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Saturday, November 20, 2010

I Found the Trees!!!!!

OK....I didn't find them. Tessie did. She is anxious to start Christmas decorating now that she knows it is coming....The sooner we get the place decorated, the sooner she gets presents....At least that is her latest theory.

She was rummaging around in the workroom this morning. I didn't want to think what she was getting into. It just meant more straightening up for me. She slid onto the kitchen counter,as if trying for a home run and demanded, "Come with me! NOW! I found the trees! NOW! Drop the towel. NOW!" Then she jumped off of the counter and disappeared around the corner, assuming that I would follow.

She was right. As you know, I have been searching high and low for the trees. Evidently I didn't search quite low enough.

She was jumping up and down on the floor, in front of a chest of drawers in the workroom.

She wailed, "They're in there and I can't get them out!"

She was pointing to a box under the drawers. It was a Christmas box that I bought last year, thinking that I would get around to re doing the Christmas room with Santa....Didn't happen.... At least it was a good hiding place for all of the stuff that was in the tree last year, including the vignettes that I was missing.

"Tessie, why didn't you just zap the box?" I asked.

"Because I lifted the lid to peek in and then it wouldn't come out. Now get it out and stop asking inane questions!" Then she a very small voice...."Please?"

I knew it was serious. She never says please unless it is really important.

She was right. The box was really wedged in and toward the back to boot. I finally got it out by twisting it and pressing down on the top. Sure enough. There was the tip of a tree sticking out under one side of the lid.

It took only a couple of seconds to whip out the box of lycopodium and we were on our way to tree making....

The box of lycopodium that you see here is the purchase that I made from months ago, with the intention of doing a new tree. It looks like there is enough greenery for a whole forest, but you would be surprised at how much of this stuff it takes for one.

OK....Here comes the tutorial.

All you need is a bottle brush tree of whatever size you want your finished tree to be, less about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch.(We will get to the reason for that in a minute.)

I had to cut all of the white ends off of this one(fake snow)because I didn't have a plain one the right height.

Tree, lycopodium, white glue,tweezers, and sharp scissors are the only supplies that you need.

You will be starting at the bottom and working up. Don't worry about trimming until you are at the top.

Glue the first course of longish branches to the bottom side of the bottle brush tree in a circle. They should stick out 1/2" to 3/4" past the bottle brush.

Cut more of the lycopodium into little branches. The bottom two or three rows can be 4 or 5 arms to a bunch. As you go towards the top, you will want less in a branch and shorter if you can find any. I usually cut only for the section that I am working on.

This is a messy job, so I advise working on a paper plate, on top of a tray or something else to catch the excess branches.

Put a puddle of glue on the plate. Start dipping branches into the glue

Here you see Tessie working on the first section. She is still working with the branches with the most arms.

Remember that the tree is going to get a haircut at the end, so try not to make them too long. What you cut off will be used to fill in spots that you missed the first time around.

While she was doing that, i took a piece of stem about an inch and a half long and glued it to the top so that about half stuck up above the tree. This is to put the topper on when you are decorating.

It needs to be put on early so that it will be mostly dry by the time that you get to the top. I did that with Aleene's Fast Grab. Make sure that it stays straight. Nobody likes a lopsided topper.

Don't expect to get this done fast. For a good looking, full tree, it takes at least a couple of hours.

As you go towards the top, start angling your branches upwards. That's how most trees grow. No wilted trees here. When you reach the top, your branches should be short and pointing up.

When you are satisfied with the fullness of your tree, keep turning it around and searching. You will find holes. Just poke some more branches in, with glue.

Now starting a little at a time, at the bottom, trim....You know the drill. Take off any branches that don't look like a Christmas tree. This will also take a little time. Remember, you can cut them off, but you can't put them back.
The ideal tree is triangular. Snip little ends off that aren't in line with the rest. Take your time.

After you have trimmed it, check again for holes. Tessie is good at this. She is down there close where she can see them. She plugs them up and I trim.

Here's the finished tree. Tessie is now whining and whinging about ornaments and lights. I am whining and whinging right back at her.....Enough for one day. Ornaments and lights will come tomorrow.

See you then.


Lucille said...

Casie, what a wonderful tutorial. Thank you so much. Your Christmas tree is just perfect!

Mooghiscath said...

C'est vrai que cela rend très bien avec le lycopode , très naturel .
On peut aussi utiliser une pomme de pin à l'intérieur .

Lyssa and James Bowen said...

Thank you for doing this! I always wondered how to do this since they look SO nice. Can you grab lycopodium anywhere else besides Hobby Lobby and Michael's?

Caseymini said...

Lyssa, as I said on in the tutorial, I gotr my lycopodium at Our Michael's doesn't carry it.

Susanne said...

Ohh Casey, thank you so much for this tutorials. I tried in so many ways to make a christmas tree, cutting and glueing in different ways...this IS the answer to my questions!
To answers the questions from other followers from my side of the world: I think that many webshops who sells materials for flower decorating will sell this too. In DK it is called "Erika mos"
Love, Susanne

Kathi said...

Great tutorial! Your tree is so perfect! Can't wait to see it decorated. :D

Dlsarmywife said...

Cutting off the white 'snow' makes so much more sense...I 'washed' my trees in hot water. All the snow rinsed off, but so did alot of color. Not that it mattered to the tree, but your way is sooo much easier! (something which does NOT surprise me!) So glad you and Tessie found the trees, I can't wait to see it decorated!

Claudia said...

That is a fabulous tutorial! Thank you.


Merri said...

Sorry to drag you all the way back to this entry, Casey..but did you buy one or two packages of the lycopodium when you did this tree? I'm on a fixed income and every penny counts for me :) Thanks for putting up with my question!

Caseymini said...

Merri, one bag will make several trees! Save the short pieces that you trim off for wreaths and flower arrangements.