This is how I make my bottle brush trees.
Ideally, the trees are purchased after Christmas when they’re 75% off. Michael’s sells a 21 piece bag for $17 in the aisle with the snow village things.
Make sure it’s the “brushy” kind of tree, not the “stick” kind, which doesn’t bleach from what I’ve read on the web.
Fill a sink with water deep enough to cover all trees, and add 2 cups of bleach. I submerged these at 10 p.m. and by 6 a.m. they were done.
They come with a white gesso ‘snow’ on the branch tips, and some comes off in the process, but it’s easily put back on with gesso, white paint, or craft snow brushed on from the bottom of the tree to the top.
Wear a smock and cover and tie your hair back – this stuff splatters.
Spray with adhesive glue (currently I’m using Elmer’s and like it) and dust with white ‘snow’ powder, like the 32 oz. bottle I bought at a model train shop for $9. This stuff is the same as Martha Stewart’s flocking powder sold for $5 for less than an ounce (.34). I had it in my craft kit because I once tried mixing it with gesso to make snow for my Christmas houses to avoid buying the $10 pre-made stuff in the children’s science craft kits. But, Martha calls hers ‘flocking’ powder and I wanted ‘flocked’ trees. I thought at last I had found what I sought for a year. It really opened my eyes to…opening my eyes and taking another look around my craft arsenal before buying product.
I love the soft, snowed-upon look the flocking powder gives the trees in addition to the white gesso on the branches. I spray adhesive on again, and cover with Faerie Dust Dreams silver glitter. Then, I attach pretty things with a hot glue gun. This year, I cut paper flowers from scrapbook paper and added a pink bead to the center and put those on with pink mercury glass beads (from efinegifts and other Etsy sellers), iridescent white sequins, vintage pearls, deconstructed yard sale costume jewelry, rhinestones, whatever I felt like.
This unflocked tree was made to give my pretty Saturdayfinds tree some company.
Its plastic base is broken, so I hot glued a box for it and wrapped all in a Tattered Vintage print.
I have a set of the ‘stick’ kind of little Christmas tree,
and wondered what would happen if I painted them white.
It didn't turn out as pretty as the brushy kind of trees.
I understand you can dye these with RIT dye after bleaching them. I believe that’s what Michelle Cummings of Faerie Dust Dreams did with this little wonder.
Just have fun! Until next time, stay shabby!