I made a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree.
Never thought I’d type that sentence yet here we are.
What are piano hammers and why do I have them? Glad you asked.
The lovely sound a piano makes is the result of piano hammers striking the piano’s strings. When a pianist presses a piano key, the piano hammer connected to the key then strikes the strings making them vibrate and as a result, music plays. It is as simple and as complicated as that.
I have 88 piano hammers because a few years ago we dismantled an old piano. The house we had purchased came with an upright piano. This would have been a delightful surprise except for the fact that we already own a baby grand piano. There are a lot of things we need, but two pianos are not one of them.
Have you tried to sell a piano? It’s hard. It seems like fewer and fewer people play the piano anymore. Unfortunately, we could not even give the piano away for free. We decided instead of putting the old piano in a landfill, we would try to repurpose it. You can read about that here.
What does one do with 88 piano hammers?
Besides turning them into a Christmas tree?
I’ve seen artists turn them into keychains. You could also make a mobile out of them.
I used the piano hammers as Christmas tree ornaments one year and figured that was the final chord in that masterpiece.
But, no. I had this one final (probably) idea.
This year, I decided, due to their varied shape and size, the piano hammers could be turned into a mini Christmas tree.
Piano hammers, just like piano strings, vary in size to produce different tones. This could work to my advantage with this craft.
How does one go about crafting a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree?
Wing and a prayer, friends. Wing and a prayer.
Two things of note here.
First, piano hammers are much longer than what is shown in the pictures in this blog post. There’s another piece of wood that connects the key to the hammer that I had to cut off.
Second, I have a tiny hole drilled in the top of each piano hammer. This was originally done so that I could loop a piece of string through the piano hammers when I used them as ornaments. Now that hole will become an integral part of the design of this Christmas tree.
Materials used in crafting a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree:
12-inch styrofoam cone (or whatever size you want to use)
brown kraft paper
piano hammers with holes drilled through the wood portion (I used 56)
topper of some sort (wood cone, pom poms, ribbon, etc.)
*If you don’t want to use a styrofoam cone or straight pins to make a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree, you could switch to a cardboard cone and hot glue the piano hammers to the cone.
Let’s put together a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree:
My styrofoam cone was green, so it needed to be wrapped with something that would allow the piano hammers to be the star of the show. Brown kraft paper and tape to the rescue. Have you ever tried wrapping a cone-shaped object? Dang, it’s tricky! Just do your best to cleanly cover the cone with the kraft paper and secure it with clear tape.
Now that my cone (aka the tree) was ready, it was time to affix the piano hammers. That’s where the straight pins come in handy. They fit right through the hole I had drilled in the piano hammers and could be easily repositioned. Plus, since I only used red and white straight pins, they looked like little ornaments. That was a fun surprise.
There’s no easy way to tell you this. Positioning the piano hammers on the tree takes trial and error. Definitely start with the widest hammers and then work your way up the tree so that the skinniest hammers are toward the top.
If the piano hammers do not fit on the very last row, then you can trim some felt off the hammers using a serrated knife. It will seem wrong to take a knife to the felt, but you’ve already dismantled a piano. One more sin is not going to matter…much.
It is likely that you will be left with an inch or so of styrofoam cone at the top of your tree. How you finish this part off is up to you. I decided to use my serrated knife to trim off the top of the cone then I added a mini wood tree I found in the Target Dollar Spot as my topper.
You could also trim the top of the tree with pom poms or ribbons. There’s no right or wrong answer here, just whatever looks good to you.
Do I expect you’re all going to run out and make a Piano Hammer Christmas Tree now? No.
But maybe I can inspire you to look at ordinary objects or extraordinary junk in a different light.
Happy Christmas crafting!
What do you think of my Piano Hammer Christmas Tree? Have you repurposed any odd items into your holiday decor? I’d love to know. You can always comment on this blog post. You can also email me here, or reach out via Instagram or Facebook.
Thanks for sharing part of your day with me. I appreciate it! Here are some other blog posts you might glean an idea or two from. Enjoy!
Piano Pedal Tree Topper (Yes, I really did that! Ha!)
*affiliate links in this blog post*