Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

November 27, 2010

They're Baaack! Tulle Christmas Trees!

I hinted last week about a special Christmas project I was making for my sister's birthday. As much as I love to craft, I didn't inherit any sewing skills from my talented mother. Please be kind. As a bonus, you even get to see a few pictures of myself and my little sis.

Here goes...

Growing up in the 70s, we had a tulle/netting Christmas tree that came out every year to decorate my shared bedroom.

(note the tree in the foreground of our tea party)

They are a tad bit tacky, but when I saw one recently at my favorite antique store, I knew it needed to come home with me so that I could take a closer look and make one for my sister's upcoming birthday. My tulle Christmas tree instructions came from this website.

4 yards of netting or tulle (I didn't use all of it, but it was close)
1 dowel 12 inches tall (you could buy 18 inch rod to have a taller tree)
1 Styrofoam circle base
hot glue
small ornaments
white crochet thread, needle and white paint

1. Make a hole in the Styrofoam base and insert dowel rod with hot glue. Let dry.
2. Paint the dowel rod white and let dry.

3. Cut two pieces of nylon net, each 12 inches wide and 72 inches long. Fold in half so that the net measures 6 inches wide and 72 inches long. Thread your needle with an 80-inch piece of crochet thread. Tie a knot in a piece of crochet thread, leaving a tail of about 3 inches on the end.

4. Baste the two sides together 1/4-inch above the fold. Once the net is basted, gather the fabric as tightly as possible so that the net forms a donut shape. Tie the two thread ends together to keep the net in a tight circle. Use the hole in the middle of the net circle to slide it on to the dowel. Repeat with the second piece of 72-inch by 12-inch fabric.

5. Make the next two layers 11 inches wide by 72 inches long. Repeat the same process of folding, basting and gathering. Reduce each subsequent pair of layers by 1/2 inch. The final two layers should be 1/2 wide by 72 inches long.

6. Use your fingers to fluff the layers of fabric into the desired shape. I then used glitter glue on the edges of the tulle. The whole time I was making the tree, it reminded me of a ballet skirt. You really could turn this into a darling tulle tree with pastel flowers and other romantic items.

7. I finished the tree by sewing tiny bead ornaments to the tulle and attaching a vintage angel to the top of the tree.

* This craft was a stretch for me. Threading a needle completely takes me out of my comfort zone. I almost hate to admit how many phone calls I made to my mother during this project. It's really not hard, I'm just a sewing wimp.

Happy Birthday, little sis!
I hope you love your tulle tree!!


Courtney said...

I am sure she loved the tree. What a special gift you made for her. I am with you, sewing on a button almost takes me out of my comfort zone!

Jodi said...

Love it! I have a bunch of Tulle - I may have to make one!

La Vie Quotidienne said...

Oh I remember these...I had completely forgotten about them. Yours certainly is pretty!

Donna said...

Your tree turned out great! Love the picture of you and your sister when you were little! And that little angel you used as a topper is so cute! I'm not much of a sewer myself, just to reattach a button is a big deal for me!!

Karin said...

That is so sweet! I am a sucker for nostalgia. I bet your sister loved her tulle tree. :)

Jodee said...

That turned out sooo cute! Have you seen this post:

Life in Rehab said...

You did great on this! It turned out really cute, and tacky? Not in the least. Extremely nostalgic is more like it.

AuntieSherry said...

I plan on making some of them and I thought I was the only one that remembers them..tee hee

I'm older and my memories are from the 60's(early 60's) My mother went to a sewing club (where they darn more men than socks) and every so often I went with her. I was 14'sh. We made a slew of them and sold them-which I plan to do if I can remember the details a bit better.

Mine look different than yours. But basically the same tools. Although we could buy the dowels and a square piece of wood that already had a whole insert for the dowel rod-guess the world was making them at the time

Yours is kool too
I guess you can find anything on the internet, hey!!

Jojo said...

I love your instructions and thank you for sharing.
I made these but used cone shaped Styrofoam and they came out beautiful. Thank you very much.

Jojo said...

I love your instructions and thank you for sharing.
I made these but used cone shaped Styrofoam and they came out beautiful. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

171I made one of these when I was a little girl with my Aunt. She did them with her Brownie troop. I used it every year even when I got married. Love it. Giving directions to my daughter for her brownie troop.

Anni Rose said...

I remember these!!! Only instead of a dowel my Mom used a candle in the center!!! This looks so much easier!!! I have been looking for this pattern for I don't know how long and just happened upon it now. Thank you for sharing this post!!!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU!!! I started a tulle tree 2 years ago for my older and lost my directions. What a find!! We remember our Mom making them for us as youngsters and now we can continue the tradition. I'm VERY excited.

Anonymous said...

I have made several of these trees, but I used my sewing machine -- works sooooo much better.

Unknown said...

I made this tree back in high school. Instead of sewing the pieces we gather it together and tied with strong. Then feed the string over the top of the dowel and pushed the tulle down. No sewing required.