Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Craft Show Photo and Tree Tutorial

Here are some photos from my craft show and tutorial on some of my Xmas tree mantel décor and a tutorial link.
I have been making Christmas trees for several years. My tutorial on the cord wrapped tree below can be found from an earlier post here.


This photo from the show features a variety of trees, all my ideas (and work) except for the fabric covered trees. 
The fabric trees originated from this post (originally I saw an image of her trees) by The Creativity Exchange. I believe and hope I put my own twist on them.

Making the trees that don't start with a Styrofoam cone base is harder than I thought. Getting the bottom even and round and the top of the cone to come to a point is a challenge. Getting the fabric to make a smooth glued edge was a difficult enterprise as well. I had to hot glue then I went bag and used a hot air gun on an area. When the area was heated I rolled the cone on my cutting mat and shoved my hand or a tool (my arm is only so long when I am working with a 3 foot tall cone) inside and pressed. 

The results are lovely but this craft was a pain in many ways beyond burned fingers.

I love the trees below. Have a look and I will tell you how to create them.


  1. Create a cone. I used poster board but you could buy Styrofoam, the plastic cones for angels didn't work.
  2. Ribbon. I used 4" wide wire edged gold ribbons. Wire edge ribbons were much easier to work with than non wire.
  3. Decide what you want to use to decorate (or not) the top of the tree. This will help whether you start at the top or bottom, I did both and found the bottom easier but starting at the top used less ribbon. When you start at the top you must wrap back down the tree - more on this later.
  4. For my decorations I used 1)stars I took a paper mache ornament, pulled the cord and inserted a wire or tooth pick inside securing with hot glue. I painted some stars with liquid gold leaf and coated others with embossing powder, 2) I created 2 fabric flowers and glued together at the top of the cone, 3) store bought mini star top decorations on a spring. The store bought were easiest though not my favorite.
  5. I recommend for handmade poster board cones taking additional half circles of poster board and insert inside the cone. Secure with glue. This gives added weight and security to the base.
  6. If starting at the top cut your ribbon at an angle. Fold ribbon to make a point. Glue the folded cut edge first than add a drop of hot glue at the top. The glue is very hot through the ribbon so wear gloves or use a spatula type tool to hold in place.
  7. If starting at the bottom glue the end inside the cone. Then wrap the ribbon around the bottom. Because of the cone shape the ribbon will never lay flat but this is part of the beauty of the tree.
  8. I put a thin thread of hot glue around the base the cone and secure ribbon leaving about 1/3 of the width hanging below the bottom edge. Bend the wire ribbon left hanging/dangling into the cone and glue inside.
  9. Press the wire against the cone and begin wrapping. The beauty of this project is the wrapping. To accommodate the decreasing size of the cone I pulled the ribbon tightly and periodically folded the ribbon in a twist. Attach with glue periodically to insure ribbon remains fixed to the cone. Trust me if you don't it will slip and fall down.
See how pretty the twist in the wrap looks? When you start at the top you must twist up to the top twist back down. This uses more ribbon because the top will be thicker so you will need to compensate by using more ribbon.

You are not done, there is one final step. I spent a LOT of time finding the best solution. I just can't seem to cut a good circle even using a traced template. I wanted to use felt which requires either a base or very, very thick pressed felt. 

Finally here is what I came up with as a solution. I took my empty ribbon rolls and tore of one side of the paper. I painted the bottom and the inside edge the used ribbon bobbin. I then glued the inside lip of the ribbon bobbin and inserted into the cone.  If some of the inner edge showed, that was okay because I had painted. If I felt I needed a felt bottom, the slightly imperfectly cut felt didn't matter or you can by pre-glued circles of felt that go on table legs or vases to prevent scratches.  I know 3M makes them, look in the area of picture hangers or furniture markers.

More Craft Show projects to come.  What do you think?

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