Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Create Your Own Vintage Bottle Brush Trees

I have always loved the look of tiny bottle brush trees, circa 1940's. I ran across a very nice blog called Hazelruthes and realized I could make them myself. It turned out to be one of my most favorite Christmas projects ever. I think it's because the transformation is so dramatic and the result is so magical.

I started with a large bag of these little trees. I got this bag of 21 trees at Michaels. With a 50% off coupon, they were $9.99. I have seen and used these trees for years and never realized they were actually bottle brush trees.

They are a kind of ugly dark green with snow-covered tips. Not too special.

You simply fill your sink or a bowl with clorox and leave them to soak.

They start bleaching out fairly quickly. The longer you leave them in, the whiter they become. You can pull the snow off at this point if you want to.

Soak in a solution of vinegar and water for a few minutes to neutralize the clorox smell. This is how they look when they are wet.

They look like this once they are dry.

Zac and Alex helped me.

We mixed different colors of liquid Rit Dye with water and dipped the trees into it. The longer we left the trees in, the more intense the color became.

One of my favorites is the pretty blue tree that Alex dyed.

Some of them looked rusty and a couple of them broke. I simply glued them back and dyed them extra dark colors. They turned out just fine.

To decorate, I lightly applied glue to the tips of the branches with a paintbrush, then poured pretty glitter onto them. (Shake off the excess, of course). I added small pearls to some of them.

I decorated my dining room table with them. Details coming in my next post.

Who would have thought that a simple bottle brush could be so pretty?


happeningswithLana said...

That is really a cool ideal!!! Looks nice.

Suzanne said...

I love these! I had no idea that you could bleach them. Thank you for posting this, Vickie. Merry Christmas!

Guy Walker said...

I like those little trees!

Mrs. Art Doll Maker said...

What a great idea! I think this just became one of my soon to be favorite projects. There are so many ideas already popping up in my head for this. Gotta share this on my Christmas blog: Mrs. Santa's Cottage. I'll link back to both your blog and the original one, as well. Thanks for sharing!

esther a.k.a. craftyvox said...

How cute!! I also love the little houses :)