I wanted to try making the LED tree from Paczkaexpress (https://hackaday.io/project/162840-rgb-tree) with a few changes, most notably using LEDs with integrated control ICs (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/12986) to simplify the board layout and take advantage of the neopixel programming libraries. Also only using 32 LEDs, and the board is designed to be a 1-sided arduino uno shield so it can be cheaply/quickly produced. I guess you could minimize the wiring by not having every LED pin wired to the board (i.e. Dout/Din pins could be wired directly from LED to LED, and single gnd/vdd wires could route power from the board to the tree), but I wanted as many wires as possible going to the board to make a thicker tree trunk.
Soldering these LEDs is quite a commitment. I'm up to 12 now and started looking around to see if there's anything similar that I could've just bought instead and found very many trees like this one. I'm far enough into this project that I want to see it through, but I might recommend to anyone wanting an LED tree to just buy it and hack it instead of building one from scratch.
That being said I thought the little silicone flowers on some of the trees on the market were cool and was able to find them for sale on aliexpress. The tree is looking really good now even just at 12 LEDs running one of the demo neopixel scripts, I'm really digging the look/feel of the enamel wire as the trunk and roots and the flowers hide much of the heatshrink and LED leads. I'm working on a laser-cut wooden box enclosure as well which I'll upload CAD files and images of once it's put together. Pictures below: