Hello friends! It’s guest blogger time again on the PPP. It’s me, Suzanne (Rebecca’s mom), and today I am going to show you how to make a couple of sweet little trees with some different materials – vintage sheet music and ribbon. Depending on the paper, ribbon and embellishments used, these trees would be suitable for a holiday decoration any time of the year.
First, we have to prepare bases for our trees so they can stand proud and tall. I’m going to repurpose wooden blocks from rubber stamps. [Slight aside with additional craft information - In an effort to save space in my craft room, I have been removing rubber stamps from their wooden blocks. The stamps can them be temporarily mounted on reusable acrylic blocks and stored in acetate envelopes more compactly than when permanently mounted on the wooden blocks. I hate to throw away a potential craft supply, so I have a basket of these blocks waiting to be repurposed. A little Goo-Gone or acetone nail polish remove cleans up the adhesive residue and makes them ready for paint.]
For the base of the tree to be made with paper, I glued an old thread spool to a block and added a thin kebab skewer in the hole of the spool.
For the base of the ribbon tree, I glued two blocks atop one another (I have a number of these in the works, as I am making these for sale at an upcoming craft fair). Once the glue was dry, I gave both types of bases a coat of slightly watered down brown acrylic paint. I let that set a couple of minutes then wiped the paint down. I then gave them some dimension by dry brushing on a little black paint and going over that with a little more brown until I was satisfied with the depth of color.
Time now to work on the body of the sheet music tree. I removed the staples from the center of a vintage book and glued in half a full two page spread, to give the paper a bit more body. I marked the center of the top of the sheet and marked three inches to the left and right of the center of the bottom of the sheet (to make the bottom six inches wide) and cut the triangular shape. My sheet is eleven inches tall.
I then gently scored the width of the triangle every inch and gently folded the paper accordion style. These two steps, when using vintage paper, need to be done carefully, because it’s easy to break the paper. If you make these trees with new scrapbook paper (another cute option), the paper will be less fragile.
I prepped the base with a little ribbon bow around the spool and made a small ribbon knot that will be used later at the top of the tree. I then punched a hole in the center of the accordion folded paper triangle and fed the skewer through that hole.
Working carefully again, I spread the folds of the paper out evenly along the length of the wooden skewer and glued the top tip to the skewer, making sure I was lined up with the flat side of the base and the bow I’d tied around the spool. I made sure that the bottom and top of the paper triangle were to the front of the tree.
I decided to top the tree with a small wooden star, so I held that in place and trimmed the end of the skewer off just below where the star would end. I glued the star in place and added the ribbon knot just below it. Embellishment options are many. I liked the simplicity of these, so I added just a few red pearls up the center, on the “trunk” of the tree. Buttons, sequins or pompoms would also be good options, depending on the type of paper used for the body of the tree.
For the ribbon tree, I drilled a small hole in the base, about a ½ inch deep, to insert some glue and a thin dowel. I wasn’t worried about doing this before painting because with these trees, the “trunk” will be fully covered by both the ribbon and some beads. To start, I threaded a long bead onto the dowel and added some glue in the hole to hold it in place.
I put the base aside for a moment and worked on the body of this tree. Starting with a measurement of approximately 7 inches, I folded the wire edged ribbon back and forth on itself, drawing it in a little more with each layer of folding, until the top layer of ribbon was approximately 1 inch wide. There is no exact measurement to the length of ribbon needed – it will depend on how much each layer is shortened as it is folded.
When I got to the 1 inch mark, I cut the stack of ribbon free from the spool. Then, with a pair of pointy scissors, I poked the middle of the stack of ribbon and twisted the scissors to make a hole to accommodate the dowel.
It was time now to add the ribbon to the dowel, separating each layer with a wooden bead or two (depending on the size of the bead) to give the tree its height. I added a touch of hot glue to the start of the ribbon at the bottom (to keep it from flopping down) and made a little triangle fold at the top (to neaten up that end). I also added a touch of glue under the bead at each level to keep the bead in place and the tree solid.
The last bead at the top of the tree holds the last bit in place. To finish this little guy off, I “fluffed” each layer of the tree to be sure it wasn’t folded flat onto itself. I then added a sprig of greenery with some red beads and pine cones to the base and an iridescent snowflake with a red jewel in the center as a tree topper. In the last photo, you can see a fall version of the ribbon tree with a pumpkin embellishment on the bottom and a burlap bow as a tree topper. I think the ruffle and pattern of the ribbon is enough for the body of the tree, but you can add buttons, sequins or pompoms to these as well.
I am a 25-year-old crafter and baker from New Hampshire!