The dowel rods were stained with wood stain. I probably should have stained them prior to inserting them into the clay, but it was no problem to quickly stain them using wood stain and a cotton swab. The trees were then sanded with 220 grit sand paper until smooth. The two smaller trees were painted with silver and gold paint. Later, I decided they needed some sparkle, so I added silver and gold sparkle glue over the paint. I wrapped a ribbon around the other tree for a simple decoration.
I cut a circle from a piece of cardboard and set the trees on it to decide on placement. I marked where I wanted the trees to be with an ‘x’ and then drew an arrow to show which direction the tree would be facing. I wanted to be sure of the placement before I glued the trees to the cardboard base. When I was satisfied, the trees were glued to the cardboard with hot melt glue.