Plus my Christmas Mantel 2013
Yes, I've been crafting the last few days. Better late than never....I guess but
seems never might have been fine.
But...I'd agreed to make something using a $50 gift card sent to me
by Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores as part of their
Celebrate the Season campaign.
So I HAD to get my craft on!
Check out the Jo-Ann Creative Holiday Booklet here
Lots of great ideas in there!
and now here is how I made my trees
Vintage Inspired Bottle Brush Trees
First, I decided to make some vintage inspired bottle brush trees to add to my collection.
I found everything I needed to make them at Jo-Ann.
All on sale...which is a huge plus.
First, a tree from the holiday village collection.
Some small baubles and glistening snow tex to create the snow.
I also used Elmer's glue I had on hand, a little white craft paint and fine white glitter, food color or RIT dye.
oh...and hot glue and gun.
That tall green one is the tree you viewed in the package above.
Others in this photo are either made by me or vintage or new but look like vintage.
I made the far right one the other night too.
And the pink one peeking out behind the green one with small pink ornaments.
Far left one is a new one also.
These are so much fun to make...but messy.
My kitchen counter looks like it will never be the same.
Oh...it's just glitter....glitter never hurt anyone...I don't think.
Although...I bet people working in a glitter factory are susceptible to glitter lung.
Here's how you make the trees.
1. First...if you want your trees a different color than the green they come... you are going to have to
bleach them. I bleached two trees...the one above is a pale blue green and the other I made
Be sure to get the trees made of natural fibers. Many of the cheaper trees you find at Walmart and such are actually made of plastic. They won't bleach and they won't dye. You can still decorate those though and they turn out very nice...they just won't have the same vintage feel. I've decorated them before
and they turn out pretty too...you just can't change their color...so don't try.
2. Once you have your natural sisal trees...you can bleach them.
To bleach...use 50% bleach and 50% water mixed and soak your trees in the solution upside down.
It's beneficial if you can find a container that the tree can fit into upside down.
That big one was too tall and I had to scrunch it a little. It got it's shape back but it means you have to fluff it and stuff afterwards. It's just easier if you have a bigger container.
Soak the tree till it becomes the color you want.
I went to white with mine. Which is actually a yellowish white.
It took about 30 minutes for the color to come out of my trees.
Then rinse them very well in water.
Let dry over night.
3. Now you might want to decorate them in their white state which would be very nice.
I decided to dye mine. I've read that RIT dye is the best to use for this but I didn't have any on hand and
I didn't feel like getting out in the cold to get some.
I tried a watered acrylic paint. That was a huge fail.
So I used food color. That worked just fine although I'm sure you could get much more interesting
colors if you used RIT.
Soak the trees till they are the desired color you want.
I think I soaked mine about 15 minutes.
Rinse with cold water.
And let dry over night.
I hate crafts that you have to wait over night to complete...don't you?
I guess you could dry with a hair dryer but I had other things to do any way.
4. After they've dried thoroughly, you are ready to decorate.
I used hot glue to attach my ornaments.
Use larger ornaments on the bottom and I used beads for smaller ornaments towards the top.
Move the branches apart a little and pour in some hot glue and then shove your ornament in
with the top of it where the hanger would go hidden into the tree.
5. After all the ornaments were glued in place I heaped on Glistening Snow-Tex all over the tree with a brush
to look like the tree was freshly snowed upon.
After that dried I added more snow by painting randomly with white craft paint, then while the
paint was wet...sprinkled on white snow glitter.
I loved the way the Snow-Tex looked on the trees but I was out after making two trees.
I made two more trees using only white craft paint and glitter.
If you like lots of glitter like I do, brush on thinned down Elmer's glue and then sprinkle with more
These babies dry pretty fast. I put them out to display when they were still tacky.
After making these...I had enough bottle brush trees to make a forest on my mantel.
Which I did but....now I need more trees for around the house.
Those are going to have to wait for another year, I'm afraid.
Snowfall Pom Pom Garland
Snowflake decals made it into this year's display.
I found those on 70% at another craft store the other day.
That's my Christmas Mantel for 2013!
I decided to make a variation on the garland I did a couple of years ago.
I forgot to take a photo of the supplies for this craft but it's just two things.
White pom poms and fishing line.
I got the pom poms at Jo-Ann. I already had the fishing line on hand.
Oh...and those lights in the fireplace came from Jo-Ann too.
I don't know why I never did that before.
Those are staying all year...or at least all winter.
How To Make the Pom Pom
1. Just cut a length of fishing line...knot it at one end.
2. Thread your fishing line through a needle and thread a pom pom on.
The knot will keep it from going off the end of the line.
3. Tie another knot up the fishing line about three inches, thread another pom pom on.
4. Just keep tying knots and threading on pom poms till you get the desired length.
5. I did them in lengths of one through six.
6. After you've threaded the last pom pom, tie another knot about an inch from the last pom pom.
Tie several knots on top of knots so you have a bigger knot.( Like tie three)
7. Take a very very small fine piece of wire about 3/4 of an inch long and stick through that bigger knot.
8. Stick the wire into the snow or fabric that covers your mantel or table.
I used my scalloped snow batting from two years ago.
I really love the way this turned out!
Maybe better than what I did the last two years!
But I swear...next year I'm going to go more simple!
and for my last craft...this one is super super easy...
For this craft I used styrofoam balls also from Jo-Ann.
(I'm doing something else with the ornament and felt - we'll see if I get it done before Christmas)
This craft is sooo easy and so effective.
Take the balls and punch one twinkle light from a string into the ball.
The styrofoam balls will glow!
It's hard to see this on a white tree. It's much more effective on a green tree.
But I'll try to show...
Just randomly place them around the tree. I did 24 but wish I'd bought more.
The more the better...it looks.
I've done these all over green garland and it looks amazing.
I did it at work one year and everyone loved it.
Really adore having the inside of my fireplace all lit up without having to light all those candles.
Which I never do.
I also really love how my sconces look all decked out for the holidays this year.
They usually look so small and plain once everything else is decorated.
This year...I added a little white garland and hung big icicles.
The perfect touch.
Print and use this coupon to get some great crafting supplies at Jo-Ann.
All Christmas is on sale Big Time!
So you'll use this for something from their regular products.
Check out Jo-Ann's Christmas Pinterest Board - "Holiday Spirit" to see what other bloggers have created inspired by
the stuff they got at Jo-Ann.
I'll be back with more of Christmas at my house on Sunday.