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patterned trees

by Grace Bonney


when it starts to turn colder i start to think of the hardy plants that stick around for the long haul. pine trees are such an iconic symbol of winter and the holidays. when i was thinking of this design i knew i wanted to use up some leftover patterned paper i had in my studio and a cardboard box that would have gone to recycling. it’s so satisfying to make something out of scraps that otherwise may have been tossed.

what you will need:

cardboard
patterned paper (news print or magazine pages would work too)
a strong scissor
mod podge
hot glue gun
hot glue sticks
poly-crylic
paintbrush
imitation gold & silver leaf (*optional)
size (adhesive for the metallic leaf)

1) cut out your pieces of cardboard and cover with paper and metallic
leaf (*optional). you need to paint both the front and back of the
paper with the mod podge(back first). lay back side down onto
cardboard and apply the top coat. i also made some gold and silver
sheets of cardboard. imitation leaf is cheaper than the real thing and
is really easy to use. once you start covering things you won’t be
able to stop. (besides who doesn’t love a little sparkle?) paint on
the size and let dry than take your leaf and brush the sheet on like
you are applying wallpaper. you will need to coat the leaf in
poly-crylic so it does not flake off.

2) make your tree stumps. cut out three strips (in varying lengths and
widths) of cardboard and roll into a stump. dab some hot glue on the
edge, press down firmly and hold to dry.

3) make cone shapes. test it to make sure it fits over your tree
stump. roll cardboard into a cone shape, cut off excess and glue into
place.

4) i cut my covered cardboard into long triangle shapes. start gluing
onto the cone shape until you feel satisfied with your tree top shape
and pattern. curl some of the triangle pieces up at the bottom.

5) finally place the tree top’s over trunk’s and poof! you have a mini
patterned forest of pine trees. there could be so many variations to
this. maybe just cardboard & metallic leaf. or teardrop shapes instead
of triangles.

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