This is a project that I did a year ago. Just like my Halloween sugar cookie recipe, this post originally appeared on my old website. I thought it was lost forever, but was fortunate enough to find a copy of the post in a document file.
Here’s the post as it was written a year ago…
Ah, it’s that time of year again – autumn and the beginning of the holiday season. There’s Halloween next month, Thanksgiving in November this week, and in a blink of an eye it’ll be Christmas morning. So you know what that means don’t you? It’s time to start making those wonderful holiday decorations!
A few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Crafts magazine to start getting ideas for some holiday decorations. I found quite a few things that I want to make this year. One project that stood out to me was the Christmas Tree Concerto. It’s a Christmas tree made from a foam cone covered in loops of sheet music.
I decided to make my own version, only using loops of ribbon to cover the tree instead of sheet music. In my travels to Wal-Mart one week, I picked up a foam floral cone and some ribbon. When I started this project, I wasn’t sure how I was going to top my tree. The one in the magazine used a giant jingle bell, but I wanted to try something different, plus, I was fresh out of giant jingle bells. I tried a few options, with the help of my mother and sister, and settled on a simple package bow with some ribbons dangling down the sides.
Here’s how I made my tree.
Note: I do not recommend using a foam floral cone for this project. It was messy to use. The foam starts to crumble off and feels like sand, so you’re constantly wiping your hands. By the time I got to the top of the cone, the tip was weakened a bit from my constantly handling it, so they are a bit fragile. A regular Styrofoam cone would be a much sturdier choice.
- Foam cone 3-7/8 inch x 8-7/8 inch
- 3/8-inch wide ribbon in 2 colors – The rolls I used each had 18 feet per spool. You will need 2 spools of each color. I used the full 18 feet of each color and just a small amount from the second rolls. If you are using only one color for your tree, 3 spools will be enough.
- Something to use as a tree topper – bow, ribbon, ornament, etc.
- Craft glue
Cut a piece of felt large enough to cover the bottom of the cone. Glue the felt to the cone with craft glue.
Begin cutting 4-inch long strips of ribbon.
Starting at the bottom of the cone, fold the strips of ribbon in half to form loops, making sure not to crease the ribbon. You want nice soft loops.
Begin pinning the first row around the entire cone, making sure the bottom of the loop is flush with the bottom of the cone.
With the second color, start pinning the second row. You’ll want to place the ribbon about a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch above the first row.
Continue pinning rows until you reach the top of the cone.
To hide the pins that are visible at the top row, cut a piece of ribbon long enough to fit around the tip of the cone. You can either glue this around the edge of that final row, or just wrap it around the edge, making sure to cover the pins, and pin in place using a pearl-tipped pin, which is the option I chose.
For the tree topper I recycled a used pre-made gift package bow. First, trim the bottom piece to about the same size as the cone tip. Then place a piece of double-stick tape on that bottom piece.
Next, cut about 6 or 7 long lengths of 1/8-inch wide, wire-edged ribbon and wrap each one around a pen to about halfway up the length of the ribbon to form curlicues. Place them on the double-stick tape to position them around all sides of the bow. Place a piece of regular tape on top of the ribbons to keep them in place.
Turn the bow over. Stick a couple of pins through the center of the bow, going through the tape and ribbons underneath, and then stick that into the top of the cone, and your Christmas tree is complete.
I have an obsession with pin cushions. It seems to be a bit of an odd obsession for someone who doesn’t sew. That is, up until now. As I mentioned in Friday’s post, I was working on a hand sewing project – that being the larger of the two pin cushions pictured above.
A year or so ago, I bought the book Pretty Little Pin Cushions, which is filled with the cutest projects created by a variety of crafters. I wanted to learn to sew and thought starting with a small project like a pin cushion would be perfect for me. Not too complicated – actually a fairly easy project – and something I can sew by hand. Sitting hunched over a sewing machine doesn’t appeal to me at all. However, sitting crossed legged on the couch with needle and thread in hand is more up my alley.
Well, I have finally gotten around to teaching myself how to sew. I opted to try what appeared to be one of the easier, less complicated projects in the book to start out with – the Sweet Dreams pin cushion designed by Toni Weber. The project is pretty straight forward – cut a couple pieces of fabric, sew them together, stuff it, and tuft it. I can handle that.
The first one I made was the size the project instructions called for. I’ve had this fall-inspired leaf fabric for about as long as I’ve had this book, so I used it for the top of the cushion and a coordinating orangy check fabric for the bottom. When I picked up the fabric, I also bought some orange buttons to match, which I used for the center. The thread I used for the tufting is vintage embroidery floss that belonged to my grandmother. I was afraid it would break while I was wrapping it around the cushion, but it held up really well.
I was happy with the outcome of this project. It was really easy, particularly for a beginner, and only took a couple hours to complete. Instant gratification, and I think I like sewing because of that. Well, I was so impressed with myself, and feeling quite cocky about my so called new-found skills, that I decided to try to make another one.
I had some fabric left over from my Bee project and decided to make a smaller, more compact pin cushion. Interestingly enough, this one didn’t go too smoothly. I had a really hard time getting the corners stuffed on this one as well as sewing up the seam. Three of the corners ended up rounded with the fourth being really pointy. It’s also no longer square shaped as it’s a little more narrow on one side. I don’t know what went wrong – perhaps my cockiness got the better of me. I still like it even though it’s not perfect. And although I have a lot to learn about this craft, I think sewing is my new favorite hobby.