Thursday, December 8, 2011

DIY Feather Tree

Today is ballet day. And not just any ballet day... but ballet *after* having been to the Nutcracker ballet day. That means I just can't wait to get to the studio and give it my best! I'm certainly no sugar plum fairy yet, but I'm inspired to get there!
I was also full of inspiration last night (the non-ballet sort) and made a TON of Christmas decorations. I debated about which one to feature today because tomorrow is the last post for the week and it's GF Friday (though the featured recipe is awesome... and you should check it out for your Christmas gatherings, no matter what your allergies are!). I decided to go with the feather tree because the other ones are similar to things we've already done (the ornament lighted garland is done!). 
This tree has been taunting me for a long, long time. Where I work we have these GORGEOUS feather trees on display. Unfortunately, they aren't for purchase, much to the dismay of our customers and employees. They're light pink and white and so fluffy. I went to the store to get my supplies and had to make a few adjustments, though. First of all... the foam cones were $11.99... yeah right. Secondly, they didn't have only light pink feathers. They had a light/hot pink mix and then straight white. I got one package of each (feather length, 4-6 inches).
poster board cone
I also bought a piece of poster board which I rolled into a cone shape and duct taped. Then I trimmed the bottom to make it level. 
I put mine up on a popcorn tin to make it easier. You can put it on any sort of pedestal you'd like, but I'm not sure that it's even necessary.
first layer
Originally, I tried using mod podge, but that was seriously such a mess. Do not recommend that! I switched to my glue gun and then went much better. Starting with the bottom row, I would make a small (1-2 inches, you don't want your glue to dry) line of glue and then stick my feathers to it. I continued all the way up the tree and then at the end, I went back through to check for bare spots. In those situations, I applied a little bit of glue to the tip of a feather and then slid it into the spot. You want the feathers to fall in layers, so the layer below can't be stuck on top of the layer above it.
I quickly realized that I didn't like the color combo and dropped the white. You'll see just little white feathers poking out here and there. 
At the very top, I hot glue a small bulb inside and then tied a bow around it to finish. I wish I would have only tied the bow... but that's ok. It's still cute. It probably didn't really even need anything at the top. The ones at work are bare and so cute. 
feathers are finished!
Just a few tips, remember to glue toward the top of the feather. When you do that, it curls out nicely, it's more 3D. If you want your feathers to have a flatter look, then I suggest cutting them in half (making them 2-3 inches long instead of 4-6). They'll lay flatter. I did that on the other side of the tree to see what would happen... ;)  Your glue gun is going to be a feathery mess. I really struggled with that. But it's ok, you can clean it later! 
I have to say, I always monitor the views my blog gets and traffic sources to see what is most appealing to my audience. Sometimes the results are surprising! I had a blog I did this week that I really, truly loved and it totally tanked. Then, a certain blog that I totally "phoned in" (read: didn't exactly put thought or effort into...) got zillions of views. You never can tell! Don't hesitate to let me know what you'd like to read about or see. I'm happy to accommodate! I know for sure my friend Bonnie wants a DIY mason jar to snow globe... and I need to get on that! I really do appreciate you. You're helping me to achieve my dream of becoming a professional blogger... so thanks! I hope you have a great day... I'm excited for French, ballet and then a night in with my sweet boy. As always, thanks for reading :)

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