Due to several email requests, I thought I'd give you a quick tutorial for how I made my felt toddler Christmas Tree that I mentioned in my post on Fun and Unique Christmas Traditions.
But first, I wanted to express my gratitude for day #8. Today I'm grateful for prayer. I try to be the best mother I can be, but ultimately I rarely know what I am doing. I'm grateful for the times that I have been humble enough to petition God for his help and guidance.
Last night was one of those nights. We had spent the day over the mountain and didn't get back home until 1 AM. My toddler had a horrible cough and I realized by the time we got home that I had left her vapor rub at Grandma's. It was too late and I was too tired to go to the store. I had a feeling she wasn't going to sleep and I was exhausted at this point. I laid her in her crib and then said one of those desperate “motherly” prayers. The prayer that goes something like this, “I don't have what I need to help her to stop coughing. I'm so tired. Please watch over my child tonight. I know you can help her. Please help us both to get the rest we need tonight. Please bless her small body and help her coughing to subside so that she can sleep.”
I ended my prayer and then we both slept soundly. Something so simple, but so meaningful to me that God cares about those prayers!
And that's what I'm grateful for today 🙂
Now for the tutorial…
Felt Toddler Christmas Tree Tutorial
*Note for the entrepreneurs out there: Before making this I searched online for a Christmas-tree-decorating toy. I would have loved to just purchased something like this, but this Christmas creativity kit was all I could find: Cute, but not exactly good for toddlers. This would be an awesome toy that I think a lot of moms would enjoy if it were affordable. Someone please mass-produce it!
(Melissa and Doug: hint, hint..I'm talking to YOU).
I have seen the felt trees that some people have put on their walls, but I wanted something a little more sturdy and I didn't want it on my wall. So I bought this 28-inch construction cone for the base. It ended up being perfect!
Here's a basic how-to:
Quick note: felt sticks to flannel. I used flannel for the actual tree, and felt for the ornaments.
1. I measured the circumference of the top of my cone, and the bottom of my cone. I then added several inches just to be safe (about 7-10 extra inches). You can always cut extra fabric away, but you can't add more after you have cut 🙂 All you Geometry whizzes out there–don't laugh! I looked up how to measure fabric for a cone shape and it made my brain hurt. This worked just fine:
2. Next, I pinned the fabric around my construction cone so that I knew where to cut the fabric for real (I sewed my seam first and then cut off all the excess fabric). I also measured the bottom of the cone so that I knew how big to make my brown square. Measure the widest part of the cone to know how big of a circle you need to cut out.
3. Sew the brown part to the cone-shaped tree. The best part about this is you don't have to know much about sewing. If you can sew a simple seam you are good to go! It doesn't even matter if it's straight for this part, because your leaves will be covering the seam. For those that have zero sewing experience: You can probably just hot glue the fabric to the cone, but I wanted it to be removable so that I could store the cone in the garage after Christmas, and store the material with my Christmas items.
4. Cut out a bunch of triangles and glue them to your tree starting at the bottom, and moving your way up! I recommend BIG triangles to save you time 🙂 gradually make them smaller in size as you get higher.
I glued looped pieces of ribbon under some of the leaves into random spots because I wanted to be able to attach fun links (for garland) or toys, etc.
I then sewed on buttons for hanging ornaments.
The Wooden Ornaments: They look like this, but don't buy them online. You can find them at most craft stores (I got mine at Walmart).
Round Felt Ornaments: These I made on the computer, printed them onto T-shirt transfers, and then ironed them onto white felt. If you have some fun-colored fabric, you could just cut it out and use heat-n-bond to iron it onto felt.
If you'd like to print the same ornaments I used, find them here:
Tradition behind the “Toddler Tree”: Wrap up a children's book for each night in December (they can be all Christmas-related, or you can also mix them up with some silly books as well as some books that teach morals). Let your kids unwrap a book to read each night. They can be new ones, or ones you already own. Hopefully this distracts them from playing with the real tree 🙂
Did any of that make sense?
Has anyone else made a Christmas tradition of setting up a toddler tree?