This sweet little project is a miniature version of the classic miniature, A Christmas Tree in a Glass Dome. It is in a perfect scale to sit on a table in a dollhouse or add to the inventory in a Christmas Shoppe. As seen, the tree is green but a white one also works quite nicely. The tree without the dome makes a nice addition to a mantel-top Christmas village.
The size of the dome you use will determine the size of the tree you create. I used a domed-end, bead tube that had an approx. ½” diameter. A razor saw was used to cut it to a height of 1” from the domed top down. Explore your stash for domed bead tube or try using a large size pill capsule.
To create a base for the dome, that the tree will sit on, you will want a round that has a diameter the same as the dome or just slightly larger.. As seen the base and dome have ½” diameters. I used a ½” round paper punch to punch out 6 rounds from lightweight cardstock (actually I used scraps of computer, matte presentation paper). The rounds were stacked, evenly, together using glue stick. The piece was painted to resemble wood by antiquing a base coat of golden brown with a brown antiquing gel.
A 3/8” diameter round Woodsie was painted red and then glued, centered on the prepared ½” round.
When your tree is complete you will want to drill a hole in center of this piece to hold the tree trunk.
As you are working on the base do keep checking to make sure your dome will fit snuggly over and on it.
The tree is cut from a chenille stem. I like to use bump chenille because the shape is already partially formed. Choose a nice fluffy stem. Keeping in mind the size of your dome, both height and fullness and trying on as needed, cut and trim the stem into a tree to fit into your chosen dome….make sure to leave room for a star at the top. Before you start giving the chenille a “haircut” look at the stem closely and you should notice that the twist of the wire causes the chenille to flow in one way. Making sure the chenille runs downward from the top of the tree will make a better looking finished product. Use wire cutters to cut a piece of the stem slightly longer that you need so you have something to hold onto while trimming.
Once you have the desired size, paint the tree with green acrylic craft paint, trying to cover the wire as much as possible. Before the paint has set, use a larger, stiff bristled brush and a dabbing motion to remove excess paint and separate “branches”. The painting will give you a more realistic looking tree. Paint the trunk brown.If you have not drilled a hole in your base do so now. Cut the tree trunk so the tree branches sit almost on the base. Insert trunk in hole with a bit of glue to hold in place
DECORATING THE TREE
To make the decorating easier, I suggest you use some sticky wax to hold the bottom of the base to something that will make it sit at eye level and that you can turn with ease….a paint or glue bottle?
Start with the star on top. I used the tiniest of gold stars that are either stickers or nail stickers. Some paper punches have multiple stars that include very tiny ones. You can punch them out of gold foil paper. Use two stars, glued back to back. Use the tiniest dab of Crafter’s Pick Tacky glue to adhere the star to the very top of the tree.
Next use either metallic gold sewing thread or shredded gold cording for garland. Start the garland at the very top with a dab of glue and then spiral it around the tree until it pleases you. Hold the end with glue and snip off excess garland.
Glue no-hole beads in one or more colors all around the tree. Hint: Pour a few beads on a saucer-like piece for easy access. Put some tacky glue on your left thumb nail. Use one end of a round tooth pick to apply the tiniest of dab of glue to the tree. Using the other end of the toothpick immediately slightly dampen it on the tip of your tongue and use it to pick up a bead and apply it to the glue on the tree.
You will probably come up with variations of decorating ideas for your tree…if you do, let us know your ideas.
“O Christmas Tree, O Christmas, Tree,
How Lovely Are Your Branches”
Well, our tree is up and I must say, it does look lovely. My daughter and I spent hours hand-cutting paper snowflakes. Each one is different from the others. I love their stark whiteness against the green of the tree. Now to finish the gift shopping!!!