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Bottle Brush Trees with Vintage Buttons

by Amy Bowerman

I’ve been crushing on bottle brush trees lately.  After oooing and ahhing over gorgeous trees seen around the web I made it my mission to make some bottle brush trees of my own.  On my most recent trip to the Dollar store I found bottle brush trees ready and waiting to be altered.  Today I’m going to show you how I altered these bottle brush trees.  At the end of this post I have included links to a few other methods for dyeing and altering bottle brush trees.  I’m already planning a trip back to the dollar store for more trees…making sparkly trees is addicting….you’ve been warned.

How to Dye and Decorate Bottle Brush Trees | Pluckingdaisies.com

I consider these trees to be the “Ghosts of projects past”.  I realized after I sat down amidst a sea of glitter, ink, and modpodge that I was out of or lacking several items that I “needed”.

With no time to run to the craft store I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and “Make it work time”.  After digging deep into my stash I was able to find some really meaningful embellishments to create trees themed around things that inspire me.  If you’ve ever wanted a themed tree but lack the space, ornaments or patience to create one (like me) why not create a miniature version on a bottle brush tree?

Bottle Brush Trees with Vintage Buttons | @PluckingDaisy #christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

So what were my Inspirational themes you ask?  Let me take you through…

The Butterfly Tree   This is a very special tree.  This tree is an ode to Ida.  Ida was my BIL grandma and these trees were made with treasures I inherited from her.  This tree feature vintage miniature shiny brite ornaments, vintage pearls, and butterfly charms from my stash (Ida loved butterflies).  Ida was an artist herself and I try to incorporate an item of hers in nearly every project I create.

The Vintage Button Tree  I love vintage buttons.  I love them so much sometimes I can’t even use them in projects because they are just too pretty.  This tree features some of my favorite vintage buttons (especially the flower topper) beads, and charms from my stash.

The Sea Glass Tree  I’ve always loved being by the water.  I grew up on the shoreline and would always collect sea glass at the beach by my grandmother’s house.  This tree features, sea glass, vintage pearls, and a tiny starfish.

Bottle Brush Trees with Vintage Buttons | @PluckingDaisy #christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

The Wish Tree I’m nuts about stars.  They remind me of things that inspire me to do great things.  This tree is a tribute to that and features vintage pearls, crystals, and star beads and charms from my stash (some of which I have had since high school   <—-Craft Hoarder)

The Create Tree  It’s no secret that one of my favorite things to create is flowers, so naturally I had to have a tree with flowers.  This tree features flower confetti with crystal centers, vintage pearls, and pink pearls from me stash.

The Snowflake Tree  This tree is the most “Christmas-y” of the bunch.  I do love the holidays…when they don’t stress me out (hence I’m getting a jump-start this year so they don’t).  White and pearl vintage buttons adorn this tree along with tiny snowflake and heart buttons from my stash.  Vintage pearls and cookie cutter charms finish off the holiday theme.

 

Ok so enough about my trees.  Now it’s time for me to show you how to make some bottle brush trees of your own!  You needn’t look farther than your local dollar store (I found my trees at Dollar Tree) although they are also available at most craft stores.

*If you can’t find the white ones stay tuned at the end of this post for links to posts that show you how to bleach them.

Bottle Brush Trees with Vintage Buttons | @PluckingDaisy #christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

How to Dye Bottle Brush Trees

 

Like I said before, I was so gung-ho to dye these trees I ignored the fact that my supplies were lacking and had to “Make do with what I had”.  This is what I had …

How to Dye Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

It all worked out in the end, and by Jove I like it!  First, I mixed Faded Jeans Distress Re-inker with water and a scoop of Perfect Pearls Blue Patina in a mini mister.  I misted the first tree and was satisfied with the look so I moved on to Antique Linen with Heirloom gold.  That tree came out great too.

Those were the only two colors of re-inker that I had on hand so I created colors by adding an extra scoop of different colored perfect pearls to my Antique linen mix.  It actually gave my project a nice vintage look….hooray for accidental discoveries!

*Note to self:  Order Distress Re-inkers in every color  for future rainbow forest :)

How to Dye Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

I also dyed one of the trees with Dylusions.  The Dylusions are very vibrant in color which I love, but I wanted this project to have a more vintage feel.  To tone down the color I rolled my tree in the overspray on my craft sheet.  If you’ve never tried Dylusions check out this post about Dylusions and all the fun things you can make with them!

How to Dye Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #dylusions

Glittering Bottle Brush Trees

 

Now to add some pizzazz!  I realize these trees look just dandy the way they are but I’m not one to leave well enough alone :)  If you are a fan of all things sparkly grab some chunky glitter and mod podge and let’s get glittery!

Decorating Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #plaidcrafts

Use a foam brush and Mod Podge to give your tree a nice thick coat.  You don’t have to use Mod Podge sparkle.  Regular Mod Podge was one of the supplies I realized I was lacking AFTER starting this project…but I like shiny things so it’s cool.

Decorating Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #plaidcrafts

Pour your chunky glitter into a bowl and roll your tree around in it.  *It helps to use a plastic spoon to pour glitter on hard to reach spots.

Decorating Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #plaidcrafts

To add extra shine and enhance the color I added Martha Stewart Glitter in coordinating colors while the Mod Podge was still wet.

*If you haven’t done the cupcake liner thing yet now is the time!  This was the first time I tried it and I was like “Wear have you been all my life!”  Now I can get the glitter back in the bottle instead of all over the floor.

Decorating Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #plaidcrafts

Don’t they look purdy…all sparkly like?

Decorating Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #plaidcrafts

Now that you’ve taken such care to get your glitter back in its container you don’t want glitter flaking willy, nilly off your trees.  Give those bad boys a quick spritz of Krylon Glitterblast Clear Sealer and you’ll be good to go!

Decorating Bottle Brush Trees | @PluckingDaisy #Christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink #plaidcrafts #krylon

Decorating with Vintage Buttons

Ah vintage buttons!  I’m a bit like Golem from Lord of the Rings when it comes to my vintage buttons…”The precious!”  I look at them, organize them, think about using them…but don’t.  Well they aren’t doing anyone any good sitting in a bin under my craft table!  So I got them out and fired up my glue gun.  I got all the beads, bits, buttons and bobs I’ve been collecting/hoarding for all these years and made up my mind to use them.  Heck that IS what I bought them for after all.

Bottle Brush Trees with Vintage Buttons | @PluckingDaisy #christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

I can’t tell you how to decorate your tree.  That part is up to you and your imagination.  I can tell you that this is a fantastic de-stashing exercise and will allow you to enjoy all the “pretties” you’ve saved up and get them out of the nooks and crannies you have them squirreled away in :)

Bottle Brush Trees with Vintage Buttons | @PluckingDaisy #christmas #craft #tutorial #rangerink

So go dig through that stash of yours and get lost in decorating tiny trees!  You can give these as gifts or use them to create a special display for your home.  Either way these bottle brush trees are sure to bring a smile to anyone who sees them.  They might even catch the spirit…I know I have.

How to Dye and Decorate Bottle Brush Trees | Pluckingdaisies.com

I hope you enjoyed this Bottle Brush Tree tutorial as much as I enjoyed making them!

Here are some more creative ways to create festive Bottle Brush trees.

Enjoy!

Amy*

Bottle Brush Tree Tutorials

*Click on the picture or link to be taken to the featured artists site.

Crafty Minx Tutorial for dying with Rit

Dying Bottle Brush Trees with Rit by @Craftyminx

Dying Bottle Brush Trees with Rit by @Craftyminx

Creamy Christmas Trees from The Creative Patch  Created by Sheila of Blessed and Distressed Blog

Creamy Christmas Trees by Sheila R of Blessed and Distressed (via The Creative Patch)

Creamy Christmas Trees by Sheila R of Blessed and Distressed (via The Creative Patch)

Dylusions Dyed Bottle Brush Trees by Anita Houston of The Artful Maven

Dylusions Dyed Trees by Anita Houston (The Artful Maven)

Dylusions Dyed Trees by Anita Houston (The Artful Maven)

{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lee January 20, 2015 at 1:32 am

Dump the hot glue! Try clear silicone glue instead. Takes longer to dry, but leaves no strings, is perfectly clear, and can be peeled off those vintage buttons if you ever want to recycle them for something else. Also doesn’t melt in the attic.

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2 Marie December 30, 2014 at 11:33 am

Your trees are so beautiful. I have one bottle brush tree that is 10″ high and keeps falling over. Do you have any ideas how to weight the stand which is plastic?

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3 Fay L. Birmingham December 29, 2014 at 6:17 pm

What did you use for base of tree? Thanking you in advance.

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4 Kellie December 19, 2013 at 12:42 pm

So I bought some supplies last night to make these—what kind of glue do you use to attach the ‘doo dads’?

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5 Amy Bowerman December 19, 2013 at 12:48 pm

Hey Kellie!

I took the easy way out and attached most of the items with the ol’ hot glue gun. It’s not the strongest option but most of the things are still on there (although I did have to reattach a few. Just watch out for the dreaded “glue strings” you can use a heat gun or hair dryer to melt them. For the heavier metal embellishments I used E6000.

Have fun getting your sparkly tree decorating on!

Amy*

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6 Anita Houston December 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

Hey wonderful girl…thanks for the shout out!
Your trees rock and roll! They look like a vintage treasure so heavy laden with glitz and glam! LOVE these! Pinning!
Anita Houston recently posted..Melt Art – Christmas StyleMy Profile

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7 Amy Bowerman December 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Girl you know :). what’s funny though that post is from last Christmas before we had even officially met (it may have even been how I found your blog in the first place). Small world isn’t it? And in a few weeks we’ll be saying “Goodbye Winter Wonderland, Helloooo Disneyland!”

Woot!
Amy*

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8 Donna Gibson December 16, 2013 at 8:56 am

Love this tutorial and your trees are beautiful! I see a sparkly forest in my future…
Donna Gibson recently posted..12 Tags of 2013 – OctoberMy Profile

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9 Amy Bowerman December 16, 2013 at 11:20 am

Thanks Donna glad you liked the tutorial. Get your sparkle on! :)

Amy*

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10 Shauna November 29, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I, too, am into the bottle brushes! So far I’ve only done traditional Christmas ones. I also saw some where each was done in a different color – about 16 of them and they were lovely. I love your trees! I have an obsession with doing theme projects, be it a party or art so themed bottle brush trees are perfect! I so enjoyed your tutorial and seeing your gorgeous trees. Sometimes I think the most beautiful creations happen when we don’t have the “right” supplies. Thanks, too, for the info on the glitter sealing spray; I hadn’t seen that before. I appreciate all your ideas Amy!

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11 Denise November 3, 2013 at 1:55 am

Amy, this is my first venture to Plucking Daisies (via Pinterest pin) and I love what you are doing, you are so creative. Glad to have found your site. The only thing is…I had a hard time concentrating on the trees as I was drooling over your Vintage buttons, hehe. I collect vintage buttons also and appreciate the difficulty in actually using them 😉

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12 Amy Bowerman November 3, 2013 at 8:11 am

So glad you stopped by and thank you for the sweet comments about my site :).

I am a total button miser and still have the majority of the buttons pictured waiting to be used as more than “eye candy”. I’ve found that many craft companies have started making vintage button replicas and started using those for my projects…much easier to “let go” of the fakes than the real deal :)

Hope to see you again soon!

Amy*

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13 sharron o'connor odle October 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

enjoyed this on bottlebrush trees!

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14 Laura / The Shed / Pet Scribbles / Socks for Sandy November 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

You’ve outdone yourself once again! I have also oohed and aahed over the various bottle brush trees on Pinterest…yours have now been added to those that I drool over! Thanks for sharing how to make them, dye them, and decorate them! And thanks for sharing a part of you, with the themed trees too. Love this!
Laura / The Shed / Pet Scribbles / Socks for Sandy recently posted..Easy DIY Gilded OrnamentsMy Profile

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15 Johnnie November 19, 2012 at 10:08 am

So fun! I bet your studio is one big ol’ glitter storm. Seriously… what an awesome stash buster project for sparkly, whimsical holiday beauty.
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16 Rebecca November 18, 2012 at 9:40 pm

Thank you for sharing your bottle brush project. The “trees” are really pretty. I can’t wait to try to make some.

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17 Rebecca Pind November 18, 2012 at 9:38 pm

Thank you for sharing your bottle brush project. The “trees” are really pretty. I can’t wait to try to make some.

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18 katie November 18, 2012 at 9:28 am

Gorgeous job on the trees. You have taken them to a whole new level!
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19 Linda November 17, 2012 at 11:34 am

this is an awesome tutorial!! I love the trees and all the fun embellishments, etc!! thnx so much for sharing! Now hope to find those little trees at my dollar store!!!
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20 malia November 17, 2012 at 9:14 am

Amy what spectacular trees! I have a bottle brush tree obsession myself. Yours are GORGEOUS!
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21 Shahrul Niza November 17, 2012 at 2:32 am

Oh my. These trees are GORGEOUS!!!. Pretty enough to eat, what with all that glitter goodness.
They are all so special, and precious. My favorite is the sea glass tree since I LOVE the sea so much :). Amy, you have done an amazing job making them all looked so magical!. Now they are all ready to sit at the table, come X’mas dinner :). Awesomeness!!
Shahrul Niza recently posted..advice from a treeMy Profile

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