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Burlap Christmas Tree Tutorial

A cute little burlap Christmas tree is the results of a recent Quarterly Craft Challenge sponsored by Love, Joy, Glitter.

Those participating in the challenge received a box with items that could be used in a project. Not all items needed to be used however, we couldn't use any additional items except things like glue, scissors and paintbrushes. 

The list of materials provided:

  • 12" x 48" of burlap
  • 1 yard of mesh
  • 1 bottle of Glitter Glue
  • Burlap clothespin
  • Over 15 feet of floral wire
  • 4 dowels - 9" each
  • Robin Egg Blue paint
  • Black Sharpie Marker
  • the Box

The materials I used:

  • 12" x 48" of burlap
  • 1 yard of mesh
  • 1 bottle of Glitter Glue
  • Over 15 feet of floral wire
  • 1 dowel - 9" 
  • the Box

I also used a hot glue gun, white glue and scissors. 

The process:

I began by cutting the burlap into strips. I wasn't very careful on the exact measurements or the straightness of the cut. I cut:

  • 2 strips 20 mm wide
  • 2 strips 17.5 mm wide
  • 2 strips 15 mm wide
  • 2 strips 12.5 mm wide
  • 2 strips 10 mm wide

I used millimeters because that was the side that was up on my cutting mat. Basically, you want a variety of widths in a diminishing order. I began with the widest strip, using the wire as thread, I "stitched" through the middle of the burlap from one end to the other. 

I began this process using thread. I switched to the wire which made it much easier. The thread was hard to see because I matched the color and it wasn't strong enough to work with the burlap. If using a different material, the thread would work just fine. 

Once reaching the opposite end with the wire, I gathered the burlap into as tight a bundle as I could, twisting the wire closed and then cutting off the rest of the wire. This leaves a small hole in the middle created by the burlap and wire, this will eventually be placed onto the dowel. 

You end up with a gathered circle, with the wire in the middle. Fold the burlap over so the wire is at the interior edge with the ruffled burlap at the outer edge of the circle. These bundles stack together to make the tree shape. Once all the strips are gathered, set them aside. 

Using the cardboard box for the stand bottom, I glue together four layers of the box with white glue.  Of course you could use a variety of different materials for this part, I needed to stay true to the challenge. 

Using the stacked cardboard, I found the center and used the dowel as well as scissors to make a dent into the cardboard where the dowel will be placed. Hot glue was used to join them together and this is the inside structure of the tree. 

Depending upon the material you use for the base, you could cover it or paint it. Mine is hidden under the tree so it didn't need any additional attention. 

I cut the mesh to be about 2" wide, making a bow out of it and using the wire once again to bind it. Set this aside. 

Ribbon or fabric could be used for this step. The mesh unravels and isn't the best choice for the tree topper. 

I used the glitter glue applying small dots of it onto the baggie that held some of the challenge supplies. Let these drops dry over night, they will be used as ornaments for the tree. Note that in applying the dots, they were three dimensional, once they dried, they were flat. Once dry, peel them off the baggie carefully and discard the bag. 

Now it is time to construct the tree. Begin with the largest burlap circles, placing the middle of the gathered burlap over the dowel. Continue to build the tree using the smaller and smaller burlap circles. Adjust the ruffles and trim off the unraveled threads as needed. Using hot glue, attach the bow to the top of the dowel. At this point your tree could be finished. I struggled to decide whether or not to included the ornaments. In the end, I did. However, the tree was already really cute without them. If you decide to do so, I used hot glue again to adhere the glue dot "ornaments" in a random pattern. 

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