Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Christmas Forest

Continuing in the Start Now and Be Ready for Christmas series, today I've got a tutorial for you on making Dr. Seuss-esque Christmas trees. Start now, and you could have a whole forest ready by December!

There are tons of books out there on repurposing old woollen sweaters, or recycling T-shirts. But where are all the books about what to do with grotty men's polo shirts in dismal colours that have shrunk and faded? If, like me, that's what you've got an excess of lying around, then grab your scissors! (If not, then really any green fabric will work: felt, cotton, fleece, old shirts, old scarves, old tablecloths...)

Sorry, Justin, this one has been kidnapped from your cupboard:

What you'll need:
  • 2 scraps of green fabric, one at least 10" square, the other at least 4" square
  • stuffing
  • buttons
  • green and red embroidery thread
  • a pompom

Start by cutting a pizza-slice-shaped triangle out of the green fabric. Mine were about 10" in length down each side, with a 45 degree angle at the point. Smaller angles make thinner trees, larger angles make squatter, fatter trees.

Fold the triangle in half, lengthwise, with right sides together. Pin the sides together.

If the bottom corners don't quite match up, trim along the bottom edge so that they are even.

Stitch along the long side, where the two edges meet, from the point to the bottom edge using running stitch.

Turn the tree inside out, and place on top of the second scrap of fabric (wrong side up). Draw a circle around the base of the tree using a fabric pen, giving yourself about 1/2" of extra space.

Cut out the circle.

Pin the circle (right side down) to the base...

...leaving about a third unpinned, so that you can stuff the tree.

Fill with stuffing. I like to use a knitting needle to get stuffing all the way to the tip, which will help hold up the pompom. A bit of squidging every now and then should get rid of any lumps and bumps.

Once stuffed, pin the last third of the base in place, closing up the gap.

Blanket stitch all around the base of the tree, joining the two pieces together. (Not familiar with blanket stitch? Tutorial here)

And finally, decorate your tree! I like the look of pompoms on top, but a bell, felt star, or favourite ornament could work well, too. You could go with all-white buttons, and use colourful thread to sew them on, or use coloured buttons. If you've got children (or husbands) eager to get involved, perhaps let them pick out the decorations for a tree!

Even Pumpkin is getting in the holiday spirit!

I hope a few more dull shirts out there will get rescued from the backs of cupboards and reinvented as little festive forests. And, if you're looking for another Christmas craft idea to get you ready for the holidays, there's a brilliant Felt Christmas Card tutorial over at The Fable of the Table today... enjoy!


Ingrid said...

What a fab idea for using up all those forest green polos tht men seem to love! How many trees will make your forest? Love it and the clear instructions.
PS I've plenty more pompoms, so don't let that limit you.

Jami said...

I love finding a way to reuse old clothes. I have been known to hold clothes out from the donation bag if they were made from nice fabric. Please stop by and link up this post to my Thursday Theme Party. The link will be open through the weekend. :)

Astrid said...

Yes, if we cut up all the forest green polos, our men will be forced to wear other clothes!

Thanks for stopping by, Jami... I've added it to your Wintery collection!

Beth @ Wiccan Make Some Too said...

So cute! I have so much funky fabric waiting to be turned into a Christmas tree forest!

Anonymous said...

I love this tree. I can see myself making lots over the next few months to give as present this Xmas.

Astrid said...

Can't wait to see! Yes, you're giving yourself plenty of time starting now!