This was my inspiration.
It's just a bit (a lot) too cold to be in the out of doors here in WI for painting the branches, so they will have to wait. I thought I'd post the rest of it though, because painting a few extra branches can be done any old time.
In the spirit of frugality, I didn't buy a vase. I opened up both ends of 3 standard (14.5 oz) cans and taped them together.
The sock is knitted, but could be done in fabric. Another good option to make it kid friendly (or just plain faster) would be to just cut strips from fleece and glue them directly to the cans.
If you're a knitter:
I knit with worsted cotton on #7 dpns.
CO 48 with color A.
Work k2p2 rib for 5 rows.
Continue in Stst alternating colors A and B every 5 rows. I knit 75 rows- ending in color B.
Work k2p2 rib for 5 rows with color A.
Bind off and weave in ends.