Modern Decorative Trees

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Modern Decorative Trees
Jessica Begum

These modern decorative trees look as stunning as if they were straight from the pages of a high end catalogue, but they are actually quite simple to make. And, the best part is they are made from recycled cereal boxes and old, broken holiday decorations. They are sure to impress everybody who visits your home during the holiday season.

Materials
Jessica Begum

Materials

You need 8-12 recycled cereal boxes, white glue, a paint brush, rubber bands, stapler (optional,) hot glue gun (optional,) scissors, and spray paint in gold, silver and white. You'll also need different materials to make your trees such as: recycled holiday garlands, tinsel garlands, white feather boa, twine, pages from an old book, coffee filters (white,) gold cord, birch bark, and moss. Be creative in choosing your materials. You could use newspaper, pom poms, painted acorn tops, feathers, silk flower petals, twigs, etc…

Make The Tree Forms
Jessica Begum

Make The Tree Forms

Begin by making several tree forms with recycled cereal boxes. You can use different sized boxes for different sized trees. You can also make smaller trees by trimming a larger box into two pieces. To make the tree form, unhinge the seams on a box with your fingers, so it lays flat. Trim flaps with a pair of scissors. Lay flat with the printed side up. Roll the box into the shape of a cone, so the inside (the blank side) faces out. Roll the entire box up and seal with a generous amount of white glue.

Secure With Rubber Bands
Jessica Begum

Secure With Rubber Bands

Secure with rubber bands and one or two staples. Trim the bottom with scissors so it stands up straight. Allow to dry before removing rubber bands. Now your forms are ready for tree trimming!

Spray Paint Tree Forms
Jessica Begum

Spray Paint Tree Forms

Spray paint the tree form in the base color of your desired tree, just in case any gaps or holes are visible. For example, if you are making a silver tinsel tree, spray paint the tree form silver first.

Wrapping Technique
Jessica Begum

Wrapping Technique

One of the easiest ways to make your trees is simply wrap cord, twine or garland around the cone, securing it with glue as you go. If your garland has large, chunky or uneven decorations, see the next section for directions.

Add Glue and Wrap the Cord
Jessica Begum

Add Glue and Wrap the Cord

Begin by painting a generous amount of glue onto the bottom (the wide end) of the cone. Start with one or two inches of glue. At the bottom of the cone, begin winding your cord, twine or garland around, pulling taut as you go. Add more glue as you move up the cone.

Thread End Through Top to Finish
Jessica Begum

Thread End Through Top to Finish

Once you reach the top, trim the cord leaving about two inches of excess. You can back thread the cord through the tip of the cone so it makes a nice, neat top on your tree. Use a bamboo skewer or a paper clip to poke the end through the tip.

Using Large, Chunky Garlands
Jessica Begum

Using Large, Chunky Garlands

It is best to use large, chunky garlands on the biggest tree forms. This tree was made using a garland and filled in with moss.

Glueing Individual Decorations to Cones
Jessica Begum

Glueing Individual Decorations to Cones

Begin at the bottom of the cone and glue each individual ball or decoration to the tree, wrapping the garland around the form as you go. If you have a hot glue gun handy, use it for this step. White glue works too, but requires a bit more patience. Once the tree form is wrapped, trim the garland leaving several inches of excess. Remove loose decorations and knot the end near last decoration and thread the tip through the top of the cone. Secure with glue.

Fill In Holes With Moss
Jessica Begum

Fill In Holes With Moss

Fill in any holes with moss, securing with a dab of white glue. Alternatively, you could use cotton balls, felting wool or simply leave the holes open.

Paper Tree
Jessica Begum

Paper Tree

This tree was made using the pages from an old book, giving a vintage feel to your tree collection. You could also use newspaper.

Tree Fringe
Jessica Begum

Tree Fringe

You need about 5 pages from a small or medium-sized book. Trim pages into 2 inch strips, the length of the page. Then, fringe the edges of the strip (along the length) with a small pair of scissors about 3/4 of an inch the width of the strip. The fringe pieces should be about 1/8” wide.

Adding the Fringed Paper
Jessica Begum

Adding the Fringed Paper

Run a thin bead of glue down the top of the fringe, and secure around the base of the tree form, so it hangs about 1/8” longer than the form. Add more fringe if needed to cover around base. Moving up about 1/4”, repeat this process. You can also paint the glue directly onto the form with a brush, and then apply the fringe. Move up the cone until the entire form is covered. Once dry, you can brush the tree gently backwards to get the edges to fringe out a bit. Think of petting a cat the wrong way.

Coffee Filter Tree
Jessica Begum

Coffee Filter Tree

This tree was made the same way as the paper tree, except using coffee filters.

Trim the Tops off the Filters
Jessica Begum

Trim the Tops off the Filters

Begin by stacking 5 to 6 filters, fold them in half, and then in half again so they form a triangle. Then, trim the top off triangle, leaving only the ruffled part.

Trim Ruffles
Jessica Begum

Trim Ruffles

Trim the ruffles into 1 to 2 inch pieces.

Attaching the Ruffles
Jessica Begum

Attaching the Ruffles

Using white glue, attach a single ruffle to the base of the cone so the bottom of the ruffle is level with the bottom of the cone. Continue all the way around until the bottom is covered. Move about 1/2 inch up the cone and repeat this process. Continue up until the entire cone is covered.

Birch Bark Tree
Jessica Begum

Birch Bark Tree

Birch bark is a wonderful crafting medium because it is flexible and holds together well. Birch bark is widely available at craft and hobby stores.

Apply Thin Layers of Bark
Jessica Begum

Apply Thin Layers of Bark

Begin by separating the bark into thin layers. Think of separating pages in a book. Next, cover the entire surface of a small tree form, or half of a larger one (beginning at the base) with white glue using a paintbrush. Start with larger bark pieces and wrap them tightly around the cone. Fill in with smaller pieces until the cone is covered. Trim excess with scissors.

Displaying the Trees
Jessica Begum

Displaying the Trees

Display your handcrafted decor to add a festive touch to an entryway table or a side table in your living room. Placing the trees on a mirror will add depth to your display.

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