Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Forest of Christmas Whimsy

A colorful collection of paper Christmas trees adorned with tiny snowflakes will brighten up any holiday table. Won't you join me in creating a whimsical grouping of Christmas trees of your own?

Begin by making the support system. Four cones made from graduated sizes of cardstock half-circles are needed for each tree. The easiest way to make half-circles is by first making a complete circle and then cutting each in half. Done this way, each circle that you make will provide you with support for 2 trees.

Cut the following circle sizes out of cardstock:


Make a notch in the center on the straight edge using a hole punch. This helps the cone to fold over neatly. To form the cone, overlap the straight edges approximately 1/8-inch and tape in place. You can use glue to close the cone if you wish, but tape is so much faster and does not show in the final product.

You will need the following strips of cardstock for each tree:

6" x 1-1/4"
8" x 1-5/8"
10" x 2"
12" x 2-1/2"

Score each strip at 1/4-inch intervals.

Pierce the paper strip using a needle tool about 1/8-inch in from the edge. Try to keep the holes centered between each score mark. Do this on one edge only.

Accordion fold the strip of paper. Glue both short ends together with tacky glue to form a tube. Load a sewing needle with strong thread and run it through the premade holes.

Pull the thread tight to form a pleated cone. Tie securely in a knot before cutting thread.

Add tacky glue to the outside of the support cone. Place the support cone into the pleated cone as far up as it will go. Hold it in place for a few minutes until the glue gets tacky and holds both pieces firmly together. Complete these steps with the remaining 3 cones.

**Please note that going through the extra effort to make the holes and sewing each of the strips of paper may not be necessary for everyone. If you are able to glue the pleated circle around the cone with ease, then please consider doing it that way instead. It will save you a lot of time. No matter how much I try, I cannot make this method work, even while making flat rosettes. So, out of necessity, sewing is my preferred way to do it.**

Start at the base and begin stacking the completed cones in ascending order to complete your tree.

The white tree is the basic tree. If you'd like to give a fancy edge to the tree, use a decorative scissor or border punch while the paper strips are still flat. A decorative scissor was used to create the scalloped border on the printed Christmas tree. A snowflake paper punch was used to create tiny snowflakes. The snowflakes were glued onto the trees with tacky glue.

Okay, now for the fun. These trees are interchangeable, meaning that because the individual cones have not been glued together, you can arrange and rearrange them to your hearts content. I love the look of an almost solid tree with just a punch of color on the third layer.

If you get tired, just change it up again.

Create a unique winter wonderland of your own.

You can use a border punch on one side of the paper strip for a lace edging. You will need to compensate by adding additional width to the strips of paper depending on the type of border punch you are using. You will lose between 1/4" to 1/2" of the edge depending on how much the punch takes away. Experiment on a scrap piece of paper first.

A colorful gathering of lacy trees.

Add snowflakes if you wish or leave it plain.

You can mix the colors for a two-toned effect.

Mix it up again for a patchwork look.

Have fun with this tutorial. I'm off to make a few more printed trees.



sandra said...

they are just beautiful!!

Mary said...

I love these trees. Seems like every year for the last 3 I have found another cute tree to add to my growing forest. I want to make these.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [08 Dec 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

Country Girl in the City said...

So cute!! I'm adding it to my list of things to make.

Elzaan said...

That is so adorable!!! And they all look so pretty.
Thanks for the tutorial.

Kristin said...

OMG Lettie, those are simply gorgeous. Wow! Can you let me know the name/brand of the snowflake punch? It really adds a lot to the trees.

Юлька said...

They so funny!:))

meg said...

Those are adorable! My husband gave me a huge stack of Christmas papers two years ago I still haven't found use for. Now I have one. Thank you!

Janine said...

Thats another great idea, I love this christmastree. Great tutorial, I guess I give those trees a try.

Maria said...

Questi alberelli sono stupendi!

Anonymous said...

This looks such fun and so effective. can't wait to have a go but may have to put it on my list for next year.
x Tricia

Marcsi said...


ana-ane said...

Muy bonito.

Merry said...

Brilliant tutorial and love how you changed the way you made your trees. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

These are SO pretty. Great tutorial!


JG said...

These are really cute Christmas trees! The lacy trees look so festive.

paperpapier said...

these are so beautiful! Tx for the inspiration and sharing your tips. I like the sewing idea because I am facing the same problem as you, unable to hold the fold in place.

sweetiepie said...

Cute, cute, cute!!!! Your creativity amazes me. Thanks for sharing.

Take care.

Unknown said...

Te han quedado bellísimos, te felicito. Un abrazo.

Carol said...

I love the trees, especially the lacy ones. Gorgeous.

Pam said...

I love these trees. Thanks for the tutorial. Hope I find time to make a couple.

zigzago said...

Hi Arlette, this is a great tutorial!!! I love it! Can I "link" you on "http://a-tutto-zigzago.blogspot.com?
Have a nice and creative week! Hugs, Renata.

Mosolyrend Évi :) said...


Unknown said...

Maravilloso Blog!!!
Gracias por compartir con nosotros todo tu buen hacer.
Creo que todos tus trabajos son geniales!
Un beso, Aderi.

Sandy said...

Arlette,I'm in need of a casserole carrier pattern, do you know where I can get a free pattern of one. I want it to be easy.
I have you on my blog, on my favorite blogs list.....
Merry Christmas!

Kim D. said...

Your trees are adorable! I've seen some similar trees made with fabric and was planning to make some. Thanks for sharing!

Dream on the wave said...

They are really cute! I also have some fabric trees and it is a great idea to make a little forest of different kind of trees. I am going to try it as soon as I find the time.
Thanlk you!

Susan @ Blackberry Creek said...

Charming charming trees. I love them. Merry Christmas, Lettie.

Vegan said...

Lettie, you inspired me to go out and buy a Martha Stewart scoring board! Totally planning to make these!

Rowena said...

Lettie you are a magician with anything that can be turned into something pretty and festive for the holidays! So nice to see your comment as I thought you went m.i.a. for awhile. I didn't see any updates to your flickr account so I thought you had dropped out of blogging. I even took you off my contact list when I was "cleaning house"!

Gonna check out the rest of your blogs (my how you've flourished in blog land) and take this opportunity to wish you happy holidays.

emy said...

Ciao Lettie!!!
Ti auguro un felice Natale!!!!


Nile e Richard said...

Oi coração.
Lindo muito lindo mesmo.
Obrigado pelas explicações.

O Natal simboliza nova vida,
Pois nele comemoramos o nascimento do Homem
Que modificou a nossa maneira de ver o mundo.
Trazendo-nos amor e esperança.
Que neste natal sejam confraternizados todos os desejos
De um mundo melhor.
Que todos estabeleçam um novo vigor de humanidade.
E que nada seja mais forte do que a união
Daqueles que brindam o afeto entre eles.
Feliz Natal e Próspero Ano Novo para você e sua família.

Army Wife Quilter said...

they look so delicate. I love them. I don't dare make them with toddlers in the house. they wouldn't even last the day. happy new year.

Mar said...