Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas DIYs: Paper strips Christmas tree

Last Sunday was the second Sunday of Advent, and we’ve resurrected our Advent wreath candle-lighting evenings for Zach’s friends. I’m very pleasantly surprised that boys his age – 13 or 14 years – actually agree to come to something like this; I’m more than a little pleased that they returned two Sundays running.
As always, the youngest child gets to light the candles, and then we share what we will do to make one small change in our lives to bring us closer to the ideal. Pledges range from folding your own bed sheet to help your mother in the morning rush, to not irritating teachers too much – all practical pledges that are called upon the next Sunday. And of course, this introspection is followed with some raucous carol singing, and a Christmas craft.
The first Sunday, we made the modern Christmas ornament with cotton buds; this time, it was the turn of the paper strips Christmas tree.  
This is a really simple craft – though it does take some getting your head around. I’ve adapted it only very slightly from the tutorial on funEZcrafts

You will need
Green chart paper
A long ruler
Pencil to mark lines
Fisherman’s twine (or needle and thread)
Beads (red, if possible)

Start by marking the paper.
Mark out strips of the breadth of your ruler – then cut into the following lengths: 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches, 7 inches, 8 inches, 9 inches.
You should then have seven strips of different lengths. On a table, arrange these in ‘height order’ – as we used to say in school. 

Photograph courtesy funEZcrafts
In each strip, make a little hole at the mid-way point, and one hole each at the ends.
This photograph from funEZcrafts illustrates this very well.


Take a suitable length of fisherman’s twine (or thread) and anchor a bead on it – do this by passing the twine twice through the bead and tying it off. This is your base.
Add another bead for stability.


Then start adding your Christmas tree ‘branches’.
Start with the longest strip and pass the twine through the hole at one end of the strip, then through the middle hole to get a loop, and then through the hole at the other end to get the opposite loop. Your lowest ‘branch’ is done.
Now thread two beads onto the twine and anchor the top one by passing the thread twice through it, and pushing the bead gently downwards to lock the branch.
(This photo is upside down, and not responding to commands to turn right-side up.)

Repeat with the next longest strip on the table, anchoring each looped ‘branch’ with two beads and locking them into position.

Himanshu and Elaine with their tree

When you have your perfect triangular tree, lock the top beads into position and hang your decoration up.


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