Thursday, December 16, 2010

414 Up-cycled T-shirt Christmas Tree

I blame it on the cleaning. I cleared off the dining room table and the buffet. How could so many bare surfaces not prompt me to decorate?! The buffet would be the perfect place for a mini-tree. So, off I go in search of the three foot tree I bought when Katie was a wee one so I could place it on something out of her reach. I completely do not remember throwing it out, but obviously I did. (SEE ... I am not a hoarder)
So, what is a broke girl to do? An empty surface and no tree??!! Do you hear me? I was treeless!
While looking for my missing tree I ran across a pile of wire hangers. We have a ton after the fire. The cleaners returned so many things on those hangers. We also had several of the hardcore, heavy duty hangers they use for drapes and comforters.
And my mind started racing.
And I had a bunch of pre-cut strips leftover from the upcycled t-shirt rose wreath I made a little while back.
Hmmmm ... what could I do with those things??
I needed a base, so I started looking around. I found a couple beverage trays leftover from my glamorous life as a casino cocktail waitress (shhh, that doesn't make me a hoarder). Ignore the stains, it was as clean as it could be and disinfected.
I started off by cutting off the hanger ... of the hanger....
These were really thick hangers, and it took a good bit off muscle to clip through it. A few hangers in I realized I could just score around the wire really good and it would snap pretty easily with a bend.
Then straightening them out the best I could.
Grab an end with the regular pliers and turn it up into a U.
(well, mine needed a U to hook under the lip of the tray)
I didn't take enough pictures, but I cut a circle of felt a few inches bigger than the tray. One, I needed something to protect the surface of the buffet from scratches. Two, I needed something to help hold the wires in place. I used hot glue but it wasn't sticking wonderfully to the surface, but with the felt added it is SOLID.
Working in small increments, I squirted a bead of hot glue around the tray, pulling up the felt and tucking it around the wires. Looks good and messy, doesn't it?
Once I got all of the wires fixed in place I pulled them together at the top ... rather like an Indian teepee. I am totally professional, so I did not wrap a hair elastic around the wires and cover with hot glue ... of course I didn't!
You will also want to put a circle of felt on the other side of the tray. I didn't at first, but quickly realized that there would be gaps when I started weaving the strips of t-shirt material.
I started by tying several strips together. I liked the knot nubs sticking out, reminded me of lights or ornaments. Strips are one to two inches thick, as long as the shirt was wide. Although I cut those in half lengthwise toward the top.Dab a spot of hot glue to secure the end and begin to circle around. I would go over and then back around each wire, to secure I squirted a dot of hot glue BEFORE I went over the first time. This next pic gives a better idea of what I am talking about. Around and around and around .....
I wasn't pulling tight, but apparently the wires thought I was because it got really skinny ... It looks more like an upcycled t-shirt Eiffel Tower at this point. Hubby said it was very Whoville.I made a wonky star, with a little pocket that would slide over the treetop, out of felt.
Then I decided that I should cut off the top foot of my tree. Or, my husband should cut it off :) My hands were still sore from snipping wire last night. Of course it looks lonely sitting on the buffet by itself ....

Funky Junk Interiors


shopannies said...

how very cute I love rag dolls and this tree would be so pretty in the room with my dolls thanks for sharing this great idea