I am in Santa Cruz this weekend for the Goat Hill Fair where I am demonstrating a fun and timely craft project- Vintage-Style Bottle Brush Trees! I’m not just showing how to use them in projects, but how to actually make your own and customize them to suit your crafts! I brought along lots of examples to share at the fair and thought you’d like a little inspiration, too. Here is a photo of two bottle brush trees. The one on the left was made in China. The one on the right was made in Petaluma, by me.2015 UPDATE: You can now purchase my Bottle Brush Christmas Tree video download to watch exactly how to craft these trees yourself!
These trees were tucked into a grungy vintage tobacco tin opposite a reproduced postcard image. Both sides were finished with craft store fencing.A little pottery vase makes a cute tree urn decorated with a vintage postage stamp. This tree was lightly painted with Mod Podge then dusted with mica flakes.Here’s a purple display made from a vintage silver sugar container (with a glittered styrofoam ball inserted to hold the trees) and covered in murcury glass garland, and finished with a county fair rosette.This little sweetie fit just right into a vintage spool of thread (secured with hot glue) and topped with a stamped brass embellishment.I just love this old Ball freezer jar, perfect for a frozen display. My St. Nicholas is a little vintage ornament with string removed.By dipping in two of the same color- one diluted more than the other- I was able to create ombré trees. These are set into vintage candle holders filled with hot glue and finished with glitter.Here is a tree that has not been colored, tucked into an antique record cylinder used as an artist trading card display.You can even make jewelry charms with these little trees! Sisal bottle brush trees can be used throughout the year for occasions other than Christmas. They make adorable Easter decor. Here’s one tucked into an egg cup. I glued this glittered tree into a vintage glass drawer knob, placed a jump ring into the bent top wire and created a holiday ornament. Tiny embellishments can be glued around the tree like ornaments. Here I used tiny jingle bells, and glittered scrapbook supply stars glued back-to-back as the tree topper. I found the tree base as-is at an antique shop- score!So many cute little containers make good pots for planting these trees. Here’s a vintage and decorated toothpick package stuffed with floral foam and Spanish moss.Even this tiny tin toy pitcher makes a sweet tree pot. Of course there’s the ol’ stand-by apothecary bottle filled with glitter. I drilled a tiny hole into the cork before poking the twisted wire into it to keep the cork from breaking. And, lastly, here is my tiniest tree that is just under two inches tall. These trees are just so much fun to make. I make them assembly-line-style over many days. One evening I will cut and unravel rope on the coffee table while watching a movie. Another day I will wire and spin and trim. Another time I will dye and dry them. The final trees are great to keep on hand for future craft displays or to use as favors, ornaments, place settings or a few dozen other uses. Have fun!