Pine Cone Christmas Tree

Remember when I made felt Christmas trees and yarn Christmas trees? Way back then I meant to make one with the pine cone scales, inspired by Shauna Mailloux.

Well, I finally made mine!

The new pine cone tree fits right in with his felt and feather cousins!

I might paint it another time, but for this year’s Scandinavian-inspired theme, the natural finish seems perfect! It took a while to put together, and Steve took the opportunity to make about two zillion conifer-inspired puns, so I have multiple reasons to be glad that project is over:)… but I’m really happy with the results!

“Jewels”

Metallic Geometric Garlands

For our Mod Metallic Christmas, I wanted to make garlands for the tree and beyond. I love how these turned out, and I love that they are neutral enough to use for any occasion!


To make the garlands, I used beautiful metallic contact papers and simple twine to create a variety of garlands. You can find twine and white contact paper at a lot of local hardware stores, and here are the links buy the metallic contact paper:

I made three different garlands – squares, triangles, and circles – by cutting out shapes from the contact paper and sticking two sides together with twine sandwiched in between.

For the circle garland, you could also buy pre-cut circle stickers which would make the project even faster!

Here are the finished garlands, ready for when we put up our Christmas tree and for many celebrations to come!

Cheers,

“Jewels”

 

 

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper 

As you know, this Christmas, I’m decorating with a retro mid-century  theme. Our tree is trimmed with glove ornaments in red, turquoise, and pink, including these scrapbook paper and washi tape globe ornaments.

I was looking for the perfect tree topper and saw this fabulous atomic topper from Over the Top Finials on Etsy. They have lots of fun products!!

Since I had all the supplies in the house already, I thought I’d try a DIY version, and I’m pretty excited with how it turned out!

Here’s what I rounded up to make the tree topper:

  • 11 bamboo skewers – paint with silver spray paint
  • Medium styrofoam ball – paint with silver craft paint
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Green felt to cover roll
  • Assorted small balls and beads. I used some vase filler (which also came in handy when making my ornament wreath; I might have some trouble filling a vase in the future…)

Here’s how to put it together

  • Paint the skewers and styrofoam ball and let dry
  • Cut the toilet paper roll lengthwise and tape it into a narrower and tapered roll. Push the narrower end into the  styrofoam ball. Cover it with green felt to blend into the tree.
  • Cut the skewers into varying lengths, cutting on an angle to make sharp ends.
  • Stick the small balls and beads into the skewers.
  • Stick the skewers into the center ball, spacing them out in all directions and with varying lengths.

Ta-da!

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home
DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home

And here’s how the tree has come together, including the retro Christmas Ornament tree skirt!

DIY Mid-Century Atomic Christmas Tree Topper | Jewels at Home
 I think our Christmas tree looks far-out and groovy with its new topper!

“Jewels”

Faux Birch Branches

They say, there’s a fine line between genius and insanity… I think I got a deeper understanding of this when I took on this faux birch branch project.

I saw these a year or two ago in a department store, and I’m not sure what possessed me, but I decided to make them for our house. It’s the kind of fantastic paper creation you might see at Anthropologie, which always has the best art in their store displays… It makes me want to buy a cute sweater… Now! But I digress.

I’m working on creating outdoorsy and white-themed Christmas decorations this year, like these felt poinsettia ornaments and homemade clay ornaments.  I had several large cardboard tubes left over from buying fabric, and I got inspired to transform them into a little homemade forest.  I have to say that I was super-excited when I started, and by the end, I was going blind from visions of decoupaged tissue paper, but I think it was worth it in the end.

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

Materials:

  • Cardboard tubes.  The “trunks” are made from large tubes for rolling fabric.  The “branches” are smaller tubes, including toilet paper and paper towel rolls.
  • Brown paper
  • White tissue paper
  • Mod Podge or glue for decoupage
  • Embroidery floss in black and gray
  • Patience

To get started, created the shapes of the trees.  I used brown paper and Mod Podge to join some long tubes together, so that the lengths would vary.  I also used the same technique to add branches to some of the trunks (pictured below).

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

Next, I started creating the look of birch bark, inspired by instructions on making fake birch bark over at Kitsch Designs.  The first step is to cut the tissue paper into strips – I made a variety ranging from about two to four inches wide.  Then, paint some Mod Podge on the cardboard and wrap strips of tissue paper around the tube (pictured below).  I overlapped the paper in places and left gaps in other places, to give a textured look to the branches.

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at HomeIt looks cool when you tear the wet paper and get a rough edge like this!

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

 

Keep adding layers of paper, overlapping them, so the “bark” is textured and natural-looking (right two pictures below).  I estimate I used a total of about 4 layers.  On the top one or two layers, add some short strips of embroidery floss (left picture below).  I cut this into different lengths and also separated some into strands, so there was a lot of variety.  The floss stuck well to the paper using the Mod Podge.

 

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

 

I “planted” the finished birch branches in a pot wrapped in fabric in our font hall.  I think it would look great with the addition of some greenery and/or ornaments, so I’ll fiddle with that a bit more, but so far, I’m excited with these wintery additions to our foyer.

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

So cool!  Transform cardboard and paper into faux birch branches for a beautiful display | Jewels at Home

After the hours that went into this project, I’ll be keeping these faux birch branches around.  I haven’t decided if I’ll keep them long for next Christmas or maybe cut them short to display in the fireplace.  Let me know what you think!

“Jewels”