Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dyed Bottle Brush Trees

Wow! December is half way over and I still haven't touched my sewing machine! I've been way too busy decorating and making gifts for Christmas. One of the things on my to-do list for awhile now has been to bleach and dye some bottle brush trees for part of my decorations. This weekend my mom, sister-in-law and I got together to make some. It was so fun and easy to do, so I thought I'd share how we did it.
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

We found assortment packages of bottle brush trees in the Christmas Village section at Michaels (and they were 50% off, yea!), but you can find them in most craft and hobby stores.
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

First, the trees need to be bleached to remove their green coloring. We filled the kitchen sink with approximately 4" of hot water and added bleach. We didn't measure how much bleach we put in but it wasn't more than a fourth of a gallon jug. The water will turn dark and dirty as the trees are bleaching. We changed our bleach water after the first initial bleaching and bleached the trees again. We left the trees in the bleach water for 10 - 15 minutes each time and then rinsed them under warm running water.
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

After our trees dried over night, we decided they still weren't white enough and ended up bleaching them again after test dyeing one tree. The coloring on our test dyed tree was dirty looking and not a bright, pretty color. Some of the trees we pulled out early while there was still a hint of green and didn't dye them (see the tree in the bottom right corner). My sister-in-law decided to not dye her trees because she liked the bleached look so well.
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

We used Rit liquid dye in fuschia, aquamarine and teal. We filled pint canning jars with hot water and added 1 teaspoon of liquid dye. Unfortunately, the aquamarine and teal colors were too close to the same and you really can't distinguish a difference.
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

Some of the trees we 'candy corn' striped by dipping one end in the fuschia and the other end in the teal. And some trees we tried an ombre effect by dipping one end of the tree in dye and leaving the other end bleached. I definitely want to find some different colors of dye and add to my forest in the future!

I decided to remove the plastic bases from my trees and hot glued them to old wooden thread spools for a more vintage look.
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I created a little forest scene in a corner of my kitchen using a jadeite cake plate and new jadeite glass topped jars I found at World Market (love them!).
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

A close up of my trees under glass. Eventually, I may add some decoration to the spools, such as tying jute bows on them or something. Don't you love the slabs of wood my brother cut and gave me?
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I laid a jar on its side and added a couple of my hubby's Hot Wheels cars with trees tied to them. So fun and cute!
Dyed Bottle Brush Trees Tutorial by Thistle Thicket Studio. www.thistlethicketstudio.com

I saw the cutest star made out of bottle brush trees that is next on my to-do list. They simply took 5 bleached trees and glued the bottoms together in a star shape. A wreath would be cute too. Oh, the ideas are endless! I would love to hear how you would use bleached or dyed bottle brush trees in your d├ęcor, so comment away!

~Sharla


1 comment:

  1. Great trees but I really really envy your collection of wooden cotton reels!
    A happy Christmas to you and yours Sharla x

    ReplyDelete

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