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Decorative Trees Made From Scrap Fabric

When I think winter, I think evergreen trees. Here are some easy to make stylized evergreen trees made out of fabric. They can easily be made by children and given as a charming Christmas gift.

Here are some of the trees done by one of my students from my winter sewing/crafting workshop 2010.

Make the tree stump(s)

Find a tree branch of the desired diameter. Cut tree stumps using a miter saw if you have one.

Keep in mind, if the stumps are too small in diameter, the trees will fall over.

Make the tree top

1. Cut Fabric

Use a plate to mark a circle on your fabric and cut out. Next, cut the circle in half. Each half can make a tree.

2. Sew

Fold the semicircle in half with the good side of the fabric facing in. Use a sewing machine or hand -sew a straight line up the side as shown in the photo. Make your cone wider or narrower by adjusting your sewing line.

3. Turn and Stuff

Cut off the extra fabric. Then, turn the cone right side out and add stuffing.

4. Stitch

Using large stitches sew all the way around the bottom of the cone.

5. Gather

Pull the thread from both ends until the fabric is gathered together and the hole is gone.

6. Tie A knot

Knot the thread.

7. Glue

Add glue to the stump and glue in place.

8. Let Dry

Use a glass or another object to weigh down the tree top until the glue is dry.

9. Done

10. Make More

Make a whole forest of trees!

December Fun In The Making Workshops Are Forming Now

Schedule your workshop now before it’s too late.

Tea Cup Mouse workshop –one day ($20). Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –one day ($20). Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –two day ($40). Here are some dates to consider:(Available dates: Dec.4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 29, 30)

So far: 4th & 5th -Christmas workshop (2 day)- full class.

Dec. 30th -Tea Cup Mouse workshop – space still available

*Join a workshop or schedule another.Students take home their projects at the end of the workshop. These projects are fun for holiday decoration and often make great gifts! Workshop times: 9 -2 or 12- 5 (depending on the time you schedule your workshop). This includes time for a lunch break or snack break. Students bring their own lunch or snack.

Tea Cup Mouse workshop –one day

Students will make an adorable Tea Cup Mouse.

Skills include machine or hand sewing and embroidering.

Bring: salvaged fabric for making the mouse body and a tea cup. If you can’t find something suitable to repurpose into a mouse, let me know so I can help.

Those who have time will work on accessories (like quilts, blankets, cloths) for their mouse.

Time permitting; students will make plastic peace dove ornaments out of recycled materials. These dove ornaments can also be made into a mobile or hung on windows to discourage bird collisions.

It will be a lot of fun!

Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –two day

Students will make:

On day one-

Little Birdie bread dough ornaments

Simple Stick star ornaments

Evergreen tree decoration made from fabric and includes a tree branch slice for a “stump”. (bring scrap fabric with a Christmas print, some shade of green, or any print you like!)

At the end of the day, students will help decorate a class tree with ornaments made from recycled materials.

On day two-

Little Birdie bread dough ornaments (paint)

Punched “tin” ornaments

Fabric peace dove or blue bird or cardinal ornament(s) (Student donations of scrap silk, wool, or other fabric pieces, beads, sequins, or buttons will be combined with the fabric and notions provided by the teacher and past workshops.

Hot Chocolate will be served while completing projects and finishing trimming the tree.

Christmas “green” sewing and craft workshop –one day

Students will make:

Evergreen tree decoration made from fabric and includes a tree branch slice for a “stump”. (bring scrap fabric with a Christmas print, some shade of green, or any print you like!)

Punched tin can lanterns or ornaments

Plastic Peace Dove Ornaments made out of recycled materials. These beautifully simple dove ornaments can also be made into a mobile or hung on windows to discourage bird collisions. (Please donate white plastic yogurt, cool whip, cream cheese or other similar container lids.

Hot Chocolate served while trimming the student’s class tree.

I’d be flattered if you recommended these workshops to a friend.

For additional information about classes including some project picture, go to

Eastern Spadefoot Found

Dead toad picture; how appropriate for Halloween!

I found this dead toad on the road near my house in Southern Maryland. I’d never seen a toad like it before so I did what any weird, I mean curious, person would have done. I took a picture and did some research. Notice the strange claw thing on its foot. These toads dig in the ground.

Follow the link below to see pictures of a live toad, to hear its call and to learn more.

Bringing The Garden Indoors: Pyracanthas Have Amazing Fall Beauty

Pyracanthas (also known as Firethorns) have beautiful orange fruit that are perfect for fall décor. I love to bring in large bouquets of these berry laden branches. I also love the way they add color to my garden in the fall. The berries persist into the winter as well and provide food for birds. Cardinals especially love them. Harvesting from your garden for home décor is a way to make your house gorgeous without spending any money! Plus the seasons provide variety and change is good.

I recommend planting a pyracantha bush. This one in my yard is a Mohave Pyracantha (Pyracantha x ‘Mohave’).

Playing Pretend: Reuse For Non-Working Or Outdated Electronics

play pretend with not working computer parts

Is it really necessary to buy plastic versions of the things we have? Children want to play with your cell phone or type on the computer because they see you do it. Pass down your non-working or outdated electronics. Playing pretend is great fun for boys and girls alike.

My kids and their friends were always happy to play with an old cell phone, broken computer key board, even a non functioning remote control. Reusing these hand-me downs can entertain little ones who may not be ready to use the real thing yet. Children might want to play Office. Furthermore, if the kids are into theatre, then reuse these things as props.

play Laptop Notebook Computer

This is my daughter’s version of a laptop notebook computer she made a few years ago.

The above play computer is made from reusing non-working computer parts. The monitor was made from a cardboard try. Any magazine picture can be put on it for the wallpaper. The toolbar and other features can be drawn on by hand.

Use good parental judgment. Some items would not be safe to play with. Also, I’m not suggesting these items be given to very young children.