By Kerry Elsworth and Hannah Phillips
This Christmas-mad thrifty mum transforms the same artificial tree into a creative new design every year – for just £40.
Mum-of-three Tina Robinson, 40, spends three weeks every year creating a different themed festive masterpiece – from a Minion-themed tree inspired by a family holiday to Florida to an angel-shaped tree in memory of her grandparents.
The stay-at-home mum, from Preston, Lancs, has also turned the 5ft tree – which she originally bought in 2015 – into a living room homage to Christmas film The Grinch in the past too.
And this year, Tina spent one hour per night for three weeks perfecting her recent masterpiece – a dog-friendly tree hanging from the ceiling where it can’t be reached by newly adopted French Bulldog, Caesar.
She said: “Caesar can’t be trusted yet, so I’ve attached hooks in the ceiling and hung each branch up and put his kennel underneath so he can’t reach it.
“I make all sorts of stuff. I’ve always been quite crafty and I love Christmas.
“I got the idea when I went to Florida, I came back and made a Minion tree. Nobody wants the same Christmas decorations every year.
“I usually spend £40 on the decorations, I always get new baubles to match the theme but it’s the same tree under the decorations.
“It’s good to be different – our old tree was just so ordinary, it came out of the loft every year and it was just boring.
“Now, it looks different each year.”
Tina said her children, Leah, 22, Dean, 21, and Jay, 11, look forward to seeing their mum’s festive creations every year but partner, Craig Wardley, 40, thinks she’s ‘crazy.’
Some more of Tina’s previous creations include a snowman tree and an Elf-themed tree, complete with a pair of Santa’s legs poking out of a chimney.
Tina gets most of her decorations from eBay and the garden centre and has been using the same £40 Christmas tree as a base for her quirky designs since 2015.
Tina said: “Jay loves it. He gets excited to see what I’m going to make and he helps me.
“I start planning about one month before, I’ll draw a picture and then start collecting the decorations.
“It gets me in the Christmas spirit. I love that Christmassy feeling, it’s brilliant.
“One year, we made our own minion baubles with yellow paint and stuck some googly eyes on them.
“It’s a nice thing for us to do together as well.
“But Craig does wonder where on earth I get all these crazy ideas from.”