The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Simple Christmas ~ Making Tabletop Trees for the Mantel

Caveat:  I am not a craft-oriented person.  If you're new to my blog, remember that.  If you're an old friend, roll your eyes and keep reading.  :)

One day around Thanksgiving, I found a bag on my front porch.  A bow adorned the top of the bag.  Hmm.  I peeked inside--four strands of wire garland were tucked inside.  Ooh--a gift from an angel!  I said, "I guess the Lord wants me to decorate for Christmas!" out loud to myself.

Each strand of garland was 15 feet.  Remember that for later.  I took one of the strands and wrapped it around the small portion of staircase, and Christmas decorating officially began.  Note that I don't do much in the way of decorating for anything--I'm just way to practical, I'm afraid.  I hate storing all that stuff--where do I put it?  Why is it taking up so much space?  And on it goes.

One day soon after receiving that angel gift, I was on Pinterest and saw this post about making your own tabletop tree decorations.  All the trees were so pretty, and none looked that hard to make.  I knew I had limited funds, but since I had the garland, the green garland-wrapped trees looked like a good choice.

I bought Styrofoam cone shapes at Hobby Lobby (love that store!) because I couldn't find the cardboard cones featured in the Pinterest blog link.  Later, someone told me I could just make cones from posterboard or another heavy paper.  I may just try that next year.

I chose three, and of three different heights, because everyone tells me you need odd numbers of things, and I could group these three together on my mantel or my dining room table.  Most everything I purchased was half price, so don't get wigged out at those prices.  ;)

Since I wasn't sure the Styrofoam wouldn't melt when the hot glue touched it, I covered the cones with some brown wrapping paper.  Funny thing--I used hot glue to affix the paper to the cones!  (And had no problems.)

When you wrap the paper around the cone, you get some extra, like below, unless you're an expert pattern cutter.  I just guesstimated what I'd need, and carefully trimmed off the excess at the bottom.

Below are the covered cones.  Since they were flat-topped when I started, they became taller after I covered them.  I ended up cutting off some of the point when I realized that four strands of 15-foot garland may not actually be enough.  The garland will cover them, so the pointy top doesn't matter.

I started at the bottom, of course, by affixing the start of the garland with hot glue.  Being a novice, I learned that you have to hold it in place (please don't burn yourself!) for a minute or so but it will hold nicely.

I continued wrapping the garland around the cone, pushing down as I went to keep it covered.  I also added hot glue at various points along the way to keep the garland in place.  One other thing--the hot glue will melt the plastic garland, but just a little and not enough to notice.  Just in case you hear a slight crackling noise as you're gluing.

As I quickly used up the garland, I started pushing it down on the cone a little less, with no adverse effects visually speaking.  ;)

Guys washing and drying dishes while I work on the trees.  *happy girl*

As I wrapped the second tree and started on the third, I started to run out of garland.  So, I went over to the foyer and unwrapped that one strand of garland from around the railing.  Perfect!  I used every single inch of the garland--exactly sixty feet.  Who would've known?  (The shortest tree was about 9" tall, and the tallest tree was about 18",  just so you can plan.)

I actually finished the trees!  I think they turned out great.

Since blue is a prominent color in my family room decor, I also purchased some blue and white sequined decorative vase fillers.  I hot glued these randomly on my trees.

I was so proud of myself for doing a craft that turned out so nice!  I put the trees on our mantel; aren't they pretty?

They need stars, I think.  But that's another whole project for next year.  I was content to leave these up as is.  Oh, and notice the flower vase on the mantel to the left?  I filled it with the leftover blue balls!

Back to life,

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