Monday, September 2, 2013

Christmas Trees

As promised, my Christmas tree project! I have always LURVED this little bottle-brush Christmas trees in funky 50's colors that are generally a bazillion dollars in antique stores and are in varying stages of decay.  At some point one of my relatives (grandmother? aunt?  who knows) had some of those little old cardboard sparkly covered cottages with some of these trees, and I coveted them.

Never could bring myself to buy any because they weren't $.10.  Y'all know I'm cheap.  ENTER PINTEREST.  Oh Pinterest, how I love/hate you. It is an obsession.  Low and behold, you can find 8,000 different ways there to MAKE YOUR OWN FUNKY CHRISTMAS TREES!!!

And so I went on the hunt for a giant bag of bottle brush trees.  First I sent my Mom to look for a bag since she was at a Hobby Lobby, but she didn't really know what I was talking about, nor did the sales people.  Then I looked at a Hobby Lobby or Michael's (I don't remember which) and they actually HAD had them, but they were out. 

I tried to bring myself to order some online, but I couldn't find any with free shipping and I'm just too cheap for that.  FINALLY I ran across some in the Christmas section of one of the craft stores. It was a bag like this --------->
I got the flocked ones, and just dumped them in some warm water and OxiClean. Most of the flocking came off, but it was fine anyway.

At first the trees just turned BLACK, and I thought I had messed up.  But I just needed to use a little patience (I don't have much.) 
 Here's what I guess you'd call phase 2.  Still a little color. I ended up changing out the water several times, adding more OxiClean, and finally I poured a little bleach in there too. 
 And here's what they look like once they were all done and dry.  Then the fun part - decorating!  The how-tos I found on pinterest recommended RIT Dye, but I didn't feel like going to the store, and I didn't want to buy a whole thing of RIT anyway to dye a few trees.  So I turned to another fun project I saw once on pinterest.....
 Alcohol inks!  I just took some rubbing alcohol, put it in some Ball jars, and cut open a couple of sharpies I had lying around. I dumped the sponge-y doodad from the inside of the sharpies into the alcohol, and VOILA!  Just dunk the trees to dye! And, yes!  Yes it did dye my fingers blue/ green which lasted several days.  Perhaps, in future, tongs...

Then the super fun part began!  I dug through my supplies of sparkly bits, mardi gras beads, glitter, powdered snow, and sent to town!  This was a blast.  I ended up wanted a few more colors and didn't feel like making more alcohol ink, so I actually colored some of the trees (the purple ones, specifically) with a HIGHLIGHTER.  Yep.  It worked just fine!
So here they are all finished.  I just love them to DEATH. I packed them away carefully, but I'm anxious to see how they hold up after being in the attic for months and months. 

And of course I had to sketch them.  Cause that's how I do.
Make some for yourself and let me know how it goes! 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I want a set. I also want a good print of your sketch. You know who I am.