Friday, December 7, 2012

Make A Paper Cone Tree - Make A Memory

Greetings friends.  It is supposed to be a gloomy, rainy weekend so I thought I would leave you with a fun project that is really beautiful and inexpensive.  Back when I decided to make a wreath from old book pages, we made a trip to a huge used book store here in Nashville called McKay's.  If you know me,  you know how I love book stores.  I mean LOVE them.  McKay's is huge and has every kind of book imaginable,  games, DVD's and CD's.  It is housed in a two story warehouse that would blow your mind.  Not only did I load up on lovely old books that cost very little (I'm not reading them, just using the pages this time), they also have a huge section of music books, sheet music and hymnals.  I could not pass those by either, so I purchased a large piano book that had tons of music pages for $5.00 and an old hymnal for $.75.  That was a real coup.

My original idea was for a wreath made of book pages that you can find on my blog dated Tuesday, August 21, 2012.  Although I will be making more of the wreaths for Christmas gifts, I have a LOT of books and music available.  I had an idea to make a Christmas tree from some of the music pages - somehow.  You know me, on a wing and a prayer.   So through a little trial and error, I came up with this method.

I had a styrofoam cone from last year's Christmas projects to use as my base.  It's 12 inches tall.  But, you could make a cone from cardboard, maybe from a cereal box, if you wanted to save some money.  The biggest music page cones were made from tracing a 4 inch square on pieces of sheet music and cutting them out.   Since I don't know what size base cone you will use, I suggest making lots of cones.  I simply cut and rolled them and stapled them on the bottom.
You need a way to attach the cones to the styrofoam, so I used sequin pins which you can get at craft stores.
You could use hot glue to attach them, BUT you cannot move them if you don't get them placed exactly where you want.  Just giving you a heads up on that.  This tree was my second attempt.  I took the first tree apart because I didn't like the way it looked.  Glad I used pins.  If the cones had been glued, that would have been it.

Start at the bottom of the cone and work to the top.  Simply place the cones facing the same direction each time and as close together as you can get them.  Put one sequin pin near the base of the cone, pushing it through the styrofoam.
Here you can see the staples (which are only in the paper cones), and if you look even closer, the little pin heads.  First round done.  Looks like a little tutu doesn't it?

For the next round, place the bottom of the cone so it comes about half way down the cones in the first row, and pin around like the first row.  Keep repeating until you are near the top.  At this point, I shortened the cones for a couple of rows so you would have the appearance of a tree as it tapers to the top.  You will need about 2 rows of the 3 inch cones.  The very top was another story.
I sat and looked at this tree for a bit trying to figure out the best way to finish it.  Here is what I did.  Make small cones about an inch high.  Pin 4 or 5 of them pointing straight up like in the picture.  Now, go back and pin several rows of the 1 inch cones over the cones pointing up.  It takes a little time and patience and you may have to adjust here and there.  Otherwise, you are finished except for the star on top if you want one and some glitter of course.

Set the tree in a cake pan or something to catch falling glitter.  Lightly brush the cones with Mod Podge or Elmer's glue and sprinkle with glitter.  Easy.  Peasy.
You could use a small snowflake, a button, or a star of some kind for your topper.  I had two small acrylic stars that I glued back to back, put a little hot glue on the bottom and placed it in the top of the tree.  The most time consuming part of the project is making the cones.  I have to say, I am very happy with the finished product.

The little tree next to this one is really easy.  Cut out a piece of cardboard from a box, something with some thickness, not a cereal box.  Use a wooden skewer like you make kabobs with and push the flat end in the cardboard, pointy end on top.  I deleted these pictures accidently, so I hope you can follow me.  This will be the spindle/trunk of your tree.

Now, using book pages or music pages, cut out at least 10 squares for each size needed.  Reduce each set of squares by at least 1/4 inch so you will have a graduated tree effect when finished.  My base was 4 inches square.  To make sure my first set of squares covered the cardboard,  I made my paper squares 4.5 inches - just a little bigger than the base.  I used pinking shears to give the edges a little pizzaz.   Plain scissors would be fine.  If you make a tree with a big base, it will take more squares and a taller "trunk".

To make the tree,  place a piece of paper so the spindle is in the center and push is all the way to the bottom of the tree.  As you place the squares, turn them slightly so you get a "tree" effect. Every 20 or so squares, place a thin piece of cardboard (like from a cereal box) the size of the smallest square so you don't see it.  Put the cardboard so the center of the spindle is in the center of the cardboard and push it down, same as for the paper squares.  This helps give the tree body and keeps the paper squares from collapsing.  Work your way to the top using smaller and smaller squares, leaving just a tiny piece of the spindle showing.  Again, I glued two stars together back to back with the skewer/spindle in the middle.  Glitter the same way as the directions for the  cone tree above if you want.  Done.  This is an easy one for children to do.  The cone tree is a bit harder.

These trees are so pretty - quite elegant actually.  They would make lovely hand made gifts, especially for book or music lovers and they are inexpensive which is even better!   Don't forget to make some for your home also.  Wouldn't this be a fun family project on this rainy weekend?  What's more fun than cutting, gluing, glittering and decorating?  It's certainly better than what's on television.   Remember, we are making memories.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

My fondest memories from childhood Christmas's involve things I made, which I have been doing every year since I was about 7.  Take the time to make some precious holiday memories whether baking or making things together, or both.  You'll be so happy you did.

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