Monday, December 18, 2023

The Bauble Tree goes Modern

Hello Friends!

Can you believe it is only one week till Christmas? The month has flown by and I am kinda sad about it! I wish the Christmas season was two months long because I enjoy it so much. I love the decorations and preparing the house for any guest that might arrive. However my guest room is currently being used as a staging ground for Christmas decoration tubs, rolls of wrapping paper and presents waiting to be wrapped. There is "no room in the inn" sorta speak!
Today I am revisiting an old project I created back in 2017.  This time with a modern twist that even my friend Cherion would be proud of! I am sure many of you will remember the original "traditional" version of the project (I will link it late in the post).  I made this one a little more simple than the last, but both ways of creating it work. This one uses a pencil line instead of the template, but admittedly the template from the original made adding the glue much easier and faster.  That being said, check out both tutorials and see which one you want to go with before starting.

I chose 4 colors of Alcohol Ink to color the Baubles + Mushroom for aging, Moss, Pink Sherbet, Cranberry and Citrus.  I also have added some 97% Isopropyl Alcohol to a Mister to even out the Alcohol Ink after is added to the Baubles. This is totally optional, as the technique works fine without it.
I use 2oz portion cups (I buy these in bulk at Smart 'n Final for $3.69 for 125 count) to sort and then color the Baubles.  Just a few drops of a color works.

I used 2 packages of Baubles for this project.  I removed the largest size from the package and set aside. I did end up using one of these for the "trunk" of the tree. The rest of the package I split into 4 portion cups. This photo shows ONE PACKAGE of Baubles. When these were done, I did a second round with the second package. I find is much easier to do two smaller amounts.
1. Separate the Baubles into portion cups.
2. Drip Alcohol Ink into cups (maybe 3-4 drops)
3. Put another portion cup on top to enclose, then shake the cups to coat the Baubles.
4. Mist with Isopropyl Alcohol, then dry Baubles for 15 seconds with heat tool.
6. Drip 2-3 drops of Mushroom Alcohol Ink into cup.
7. Put the top back on and shake to coat Baubles.
8.  Mist with Isopropyl Alcohol then dry Baubles for 15 seconds with heat tool.
(tip - when the cups are empty, the Alcohol Ink can easily be removed with Isopropyl and a paper towel)
I cut three pieces of thick chipboard: two at 6" and one at 4 1/2"
Then taped them together to create the tree shape.
Next is the Framed Panel.  This is a discontinued item that is hard to find except on Ebay these days. So if you don't have one in your stash, Ebay is your best bet. An alternative is to use a Panel from the Etcetera line - really anything that will give you a flat surface to work on!
I added Scor-tape to the back, but you could also use Collage Medium.

Next I painted the entire surface with black paint and let it dry.
I used my chipboard triangle I made as a template to draw the tree shape. Be sure to leave enough room at the top for your words.
Working quickly, add a thick layer of Collage Medium. This is the part when a tree template would come in handy (see original post here for that idea).
Add the chipboard triangle back to the panel, then start adding the Baubles (you must work quickly so your glue does not dry up).
I added as many Baubles as I could fit in the triangle without moving it. It is interesting how just by pouring them from your hand, a little at a time, they come out very random!
So compare the next two photos.  Here I have lifted the chipboard.  The top is fine, but...
I removed the pink Bauble at the top to add a slightly larger one that was in Cranberry. on my original tree I added a tree topper but we don't have that metal element anymore so I went with just the larger red Bauble.
There is still glue showing so I sprinkled Rock Candy in the open areas. I did go over the entire surface with a heat tool.
For words, I used the sizzix set, BOLD TEXT CHRISTMAS - one of my favorite dies sets. 
Solving a problem:
So I wanted my words to go across the top, but after I cut them I realized the Merry and Bright were two different size fonts (on purpose).  That looked weird when the letters ran across the panel (stacked on top of each other it makes perfect sense). 
My solution was to mix up the letters so the two sizes would look like the were meant to be that way.  To do this, I switched the R's, then cut Winter Wishes to get a small I, H, and T.  I used my Favorite Alcohol Ink Black Cardstock because of the velvety black finish. I also added a Sizzix Adhesive Sheet to the back before cutting, so it was easy to peel and stick the letters to the panel.
To get a straight line at the top of the panel, I cut a skinny piece of chipboard and adhered it to the panel with repositionable dot tape, so it can be easily removed once my letters are in place. I spaced out the letters to get the right placement side to side.
Then just peeled off the protective paper before permanently added them to the panel.

I also colored and added one of the large Baubles I had saved at the beginning to create a trunk for my tree - totally different idea than the traditional trunk from the original Bauble Tree. I thought it was perfect for a modern tree!
You can also go back and add any small Baubles you have left. I added a few that sit in some of the small holes.  Collage Medium will allow you to move things as long as you do it right away.  Once 24 hours has past, they aren't going anywhere.
I am beyond happy with my modern tree! I hope you will give this a go. The entire project can be done in just a few hours with such great results!

Now carry on,

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