Happy Thanksgiving!!! Oh wait…that’s right the holiday season is over…hmm. Well so is this project, how convenient.
I wanted to try really hard and hold off posting this project until next November, but I can’t do that, I need to abolish as many free radicals as I can, this blog post being one of them. However, this tree can be modified and used in many different ways. It could be a thankful tree for Thanksgiving, a countdown to spring tree, a days of the month tree, a goal tree, anything really, options limitless.
This project is a lot of fun and a lot of work. Fair warning. Here is a picture of the completed project, I made it a little too big, I was making it up as I went, winging it, measuring for potential, going for…well you get the idea.
Here is what you will need for this project:
Lots and lots of felt in many different colors, lots of the small 8 x 11 rectangle sheets and one yard each of two different colors of big felt, (we got two yards each, but really you only need one), tacky glue, needle, sewing floss in any color, scissors, velcro (only the super stick side), sharpie and some patience.
1. Lay out the background color or big felt. The measurements should be around 70 inches by 36 inches. A big rectangle. Adjust and cut down to the size you prefer. (Mistake time! I really would have done half the above size. I just kept it at a yard, but I think a half yard by 36 inches would have been better.)
2. Lay out your tree color and cut it the same size or slightly smaller than the size of your background color.
This is a picture of our tree color uncut, so monstrous, I apologize for lack of measurements, but this is 2 yards of 70+ inch wide felt. We just cut it down that line in the center. Our ending size was around 72 inches by 36 inches.
3. Using your best drawing skills, free hand what you think a tree might look like. Unless you have any art talent, unlike me, I find it is best to just jump in the deep end and start swimming. In other words, even if you have absolutely no idea what you are doing, like me, it is okay to just do it. Have faith and confidence that it will look like a tree and it will.
4. Get your little helper and start cutting!
5. Lay out your tree on top of your background and adjust as needed. This may mean trimming some branches.
6. Start gluing down the tree. You may glue down more than I did, I only glued slightly because of the next, optional step.
7. Pin the tree. (optional).
8. Sew the tree down to the felt. (optional). (You can do this if you have a sewing machine, but more glue would work just fine too).
9. Once the tree is firmly set on the background, roll it up and set it aside.
10. Go to the internets! Hello internets!!! Tell it you need leaves. I would look for leaf coloring pages and cut and paste as needed and print them off, to a good size that would work for your tree. We used five different varieties.
11. Get your little snug bug and let her cut away! It is cowgirl cuttin’ time!
12. Lay out your leaves onto a piece of felt and trace over them. The tracing works best with a sharpie.
13. Take a second piece of felt and flip the leaves over and trace them. You want the leaves to be able to sandwich together with the sharpie part on the inside.
Of course try to fit as many leaves as you can onto the felt. We did a bunch of sheets with only five leaves and then I figured out how to put six on there. It made me happy. We had a lot of leaves to cut out.
14. Repeat steps 12 and 13 until you have as many leaves as you need. We needed 31, one for each day of November.
15. Cut out numbers, however many you need, again we needed 1-31 and glue them onto the leaves. You can trace or write or free hand cut the numbers. I did free hand and they turned out fine.
16. Take a small square of velcro and glue it on the back of the leaf. Glue should work just fine, I sewed mine, I have no idea why I sewed 31 little squares onto leaves. I confuse even myself on the best days.
17. Now you have a happy little leaf ready to be put together.
18. (optional) Take some colored floss, sewing not dental, and a needle and add some pretty stitches around the numbers. It in no way helps the function of the product, it just enhances it and makes it look pretty.
19. Adhere the two sides of the leaf together. You can use glue again, or a sewing machine, or if you have time and talent you can use more floss and stitch the sides.
19-2. Mistake Time!! When sewing the two sides together, you should double-check to make sure the velcro is on the outside of the leaf.
20. Once your leaf pocket is complete you can put a little note or treat or whatever into it. This is our first note of thanks, Snug had been thinking about it for days and this is what she came up with; “Snug is thankful for her skeleton pajamas and slippers.”
I worried for a couple of days about her placing so much importance on items, but her thankful notes got better or more significant as the leaves wore on. Not that skeleton pajamas aren’t pretty cool or something we shouldn’t be thankful for, I was just trying to get her to see a bigger picture.
21. Go ahead and stick that leaf on the tree!
It looks wonderful and stays very well, thanks to the velcro.
22. Repeat steps, 15 through 20 until you have all the leaves you need. If at one point your table looks like this, you are going great!
Or so you think. In you mass assembly of leaves don’t make my mistake, one of these is supposed to be 19. The one on the right to be exact. I have no idea how this happened and I didn’t even realize it until I was already done stitching another 6. Whoops. Let’s see if we can fix this.
Nope, there is no fixing that. Maybe next year.
Snug had a wonderful time putting the leaves on the tree.
You could do them in number order or by color, by leave shape, by even numbers, by thankful category. Again and as always the options are fairly limitless.
23. Once you are done categorizing your leaves, take a strip of felt any color. Snug chose bright green. You can glue this, but depending on the weight of your tree with all the leaves, I would/did sew it. We did three tag type hooks. However, you could do more and get a wooden dowel to hang the tags on. That would be nice.
Here is a view of the back.
24. Hang and admire!