Ceramic trees aren't just for Christmas. Valentine's Day trees, like...

Ceramic trees aren't just for Christmas. Valentine's Day trees, like these made by Illinois-based Sue Womack, are rising in popularity on Long Island and beyond. Credit: Sue Womack

They’re baaaack! Those newly-popular miniature ceramic Christmas trees that for decades were everywhere aren’t headed for the closet just yet. After having a big resurgence on Long Island and elsewhere this past holiday season, the newest trend is to give the customizable ceramics a different look for other big dates throughout the year. Or to buy a new ceramic tree that fits the occasion.

Yes, that means be prepared to see these old-school trees in their usual places of honor on coffee tables and bookshelves with new looks — starting with Valentine’s Day this year when they’ll be all done up in hues such as red and pink. And those with long roots in the ceramic Christmas tree making business say that while the trend remains hot, they’re planning makeovers for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and Halloween and so on.

“It’s a new thing,” says Tammy Tavarone-Bishop, an East Moriches resident who organizes the Yaymaker events company’s activities on Long Island. “I guess it’s just the nostalgic appeal of the ceramic tree. On Instagram, people are turning them into a Valentine’s Day tree. People want to keep up the holiday décor in their home and this is something easy to put out for the holidays.”

On Feb. 8, Yaymaker is sponsoring its first “Paint Nite-Ceramic Tree Limited Edition Valentine’s Day” class in Patchogue for those who want to paint and dress a naked ceramic tree for the February “holiday” for lovers.

Bishop says she decided to hold the Valentine’s event following the success of several Christmas tree decorating classes Yaymaker sponsored last year in communities including Massapequa, Oceanside, Hicksville, Levittown, Farmingdale, Lake Grove, Brookhaven and Oceanside. “The Christmas trees just exploded, and the Christmas tree event was super popular," she says. “People really did love it so much.” The ceramic trees were originally popular from about the 1940s to about the 1970s.

Catherine Camisa, owner of Mom’s Ceramics in Massapequa, will give her first Valentine’s Day Christmas tree painting class event on Feb. 9, after seeing a great turnout last year for her traditional ceramic Christmas tree painting classes. Nearly 200 were made.

“It’s a great idea,” Camisa says of transforming the Christmas favorites into Valentine trees. “Last year, we did about 20 classes for the [traditional] trees.” She’s owned her ceramics studio for 11 years and says she noticed people taking interest in the trees again about four years ago. Then, it “got crazy” in the past two years.

A tree with heart-shaped lights made by Sue Womack, owner...

A tree with heart-shaped lights made by Sue Womack, owner of SueSueSueCrafts, and a pink tree with red lights made by Tammy Tavarone-Bishop, of East Moriches. Credit: Sue Womack ; Tammy Tavarone-Bishop

Part of the appeal, Camisa says, is that painting the trees is “something different and so much fun.” She says, “You can make them totally the way you like it. For Christmas, we had people doing green and white trees — one girl did a brown tree and one did purple because she likes purple. A Valentine’s tree could be red, it could be pink, you could have bows on it, you could have hearts on it … you could carve hearts in it and carve somebody’s name around the base.”

A pink tree with white, pink or red lights or a white tree with pink or red lights seems to be the most popular Valentine’s Day treatment, with the shortlist of companies and websites selling Valentines-ready pink ceramic Christmas trees including Walmart, Amazon, Etsy, clayforge.net and texashillcountryceramics.com.

Depending on the size of the tree, prices generally range from about $25 to about $300 and in some cases, they’ve already sold out after websites advertised them as Valentine’s trees, repurposing pink trees they would normally sell as Christmas decorations. Texas Hill Country Ornaments’ site, which offers handmade ceramics made in that state, features a made-to-order 11-and-a-half-inch pale pink ceramic tree with clear lights for $49.99, a 6-inch tall version for $29.95 as well as a plug-in hot pink ceramic Christmas tree night light for $20 that was sold out. They also separately sell lights and stars for those who want to make their own ceramic Christmas tree creations.

Palatine, Illinois-based Sue Womack has been making ceramics for about 40 years and sells her ceramic Christmas trees on Etsy, at SueSueSueCrafts, and Amazon. She notes that one pink tree she made with heart-shaped lights for Valentine’s Day sold out.

Womack says her variety of Valentine’s trees, which include an 11-inch tree for $84 and an 18-inch for $199, are tagged online both for Valentine’s Day and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She says she thinks she’ll get her creative juices flowing next in the direction of Halloween. “They [the ceramic Christmas trees for Halloween] were selling on Amazon like last July.” A $60, 14-inch ceramic Christmas tree painted black for Halloween and adorned with orange and purple lights, including some orange in pumpkin shapes, was sold only online by Michael’s and sold out.

Teresa Henry, a Manchester, Michigan resident who has been working in ceramics for about 25 years, owns Teresa’s Ceramics that are also sold on the Etsy and Amazon websites. She says the tree phenomenon is expected to keep growing for a while.

“I think the trend is continuing for the seasons, people aren’t wanting to put them away,” Henry says in a recent telephone interview. She says she’s already gotten a request to do a white tree with green lights for St. Patrick’s Day.

Womack says the Christmas tree spree is about nostalgia but they’re something new and exciting for younger people as well.

“My grandmother had one, my mother had one and my aunt had one,” Henry says. “The whole social media thing is a big deal too.”

Paint your own Valentine's Day tree

WHAT: Paint Nite-Ceramic Tree Limited Edition Valentine’s Day sponsored by Yaymaker Long Island

WHEN | WHERE: 6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 8; Off Key Tikki, 31 Baker Place, Patchogue

COST: $55 per person, all materials included (ages 21 and up since alcoholic beverages will be available to purchase separately)

INFO: yaymaker.com

WHAT: Valentine’s Tree Painting Class sponsored by Mom’s Ceramics Studio

WHEN | WHERE: 10 to 11:30 a.m., Feb. 9; Mom’s Ceramics Studio, 944 N. Broadway, Massapequa

COST: $35 per person, all materials included and all ages welcome.

INFO: 516-233-8884, momsceramics.net