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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas Tree’


sugarplum-christmas-tree-decorating-ideas

[I had to find this article today because I’m finally getting my tree up this weekend. Normally, I like to have it up the weekend after Thanksgiving but between traveling, my etsy shops picking up and prepping for a craft show, this is the soonest I could manage. I always thought garland went on last but followed this instruction last year and it went pretty well. The big question is how a 17 month old will act with a decorated tree. I’ll keep you posted!]

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(From About.com)

You’ve chosen your perfect Christmas tree, but now what?

Our tips on the next pages will give you ideas for setting up your tree, lighting it, keeping it fresh, and decorating it to be beautiful.

  • Keep Your Tree Fresh and Green
    Cut the stump of the tree with a fresh cut and set it in water immediately. A fresh-cut tree will absorb several quarts of water right from the start. So it’s important to check and refill the water level several times a day for the first week. You can cut down on frequency later. Be sure to place you Christmas tree in a stand that has a large water reservoir and keep it filled.
  • Christmas Tree Preservative
    You can prolong the life of your Christmas tree by mixing up a concoction of 1 quart water, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, and 1 teaspoon liquid bleach. You can also read information on caring for Christmas trees.
  • Putting Lights and Decorations on the Tree
    When decorating your Christmas tree, put lights on first, then garlands, then the ornaments.
  • Work From the Inside Out
    Start arranging Christmas tree lights on the branches near the base of the tree. Weave strings of lights along the branches “inside,” then move to the outer edges of the branches.
  • Placement of Ornaments
    Don’t hang all your ornament on the tips of the branches. Place ornaments and other decorations ‘inside’ your tree to add depth and interest.
  • Basic Ornaments for Fill
    Start by arranging the “filler ornaments” evenly spaced around the tree. This would include basic solid color balls that are easily found at discount stores in a wide range of colors to coordinate and enhance your decorating scheme. You’ll need about 20 “filler ornaments” for every 2 feet of Christmas tree.
  • Special Themed, Collectible Ornaments
    Mix one-of-a-kind special ornaments between the basic ornaments. Plan to use at least 10 special themed ornaments for every 2 feet of tree. As your collection grows, put the special ornaments closer together.

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^Okay if you remember, this was the inspiration^

Here are images of my elf ornament in progress.
[I’ll try to edit this with directions when I’m finished. Hopefully I’ll be able to make some patterns!]

What you need:

round wood bead [I used 25mm]

Flesh toned acrylic paint [I used Delta Ceramcoat  ‘santa’s flesh’]

paint brush

black art pen [for drawing face]

2 pieces of chenille pipe cleaner [beige or flesh tone would be best]

Your choice of felt colors [I used scraps of lime, red and green]

clear tacky glue

needle and thread [coordinate your thread with felt colors]

pom poms, jingle bells or other accoutrement

Gold cord for hanging



Here’s the finished elf, A little rough but I think he came out pretty cute! Still working on how to do patterns and directions!!

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elf ornaments

[Here are a couple of craft projects mined off of the net. Above is a cute ornament I found a picture of on Flickr, I will try to come up with directions on how to make it when time permits!! There should be links back to the original sites on all the photos, if not please let me know because I believe in giving props to those who have created all the little lovelies I find!!]

Activa Elf Ornament This little guy will add a touch of holiday whimsy to your tree. Designed by Jill MacKay

Activa Elf Ornament This little guy will add a touch of holiday whimsy to your tree. Designed by Jill MacKay

4” Roll of Rigid Wrap®

3 “ Styrofoam Egg

Red Glitter

Red Pom-Pom

Acrylic Paint: Red, Green, Peach and Black

Piece of Craft Cord- 6”

Paintbrush

Glue

Container for Water

Plastic to Cover Workspace

Scissors

Cut several strips of Rigid Wrap® (RW) of various sizes ranging from

½” to 1 ½”, Cut one 8” long strip.

Make a loop with the cord and have the cord ends facing each other,

lying next to each other. Using smaller pieces of RW to secure the ends

of cord to top of egg. Then continue on and cover the entire egg with a

layer RW. For hat band, cut the 8” piece of RW in half length-wise.

Next fold the piece in half length-wise, dip in water and place around

head (egg) and smooth. For ears and nose scrunch up a wet piece of

RW and shape with finger tips, press in place, and smooth.

Hang to dry.

Paint head and face while holding hat, let dry.

Paint hat while holding face, let dry.

Trim hat band with glue and glitter let dry.

While hanging glue pom-pom to top of hat.

Let dry

Tip: Make a place to hang your ornament at your workspace,

so it can hang to dry in-between the different steps

Felt Elf Christmas Ornament

Red Felt; 4″ x 7″ piece

Green Felt; 4 1/2″ x 2″ piece

Flesh colored felt: 3 1/2″ x 9″ piece

One 10mm bell

One 5mm pink pom-pom

Two black glass E beads

Tacky glue

Small amount Polyester Fiberfill (stuffing)

8″ piece of elastic thread or crochet thread

Powdered blush

Ultra fine tip black permanent marker

Needle & thread

optional:  sewing machine and gold glitter glue

or fabric paint in a squeeze bottle

Trace and cut out two hat pieces from red felt.

Trace and cut out one collar piece from green felt and

trace and cut out two heads from flesh colored felt.

Pin the two head pieces together and sew around the

face close to the edge leaving the top section opened.

Topstitch around the ears.

Stuff the head with Polyester Fiberfil (stuffing).

Only the face will be stuffed – the ears will not get stuffed.

Then, sew the opening at the top of the head closed.  Set aside.

Pin the two hat sections together and stitch the two sides

close to the edge leaving the bottom edge opened.

Right side out the hat and place it on top of the elf’s head.

Stitch in place.

Fold down the top of the hat as pictured and tack

in place with a couple of stitches on the back side of the ornament.

Sew a bell to the tip of the hat.

Hand-stitch the collar to the lower portion of the head.

Brush powdered blush on the cheeks of the elf.

Sew the two black beads on for eyes.  Glue the pink

pom-pom on as the nose and using the permanent marker,

draw a mouth.

Thread a piece of elastic thread or crochet thread

through the back of the elf’s hat using a needle with

an eye large enough to pass the thread through.

Remove the needle and tie the ends in an overhand knot.

This will be your ornament’s hanger.

Optional:  Personalize your ornament by writing the recipients

name on the collar using the glitter glue or fabric paint in a squeeze bottle.

linked to original directions

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[mined the net again, here’s directions for making an elf tree skirt from http://swapatorium.blogspot.com archives and a 1969 magazine!]

Pixie Elf Tree Skirt

Poopscape here and I’m feelin’ all festivey and stuff. For this project, I referred back to my pile of old Pack O Fun magazines for craft inspiration. This time my eye was caught by the pixie-elf tree skirt project in the centerfold of the December 1969 issue. Second choice: That scary, tray-carrying Santa on the cover. Maybe next year.

Why does a tree need a skirt? Well, without one you’re stuck looking at the tree stand which, let’s face it, is more functional than decorative and needs covering up. For years I used an old bedsheet as a tree skirt (you can see a bit of it in the image below), which I would fluff up to look like a snow drift, and not a very convincing one at that. When I saw the tree skirt with its happy little foursome of elves with bad haircuts, I knew the sheet had had its day.

The pattern for the tree skirt was a mere 36″ wide- and that’s just not big enough- so I made the skirt almost twice as big because my tree is a monster (which also meant that I needed to make a few more elves to fill the space). I used glittery chartreuse felt for the skirt, magenta felt for the elves’ hats and collars, cream felt for the fleshy bits, and black for their hair.


I could have gone with more traditional Christmas colors I guess, but I had to create my own perverse take on green and red. I hotglued silver rickrack to the elves’ costumes, white rickrack around the edges of the tree skirt and white pom poms on the tips of their pointy hats. It looked way too unfinished without all that stuff on it. The rickrack totally makes it.

The verdict? Much, much better than that pathetic white sheet. Merry Christmas, Swapatori!

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My little one is still too young to really get excited about Christmas, so I am planning our family traditions now while he is so young in hopes that he will acquire the sense of wonder that I had when I was young. I absolutely loved Christmas preparations, decking the halls and baking so many yummy treats. My Aunt Nancy used to make Christmas cookies. She had gingerbread men, peanut butter blossoms, butter balls(russian tea cakes) and iced sugar cookies with dragees decorating them. My mother always prepared my paternal grandmother’s nut roll recipe. She would make raspberry, apricot, poppy seed and traditional walnut all frosted with yummy vanilla frosting. My mom also had these white feather wreaths she hung on the living room wall, porcelain angels that would hang on the lamps and these strange lantern-like gold garlands that would drape across the windows. We always had to have an artificial tree because my mom was allergic to the real ones. My fondest decoration was the plastic, glittery candy garland that used to hang in the kitchen doorway. Oh and then there were also the little plastic elves that everyone seemed to have. We always opened one gift on Christmas eve then we would go to bed and Santa Claus would come and leave us more presents. We always woke up early to see what Santa brought and then we would go to church. As we got older we would start going to midnight mass. My maternal grandmother was born on Christmas day so she would come over every year for dinner which usually included a ham with all the fixings. My husband’s family really didn’t have any strong traditions, the only thing he remembers are the handmade felt ornaments his aunt use to make. Those and this odd family concoction called hamloaf!? I have the recipe, I just don’t know if that is one tradition I want to encourage! :o) Over the next few months, I hope to share our traditions as well as some of my friend’s and fellow Christmas lovers!(and if I can dig out the old Stamblesky nut roll recipe, I might just share that too!)

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Christmas Tree Decorating Tips
[ALL INFORMATION FROM BRONNERS IS COPYRIGHTED 2008 BY BRONNERS AND ITS INCLUSION ON THIS BLOG IS INTENDED FOR YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION ONLY ( DON’T USE IT FOR ANY NEFARIOUS PURPOSE!!!) AND VISIT THEIR SITE!!! THE ENTIRE POST IS ONE BIG FANTASTIC LINK!!]

Tree decorating themes vary widely according to individual tastes. Many people like to decorate with a specific color or color combination. Here are a few basic tips, which may be helpful to you. The suggested sequence for decorating a tree is as follows:

  1. Lights
  2. Garland
  3. Tree Trims
  4. Ornaments
  5. Tree Top and Skirts

Tree Trim Tips

Tree Height
35 to 40 24″ to 3′ 30 pieces
70 to 80 36″ to 4′ 42 pieces
200 to 400 50′ to 55″ 35-50 pieces
400 to 600 85′ to 90′ 50-75 pieces
500 to 700 100′ to 110′ 75-100 pieces
600 to 800 130′ to 145′ 175-225 pieces
800 to 1000 185′ to 200′ 200-300 pieces









Regular Doorway
18′ to 25′
Double Doorway
20′ to 35′
Small Picture Window
18′ to 25′
Large Picture Window
20′ to 35′
Fireplace Mantle
18′ to 25′
Ceiling Decorations
50′ to 100′

C-7 & C-9 Lights*:

To calculate the amount of C-7 and C-9 lights for your tree, you may want to do the following:

HxD (divided by 2) for trees up to 7 feet.
HxD (divided by 3) for trees 7 1/2 feet and up.

For example, a 6 foot tree with a diameter of 45 inches would be as follows:

6×45 (divided by 2) = 135 lights

*Not all C-7 and C-9 lights are approved for artificial trees, but Cool Bright by GE is a good choice. Check packaging.

Do’s and Don’ts of Lights:

Never hook mini lights and C-7s or C-9s end to end. Connect only the same light sets together. They must be on their own outlet. This is also true when hooking your treetop to your light sets. the 3 outlet cords work very well in this situation. Do not hook more than 3 sets of lights together end to end. This can cause overloaded circuits and may blow fuses in your light sets. Some lights are commercial grade and you can connect up to six lights together. (Check packaging). Discard damaged sets (broken/cracked sockets, frayed/bare wires or loose connectors). Turn off all indoor lights on trees and other decorations when you go to bed or leave the house.

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My Christmas Tree skirt!
Starlight mints!(my Favorite) I have many more mints to make. I’m hand-stitching everything so it’s taking me awhile to get it done!So far so good!

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