Introducing the child friendly Christmas tree!
Its completely made with felt which is fairly cheap and no sewing required which basically means it doesn’t take that long to make
unless you faff like I do Hoooraaay!!! The idea is that the kiddo’s can dress the tree themselves and re-dress it as much as they like – as felt sticks to felt on its own – so no messy stuff – its a winner!!
I have made one each for the girls bedrooms so even if the novelty wears off they will still love having their own Christmas Tree in their bedroom.
Here is my littlest one trying it out and was engrossed from the start!
I’m going to keep this as brief as possible – its basically self explanatory but I have used a couple of techniques to make it easier which I will expand upon.
- Green felt (1 -1.5metres depending on size-my tree was 42” wide and 38″ tall)
- a selection of coloured felts
- Pen for marking the felt
- Vilene Bondaweb (iron on adhesive) 1/4 a metre
- Heat n Bond Lite 1/2 a metre max
- Rotary Cutter and Mat
First I drew out my Christmas tree shape – NIGHTMARE! I wanted it to look symmetrical but can’t seem to draw a Christmas Tree freehand on felt so here is how I did it. Its not as complicated as I probably make it sound!
First draw a triangle as big as you want the tree – you could leave it like that and cut it out – young children will not mind one bit BUT I do 🙂 so I then divided up the length of one long side of the triangle – I started by measuring 6 inches down from the top then 8 inches for the rest of the branches see 1st pic below.
Then at the first point I measured a 1 inch line coming in from the side then at each point increased it by 0.5 inch (to make bigger branches) Phew nearly done! Starting at the top point I used a ruler to join up the inner end of the line to the outer end of the line below it and did that all the way down and repeat on the other side (see middle pic)
Once happy – Cut it out! Click on the photo below to enlarge it, its not great but you’ll get the gist.
Now cut out your decorations – the great thing with felt is it doesn’t fray so just cut out your shape and you are done! They can be as simple or as intricate as you like.
I used a ramekin dish to cut out the baubles. The snowflakes took me a while to figure out but I found a template online and once I got one right I just used it to cut around the rest.
I embellished the crackers, presents and candy canes by using the iron on adhesive.
All you need to do is cut out what detail you want to add in felt, iron on the adhesive which has paper on one side, take the paper off and place it on the decoration and re-iron to bond both together. Simples!
You could of course sew the felt together or use glue.
Now for the best bit… putting it up! You could use drawing pins if you’re not worried about damaging the wall otherwise 3M Command strips would work or if its going straight on to brick you could use a hot glue gun as it will peel straight off but I used Heat n Bond Lite which allows you to IRON FABRIC STRAIGHT ON TO THE WALL and it will easily peel off with no mess!! Can you believe it! Imagine the possibilities. I tested it in both rooms as the wall coverings are different and it worked. I first discovered it over at The Brassy Apple and have seen it used on all sorts of projects elsewhere but test an area first though as its not actually designed for that!
I cut the HeatnBond in to strips, using a rotary blade and mat, then ironed on strips all the way around the tree and a few in the middle.
Just take off the paper and iron on – I did need some help getting the felt straight and keeping it smooth though as its quite big.
Now decorate until your hearts content. I did think that as I had made 24 decorations I could make it in to an Advent Tree by giving them one decoration a day but I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist so I let them both have a play before hiding the decorations away for a couple of weeks.
It got a thumbs up from the girls and I think its a really cute way of keeping their hands off the real tree especially for really young ones. Its probably best suited to 1-3 year olds although I only made one for my eldest who is 4 as I thought she would feel left out, but she really enjoyed dressing the tree and even more so loved having it in her room so who knows what the age limit is!
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.
The original source for this project was from Johnny in a Dress!