Monday, November 4, 2013

Make // Faux Fur Trees

Ah yes... Are those sleigh bells I hear? Has Christmas sprung up overnight in about every retail spot that I inhabit? Except Costco, who thought it was okay to bring out the holiday cheer in August when my kids were still on summer vacation? Ahem. Yes my friends... It's that's time of year again.

I waited until All Hallows Eve was over and, although I love Thanksgiving and will honor that fine holiday with lots of good company and good eats, it's time to get BUSY!  Because Christmas will be here soon.

Stress and Excitement. That's what I'm all about.

Since I've been building a forest tree collection for the past several years (see most of them here), I thought I'd start with some pretty, soft and texturally awesome Faux Fur Trees.

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Faux Fur Trees

materials needed:
papier mache cone/tree form
craft paper for pattern
faux fur
sharp scissors
hot glue gun & glue sticks
lint remover (trust me on this one)
vacuum (see above)


Make a pattern for your tree-- Cut out a large piece of craft paper** and place your tree form in the middle. With your pen, mark a 1 cm line where the tip of your tree meets the paper. Then mark the inside of your tree with a little line.

That little 1 cm line at the top?  That's where you want to keep the tip of the tree.  That little line on the inside of the cone? Mark where that line hits the paper. That's the beginning of your pattern.  Now roll your tree a little, keeping that tip where it needs to be... and draw a little line at the bottom where your cone hits the paper.... Keep rolling and drawing lines... The line should be curving... And when that line inside the cone goes all the way around? STOP.

Draw a line from the 1 cm tip to one curved edge, and another line to the other curved edge. This is your pattern. It should look like a triangle with a curved bottom.

**If you want a simple tree with a single layer of fur, skip the pattern and mark directly onto the back of the faux fur.

For a tiered scalloped look-- Cut out the pattern, wrap it around the cone and make a mark at the seams at the 1/3 and 2/3 mark.

Unwrap the pattern, then roughly draw lines, mimicking the curve at the bottom.  Cut the pattern into thirds.

Mind the fur-- Take your piece of faux fur and make note of which way the fur is going. Unless you're going for a tree with fur going sideways or straight-up... You'll probably want the fur to comb down.

Place your pattern accordingly and trace it onto the back of the faux fur. It has a nice sturdy backing but, unless you want your scallops to have dark edges, you'll want to cut off the pen marks.

If you're going to get creative with the edges (scallops, zig-zag, jagged edges), leave at least an inch of extra material at the bottom of each pattern.

Cut out your pattern(s) and try it on for size before gluing anything down. If you're doing tiers, start with the bottom layer and work your way up.

With a hot glue gun, start gluing the fur to the cone. Start with the bottom edge and work your way up and around the tree form.

Overlap each layer so that the cardboard doesn't show through... obviously. Also, you'll probably want to align the seams so that there is just one "ugly" side... Just a suggestion.  It's your tree... do whatever you want!  :)

Life with a shedding, fluffy cat-- And that's pretty much it!  Except... did I mention clean-up? Rather than having to clean-up multiple surfaces, when I got to the cutting part, I just sat on the floor and went Edward Scissorhands on the faux fur. No point in getting that stuff on my counter, chairs and floor.... Straight to the floor and straight into a vacuum cleaner. That is some M-E-S-S-Y stuff. And for the love of all things good... try to keep that stuff out of your eyes. It took me several drops a bottle of saline and a couple hours to get the invisible fuzz out of my left eyeball. Not Fun.

Then I grabbed the lint remover-roller-thinga-ma-jig that my hubs swears by and my pants were back to their green and fur-less selves. Hallelujah!

two faux fur trees - one single layer and one triple layer tier

Considering that these could've turned into crazy "abominable" snow trees, I really like how elegant they came out.

More Holiday projects (and more faux fur) coming up soon!