December 6, 2016

Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial - Perfect for Baby!

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Are you looking for a baby-safe Christmas tree alternative? This baby-friendly felt Christmas tree tutorial will add a festive flair to your home this holiday season, while creating a learning opportunity for your little one.


Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

My husband, 8 month old daughter and I are currently living in a teeny tiny one bedroom apartment as we await the completion of our first home. We are so excited to celebrate baby's first holiday season, but since she is starting to become quite the mover, we are worried about her safety around the Christmas decorations in our small space. 

We usually opt for a real tree complete with all of the fancy decorations, but this year we are trying something a little different. 
While we still have a small tree tucked out of the way for mom and dad, we have also added this felt Christmas tree to the living room wall, just for baby. 

The simple to make felt Christmas tree is baby-safe, maintenance-free and decorated with lots of brightly coloured ornaments that baby can easily rip off and put back on. It adds a festive flair to our teeny tiny abode, while creating a great learning opportunity for little miss Morley. 

Why not make one for your little one this holiday season?

Baby Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial



    Materials

    • 1 metre green felt
    • Several squares of felt, assorted colours
    • Square of yellow felt
    • Glue gun and glue
    • Scissors
    • Measuring tape
    • String
    • Marker
    • One Command™Clear Medium Hook 

    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Directions

    I purchased the felt from my local fabric store. They sell small individual squares in a variety of colours, for making the ornaments, as well as felt by the length, which I used to make the tree.

    First, make the star for the top of your tree using the yellow felt. I started with the star because I had a limited amount of yellow felt and the size I made it would determine the size of the tree. 

    Lay your tree fabric on the floor and fold in half vertically. Using a marker, draw the outline of your tree. Cut along the line, through both layers of green felt. Open the fabric back up to reveal your bare tree. Attach the star to the top with hot glue.

    Next step is to make the ornaments. I made circular ornaments for my tree because they are easy for my daughter to grab. Get creative - you can make any size or shape you desire! Use the scrap felt to spruce up the ornaments. You won't need anything to help hang these ornaments on the tree because felt sticks to felt like magic.

    The possibilities with this tree are endless. You can add as many different colours and shapes of ornaments as you wish! If you are feeling especially creative, you can even make presents to go "under the tree".

    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Don't worry about making it perfect - your baby is not going to judge you if the tree is not symmetrical or the colours of your ornaments don't match. They are going to love it either way!

    Now it's time to hang your tree. Using the glue gun, add a loop of string to the top of the star/tree. This will be how you hang the tree on the wall.

    Make sure that the wall you hang the tree on is a smooth surface. With the tape measure, measure the height of your tree on the wall. Following the directions on the package, affix the Command™Clear Medium Hook to the wall. 


    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Hang the tree on the Command™Clear Medium Hook. Since our apartment is so dry, the felt automatically clings to the wall. However, you can repeat the above steps with a few more Command™Clear Medium Hooks to support the branches, if needed. Ensure the weight of the tree is evenly distributed across the hooks. 

    The great thing about using Command™Brand products for this tree is that if you don't like the placement, or need to move it for any reason, you can do so without the fear of holes or damage!


    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Using leftover felt, hot glue, string and glitter paint, I also created a small stocking and affixed it to the wall beside the tree using Command™Small Wire Hook. 


    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Now it's time to let baby play and have some fun with their new tree! But please remember, do not leave your child unattended while doing this activity.

    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Command™ Brand products provide an easy transition throughout the holidays, removing cleanly from the walls. At the end of the holiday season, simply remove the hook from the wall, fold up the felt ornaments and tree and store in your Christmas bin for another year!

    Since we've never had a permanent space to call our own, we've always used Command™Brand products in our indoor decorating, instead of having to patch holes and touch up paint. They’re easy-to-use, come off clean, and can handle any decorating task I put them up to, including hanging photos on the walls to personalize our space. The ability to remove hooks without a scratch and paint touch-ups makes them a win for those in a temporary space. 


    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    Command™ Brand products, including the Command™ Clear Medium Hook and Command™ Small Wire Hook used in this tutorial, can be found in the holiday section at your local Walmart. Make sure to stock up for all of your decorating needs this holiday!


    Baby-Friendly Felt Christmas Tree Tutorial

    For more baby-friendly activities, check out this recipe for baby-safe paint.



    What are some of your tips and tricks for decorating your indoor spaces around the holidays? I'd love to hear!

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    December 5, 2016

    An Ugly Christmas Sweater for Baby: DIY

    I'm a big fan of family traditions, especially around this time of the year. During the holidays, one of our favourite traditions is wearing our ugly Christmas sweaters. The uglier the better.

    In the past decade, the ugly Christmas sweater trend has picked up some serious steam. What was once reserved for your elementary school teacher (sorry teacher friends), is now a must-have fashion item during the holiday season. With the popularity of ugly sweater parties on the rise, vintage and second-hand stores such as Goodwill and Value Village, and even more mainstream stores like H&M, are all on board with ugly sweater trend.


    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater Tutorial

    Planning on attending an ugly sweater party this holiday season? To ensure you don't create a fashion faux pas and show up wearing the same sweater as someone else, why not make your own?! Thrift stores are a great source for those big red and green sweaters, and craft stores such as MichaelsJo-Ann Fabrics, and even your local Dollar Store, have all the bells and whistles needed to make it as tacky as possible. We had a blast making ours a few years ago, and they are still a huge hit whenever we dust them off pull them out of the closet during the holidays.


    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater Tutorial

    This year, we wanted Morley to be a part of our annual Christmas tradition. But, instead of shelling out a fortune on a sweater she would wear one or twice, we decided to make her her very own unique ugly sweater. 

    Since baby is at the stage where she puts everything and anything she comes across into her mouth, it is not safe to add all of the bells and whistles to baby's sweater like we did for our own. Case in point, she ripped all of the bells off my sweater above before attempting to shove them in her mouth. Instead, we used paint and a few festive stamps to "tackify" the sweater. It was simple, inexpensive, festive, and most importantly, super cute!

    If you're looking to make an ugly sweater for either yourself or your family, check out this simple and inexpensive ugly Christmas sweater tutorial

    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater Tutorial


    Materials
    • Long-sleeve body suit or top, colour of choice
    • Paints, assorted colours
    • Glitter paint (optional)
    • Paint brushes, one per paint colour
    • Stamps or stencils
    • Piece of thick cardboard

    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY

    Directions

    Pre-wash your garment. If needed, iron to remove any post-wash wrinkles. The white long-sleeved shirt that we used was part of Morley's Halloween costume (that she'll never wear again), but I also bought a few from Walmart for around $4 each. I recommend using white, or another light colour,  so that the paint really pops. Make sure that whatever type of garment you chose to decorate, it is weather-appropriate.

    Lay clothing on a flat surface, and insert piece of cardboard between the front and back layers. This is to prevent the paint from bleeding through the clothing, and to also give you a flat surface for your stamp or stencil.

    I purchased the acrylic paints (red, gold and green) and glitter glue at my local Dollar Store. You can you any type of paint you chose, including fabric paint. I chose to use acrylic paint because it is widely available in several colours and extremely affordable. While it did hold up in the wash, I also knew that Morley would not be wearing this more than a few times during the season.

    Tip: Instead of having to clean a plate or container once you're done with the paint, put the paint on a piece of scrap cardboard or in an egg carton. 

    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY

    If using stamps, paint the bottom of the stamp with the desired colour. Pull clothing tight and flat where you would like to place the stamp. Press stamp onto clothing firmly and hold for at least 10 seconds to ensure a proper paint transfer. If the paint colour is too light after one stamping, repeat. 

    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY
    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY
    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY

    Once you have finished painting, leave the garment on a flat surface to dry for at least 24 hours. Once the paint is dry, add any glitter paint, if using. Allow to dry for another 24 hours.

    If you're feeling especially festive, why not also decorate pants for baby to make a truly ugly Christmas outfit!

    If baby will be wearing the sweater more than once, I recommend hand washing. However, it is washing machine and dryer safe.

    Baby Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY

    It may not be the prettiest Christmas sweater on the block, but isn't that the point of an ugly Christmas sweater? It's bright, it's tacky and, most importantly, it's festive, so little miss Morley can now join in on our annual Christmas tradition.



    What are some of your fun holiday traditions?


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