felt trees. LOVE. and if you're going to have one, why not have a forest, right?
i borrowed several tutorials to create my little forest.
for the two biggest ones i really wanted to use wise craft's tomorrowland trees tutorial. hers are made with felted sweaters, but i was going to sew together sheets of felt. however! after some sad attempts at trying to get the right shape to fit the cone, and it not working at all, i saw some almost squarish ones from garnet hill, and altered my design a little... success! it is four triangles sewn together, and it just slips right onto the cone- exciting, because that means you can just slip it off and gently flatten it to store away for next year! i also loved these leafy ones, but decided not to attempt them for now. i found this gorgeous shade of green felt [at joann's, maybe .30 cents a sheet?] and knew it had to come home with me and become little felty trees.
i can't decide if i want to add a little embroidery to this one or leave him solid green.
the very biggest tree was the one that took the longest to finish (well after christmas if i'm honest!). but i definitely think it was worth it. i really wanted to do some sort of crocheted tree, and it took me awhile to find a tutorial or pattern that was free/simple/easy. after lots of googling, i found the perfect one [and a beautiful crochet blog!] over at dottie angel- simple, and also open to interpretation. about halfway through, i lost track of how the rows fit together, and just winged it until it looked right. sounds crazy, but i'm so happy with how it turned out! tree in progress [right beside my little tour eiffel it reminds me of this]:
i think i'll be making more of these for next year. i have to admit, though it only took me about three days, i was relieved when it was done. it was like knitting a sock, and being glad there wasn't a second one. and i had a little crafting-nerd-thrill when there was exactly enough yarn left in my leftover skein of that amazing green yarn of which i must buy more.
but they needed a couple of little friends! that's where the party hats came in... $1 for 8 plain, regular little cardboard paper party hats at the dollar store. i just took off the elastic trim and started gluing stuff!
this one i honestly made up as i went along, gluing 2 to 3 inch strips of ribbon that i'd cut with pinking shears. [confession: i might re-do this one a little bit before i put it away with the christmas decor, using little ribbon loops instead... it needs a little more 'fatness!']
i roughly followed this tabletop tree tutorial, except i did mine in long strips of fabric and just fringed the edge, rather than pinning on several little pieces. there was some kind of stabilizer already ironed onto the fabric [leftover from one of my mom's projects] which made it much easier and sturdier to work with.
the next one i cut out tons of little 1" paper circles from card stock and wrapping paper and glued them all around, using my trusty fiskars 1" punch. then i decided it looked a little too... flat. since many of the trees were ending up solid in color, i wanted them to have lots of texture and look a little leafy! [plus, it just kept reminding me of a buddy the elf costume].
but then, i found a similar tutorial done in felt, so i did a quick re-do with 1.5ish" circles of that same great colored felt. i just traced the lid of a little medicine bottle and cut them out:
i also purposefully glued them [right on top of the paper] a little more randomly, which i liked better than the perfectly-lined-up way the paper circles turned out. story short: i liked it in paper, i loved it in felt.
i needed some bigger trees, so i followed this really easy [although time-consuming] tutorial that made a tree from folding a magazine! i thought this was the coolest idea. it looked really cool with the different papers showing through the folds, and i thought about hitting it with just a little bit of left-over green spray paint to soften it a little bit, but in the end i liked the extra color.
with one more party hat as the base, i made one more- a super simple yarn wrapped tree [also found two great tutorials if you're interested, one pearl button and pretty ditty!] i think this was one of my favorites, and next year i might just stick with this one kind and make tons of different sizes, maybe spreading them down the middle of the dining room table like a centerpiece/table runner. sort of like these paper ones from better homes & gardens. forewarning though... this one gave me the most glue-gun burns! even though the yarn was a little hard to wrangle.
i also made this origami-like one from martha out of increasing sizes of paper circles. if i were to do it over again, i would have kept increasing up to 8" circles to make it larger rather than stopping at 6" like hers did, but when it was finished i just wasn't crazy about it! a little too pagoda-y for me i think, but it was fun and easy. plus, i never did get a little spool for the base, so i propped it in a little glass jar and it was always leaning a little.
i had made some little stuffed felt ornaments a few years back, inspired by these japanese ones,
so i tucked them in between the bigger ones to fill in a little bit.
i really like tree/leaf themes throughout the year, but especially love them at christmas! and it turns out lots of other folks are loving them too, since i found about a bajillion other cute tutorials, each of them just a little different but all pretty simple and very adorable!
felt tree with a stick base by recycled lovelies
wrapped felt tree by inside a black apple
ribbons and trims tree by thompson family-life
felt layer tree by felt-o-rama
felted circle tree by the long thread
and a stacked cone tree by the small object.
if you're going for a candyland/whoville christmas look, a couple of gumdrop trees would be completely adorable [and of course a gumdrop wreath to go with it!]
this year they all lived on a bookshelf by the reading chair, but for next year, i'm envisioning a long, plain table runner down the middle of a big dining room table, filled with trees with different sizes and textures, a string of christmas lights and maybe some faux snow. a little christmas forest of trees! [or maybe on a shelf amongst my white dishes.]
my three favorites! these were so quick and satisfying, i can't wait to make more for next year! are you noticing a theme about this particular craft? if you don't like the first incarnation, try try again! also known as the wing-it method. apparently craftster summed me up as well with their new logo: