They're packed away now but last year I made trees using plastic drinking straws. They got a spray paint coat of color--several layers---then a generous dollop of sand and glitter. I attached them to cardboard bases which were similarly treated. I used this Thailand method in the Youtube video below--they made a flower here--I just skipped the stem and leaves...keep them small--trim accordingly. I also skipped the double stick tape and just used the glue gun. My "stem" or tree trunk was a brown bbq skewer. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZyWqcnwZCU
This a good way to recycle plastic straws and it costs virtually nothing.