Insider trading scandals and snarky commnts aside, I do have a not-so-secret crush on Martha Stewart. Maybe she doesn’t have the most heartwarming personality, but come on…that woman can craft up a storm! Even before the Martha empire was born and contributing to the masses of ideas coming from her camp, she had some brilliant stuff going on for herself. I lead with this paragraph because I must admit, not all of my craftmas ideas are originals. I stumbled upon this one on MS’s website and simply had to make these little craft paper trees.
They’re adorable, unique, and if I may say so, pretty eco-friendly. These guys usea lot less packaging and materials than decor you buy from your local Target! However, the instructions on the web site are less than clear, so here’s the step-by-step. This is SUCH an affordable and cute decoration, I just can’t get over it! I bought scrapbooking paper at Michael’s for $.25 a sheet (using an average of one sheet per tree), bells for $2, and thread spools for $3. A $6 craft? Love.
-thread spools, either recycled or purchased from craft store
-tiny beads to put on top of trees (or bells as used here)
-different shades of craft paper (you could even use cute patterns for more whimsical trees)
-glue gun and glue sticks
Now, on the MS website, she calls for a handy little device called an adjustable circle cutter. Upon discovery of such device at Michael’s (for $27 or so), I cheaped out and decided to use different sized espresso cups, mugs, and bowls. My trees don’t look as perfect as hers, but heck… how often will I use a circle cutter, really?
Cut different sized circles from your craft paper. For a tall tree, you will need one of each circle size: 2″, 3″, 4″, 5″, and 6″. For a small tree, omit the 6″ circle.
Fold each circle. Here’s where things get crazy. You need to eventually have 16 folds in your circle. Start by folding the circle in half. Then open, and fold in half again. The idea is that the first 8 folds need to all be creased the same way (see middle photo above? All the creases need to be pointing up.) Then turn the circle the other way and make 8 more folds, in between each of the first folds. Now open the circle and go back over your folds, which should close accordian-style (every other fold going up). It’s a bit confusing at first, so let me know and I’ll try to clarify if you don’t get it. :)
Refold the circle into quarters and snip a TEENSY TINY little hole in the center to slide onto the skewer. I promise you this hole should be smaller than you think it should be, so just cut a leeeeettle bit.
Glue your bead or bell to the pointy part of the skewer. Then slide each layer, smallest first, up the skewer. Secure each with a dab of hot glue on the underside of the layer and allow to cool.
Insert skewer into spool to determine how tall you want your tree. Cut the skewer to desired length and insert a couple drops of hot glue into spool hole. Slide skewer into spool and hold firmly upright until glue has cooled (this will keep your trees from leaning, unless you’re going for a Dr. Seuss forest!).
Sit back and enjoy! We put ours on our mantel as it’s the only place the kitties can’t access and knock them all over. If your trees are too tall to stand on their own, use a Zot (those little sticky circles you can buy at Paper Source) to hold it down.
Let me know how this goes if you give it a whirl!
*all photos by me; please credit EAD Living when re-posting, thanks!