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!

Jean Pocket Patches: Repairing Knee Holes

A cool and easy way to repair knee holes in jeans is to sew on the back pockets of a pair of older jeans. It’s hard to get my daughter to part with her favorite pair of jeans. Sometimes when summer comes we make them into shorts but if not, here is a solution.

You will need a pair of jeans that you can salvage the back pockets from. I like the ones from smaller jeans. You might have some that your child has worn out/ out grown. I used a seam ripper to remove the pockets then I sewing them over the holes of the jeans that we want to keep. I left the pockets open on the tops but you can sew all the way around if you like. When salvaging old pockets, you may want to cut the pockets off instead so that you have two layers that you sew on.

They are approved by fashion conscious people (like my daughter).

Bird Feeder Bird Watching: A Great Place To Start

Introduce your kids to bird watching by setting up a birdfeeder within easy view of a window. Children will have an easier time learning to use binoculars by starting with a fixed focus point. Children will focus on the birdfeeder (with the help of an adult if needed) and wait for the birds to come. They will see the birds like never before. Using a bird feeder will bring around many varieties of birds for their enjoyment.

Try buying different seeds to attract different varieties of birds. Provide a notebook where kids can record birds that they see. Show them how they can start their own life list. Buy a bird field guide or research sightings on-line.

Chipping Sparrows

Bird Collides With Window: Hermit Thrush

Sadly, this hermit thrush hit a window in our house. My daughter and I looked out for it while it recovered. Happily, in less than a half hour it was able to fly away.

December of 2010.

When this happens we usually put the bird in a box for its protection while recovering. If it is too cold or too hot we bring it inside. If you find a bird unconscious, protect it from predators like cats. Be very quiet around it and don’t try to feed it. Do let it go as soon as it recovers (usually within an hour.)

We have been trying to develop strategies to prevent birds from hitting our windows.

In another post I’ll show you some of our tricks. I like to think that we have reduced the amount of bird collisions that would have otherwise occurred but it is hard to know for sure.

Do you have any good ideas to prevent bird collisions?

Reuse Brown Paper Packing Material

Save the brown paper used as packing material in the boxes you get in the mail. You could recycle it but it would be even better to reuse that paper in other ways.

This is what I’m talking about.

I roll it up and put it away until needed.

Besides an amusement for my cat, it can be reused in so many crafty ways.

One example is as a protective table cloth when doing craft projects.

Here students are painting bread dough ornaments made during one of my workshops.