Thursday, November 27, 2014

Burlap Trees: Two Versions

Of course we have to play with even more burlap to make cool trees!  Here are two different versions but a total of 4 sizes!!!!

Burlap Loop Trees

Materials:  Burlap(more details below), foam cones (sizes 4 7/8"x 17 7/8", 3 7/8"x11 7/8", 3 7/8"x8 7/8"), flat head pins, hot glue gun, organza ribbon, sisal, and (baby's breath?)!  Large tree takes- 2 Mulberry Fat Quarters....Medium tree takes- 1 Ocean Blue Fat Quarter and 1 Ocean Blue Small.......Small tree takes- 1 Kiwi Fat Quarter

Small Kiwi Tree Materials

For the small Kiwi tree begin by cutting strips of burlap 1 1/2" wide by 3 1/2" long, this size was used for 3 layers, form a loop matching corners, pin at both corners (sometimes it helps to put the pin in at an angle versus straight in).  As you work your way up the cone you will need to gradually cut your strips narrower and slightly shorter.  Nearing the top of the tree you will need to be approximately 3/4" wide and 3" or a tad shorter.  As you work save all the scraps, when you reach the top, shape one end of about 5 scraps rounding off the edges as pictured a couple photos below, hot glue them around the top of the cone completely covering the cone.  Finish of the top with a loop, pinned directly down into the top.
Ocean Blue Tree Materials

The medium tree was begun by cutting the strips 1 3/4"x 4 1/2", this size strip were used for about 4 layers before I began making my strips narrower and shorter.  Be sure when overlapping your layers that you don't see the white of your foam cone by holding it wouldn't want to put it on your mantle and then realize you can see the white peaking through.  As you work around each layer you only need to put the loops corner to corner, when your pieces are too close to fit all the way around without overlapping that is a signal that your next layer needs narrower strips.
Mulberry Tree Materials  

Begin the largest tree with cutting strips 2" by 5", this size strip was used for about 5 layers.  As you work use your judgement as to when to narrow your strips and/or to make them a tad shorter, I worked the strips down in size by 1/4" at a time for both width and length. This made it easier to make changes when needed. 
This picture shows how the layers look as you work your way up the cone. Take note of how I staggered the layers as I worked up....kind of like laying bricks.
Here is how your tree will look at the top, the pieces at the bottom of the photo show what I meant about saving the scraps to cover the top of the cone.  Hot gluing these pieces around the top will give you a finished top, you could leave your top like this or finish off with making a loop and pinning it directly on top. 
To embellish your trees first make several tiny bows out of organdy ribbon, I used the "Tiny Bow on the Fork by Handimania", you can easily find the YouTube video by googling, I left quite a bit of ribbon for my ends to drape down, thought that had a great softening effect.  Then cut pieces of sisal/twine double the length of the tree,  these were then pinned in the middle of each piece, placed near the top of the tree and allowed to drape down.  You can tuck them between the loops or leave them to hand loosely.  The baby's breath was just tucked in...I figured it could be removed at the end of the season and freshened up next year when I use the trees again.
 I'm still auditioning these beauties, as I decorate the house this weekend they may travel several more times before finding a permanent home for this year.  Making these trees was really fun; turn on the holiday music get out your supplies, relax you will be so surprised how fast and easy they are to make.

Burlap Spool Tree

Materials: Evergreen Burlap Small, Vintage wooden spool, sheet music, matte gel, 2 vintage buttons, star brads, needle and thread, skewer, paint brush, matte gel, and hot glue gun.

Some of the supplies

Measure the length of the spool and cut a the sheet music to match the height making sure it is wide enough to wrap around the spool.  Using the matte gel....adhere the sheet music to the spool.  Make sure you don't use too much or you will be waiting for ever for it to dry.

Sheet music glued to vintage spool

Now cut two strips of the burlap to measure 1 1/2" x 18".  
Burlap Strips
Now using a needle with doubled thread run a line of stitches along the top of each strip so that you can ruche the strip.  Once you have run the stitches across, bunch up the fabric as much as you can before securing the thread with a knot at the end to keep it ruched.  Now if you want to add a little adornment to your tree put in little star brads in varying locations along the bottom of the strips.  

Finished Tree
Now using the hot glue gun you are going to "wrap" your ruched strips around the spool.  Keep in mind you really have to flare out your strips at the bottom to get the right look.  Put a dot of glue at the back of the tree to start the first strip.  Push it out along the side to judge what part of the strip to attach to the dot of glue on the front.  Keep going around the spool in this manner and start the next strip when needed.  You can see the start and finish of each strip of my tree is on the back so you don't see it.  I then wanted to put a "star" on the top.  The spool I used has the center open of course so I attached two buttons on the top of a skewer.  Then I auditioned the skewer in the spool and marked where to cut it off so that it fits perfectly.  Once the skewer is trimmed I used the hot glue once again to attach the skewer inside the spool so it wouldn't move.  
You are done!  Display and Enjoy!

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