Ok, so yesterday you got to see the finished product, today I’m going to show you how to make it! Hopefully this makes sense to you, if you have ANY questions, please ask in the comments and I’ll be sure to answer. This uses mostly stuff any good fabric hoarder, er, sewer-should have on hand. Now, onward to how to make it!
1 artists canvas (mine measures approximately 24″ x 17″, but depending on the size/number of your kids you may need bigger or smaller)
1 yard of background fabric
1 yard of fabric for tree (mine is an Amy Butler print, from the Daisy Chain line I think?)
1/4 yd. white fabric for the “snow” base
Scrap of fabric for the tree trunk
Heat N Bond Ultra (the heavy duty, not the light version)
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Package of fake snow fabric
Items to decorate your tree
First, gather up all your materials. I found this awesome blue tone on tone fabric in my stash that looks like the sky and decided it was perfect for the background. Lay it out flat right side down on an area big enough to accommodate your canvas as well as giving you some area to work. For me that was the floor. I used a spray adhesive on the front of the canvas thinking that would help anchor it while I glued, but I don’t think that’s really necessary.
Next, you’re going to attach the fabric to the canvas by hot gluing in sections. I made sure the hot glue was on the side of the wood since I wasn’t sure how well it would stay adhered to the canvas itself. Make sure you pull the fabric pretty taut in this step so you end up with a nice background on which to put your tree.
Now, flip it over and hopefully your fabric is nice and smooth, not like mine which was all bubbly (because of the spray adhesive). Although I kind of liked the effect once the tree was on the canvas, smooth probably really is nicer looking.
Next up, apply your Heat N Bond according to package directions to all of your fabric pieces. Set all pieces except the white fabric aside for right now. With your white fabric, cut different shapes out to create “snow dunes” and lay them out on your canvas to decide placement. Then remove the paper and making sure the steam is off on your iron, adhere them in place. Be gentle so you don’t push through the canvas, but make sure to get them on well. (Do not even look at the mess under my iron board okay? I need to vacuum badly!)
Next up take the scrap of fabric for the tree trunk, and adhere it on top of the “snow”.
Set aside your canvas for the next little while so we can work on the handprints. Now, this tree can be made with handprints from any number of children. I have 5, so my instructions are based on that, but please, don’t go having a baby just so you can make the tree exactly like mine okay? Now that your kids have been appropriately bribed and are willing to participate (oh wait, just mine? Ok!), trace their hands on a piece of cardboard. There are only 4 here, that’s because the 5th one wasn’t appropriately bribed yet when I took this picture lol.
Cut those all out, and then trace onto the PAPER side of your Christmas tree fabric (that you’ve already applied the heat n bond to). I traced 5 of each kid, but I did have extras of the smaller kids’ hands toward the top of the tree. This number will vary based on how many kids, how big their hands are, etc. So, start with 4 or 5, and do more if you need to. Now, if you only have 1 or 2 kids, you’ll obviously need more. I labeled each one with whose handprint it was so I’d use them in the right order on the next step.
Once you have all the handprints traced and cut out, it’s time to go back to our canvas. I started with my oldest sons handprints and gave each kid a row on the tree. Place them fingers down, overlapping slightly so you can see the “leaves” of the tree taking effect. Once you’ve decided on the right layout of your first row, iron them down-again being careful not to push through the canvas.
At this point, I originally thought I was done, but then I said “wow, that poor tree looks a little..nekkid.” So I had to change things up, and this is the point where your own creativity will really get to take flight, it’s time to decorate the tree! First-the star. I auditioned a few different things, but finally settled on this golden yellow fabric yo yo for mine:
That was better, but still not done. I wasn’t happy AT ALL with the way my “snow” turned out, so off to the dollar store I went. I picked up a few little things I wanted to try. I found a package of that fake snow “fabric” type stuff (reminds you of a cottonball with glitter in it..do you know what I’m talking about?), and thought that would be perfect to add some texture to the bottom. And the bows where the family voted winner for on tree decorations. I attached all of the decorations, and the fake snow, with hot glue. For the snow, I just scrunched it up a little bit and glued different spots to make sure it all stayed well. Don’t get too heavy handed with the decorating, remember, your childrens handprints are the star of this show, so they need to be seen! Here’s our final product:
I can’t wait to give this to my parents, I really hope they like it! I think this is a perfect gift for grandparents, and I’m even thinking about doing a new one every year so they get an “as they grow” kind of effect going. There’s still plenty of time to get one of these done before Christmas, and if you make one I’d LOVE to see pictures posted in the Flickr pool. If you have any questions, ask away! And enjoy!