on the left tack of the upper mid-section, Point D. Repeat for the right side, Point E. 
  • Point F-G: Run the net’s edge from the left tack of the upper mid-section, Point D, to the left middle tree bough tack, Point F. Repeat for the right side, Point G. 
  • Point H-I: Measure 14” along the net’s edge from the left middle tree bough tack, Point F, and hang this point on the left tack of the lower mid-section, Point H. Repeat for the right side, Point I. 
  • Point: J-K: Run the net’s edge from the left tack of the lower mid-section, Point H, to the left lower tree bough tack, Point J. Repeat for the right side, Point K. 
  • Point L: Make any adjustments to ensure that the remaining length of net is equal on both sides. Find the center point of the remaining short side (5-foot) and pin to the center of the tree, Point L, approximately 48” from the ground. 
Step 4 - Decorate your tree:

For a fishing net effect, optionally insert some captured critters like a couple of plastic crabs, a finger starfish ornament, and realistic seashell string lights behind one or more layers of the net. Lower the last layer, Point L, to string lights behind the net. 

At this point, you are ready to string lights, add seashell garland, and hang ornaments with paper clips. We also gathered and paper-clipped any slack in the string light cords and used large ornaments to hide these bundles of cord and connectors. 

You may need an extra pin or 2 for added support, such as along the net’s edge where the sea shell garland is attached. 

For an added dose of religious symbolism, decorate your fish net tree with 153 lights, ornaments, and shells. For reference, ours has about 60, so you’ll need a lot more “fish”. 

Naturally, top your fishing net coastal Christmas tree with a starfish. We used a 6-8” white Knobby Starfish, but a Finger Starfish would also work well, and added a couple of extra push pins to support our Christmas Sea Star. 
Step 5 - Accessorize:

Accessorize your coastal Christmas tree scene for a total yuletide experience. We’ve “planted” our Christmas tree by placing an aqua oval tub, filled with sand and seashells, directly below the net. In addition, we push-pinned a plastic Instaview Fireplace next to our fish net tree, then hung coastal Christmas stockings with care. 

As a final touch, we draped a double swag of weathered beach driftwood garland above our cozy coastal Christmas panorama. And, that’s all it takes to have your own fisherman’s net coastal Christmas tree, simply a matter of putting the pins in the right place. Enjoy and happy holidays!

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