Decorating With Collections

Yes, it’s too early for winter holiday decorations. Unless, of course, you are hand-making them. In which case, it’s time to think about all the Autumn and Winter holidays (because some decorations can be combined or re-used).

On October 18 and 19, the Women’s Expo is at the Phoenix Convention Center. I’m volunteering for Arizona Art Supply. I’ll be making wreaths with paperback book pages. While prepping some books, I had another thought–most of us have collections–office supplies, sentimental collections and pieces we keep through all the de-stashings.

treebuttonsI had my mother and my mother-in-laws button collection. I also ran across a stash of push-pins. I rarely use them anymore because computers and smart phones have covered a lot of ground that bulletin boards used to cover.

treepushpinsWhile buying the wreath rounds I saw a  green styrofoam cone and picked it up, too. I regretted the green almost as soon as I took it out of the bag, so I used Dylusions Ink in white, and sprayed it, which gave it a nice textured color. No complete coverage needed, but when you spray, do it in a bag or cover a big area. The ink drifts and sticks.

treehalfSort the button collection to gather the same sizes and colors. I chose colors from black through gray to white. Start the project by putting three rows of push pins into the base area of the sprayed and dried cone.

Then pin a row of buttons in the darkest color in the space above the push pins. The buttons don’t have to touch the pins. Larger buttons will take up more space so the smaller buttons will seem to float. That’s fine. The pins that hold the buttons should be pushed in at an angle from top to bottom to keep the buttons in place more easily. You’ll also be able to carry the project around more easily.

Once the row of buttons is in place, put another row of push pins into the cone.

Then alternate buttons and push pins, using lighter buttons as you move up. You can see the black through gray here, but you could also use black and orange for Halloween, or yellow, red and brown for Thanksgiving.

You could choose extravagant buttons to show off your collection favorites, ortreetop coordinate them with your wedding colors. All white is also attractive.

My collection has a lot of white buttons, so the top third was all white.

The top of the cone is decorated in three pieces of trim shaped like white poinsettias. Put a push pin in the top center to support them, and then angle in straight pins to hold the flower in place. The gold circle is part of the photography background, not on the tree.

tree8When the tree was done, I decided I wanted to add a bit more glitz, so I bought dress trim in silver beads. The scale has to be right, but there are many choices–pearls, pre-strung sequins, or any other trim.  Put the pre-strung “garland” over the row of push pins and use the heads of straight pins to hold them in place.

You can use a glue gun for all this, but pins are adjustable and make much less of a mess for someone who is not used to glue guns. (I don’t own one.)

These trees would make great centerpieces or mantel decorations. Have fun!

Quinn McDonald has a big button collection. She’s thinking of doing a tree with all buttons, too.

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9 thoughts on “Decorating With Collections

  1. Your way to make the decorations is better: Glue gun artwork falls apart if it freezes or is exposed to hot storage areas and the glue can ruin beautiful buttons or trim. Besides, you might want to rearrange it next year in vertical rows just to change the look!

    • That’s a good idea–vertical rows–or spirals! I’m not good with glue guns and the glue never seems to last more than a day or two. And you are right about it ruining the buttons.

  2. Lovely! I was going to offer to make you a button necklace with one of your special buttons, but looks like you’re off & running with ideas for them. ;^) (But the offer stands.) (WHEN I finally unpack my studio!!) :^D

  3. for several years in the 70’s I made toothpick christmas trees, take a 1.5″ stryrofoam ball and put a gazillion toothpick in concentric circles into the ball. Then stack the balls in a pyramid shape and spray with spray snow. I don’t have any pics but they were different!

    Shari Adkisson aka TXCreatrix aka Wyld Womyn Nrrd http://www.creativitycontinium.com

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