I took the wiring out of an old, cheap Ikea floor lamp and inserted an old curtain rod into the top. The curtain rod has a nice round knob on the end of it that I thought would look appealing on the top of the tree. I settled on a height for the tree and taped the rod in place.
Here it is in my studio during the papier mache stage. Note that I used props like the easel and stool to let the branches lean against them as they dried so as to keep in shape. I figured out to do that after my other couple of soggy branches warped and had to be redone.
And here is the temporary spray booth I set up on our front breezeway. My studio is heated with gas heat so it would be very dangerous to use spray paint inside as it could ignite. I wore a face respirator to protect my lungs.
Total cost of tree: $20. And that is just because I went for the fancy expensive spray paint.
As a final touch I made a felted rope garland. I wet felted the white rope and then needle felted the colorful blobs into place. It took a long time but it was satisfying work.
Now all it needs is a few more ornaments and some presents under the tree!