DIY Christmas Sweater Sleeve Trees: VMMV Sweater Week Part III

diy sweater sleeve trees

Even evergreens need an extra layer in December. These trees are made from the sleeves of old cable-knit sweaters! My favorite, cozy sweater finally shrank, pilled, and stretched in ways that I could no longer really be seen in public with it…however comfy it still was. It still was so wintery though, I cut off the sleeves, stitched up the seam, and made it into cozy, Christmas sweater-sleeve trees for part III of VMMV sweater week. (check out part I and II as well if you haven’t been following along!)forthetreediy sweater sleeve trees

For the tree, you’ll need construction paper, an old cable-knit sweater, and a needle and thread:

  • Start by forming a cone from heavy construction paper.
  • Then, cut the sleeve off of the sweater and make another cut down the length of the sleeve so you have a sort of blunted triangle shape.

diy sweater sleeve tree

  • Wrap the sleeve around the cone. For one cone, the wrists were wider than the arms so these sleeves went wrist first over the cone with the wrists forming the widest part. For a different sweater, the wrist was tighter so this became the tip of the cone. Play around to see how it best fits the cone and then stitch up the back of the sleeve so it fits tightly.
  • Tuck in the edge of the sleeve into the hole formed by the paper cone at the top. If the sleeve doesn’t form a nice border at the base of the tree, tuck that edge under as well and hot-glue to the inside of your cone.

sweater sleeve tree

Embellish! That’s the fun part, I added little pom-poms and a few stars made with sweater scraps. forthebasediy sweater sleeve tree

You could just leave the cones by themselves, but a little rustic base made it looked so whimsical I had to add it. You will need some short, straight sticks, rubber-bands, and floral foam:

  • Gather twigs (I used grapefruit twigs) and tie them together using a rubber-band. Make sure your twigs are fairly straight and mostly all the same length.
  • Push the tight side of the twigs into a piece of floral foam that just fits into the base of the sweater-sleeve cone. The foam needs to fit tightly so it can support the tree!

diy sweater sleeve tree

Push the twigs and foam into the base of the tree. You’ll have to play around with the twigs a bit to get an even base that will stand up straight but once you get it just right, it’s very steady!diy sweater sleeve treechristmas sweater sleeve treesdiy sweater sleeve treediy christmas sweater treessweater sleeve treediy christmas sweater sleeve trees

 I love this project. It’s so cheap, recycles something you’d otherwise probably throw out, and looks so adorable. Each one looks different depending on the sweater and the embellishments you use, and they’re so simple yet make quite the statement if you make a little grove of them…Baby, it may be cold outside, but even your evergreens can be cozy in their sweater-sleeves…Now go get a sweater a get busy!

– <3 A. 

DIY “Twelve Days of Christmas” Advent Tree

Soooooo, it’s a little late for an advent calendar. To be exact, it’s twelve days late, and instead of getting upset at myself for letting yet another year trundle by without a little more pre-planning, I decided to make a Twelve Days of Christmas Tree instead.

DIY Advent Tree

This is such a fun DIY, so, so cheap (about $5 not including the gift-wrap), and makes a big impact for about ten minutes of work! I’d say that’s the perfect do-it-yourself project for me.

DIY Twelve Days of Christmas Tree

twelve days of christmas

  1.  Find a strong branch: probably the most important part of this DIY, don’t just shove flimsy sticks into a jar, for a big impact you’ll need a fairly substantial limb with lots of thin branches. This guy came from a grapefruit tree in my backyard but pretty much any sort of tree would work. I think if you could find a birch tree,  those branches would be absolutely beautiful and very season-appropriate with it’s white bark. And of course, nature is free!
  2.  Fill a vase full of miniature Christmas balls. I used plastic balls for this project, they’re much cheaper (about $2.00 for a case of 25) and also won’t break very easily. The vase was a $3.00 find, I’ve actually seen some smaller versions at the Dollar Store, but Wal-mart and Big Lots have them too.
  3.  Wrap your gifts, add numbered labels from 1 to 12, and hang the little presents on the tree with a hook, just like decorating a Christmas tree. And that’s it!

Wrapping the gifts is probably the most fun. Pick small, light things so you don’t weigh down your tree too much: candies, small toys, lip-gloss, nail-polish, or even gift-cards would be perfect. I couldn’t find gift-wrap I liked that matched so instead, I just picked out some scrapbook papers that looked cute together:

vintage wrapping paper

These papers were actually way cheaper than gift-wrap, and they’re the perfect size for small gifts. Then, I hand-printed numbers on some card-stock, punched a hole in them, and tied them on with assorted, left-over ribbons and twine from last Christmas:

diy advent tree diy advent tree DIY wrapping paperEvery year, four of my favorite ladies and I get together for our annual Christmas party. This year, we’re cutting back a bit and only giving each other small things. No matter if you all agree on it or not though, little boxes are always a little disappointing. Hanging all the gifts on this tree though is a perfect way to make little gifts look absolutely fabulous. I’m planning on giving each of them three little gifts, but this would be fun to do just for one person and have them open one gift for the last twelve days leading up to Christmas.

advent tree twelve days of christmas tree diy christmas craft

twelve days of christmas advent tree diy

Isn’t it adorable? Even though I got inspired to do this tree because I was lazy and didn’t pre-plan for a real advent tree, when I finished it I decided this might be a new tradition. Besides, it’s soooo much easier to find twelve gifts than it is to find twenty-four! Hope you’re inspired-

– <3 A.