Any interior designer will tell you that fake plants are not the fastest way to a gorgeous home decor. While they do have their place (mostly offices and other commercial spaces), and there are some gorgeous faux flowers out there, most of the time I’d rather not see fake plants used in home decorating. If you have some old, dusty silk plants laying around, take heart! I’ll show you how to turn them into wintry trees for your home.
Aren’t these great? I just love their snowy look, and since they aren’t overtly “Christmasy” I can keep them out all winter long; and in Wisconsin, that’s a long time. 🙂 I made a set of three, using foam cones in three different sizes. Here’s how you can make your own set of winter trees:
First, gather up your supplies. Besides the floral foam cones, you will need silk leaves from fake plants. You can use virtually any size and shape for this project, so go with whatever you can find. Be sure that you have enough of one shape, however, to complete a full tree – it will take hundreds of individual leaves, depending on the leaf size and the cone size. You will also need white spray paint (I used a flat finish for the leaves and gloss for the pots), straight pins, craft glue, spray-on snow, sticks or dowels, dry florist foam, moss and mini terracotta flower pots (sizes need to be proportional to the cone size.).
To get started, use a sharpened pencil or a skewer to poke a hole in the center of the bottom of your cone. This hole will make it easier to insert the dowel or stick into the bottom of your tree when you are finished adding the leaves. Poke the pencil in several inches, taking care to put it in as straight as possible.
Next, spray paint your leaves and clay pots with the white spray paint and allow to dry. If the leaves are dusty, be sure to wipe them down first for best results. You will likely need a couple of coats on the pots, but only one on the leaves. I allowed some of the green to show through the paint on the leaves, giving them a grayish-green, mossy look. You could choose to cover them completely in white – the choice is yours. Keep the leaves on their stems/branches to keep them from blowing away when you spray them, and peel them off the stems when they are dry.
Sort the leaves by size. I used the larger leaves on the bottom of the trees, and smaller leaves on the tops of the trees. There is no science here – just use what you have and what looks good to you.
Using the straight pins, and starting at the bottom of the cone, start attaching the leaves to the cone. Make sure the bottom row overhangs the bottom of the cone. Use 2 pins for each leaf to keep them from twisting around as you work. Be sure all of the foam is covered by the leaves and continue around the bottom of the cone to finish the first row before moving on.
Begin the second row of leaves by overlapping the first, being sure to cover both the pins from the first row of leaves and the foam cone. You may want to use a thimble as you push the pins into the cone; those pins start to hurt your fingers after awhile!
Continue in rows until the entire cone is covered in leaves. At the top of the cone, use small leaves and glue them on instead of pinning them; that way, you won’t see any pins in your finished tree. I used pins to hold the leaves in place while the glue dried, then carefully removed them.
Insert the stick (I used a small stick I cut from a tree in my yard, but you could use a painted dowel instead) into the bottom of the cone. Cut the florist foam into an appropriate size for your clay pot and place it inside. It should be lower than the top of your pot. Insert the stick and cone into the floral foam to stand it up in the pot. Cover the foam with moss or other covering.
Spray the entire tree with snow; this is an optional step, of course, but I like the way it looks.
That’s it! These trees took some time to put together, but much of it can be done while you are watching a Christmas movie and sipping hot cocoa. Not a bad way to spend a cold afternoon, I’d say.