Dec 20, 2016

Last minute recycled Christmas tree decoration

As we are in the holiday season I thought you might like an idea for creative and inexpensive Christmas tree decoration. Apart from polymer clay stuff (that you already have if you are a clayer) you probably have all you need at home to complete this project.

For a part of this project, a tree stand, I used almost all of my FIMO stuff but you can use the clay of your choice. It would not change a thing.

Firstly, make a cone out of the cardboard. It doesn't have to be precise, just fixed well. As you can see I used a stapler and a bit of glue to keep it in place.

Secondly, you need to decorate it. Choose a piece of fabric like old silk scarf you're not wearing, lace, denim from old jeans, a leftover from a skirt you shortened etc. Pick some larger plastic beads or a piece of your existing holiday decoration such as small ornaments, snowflakes, smaller lights... you get the point. You can use a glue gun to attach all to a cardboard cone. But don't do it just yet. You will have plenty of time while the stand will be in the oven.

Thirdly, make a stand or a foot (this makes me laugh all the time) for your tree.

I used:
- Black FIMO professional polymer clay
- Cardboard tube
- Plastic FIMO texture plate
- Liquid FIMO clay (deco gel)
- Round cookie cutters 5 and 6.5 cm/ 2 and 2.55 inches
- Brush for liquid clay
- PearlEx #658 Aztec gold
- Tissue blade
- Coarse sanding paper

I also used other polymer things that imply: pasta machine, work surface, baking paper, cleaning stuff.

Cardboard tube can be found in a lot of household product such as aluminum foil. Cut the length you would like for your tree stand.

Condition the polymer clay and roll it through the third largest setting on your pasta machine. Put it on the work surface over the baking paper so it doesn't stick to it. Use the plastic texture plate to make a texture. It doesn't have to be too deep just to be lovely and raised a bit. Of course, you can use any texture you like or if you don't own texture plates use some kind of fabric or plastic to make a motif.

Cut the textured sheet of clay to fit the cardboard tube. Spread liquid clay over the cardboard tube with a brush. Put a textured sheet over the liquid clay on the cardboard tube and make sure it fits to it completely. Check for trapped air between the cardboard and clay. If left there it might cause your clay to crack during baking. Take some time to make a seam tight, nice and blended with a texture.

Roll out two small sheets of clay through largest setting on you pasta machine. Put it one over the other tightly. Texture both sides with a coarse sanding paper. Cut a circle with a 5 cm/ 2 inch cookie cutter.
Use PearEx Aztec gold powder to add a festive look to your stand. Pick just small amounts of powder with your finger and smear it over the raised parts of clay. Cover the 5 cm/ 2 inch circle with the PearlEx powder too.

Use good amount of liquid clay on the inside of the cardboard tube near the edge on one side. Put that side in the center of the 5 cm/ 2 inch circle and press for 1.5 minutes. Goal is for liquid clay, cardboard and clay circle to stick to each other.

Bake in the preheated oven for at least 20 minutes. Always follow the manufacturers recommendations for the baking temperature and bake in the well ventilated area.

In the meantime roll the sheet of clay on the largest setting on your pasta machine, texture it, highlight raised parts with PearlEx powder and cut with a larger cookie cutter.

Start decorating a cardboard cone with chosen materials in order to make your tree.

After 20 minutes, take the stand out of oven and let it cool a bit. It would take another 5 - 10 minutes. Again, add a good amount of liquid clay inside of the cardboard tube, near the edge. Put that side in the center of the 6.5 cm/2.55 inch circle on the textured and powdered side.

Press it for a while and then return it to the oven and bake for another 30 - 45 minutes.
Now you have enough time to finish decorating your tree.

I recommend glazing the tree stand with at least two layers of glaze when it cools down after baking. It will prevent a metallic powder to come off and leave marks on your hands or furniture.

Use soft brush to add a thin layer of glaze. If you wish to speed the process you can bake it for 5 minutes in the oven set on the baking temperature for clay. Take it out, cool the stand, and then add another thin layer of glaze and bake for another 5 minutes. Quick and easy!

But even if you are not a clayer you can make this project by making a tree stand using a cardboard tube which can be painted or decorated with fabric.

Use a glue gun to attach your handmade stand to your recycled tree top.

Voila! You have a gorgeous, unique and inexpensive decoration for holiday diner table, kid’s room or any other part of your home.

Happy holidays to you and yours. :)

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