There are 2 posts today for those of you reading on a feed reader, don't miss the other post!
Since I made the pastel bottle brush trees well before I started blogging, I tried to take pictures of the process to make a better tutorial on how to do this. If you make trees, please add them to the Flickr group ! (If you need help doing that, email me.)
And if you use photos or just use the tutorial, I would appreciate links back here. :-) (If you need help making a link, let me know, I am happy to help you do that.)
Here is what my package of trees looks like. There are 21 in the bag, and I paid $12.99 for them. They will be in the section of the craft/home decor type places where the small stuff for train layouts are.
This is the first bleach soak. I used hot water and 1/4 of a 24 ounce bottle of Clorox bleach.
And the second soak, with hot water and the remainder of the 24 ounce bottle of bleach. Some trees need a lot more bleach and a lot longer to soak. Give it time. I had to let this batch soak for about 2 hours.
Some trees still required rubbing in the bleach. Do yourself a favor and use rubber gloves! (I had had to superglue some of cuticles which split after doing this since I don't own rubber gloves. Stupid of me.)
Now you have bleached trees. Rinse the bleach off them well.
Prepare the dye baths. I used pyrex bowls filled with hot water. If the dye is powdered, I poured in half the package. Add a tablespoon of salt and stir. I used Rit dyes in black, sunshine orange and golden yellow.
To get the multicolored effect you are going to have to overdye the trees. Dip the tree first in the yellow, leaving the top portion of the tree in it's natural, undyed state. You will be dying the bottom 2/3's of the tree.
Once the yellow is your desired shade, move to the orange dye and dip the bottom 1/3 of the tree. You will be dying the orange OVER the yellow on the bottom of the tree.
The overdying gives you the candy corn effect.
To get black and orange you will also overdye the tree. Drop the whole tree in the orange first. Once it is dark enough you will move onto the black. To dye the top of the tree black hold the tree upside down in the black dye so that only the top of the tree is in the dye. When it is dark enough (the black dye takes a long time, pull up a chair while you wait), let it drip for a few minutes before moving onto dying the bottom or the black dye will run down into the middle and muck up the orange.
Then dye the bottom 1/3 of the tree by holding that portion of the tree in the black dye.
Let them dry overnight.
A few more hints: the very small trees did not take very well to the black/orange method. The top of those trees does not hold the black dye well for some reason.
Paint the white stands black with simple black acrylic paint.
When adding your embellishments, use hot glue! It holds the objects in the bristles the best.
If you have problems or it seems like something is missing, let me know. Happy creating!
You can see all of the finished trees here! .