This project is not for the crafty faint of heart. It took me about a week to complete, mostly because I had to work around a toddler’s nap schedule and my work schedule. In the end, I would definitely do it all again. I know this will be one decoration I will treasure forever.
- bottle brush trees (I ordered mine from Amazon)
- spray adhesive
- paint brush
- extra fine glitter
- white acrylic paint
- wood board (I used a “hobby board” from Home Depot)
- spray Mod Podge
- hot glue gun
- regular Mod Podge
- white glitter/Diamond Dust
I didn’t take photos of the first step because its pretty self explanatory. I took the “hobby board” and sanded the edges with fine sandpaper. Then, I gave it 2 coats of white acrylic paint and let it dry while I did the next step.
This is what the trees looked like to start. Adorable, yes. But I wanted mine to SPARKLE!
Here are the trees after their bleach bath. I wasn’t exact and didn’t measure out the ratio, but it was approximately 2/3 bleach to 1/3 water. I wanted them to bleach quickly. I let them soak while every so often working the bleach into the bristles gently. Make sure you wear gloves. Once they got to an almost white color (I knew they would be covered in glitter, so I didn’t mind if they didn’t get totally white) I rinsed them well under hot water and then gave them another soap and water bath. I let mine dry overnight (since I didn’t finish them until about 8:00 PM). Make sure they are completely dry before moving on.
If you’re lucky enough to live in a warm climate, you’re going to want to do this next step outdoors. I, on the other hand, had to cover my carpet with layers of newspaper and crack open the patio door to let out the fumes. Grab your spray adhesive and, working with one tree at a time, spray it making sure to get into all of the bristles.
Immediately after spraying, grab your glitter and sprinkle it very generously on the tree. If it doesn’t seem to grab in a certain spot, respray with a little adhesive and sprinkle with more glitter. As you may notice, I’m not wearing gloves in this photo. After 9 trees and layers of glue and glitter getting shellacked onto my hands, I got smart and put on some gloves. I recommend you learn from me and do this right away. Repeat the spraying/glittering process for all of the trees.
Here they are, all 24 of them, after the glitter. Why 24? Because that’s how many came in a pack and there must be no tree left behind! I went with a wintery color scheme, but you could choose any colors. I definitely learned something in this process. I was using 2 different brands of glitter because I’m a craft supply hoarder and had 2 gigantic multi packs of extra fine glitter on hand. I found that the Martha Stewart glitter was much better to work with. The glitter itself was finer, so it got into the crevices easier and the colors it came in were prettier. I never thought I could become a fine glitter brand snob.
Another night had passed before I moved on to the next step. Like I said, you have to be slightly crazy to tackle this project (or have a lot of extra time on your hands that you want to spend crafting). I used spray Mod Podge, but you could use any spray sealant. First, make sure you are in an extremely well ventilated area. This stuff is STINKY. Then douse, and I mean douse, the trees in the sealant. I had to repeat this step twice because some of the glitter was falling off. Let the trees dry completely before moving on.
I did this next step after sealing the glitter because I didn’t want to handle the trees unless that glitter would stay put. Using a paint brush, carefully paint the bases of the trees white with acrylic paint. Let dry about an hour. After they had dried, I arranged the trees on the board. Once I found an arrangement I liked, using a hot glue gun, I attached them to the board.
Next we’re going to create the “snow”. I used these supplies only because I had them at home already. You could experiment with any white/clear granules.
I didn’t use any sort of measuring for this, I just dumped Mod Podge, white glitter, the Diamond Dust, and the glass glitter beads into a cup until it was the consistency of frosting. That’s the best description I can give.
Taking the “snow” mixture and paint brush, splotch it onto the board into whatever texture you would like. Yep, splotch is now a crafting term. Splotch: to throw a crafting medium onto a surface haphazardly leaving behind texture. Make sure you splotch the “snow” nice and close to the bases of the trees. Let it dry a few hours.
This is the “snow” and trees before drying…
…and here are the beauties after! Like I said, I will treasure them forever and ever and ever. If you decide to tackle this project as well, may the odds be ever in your favor.