Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thankful Tree, Phase 1

Phase 1 of the Thankful Tree is complete. Here's the story....

First, I saw this picture on Pinterest.

I LOVED this idea, but the execution of it proved problematic. You see, I have one very sad and small and scraggly Japanese maple in my yard which can't afford to lose any branches, and no other (legal) source of free branches.

Whatever is an arborially-challenged crafter to do?!?

I went shopping, of course. I looked at Hobby Lobby but found no branches I liked. So I put on my thinking cap and remembered the black metal "tree" I bought for Christmas last year. I had hung my miniature book ornaments from it for the holidays. Problem solved. Good for me!

Of course (again), I was already at Hobby Lobby when this thought struck, so as I wandered around the Christmas tree display to make sure nothing even more perfect jumped off the shelf and into my cart (these things do happen, don't they?), I found a second black metal "tree" thingie, which (I'm not making this up) was 40% off.  It was destiny.

Why have just one Thankful Tree when you can have TWO Thankful Trees and put them nice and symmetrical on your fireplace mantle?

So I bought the second tree thingie and took it home and dove into some magazines for inspiration. Now, if you surf around the interwebs or read craft magazines, you've seen the pleated paper medallions people are making. I've seen them on cards and asked myself, "Why would you put something so big and bulky and thick on a card?" In my best redneck voice, I answer myself, "It shore is purdy, but it don't make no see-unse."

Then I saw one used as a Christmas tree decoration in a magazine and shouted, "That DO make see-unse."

Y'all 'uns didn't know I have redneck kin, didya?

So I made one. From scratch. Without a tutorial and from badly written magazine instructions that suggested using a glue gun...a device I only use when I know emergency services are readily available to whisk me to the nearest burn unit.

The close-up shows the details of this pretty idea. I used some speckled art paper cut into 2" x 22" strips, one for each medallion. One thing I figured out BEFORE I made the mistake (I sooo want credit for that) is to score first but do not fold, and THEN use the edge punch on the paper. I suspect scoring after punching a lacy border might result in tears. That's tears, as in rips and also as in those big fat blobs of water that leak from your eyes when you are sad.

Instead of a glue gun, I used glue dots, wodged into placed where I wanted them with a craft knife. I didn't cut myself in the process, and for me it was definitely safer than using a glue gun, but I suggest you use whatever adhesive works best and is safest for you.

If you want a tutorial for making these, just google accordion fold paper medallions. Once you understand the basics, you can vary the dimensions and embellish to your heart's content.

The leaf ornaments are simply two shades of red (cherry cobbler and rose red) in two different sizes of a maple leaf punch, connected with a dimensional that serves double duty holding the loop of twine for hanging it.

This is just the first phase of my Thankful Trees project. More to come as soon as I have it available.

What do you think so far?


  1. Very cool! Isn't it great when something works out Right?

  2. Love the "Thankful Tree" idea. I really like the black metal "tree"... could be used for so many things!!

    And I have to say... "Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!" Now I don't feel all alone! I see so many beautiful cards with lovely embellishments like big, thick flowers and these medallions, etc. And while they look pretty, I just don't really "get it". I make my cards to be mailed... unfortunately all of my relatives and close friends live far, far away from me so I have to mail them... I can't hand deliver them. So, all that said, I was cheering when I read your comments about putting thick and bulky things on cards! LOL!!

  3. I love it. Great use of a pretty paper crafting idea without bulking up a card. :-)
    I recently made some of these "accordian fold paper medallions" and used Crystal Effects to stick them in place. It took a little while of holding my finger on my medallion before the glue set, but I used that time to have a chat with my friends who were there doing the same thing, LOL!

  4. Love it!!

    I use the red double sided tape when making these...and no, I don't put them on cards either :)

    Just a thought, when using crystal effects to make things like these little pegs or clips are good for holding them together until they start to set...then you can make more ;)

  5. So so gorgeous Susan, much better than the original, even for a redneck!!!! Please tell me you don't have a matching pair!! That's just weird.

  6. These are simply wonderful....having two of them hanging to the rafters in the roofspace I now know what I can use them for apart from having had them to hang bookmarks on at craft fairs....great thinking! Your decor is beautiful too, like the thinking you did to get the edges of the medallions so good looking and the leaves are just perfect....and yes, I have a glue gun which I use day and daily and get burnt very often but it's so instant that it is invaluable to me. Great work. Thanks for the ideas....hey, Pinterest is so, so good if you ignore the f words and the sick things....I am addicted and have restricted myself to once per day to view.

  7. Beautiful - plain & simple.
    Thanks for a great idea for my grandsons


  8. I think I love it! Those medallions were one of the projects in my online class this week. Love how you punched yours. Looking forward to the next chapter of this.

  9. BRILLIANT!! off to look for tree branches!! woo hoo!!

  10. Aren't you so clever! What a cute project -- don'tcha know I just happen to have the die to make these fun "ornaments" --- hmmmm do I see a project in my future.....

  11. What an awesome project. I can't wait to see more.

  12. your ornaments are delightful and while I realize all the work went into the fancy folded things - so pretty (which I totally agree with the bulkiness piece) they pieces that grabbed my attention were the maple leaf deco rations! Love it ... especially being canadian ... can see this type of thing decorating my backyard treat table on Canada Day!! Thanks for all the inspiration!!

  13. The medallions are so pretty. But, the maple leaves caught my them! I hadn't thought of layering them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  14. I too have seen medallions like yours on cards and thought that they would make the cards impossible to mail. But what a wonderful way to enjoy making them and have a use for them. I can see your little tree being used for blown and hand-painted Easter eggs in spring - what a great find!

  15. This'un loves it and thinks y'all did a great job!

  16. It is indeed very pretty! The leaves look so fall!


Thank you so much for taking time to comment!