Updated: Jun 2, 2022
My prayer as I worked to create this Felt Christmas Tree and Ornaments for my granddaughter was that I was creating a family heirloom that will entertain and bless little ones in our family line for years to come. Felt became my friend as I created and engineered, with E6000 Glue, and monofilament thread close behind. I share my creation in hopes you might put a project like it on your ‘To Do’ List. Perhaps not for this year, but for next?
Inspiration from Pinterest
Honestly, I had found the picture below well before last Christmas and had every intention of creating it for our new granddaughter then. My friend, Dale, was correct in saying it would be better for her this year and I do believe she was correct – as my grandbaby is now 16 months old rather than 4 months as at last Christmas!
One big difference is how the pieces ‘attach’. I put the hook side of Velcro (hook n’ loop tape) on the back of each piece, while on the inspiration project, a loop was stitched to the pieces that the child has to secure around a button on the tree. I felt that was a bit difficult. Besides, I didn’t want to sew on buttons on the tree. I also feel that with my technique, it allows for more original ‘play’ and placement by the child.
Engineering a Stable, Collapsible Tree
Since my daughter and her family have some mobile years in their future, I definitely wanted this project to be ‘collapsible’ for easier storage. I do believe I managed that, as you can see it all comes apart and folds up into a bag made of 1 yard of cotton Christmas print fabric. I started with a 48″ x 24″ sheet of 3/4″ foam from JoAnn’s. I did look up online how to create a cone – and followed those directions as found on YouTube. Basically, the height of the tree is the radius of a circle. The arc drawn is the base of the tree, and the center point is the tree’s top. I found that my 45mm rotary cutter easily cut the foam.
It was easy to realize that the foam would need ‘strength’ or some ‘bones’ in order to allow for the tree to ‘stand up’ to play. My first thought was that cardboard strips would work. I used a hot glue gun to apply long strips of Velcro to both the foam and the cardboard strips. This did NOT work. I realized I needed some ‘bones’ that would add more stability. I also realized that the hot glue gun was NOT going to be strong enough for the task. My visit to Ace Hardware – the helpful hardware place’ yielded 5 yardsticks at $.50 each in my eager hands. It was easy to tear the Velcro off the cardboard strips, and re-glue them to yardsticks that I cut as you see in the photos below.
I also decided to number the wooden sticks and the velcro spots for ease of putting together. I admitted to hubby this morning, that SOMEHOW I wasn’t consistent in which side of the Velcro went on which piece…to which his (accountant) brain seemed unimagineable. Yet – to my creative, inconsistent brain, totally understandable.
Tiers of Felt
Looking closely at the inspiration photo, it appeared there were zigzag tiers of green felt on the tree – so I did that as well. Buy several yards of green felt to accomplish all this! You can see my freelance ‘design pattern’ below at the left and the result at the right.
Back Tree Seam
I would recommend leaving a good 3″ of excess felt on both ‘ends’ of the tree. That way, it would be easy to glue it around the depth of the foam. All you’d have to do is to add a strip of the hook side of Velcro to one side, and that would ‘stick’ it together. You can see by the photos below, that you get the benefit of my struggle. A long piece of felt with hook Velcro to the back covers up my ‘messy’ back seam.