I had planned to write a nice post of a more thought-provoking nature, but when I went to download the photos off my camera during lunchbreak I was missing the autumn-leaves-and-branches set and had lots of felt piles instead. So you’re getting a little decorating tutorial, and the big thoughts will have to wait.
My primal Christmas decorating urges surfaced full-force the day before Thanksgiving. I’ve been humming holiday ditties for the past few weeks and smiling at all the early-bird ornaments in stores, but I didn’t have the time to do anything to our own home. However, in my two precious free hours last Wednesday morning I managed to: 1) run out and buy some goodies, 2) cut festive red oilcloth for our table and credenza, 3) hang an advent ornament holder (photos coming soon), and 4) scheme a lot about all of the other things I want to do. High up on the list were a bunch of felt trees.
First, I want to say that these aren’t really my idea. Stephanie Barnes created a soft tree pattern last winter that was much loved and used by all manner of crafty bloggers (there’s even a flickr set with a lot of great display ideas). I think her pattern is awfully cute, but it has the disadvantage of creating a lot of bulky items that need to be stored every year until Christmas. My first thought was to make Stephanie’s trees and just leave the bottom seam unfinished on one side so I could remove the stuffing. And then I realized that felt, being the great stuff it is, is stiff enough to stand up without needing to be sewn underneath.
And then I realized that, while I enjoy sewing as much as the next girl, it’s possible to make the trees with just the help of my trusty glue gun. And since I have friends without sewing machines, I thought I’d post a little tutorial for y’all that involves the bare minimum of accessories:
- some felt
- a marker
- a round object
- a glue gun
- (optional: some stuffing)
(And then I decided to start posting before I’ve finished the first tree, so I really hope this works!)
New-Sew Felt Trees Tutorial, Part 1
Step 1: Cut felt circles.
I poked around my kitchen and came up with a plate, a pan lid, and an Ikea tray to start with. Note that the height of your tree will be half the diameter of your plate, so it takes really large circle to make a tall tree (my biggest tree won’t be any more than about 16 inches tall).
Trace all or part of your round object onto your felt using a marker, and cut the circle out. (If you’re using a Sharpie, be careful not to mark your plate or tray.)
Step 2: Decide how wide you want your trees to be.
I tried doing this a couple of ways: by rolling the felt until I got the shape I wanted and cutting that section out, and by arbitrarily cutting my felt circle into sections. I found that cutting the circle into quarters gives a moderately skinny tree, while cutting it into thirds or larger gives a fat one.
Step 3: Press felt (if you haven’t yet).
It would probably be a good idea to do this first, but I didn’t…so just make sure to iron your pieces before you start gluing.
Final steps and results coming soon! (tomorrow?)
As I was photographing this last night, I had the rather depressing realization that the time change has left me plodding home in the dark every night from now until March. Wait, that occurred to me earlier…it was the thought that I will do all of my evening work by artificial light that really got to me. Denizens of Alaska, how do you do it? Our apartment is pretty dark anyhow, but even a hint of daylight coming through the curtains really cheers me up.
So much for taking photos with natural light. :(