Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Easy Christmas Decorating Ideas: Ornament-Covered Tree

I bought a cardboard cone from Michael’s in November with plans to make some kind of tree out of it. I determined late in the game that I wanted to make an ornament tree, and am slightly ashamed to say that I didn’t finish this process until Saturday. At least it’s done and sitting beautifully on my coffee table in time for Christmas.

After waiting too long to determine that I wanted to cover the cone in glass ball ornaments, I ended up going to multiple places looking for mini glass ball ornaments to make the tree. I ended up snagging some small ornaments from Michael’s, some from Target, and some from Merrifield Garden Center, a local nursery that has a beautiful Christmas shop in season. At first, I was just going to do red, silver, green, and white. After purchasing ornaments in these colors, I called an audible and decided to add some color to my tree. This process resulted in an ornament assortment of different colors and sizes.

First, I prepped the cone by painting it with silver acrylic paint, which was only about $1 from Michael’s. I applied the paint with a foam paint brush and let the paint dry overnight.

First, I removed the “crowns” of the ornaments, which are the little metal pieces at the top that hold the metal loop on the ornament. You can usually just pull these right off. Be a little careful because the ends of the metal loop are compressed into the ornament and will expand when you pull it out of the ornament. I only removed the crowns two or three ornaments at a time because I didn’t know how many ornaments I would be using for this project.

I used a glue gun to attach the ornaments to the cone. For the first row, I picked two different sizes and alternated them around the bottom of the cone. To attach the ornaments, I put glue around the surface that the crown was attached to and held it to the cardboard cone until the glue solidified enough to hold the ornament on.

On the second row, I tried to alternate sizes, but wasn’t quite able to stick to that pattern. I made an effort to place ornaments so that I created as few gaps in ornaments as possible, but that wasn’t always doable, so the tree did have some gaps. I kept going around the tree, attempting to vary size, color, and texture of ornaments close together. To make some ornaments closer together or fit better, I glue the side or the ornament directly to the cone, rather than using the end of the ornament. I also glued some smaller ornaments to each other rather than to the cardboard cone.

This process proved to be a lengthy one, and took the better part of an entire evening. I have to admit, I was a little discouraged when I was only part way through this process.

I kept plugging along, being mindful of which colors I was using most frequently and which ornaments I needed to conserve.  As I neared the top, I paid close attention to the way ornaments were fitting. Once I got to the top, I clustered ornaments to eliminate as many gaps as possible.

After covering the tree with ornaments, I used the same silver beads that I used in my tree-topper to cover large gaps between ornaments on the tree. This actually added another dimension to the tree.

To make this project, I used a ton of mini ornaments, which included about 34  larger ornaments and many more small ones. If you wanted the tree to have a more uniform look, you should choose two different sized ornaments and stick to them. I ended up using four different sizes altogether.

I’m quite happy with the festive finished product!

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