Sunday, November 27, 2011

Tutorial: Ribbon Trees

So excited to share a new tutorial with you guys!  I've seen these little ribbon trees floating around in stores here and there and knew they'd be a great, easy crafty project to try.  And I'm sure there's a variety ways of doing this project, but this is how I did it and I'm really happy with the results.

Here's your supply list:

  • Foam cone (I used a 12" x 4 7/8" one) (TIP: I found almost all of mine at estate sales and thrift stores for around $1.00 each.  Plleeeaase do not pay $5.00+ each for these things at the craft store.)
  • Ribbon (for the above-sized cone, I used the following:
    • 1 - 12' spool of 1 1/2" 
    • 2 - 9' spool of 7/8"
    • 2 - 9' spool of 3/8")
  • Pins (again, for the above-size cone, I used approx. 300 pins)
  • Glue (the all-purpose craft/tacky kind)
  • Scissors (I used pinking shears so that the ribbons don't fray and so any edges left showing always look finished)
  • Felt (a half sheet is plenty for one cone)
  • Topper of your choice
Before you get started, trace the bottom of your cone on a piece of felt, a little wider than you think you need.   It's a lot easier to do this step now than at the end when the ribbons are all along the bottom edge getting in your way.

Then, cut all of your ribbon up into 5" pieces.

Next, in small sections, lay two strips of glue on the cone about 2 1/2" apart, add a few ribbons and pin them at the bottom.  (TIP: When adding the glue, dab and spread it a bit as you go so that it gets into the porous surface of the cone and sticks nicely to your ribbons.)

Next, add another strip of glue along the top edge of the ribbon row, fold up your ribbons...

...and pin them, one-by-one.

Do this all the way around until you get almost back to the start.  Now, I know you're in a happy little ribbon frenzy, gluing right along - but slow down when you get about 3" or so from where you started so you can evaluate what ribbons will fit in the space you have left, and plan it out.

Just keep going and going, remembering to slow down to fit the last few ribbons of a row in each time.  Now...I actually ran out of ribbons on this particular tree, so I have to go pick up more to finish it.  Ugh.  (The measurements and amounts in the list above are accurate - I just didn't follow my own directions on this one.)

So that's ^ where I'm at on this one.  *sigh*

But anyway.  We'll finish the tutorial with different trees I'm working on. :)

When you finish your ribbons all the way to the top, you want to use another cut of ribbon (you can use one you've already cut, but I think it really only needs to be 4" long or so) to finish it so it looks nice and polished.  (TIP: I lightly coated both the ribbon, and around the top of the cone with glue.  Then I wrapped the ribbon around the top, pulling tighter at the bottom of the ribbon - because you're working with the slant of the cone.  Then I wrapped the ribbon with a rubber band until it was almost entirely dry.  You don't want to keep it wrapped until it's completely dry because you risk having to cut your rubber band off because it's become glued to the ribbon - and if it's still a little tacky when you take the band off, you have a chance to smooth out any wrinkles the rubber band may have made.)

This is after the rubber band is off and the glue has dried.
Now you can take your piece of felt you traced in the beginning and glue it on the bottom.  Easy peasy.

Then, trace the top of the cone on felt.  Again, be generous with it - you can always trim it smaller.  You want your top circle to be big enough to cover all your messiness on top - it should sit juuuust inside the ribbon without going over.  The neater you can get this part - the better.

Finally, you're ready to choose your topper and stick it on top!  (TIP: If you're using a simple floral pick, you can just slide it in, usually right through the felt.  But, you may find it easier to cut a small slit in your felt before gluing it on.  And depending on your topper, hot glue may be a better option for this part...)

There are a ton of options for toppers, by the way.  This time of year (and right after Christmas - oh the sales!!) there are a ton of "floral picks" in the floral section of the craft stores.  Everything from glittery stars, to snowflakes, to little presents or candies.  But you could also use fallen pinecones (glue some glitter on!), or jingle bells, or a little figurine - maybe even an old ornament or toy.

Playing with my new Hipstamatic app.  ;)
So there you have it folks!  A super easy, fun little project to try out during the holidays!  You can expect to get a little messy - a bit gluey on your fingers.  :)  But it's a lot of fun.  And I bet you could whip one of these up a lot quicker using hot glue and it would probably be just fine.  But I made some of these last year using this method, and packed them away kind of haphazardly (oops!) and they held up super solid.  So it's totally up to you!  (If anyone's done this craft using just hot glue - no pins, etc. - I'd love to hear how it worked out!)

Enjoy! <3

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ComeHaveaPeace said...

Awesome pictures that make me feel like I know just what to do! Thanks so much. I think I'll try it! :)

Cassandra of Pooknflip said...

Thanks for the compliment! You're welcome. :) Go for it! They're a lot of fun & so cute!