Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Tree Tutorial

Christmas Tree Tutorial

(sorry about the long time since my last post, I hope this will be worth the wait!)

One of my goals this year was to begin posting photographic tutorials on this blog. My choice for my first foray into this uncharted (for me) territory is a decorative Christmas Tree.  So here goes…

We have a small house, and while I love full size live Christmas trees I didn’t like having to rearrange my entire house to accommodate one. I tried small “floor model” fake trees but that didn’t cut it for me either. So, about 3 years ago my BFF gave me a miniature tree, and then she gave me another one and so now I have the healthy beginnings of a miniature Christmas Tree collection.

I have some parameters for my collection: 1. the trees must be handmade or be trees I buy and then add handmade elements to, 2. they have to be under 2 feet high-otherwise storage becomes an issue, and 3. I try to repurpose and recycle the majority of the material that I use in creating them.

Last year I began making a tree a year myself. And the tree I’m going to show you how to make in this tutorial is a variation of that design.

So before we begin the tutorial, here's a look at the finished product, I'm not completely happy with it, and I've already got an idea of how I'm going to change it. When I do, I'll update this post with a new photo.

Here's a photo of some my raw materials. ( One of my favorite parts of begining a project is going through my gee-normous cache of supplies to select what I need.) I didn't use everything shown here- but this was my "inspiration pile" of supplies.

My Material List:

1.       Two yards of the material I used for my shower curtain last year
2.       An old brass toothbrush holder -or any other item that you can use as the base of your tree
3.       A white Styrofoam tree
4.       One box of dressmakers pins
5.       Found objects for the “star”
6.       Paint
7.       White glue
8.       Sharp scissors

The first thing you have to do is plan your base. For my tree I used an old brass tooth brush holder. In later shots you'll see I spray painted it brown. But right now I just want to be sure I have a way of joining the tree and base together. So, I just dug a hole in the base of the tree, when the foam tree has been decorated I'll glue it onto the base. 
Next, cut one circular piece of fabric at least two inches larger
than the bottom of your Styrofoam tree.

And cut a hole in the center of the fabric.
Pin it in place.

Now do the samething with the top of the tree: cut a small circular piece of fabric
and pin it over the very top of your tree.
Next, cut at least 50 - 4 inch by 4 inch squares of your material.

Fold each square as shown below.

Fold and pin, and fold and pin, keep going until you get to the top of your tree. Stagger and slightly overlap each piece of folded fabric.

Ah, we are at the top of the tree! What to do? I found an old metal pastry piping cone and covered that with fabric and finished my tree off with it by glueing it into place.

A tree needs a star. My solution was to paint over a star pin, first with white paint and then with gold paint.
(be sure to remove the pin backing with a pliers.)

I painted some heavy cardboard disks with blue and gold paint to use as a foundation for my star.

 Further embellishment. I wanted to add a little something else to my tree so I pinned ball and chain into place using pins.
And here we go, the completed tree!



  1. Nice, as always. But I'm curious why you painted the star? I thought the original went well with the fabric.
    Merry Christmas!

  2. Love your finished tree and your tutorial.


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