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How To Make Bottle Brush Trees ~ Chenille Bump Tiny Christmas Tree Craft Project Tutorial



Create a charming forest of miniature bottle brush trees using soft or shimmery chenille bumps.  Add to dioramas, adorn putz houses, or assemble tiny scenes of trees and tiny wildlife.  Completed trees are about 2 to 3-1/2" tall.

Supplies: Chenille Bumps, Spun Cotton Bases, 6mm Glass Beads, Tiny Tinsel and Chenille Cording, Craft Paint, Glue (like Aleene's Tacky Glue), Scissors, Skewers or Pipe Cleaners, Toothpicks, Optional: .1mm Deco Beads


Step 1: Paint spun cotton bases and let dry.  Use a skewer or pipe cleaner in the hole as a "handle" when painting and drying, too.  If using SC357, the hole is on the bottom of the shape.  You will need to carefully poke a hole in the TOP of the shape using the tip of a pair of scissors.  We poked the hole before painting.

Step 2: Cut chenille bumps in to tree shapes. Use a pair of scissors to trim along all sides of the center wire to create a stem.  You generally want to trim up to the widest part of the bump to achieve a tree shape.  If using tree bumps, simply cut apart and trim lightly to shape if desired.


Step 3
: Trim stem and glue into base, let dry.  You can trim your stem shorter so the bottom bristles are very close to the base, or leave more stem so the bristles start above the base.  Try different lengths before gluing to get the look you like. 


Step 4: Add a garland. Cut a 9-10" piece of chenille tinsel cord.  Try wrapping the cord around the tree to get a feel for how tightly to wind, cord placement and look.  Add a small drop of glue at the tip of the tree and apply an end of the cord.  Pinch gently to make sure both pieces adhere together well.  Let dry.  Wrap the cord around the tree toward the stem taking care to space each wind evenly.  Add a drop of glue to the stem just below the bristles.  Wind the end of the cord into the glue and around the stem two times.  Trim the excess cord close to the stem and use a toothpick to press the end into the glue.

Step 5: Add beads. Using a toothpick, add a small drop of glue to the tree where you wish to put a bead.  Place bead over glue drop and gently press into place.  Repeat for each additional bead.  Let dry.  We used 5-8 beads per tree.


Optional Step 6: Frost the base with tiny deco beads. Use a paint brush to smooth a very thin layer of glue over the base.  Spoon deco beads over glue, tap off excess and let dry completely.  Use a dry paint brush to brush off any deco beads not adhered.  The end result should be a very subtle shimmer.


Tips: Here are links to the chenille bumps and bases shown in the image above:

5" chenille bumps pair best with bases SC395 or SC357

2-1/2" chenille bumps pair best with bases SC395, SC357 or SC011

1-1/4" tree bumps pair best with bases SC011

• Green trees are classic but don't be afraid to go colorful! Make a statement with trees in pink, blue or other bright hues.

• The metallic bumps have a great retro look and are stiffer than the chenille.  You may find adding beads is easier if the beads are nestled in closer to the center stem.

• The 1-1/4" tree bumps are a stiffer material (more like bottle brush) than the chenille.  Another option for embellishing these tiny trees is to use white paint and a blotting motion to add "snow." Be sure to use a small amount of paint on your brush and add it to the tree little by little until you achieve the desired look.

• We used Martha Stewart Crafts paint in Habanero and Yellow Gold for our bases before adding deco beads in Clear and Stardust.

• Add a bear to your forest :)



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