Our Christmas gnomes, Holly and Noel, are in the Evergreen Forest dicussing the possibility of snow! Directions for a large tree (6″), medium tree (4″) and bush (2″) can be found below.
1/4″ dowel rod: (6″ tall, 4″ medium, and 2″ bush.)
base: approximately 1 1/2″ sliced branch, 3/4″ tall NOTE: If you do not have branches available, you can cut bases out of wood. You could also make them out of clay OR I was even thinking you could use Tinker Toys. They have different sized sticks and the round wooden connectors could work as a base.
wool felt – I used 3 different colors of green for each tree
floss – white (snow) cranberry (berries)
brown yarn – for wrapping trunk
tools for cutting branches and dowel rods. Drill for drilling a hole in the base.
optional – fusible web – I cut my boughs out of 1 piece of felt. If you would like the boughs to stick out farther, plan on cutting 2 pieces of felt. You might want to iron them together with a layer of fusible web between them to make them a little stiffer.
Trunks (dowels) and stumps (branch pieces)
1] Cut 1/4″ dowel to length. Cut branches about 3/4″ tall. Drill holes in the center using a 1/4″ bit. Drill holes 1/4 – 1/2″ deep.
NOTE about Felt: When making these trees and bushes, I tried to think about the evergreens in nature. I choice 3 different colors of felt to make them look more “natural”, but use what you have available! For the tutorial, I chose colors that reminded me of a blue spruce!
1] Make copy of your pattern. NOTE: All 7 tree boughs are printed inside one another in decreasing size. You may use just 1 pattern piece if you begin by cutting out the largest bough, moving your way down to the smallest. Save paper 🙂
2] Cut out boughs. See NOTE above in #1. If you are making the large 6″ tree you will need to cut out A, B, C, D, E, F, and G. If you are making the medium 4″ tree you will need to cut out C, D, E, F and G. If you are making the small bush you will need to cut out D, E, and F. I used 3 different colors of green felt. Use any colors you like.
3] Using 3 – 6 strands of white floss, blanket stitch around each bough. Your stitches to not need to be perfect. You want to give the illusion of snow. If you start your thread on the back, carefully weaving in in the felt and end by weaving the the thread between the felt and cutting the tails close to the felt, your back will look almost as neat as the front!
4] Blanket stitch all pieces.
5] The top bough needs to be a “cap”. To do this: on the backside of the top piece, using a disappearing marker, draw a circle on the back side. (I used the cap of a chap stick!) Using 2 strands of floss, use a running stitch to sew all the way around the circle. If you are careful, you can keep the thread between the felt fibers so the thread is not visible on the front.
6] Before tying off the thread, pull gently to gather the stitch. You are making a little cap that will sit on the top of the dowel. Only pull it tight enough so it creates contour. You don’t want a tight cap! Try it on the tree top. When you’re happy, tie off the thread.
7] Using the pattern as a guide, mark the dowel with permanent marker.
8] Place a drop of glue in the stump’s hole. Put the end of the yarn in the hole then push the dowel rod in, making sure the bottom goes in the hole. NOTE: Thread a yarn needle on the yarn.
9] Place glue on trunk up to the first mark. Begin wrapping the yarn around the trunk. Wrap the yarn tight and close together. Wrap to the first mark. As you are wrapping, add more glue if necessary. Glue will dry clear. It is better to have too much instead of not enough glue.
10] Clip a small hole in the center of the largest bough. Start by making a small hole. Slide the bough, right side up, down the dowel. If the hole is too small, cut it a little more. You want this to be a snug fit.
11] Slide the bough down the dowel. From underneath, poke the needle through the hole of the bough and pull it through the top. Slide the bough tightly against the wrapped portion of the trunk. Add a dab of glue at the spot where the bough touches the yarn. Pull up any thread slack.
12] Add glue to the dowel between the bought and the next mark. Wrap the yarn to the next mark, then add the next bough, pulling the yarn through the hole in the bough. Continue this until you get to the last mark before the top of the tree.
13] When you get to the last mark, add glue and wrap to the top. Cut the yarn, gluing the yarn end to the top of the tree. Add a dab of glue to the tree cap and place on top of the tree. And tah-dah… your very own Felt Tree!
A Few Notes;
The small bushes: If you are making the small bushes, add French Knot berries using 6 strands of floss. Be Careful not to have threads travel over the center of the bough, where you will be cutting a hole to slide onto the trunk.
I have made my trees using 1 layer of felt. If you want a stiffer bough, use two layers of felt, blanket stitching them together. If you want rigid boughs, place heavy interfacing between 2 pieces of boughs before blanket stitching them together.
If you want to add pine cones, add using French Knots and 6 strands of floss. To make it realistic, remember, most pine cones are higher up the tree and on new growth.
Try using non felt… like calicoes and twills. You will want to stiffen with interfacing.
Be creative… explore… and create you own unique Forest!
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