Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Copper Harbor Lighthouse

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thumb Tack Tree

I haven't been doing a lot of crafting lately, but here’s a quick Christmas project that I was able to complete with items I already had on hand. If you don’t have these things on hand, they can be purchased very inexpensively.

As I was decorating this year, I decided that I wanted a little something different next to the Christmas cookie jar on my kitchen counter that would coordinate with our stainless appliances. Since we live out in the boonies, I looked through my craft stash to see what I had on hand. I came up with a small cone tree and some ordinary silver thumb tacks.

I didn’t think I had enough tacks to cover the entire tree, but that didn’t stop me from diving in head first. Starting at the top, I began sticking the tacks into the foam tree – overlapping them slightly - going around and around in rows. Now, don’t be too obsessive at this point. You may see tiny areas of white foam between the tacks, but when the project is finished, you won’t even notice them. (The camera may pick them up, but your eyes won’t.)

The first row stuck up a bit beyond the top edge of the cone. At that point, I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to use for a topper on this little tree.

I continued on down the tree until I didn’t have enough tacks left to complete an entire row. As I was worked, I was thinking about what to do next. 

Going back to my craft stash, I retrieved this red sequin ribbon and my glue gun.

Beginning at the bottom this time, I put down a short line of hot glue – no more than about 2 inches long – and began securing the ribbon to the glue – continuing on around and up the cone.

I didn’t want to see a gap between the ribbon and the tacks – and I also didn’t want the ribbon to overlap the tacks. When I had almost reached the lowest row of thumb tacks, I removed that last row, finished gluing down the ribbon rows, and replaced that bottom row of tacks. The tacks then overlapped the ribbon instead.

For the topper, I could have used a star or a tiny Christmas ornament, but I went through my button jar and found this silver button instead – just a dab of hot glue holds it on. Again, you can see a little white foam around the button, but you don’t notice it in person.

In order to tie the two sections of the tree together, I used my leftover tacks to add silver “ornaments” to the red sequin section – just poked the tacks through in a random pattern. 

At this angle, the camera picks up more of the foam peeking through. If I had an unlimited supply of tacks and had planned the completed look of this project from the start, I would have started at the bottom with the sequin ribbon instead – covered the bottom third of the cone – and then inserted the tacks into the foam beginning with the row that meets the ribbon and working up to the top.

Remember, I’m an admitted perfectionist, and my eyes don’t notice the foam.

How many tacks did I use for this project? Hmm. The tacks were purchased from Dollar Tree in a package of 300. I had already used some of the tacks out of the container, so I’m guessing this 7” tree has about 280 tacks.  It was a simple project to add a little more Christmas bling to my kitchen, and I may make 2 coordinating trees in different sizes next year – one with all thumb tacks and one with all sequin ribbon.

All is well in the Keweenaw.

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