Handmade Colorful Bottle Brush Trees at Goat Hill Fair

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.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-02Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-012015 UPDATE: You can now purchase my Bottle Brush Christmas Tree video download to watch exactly how to craft these trees yourself!EP12544-1


These trees were tucked into a grungy vintage tobacco tin opposite a reproduced postcard image. Both sides were finished with craft store fencing.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-04A 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.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-05Here’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.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-06This little sweetie fit just right into a vintage spool of thread (secured with hot glue) and topped with a stamped brass embellishment.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-07I just love this old Ball freezer jar, perfect for a frozen display. My St. Nicholas is a little vintage ornament with string removed.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-08By 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.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-09Here is a tree that has not been colored, tucked into an antique record cylinder used as an artist trading card display.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-17You can even make jewelry charms with these little trees! Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-18Sisal 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. Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-10I glued this glittered tree into a vintage glass drawer knob, placed a jump ring into the bent top wire and created a holiday ornament. Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-11Tiny 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!Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-12So 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.Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-13Even this tiny tin toy pitcher makes a sweet tree pot. Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-14Of 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. Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-15And, lastly, here is my tiniest tree that is just under two inches tall. Cathe-Holden-Bottle-Brush-16These 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!

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