Betsy is a lover of all things handmade. She loves to put on her ruffly, red gingham apron and dance on her tippytoes in her kitchen while she creates perfectly puffed meringue pies and exquisitely executed crafts. No. Not really. But she does love to create and make things beautiful. She has two boys, whom she adores most of the time, and a hubs who is kind enough to let her make a mess. So life is good.
Hello, lovely friends! I’m Betsy. And I’m so totally thrilled to be here at All Time Ever, helping you craft up a Christmas storm. I’ve been wanting to make something small that I could tuck into a little corner of my house and this project perfectly fit the bill. What we are going to make today is a styrofoam pom pom tree, a fun and fairly simple holiday craft that is bright and colorful and will add a sweet touch of whimsy to your home. I found the idea for this project here and immediately pinned it to my Pinterest diy holiday page, knowing that it was something fun and unique.
My Christmas decorating style has evolved over the years, from putting up whatever decorations anyone had given us when we were first married (think random Santa figurines and assorted crate and barrel snowman mugs), to the current version of what we will call woodland whimsical and this craft fits right in with that style. I really love having some aspect of every holiday to be handmade. Don’t get me wrong-I buy pleeeenty of stuff. Maileg elves? Check. Little wooden German guy I got at Homegoods? Check check. Needle felted trees I found at the local pharmacy/boutique? Checkaroony. But if I see an idea for a decoration that looks approachable and affordable, I would much rather make it and then I can put my own spin on it and make it more personal. But no matter what you use, handmade or store bought, the most important thing is that it makes your house feel more homey. If you love it, then that is enough!
Supplies you will need: (all of which were found at my local Michaels store)
-Several packs of pompoms, in whatever color and size you prefer-I went with bigger poms for the bigger tree and smaller poms for the smaller trees. But really, the sky’s the limit, so pick whatever you want. I bought 2 80 piece packs of 1 inch poms: 1 pack in sort of standard colors, and 1 pack in more neon colors, and then mixed them together. Those are what I used to make the biggest of the trees. I also got 2 packs of 300 assorted poms: 1 of only red, green, and white, and 1 of more jewel toned colors. I used poms of various sizes from each of the 2 larger packs to make the Christmas colors tree.
There isn’t much prep to this project. I just laid out my supplies, deciding which size tree and what color poms I wanted to use and then plugged in my glue gun. I always put a paper plate under my glue gun because it leaks (maybe that’s just mine that does that) and I don’t want to always have to scrape glue off every surface in my kitchen. I dumped out and mixed up my two 1 inch packs so that I would have a nice random assortment of colors.
I think it’s easiest to start at the bottom of the tree, which allows you to make more even rows of poms. I stuck with horizontal rows, lining them up with the bottom of the cone to keep them straight. Now, there are infinite possibilities when it comes to color combination on these. You could do all one color per row, which would create a horizontal stripe effect at the end. You could vary the colors but still follow a pattern, i.e., red red, green green, white white, etc., to make a more holly-jolly type tree. You could do all one color on each tree, which would create a nice monochromatic effect. I basically just went for a random free for all of color, making sure I didn’t put too many of the same color too close together, so that the colors would look nicely spread out.
There’s not really a technique for how to do this but I sort of got into a rhythm of pinching a pom pom in my left hand between my thumb and first two fingers and squeezing the glue on with my right. But obviously that will depend on whatever is comfortable for you and which hand is dominant. I happen to be a somewhat confused lefty, being that I write with my left hand but I pretty much do everything else with my right. So do what works for YOU. But back to the glue-I used about a pea sized amount on the larger poms and a little less than that on the smaller poms. A word of warning: glue gun burns hurt worse than being bitten by your baby’s little front beaver teeth. So do your best to keep the glue off your fingers. I got a burn on my fourth finger while making my trees for this post and I now have a lovely orange blister the color of wassail (fun! seasonally appropriate injuries! nope.) to show for it. Keep your first row of poms as close to the bottom of the cone as you can so that you don’t have any styrofoam showing through. Once you begin your second row, you will need to be conscious of where you are placing your poms, making sure that you are filling the gaps between the poms on the row underneath. There were a few times when I thought I had squished the pom pom in enough to cover the white and then realized that there was still a gap showing, so just be mindful of that. That way, you won’t have any white of the styrofoam showing through.
You just pinch, glue, place, and continue on until you have totally covered your tree. Once you get to the top, you can just cover it with poms in any way you want. With my larger tree, I placed the poms so that I could squeeze a toothpick in between them. Then I cut out some yellow felt in the shape of a star and glued it to the toothpick, making a fun little tree topper. This step is totally optional, of course, but if you wanted to, you could do any little shape: a star, a heart, a flower shape, a candy cane, whatever you’re feeling. For the bigger tree, it took me just over an hour to finish and for the smaller trees, just under an hour. So, if you don’t want to just sit there pondering how it’s possible that you spent so much money on your dog’s Christmas stocking while you craft (not at all speaking from experience), you could easily do this in front of the t.v. or while listening to a podcast or doing whatever your tech-savvy little heart desires.
When you’re all done gluing, you can go back through and trim off any bits of dried glue that may be sticking off. In my case, there were a few spots where the glue had snagged a pom pom and pulled a little of the fluff out, so I went back over and trimmed it down so that it was even with the other pom poms.
And there you have it! A fun and simple project to put out in your home that will brighten up any dark corner and make you smile any time you look at it. Have a very happy Christmas! And hopefully, we’ll meet up again in craftyland soon.