Tuesday, December 11, 2012


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


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!!!


Saturday, December 1, 2012


This Candy Wreath is meant to be hung indoors.  It has scissors hanging from a ribbon that allows children to snip off a tasty treat, which it desired, can act as a pseudo count-down to Christmas.  For years a charitable group that I belonged to made of these in life- size.  The wrapped candy was wired onto a wire coat hanger that had been shaped into a round, the hanger part left intact.  They brought smiles to the face's of many children. 
For miniatures, this wreath would make a lovely and different holiday exchange gift.  They can be hung in different rooms in a house, help fill the walls in a Holiday Shoppe, become part of Mrs. Claus’s kitchen, or simply a fun addition to your miniature collection.


Use tiny, approx.1/16” to 3/32” diameter round beads in assorted colors for candy balls.  If desired, balls may be formed of Fimo. 
The beads are wrapped in cellophane (the type use to wrap full-sized candies, such as sour balls….the easiest way to obtain a batch of colored cellophane for this project is to purchase a full sized bag of candy…treat yourself to the candy and save the wrappers).  Wrap the plain colored beads in matching color cellophane.  Or for a different look, use candy-striped beads.  I have some (as pictured) in my bead collection that came pre-strung and have used them for years in various ways.  You may create your own by fitting a plain bead on the end of a toothpick and drawing lines on it with a fine-tipped permanent marker pen.  Wrap these “candies” in clear cellophane so the stripes will show.

Cut small pieces of the cellophane, center a bead on it wrap it around, and then twist the ends tightly next to the bead.  Start with a piece of cellophane larger than needed and trim the ends after twisting.  Set prepared candies aside.

Use a circle template to design a wreath of desired size or make copies of the printie herein.  The outside of the wreath, as seen, has a 1” diam. and the inside cutout has a 9/16” diam.  Make a paper wreath & cut out.  Clip the paper wreath under a piece of clear, thin, plastic sheeting (like one finds on bubble wrap or other packaging found on many purchased items…a quick look in your cupboards should come up with many options).  Use the paper cutout as a guide for cutting one from the plastic sheeting.  You may have round paper punches in your supplies that can be used to cut the wreath base in place of scissors.  Your candy will be glued to the plastic wreath.

Cut an approx. 2 ½” square piece of matboard (or any cardboard).  Draw or glue a wreath of the size you are creating on the center of the board…this will act as a guide.  Cover the prepared board smoothly with clear plastic wrap. Taping ends to back.  Place the plastic wreath over the wreath on the board; static may hold the piece in place but if not use a couple of tiny dots of tacky glue to hold.

Smooth on a layer of tacky glue on the plastic wreath.   Using tweezers pick up wrapped candies , dip in a tiny bit of glue and press onto wreath.  After the first layer is on add a second layer and then fill in as needed to fill in any bare spots and to form a full shape.  Make sure to distribute the colors fairly evenly over the wreath.
Let the glue dry completely before removing it from the board.  

To create the scissors, start by making a printie onto matte presentation paper.  Carefully cut out the two sides of the scissors.  Paint the blades metallic silver with nail polish, paint, or pencil.  Color the blades red, green, or black with nail polish or glossy enamel.  Do both sides and use tweezers to hold.  Glue one completed side over the other, leaving them slightly open.  A black fine-tipped, permanent marker pen may be used to create the illusion of the screw holding the two pieces together.


You may add the ribbon trim with scissors while the glue is drying.  Create the bow, your choice of color, of narrow ribbon, preferably silk.  Cut a length of ribbon that will it from the back of the top of the wreath to off the bottom taking into consideration that the end will be wrapped around the scissors.  Glue one end to the back of the bow.  Glue the bow in place on the wreath.  Loop the other end around one of the finger holes in the scissors, so the scissors are just below the wreath, and glue to hold.


I will  be  back  with  more  Holiday D.I.Y goodies,  as  time  permits  so be sure to check back often.
Wishing  you  a stress-free  pre-holiday season,