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.
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?
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.
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.
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 …
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
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Don’t they look purdy…all sparkly like?
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 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.
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
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.
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.
Bottle Brush Tree Tutorials
*Click on the picture or link to be taken to the featured artists site.
Dylusions Dyed Bottle Brush Trees by Anita Houston of The Artful Maven