All my life I grew up with a fake tree. An OLD fake tree that lived in several huge boxes in the basement that was lugged upstairs once a year, assembled and decorated. It was a family tradition and all we ever knew of Christmas trees. I loved it and never thought much about a real tree. A fake tree just seems so practical and economical and easy, and traditional (for us).
This year, Yuki will be 16 months old at Christmas. She doesn’t understand what’s going on or what presents are and she certainly doesn’t know anything about Christmas trees. I thought it would be unnecessary to get a tree in our tiny home and our small child would for sure would terrorize, climb, pull, and break any tree or decorations she could reach. But Hideko thought it would be nice, so when I was at the store and saw these tiny 3-4′ trees I couldn’t resist but get one as a surprise.
After I bought it I kind of freaked out. I don’t know anything about real trees! Do I need to put it in water? Does it need a stand? Well, thank goodness for the internet! I got all my questions answered and I think we did alright.
After I brought it home and unwrapped it (it was all tied up in a bundle when I bought it), I realized that it was a bit of a Charlie Brown tree. The top half was a bit sparse 😦 It sat in our living room for over a week with no ornaments or lights or anything. Yuki was intrigued by it, but she was gentle. She didn’t try and rip off all the needles or knock it over like I thought she would. We kept meaning to go out and buy ornaments, but we never had the time, so one day Yuki found my bag of holiday cookie cutters and started placing them all over the tree! So creative! She’s a little Martha Stewart in the making 🙂
And so our tree stayed like this for a week or so. Yuki would occasionally take the cookie cutters off and put them back on. It was a fun game for her.
Finally, 2 days ago, I went out and bought some lights. There was something so magical about turning the lights on! More like nostalgic. I was suddenly very glad that I gave in to having a tree in the end. This tree is the only sign of Christmas in our entire apartment!
I made a super fast fleece star and used fabric paint to add some glitter. This was just a place holder until we found one that we really like. Since then, one of my students gave me a Christmas ornament that was a beautiful glittery star (snowflake?) and it’s much too big and heavy for our little baby tree, so I used some wire to attach it to the top. I took the cookie cutters off (sorry Yuki) and had her help me decorate with some handmade and vintage ornaments from our friend, Sanjai. Our tree was almost done!
The only thing that was left to be done was the tree skirt. This project took longer than I thought it would (as almost all of my projects do!), but I’m really pleased with the way it came out!
I had this huge piece of dark gray craft felt that I bought for another project, but never used. I knew I wanted to use it up and it was the perfect size. It was a bit dark though, so I planned on accenting it with white snowflakes or stars or something. I’m a bit obsessed with snowflakes (considering I live in a place where it NEVER snows), so those won out. I found this tutorial online for a cute snowflake stocking and used it to make my tree skirt snowflakes. Here’s how I did it:
First I cut my main fabric (the gray felt) into a large square, about the size I wanted the finished skirt to be. I folded it in half and then in half again, so it was a square. Then I cut the fabric in an arc, from one edge to the other. If you want to be precise, you can measure from the corner to the edge (which is your radius) and measure and mark (with chalk or pins) the same distance around until you get to the other edge. Sorry, I didn’t photograph this part, I hope it makes sense. I also cut a quarter circle from the corner for the center of the skirt.
This is when the fabric was still folded in fourths, after cutting:When you unfold it, it should look like this. I cut a straight line from the outer edge to the inner circle for an opening.I wanted to make a scalloped border, so I took some white fleece and cut it into 2″ strips. I had to cut about 5 strips and sew them together to make it long enough to go around the outer edge of the circle.
I used a round cap to make the scalloped design and then cut it out.
I lined the straight edge of the scalloped border with the outside edge of the skirt and zig zag stitched them together all the way around. Then I considered top stitching the scallops down for some nice detail, but after realizing it would take too long and be really hard to make it look nice, I opted for some fabric glue 🙂
Now for the snowflakes! The post I mentioned earlier has some templates for snowflakes that I printed out. I traced them onto white felt.
I used my machine to sew along the lines.
The most time consuming part of this project was cutting out the snowflakes, but I just turned on a movie and cut away!
Finally I glued them on with some fabric glue and I was done!
The best part about this project was that I already had all the felt, fleece and glue, so I didn’t have to buy anything extra.
Now all we need are some presents!! Yikes, I better get started on that :[ And I want to make a stocking for Yuki too!
If only this little elf would stop sneaking cookie cutters onto our tree!! 😛
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