Sunday 27 November 2011

Felt and Bead Christmas Tree Decoration Tutorial

This idea and tutorial owes a great deal to Karen Jinks and the UK Handmade magazine (Winter Issue 2011).  There you will find a wonderful tutorial for a pine tree Christmas decoration.

Each year, at my work (which is an after-school club for children aged 4 to 11) the children make Christmas tree decorations.  I introduced sewing to the club with great success as the children are full of enthusiasm and great ideas.  Last year we made felt Christmas trees  and baubles with sewn on beads.  As we have many of the same children, I wanted something a little different.  I also have to think that this is something that has to be made by 4 year olds as well as the older children.

I saw the felt pine cone decoration and it stuck in my head.  But the thought of having to cut out all those flower shapes did fill me with dread.  So what could I think of to make a simpler but effective decoration?  And so this is is - the felt Christmas Tree decoration.  And if you go look at the pine cone decoration, you will see how much debt I am in to Karen for this.

I enlisted the help of my daughter to make this. Isn't it interesting how difficult it is for children to find the middle of something?  Still her tree turned out better than my try.


About 7 triangles of felt. Each one will be slightly bigger than the one before (it doesn't have to be green - there are lovely felt colours out there and also many homes now have pink or red or black trees)
One large bead or bell (the bell I have used is a bit bigger than I wanted but it is the only size they had in my local shop)
Embroidery thread
Needle to thread

Thread your choice of embroidery thread through the bell (or bead) and then thread both ends through the needle again.

Thread through the middle of the largest triangle.

Then thread your choice of bead on top.

Continue in this way until you have threaded all the triangles and beads on.

Finish with a bead on top. Then knot the thread so you can hang it on the tree.

Thank you Mary.

Mary couldn't wait to hang it on her Christmas tree.

I tired a version using triangles cut out with my pinking shears.

And at the bottom I used a big bead from a necklace I had cut up.

I am looking forward to the children at my work trying it out.  I will try and get a photo of their creations for you to see.

And if you make any then please let me know.

Don't forget to check out the original pine cone decoration at the UK Handmade magazine.  UK Handmade is a great place for UK based artists, designers and makers to get help, meet others and promote their works. So go and look here


Heather Leavers said...

What a great idea! don't tell anyone, but I prefer yours to the original pine cone, too fiddly for me, too. I shall pass this on to my daughter, she's teacher-training right now and will be building up a stock of resources.

Sarah Burgis Robinson said...

What a wonderful idea, thank you.I am sure there are many other adaptations too, can't wait to get snipping. :-)

Bigbluebed said...

Thank you xx

If anyone does make one I would love to see a photo.

I have the children at work making them now.