Friday, December 5, 2014

The DIY Button Christmas Tree

I first spotted this charming button tree on display at the front office of my church (Community Christian Church, Hemet, CA). Turned out to be one of the staff's contributions to add a bit of Christmas decor to an otherwise bland, business environment.

The first year it turned up I simply admired its uniqueness and clever use of buttons, something I randomly collect. The next year, I took a closer look and determined "I could make this!"  And so I did . . . once I got the OK to replicate it and create my own pattern.

Most of the materials I had at home: felt for the cut-out tree, wood block for the base, pillow stuffing, needle and thread, ribbon, paint, glue, and buttons. Only item I lacked was an 8" piece of dowel. A quick trip to a nearby hardware store, and 79 cents later, I had my tree's trunk.

My first attempt was a white felt tree covered with a variety of fancy white buttons. I also added a silver/blue bow at the bottom of the tree to dress it up. It turned out pretty -- good enough to give to my sister. My plan was to make more as gifts, but for this do-it-yourself (DIY) craft to succeed "textured" buttons are a must. I had a huge assortment of buttons in an array of colors, but few with a raised surface. So, production of handmade trees came to a halt.

When the original tree at the office made its appearance the third year I had a chance to tell Joni, its owner, how much I like seeing it each year. To my surprise she told me "I'm not keeping it. I told my husband that if he gets to buy new outside lights and decorations, then I get new Christmas decor for inside the house! When the holidays are over you can have it if you want it."  Of course I said, "Yes, I'd love it. Thanks."

Now, each December I put the tree out on display at home, and laugh as I do, for on the bottom of the base are these words: "Stolen from Joni Gott."

I'm not sure if the message was intended for me or someone else who might be inclined to walk off the premises with it. My guess is that Joni simply found a fun way to ensure the item got returned to its rightful owner at year's end. So, until the police show up at my door with a warrant for stolen property I intend to keep it! 

P.S. Do you have a DIY Christmas craft that others admire?  Here's your chance to tell me and others about it.