Saturday, 19 December 2015

How to Decorate a Tiny Victorian Christmas Tree

To decorate your tree you will need a little bit of time and patience. 

To decorate the tree you will need:
  • beads of several kinds in the shapes and colours you like;
  • jewellery wire;
  • pliers (preferable a small pair of long nose with rounded tips); 
  • super glue (or glue which will glue metal to metal, plastic to metal).
To make the little Christmas tree table you will need:
  • miniature table you like;
  • silk fabric in two shades (silk responds the best to starch and also has a shine with looks realistic at scale);
  • spray starch;
  • 1mm card;
  • a few more pieces of lycopodium moss;
  • smallest ribbon you can find;
  • plastic based all purpose glue (such as "Tarzan's Grip", which is best for glueing fabric).

Using the jewellery wire and pliers  bend and cut the hangers for each bauble. These will be glued into the beads. Cut the lengths slightly longer than you need because it is esier to trim excess than to fiddle with a tiny piece. 

I modified some of the beads by painting them purple and red with glass paint. Glass paint is perfect because it has that glossiness that Christmas ornaments usually have. 

Here you can see a selection of baubles I made for my tree.

To make the star I used two of the same type of beading thingy. This type of thingy is common and easy to find. Many mini makers use them the base for 1:12 candle sticks.

I cut one up to expose the centre star and glued it onto the top of the other. I then glued strands of the jewellery wire behind it for star shine. 

I then used the glass paint to add some red highlights to the star. 

Once the decorations are finished place them one by one in the tree. When you like their position, dap a drop of super glue on to glue them in place. 


Start by cutting a circle of card the same size as the top of your table. Using the method you like best, pleat a straight strip of the silk (the height of your table) and glue it around the outside of the card. like below. 

To work with ease, use a toilet roll or equivalent holder as a stand. This will make it much easier to handle without making dirty. 

Once the pleats are finished, take a square piece of silk in another tone and spray with starch. Then drape it over the top of the card and hold down the sides to make it look realistically draped. Once it has dried, dap small amounts of the glue to hold it in place on to the card.  

Make some small bows with your ribbon. I did this by folding and glueing several pieces rather than actually tying a real bow.

Make the garlands for the table in the same way you make the branches of the tree: with lycopodium glued to wire. glue the bows on top when you're done. 

And you're done!

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Making a Victorian Style Christmas Tree

I have always loved the famous image of the young Queen Victoria and family around their German Christmas tree. The image was printed in the London Illustrated News the christmas of 1848 and is widely credited as starting the fashion for Christmas trees in England and America.

Because the half scale house is Victorian, I think it needs a Victorian christmas tree like this one. Determining the style of the tree was fun. Fake trees were popular at the time, and the Germans had feather trees. Since this is the easiest style to replicate, and looks the most authentic, I decided to go with that. 

Sharpen a toothpick or section of skewer or small dowel to the length you want. Then use jewellery wire to create the branch levels. To do this, wrap the wire around the stem following the below pattern. 

Once you are done with each level, drab a drop of super glue on the centre of each level to secure the wire to the tooth pick. I use super glue because it most effectively binds wire and wood. 

Then paint the stem brown. 

The next step is to use some lycopodium to make the branches. Lycopodium is a type of moss which is dried and painted green. You can buy it in bulk packs at florists or miniatures shops. It isn't too hard to find, and I even found some here in Aus at a miniatures fair. Cut the lycopodium in "Y" shape segments. 

Using super glue, slowly work your way around the stem, gluing the Y branches on. This is a little bit time consuming and annoying in the extreme. But stick with it. The good thing about using the wire branches is that you can change their angle to get the look you like. 

Next you make the stand by cutting two pieces of bass wood and creating grooves in them so they fit neatly together in an "X". 

Glue to the base, and then you're finished!

Next up, decorations!!