Since we were snowed in over the weekend, I thought it would be a good time to try a DIY project that I'd had supplies for since way before Christmas. Natalie from the Vintageporch on Instagram shared how she made trees from faux olive branches from Hobby Lobby and since I had everything I needed I thought I'd give them a try.
Here's Natalie's dog Chester with the olive tree she made. If you don't follow Natalie you definitely should. Not only is she super sweet and talented, but I think she is one of the funniest gals on Instagram. Natalie always brightens my day.
Since so many of my little flocked Christmas trees came wrapped in burlap this year I thought it would be fun to do an olive tree wrapped in burlap, kind of bare root style, if you will. You could totally put them in terra cotta, an olive bucket or a decorative pot, whatever fits your style.
Here's the same tree in a metal planter that I had
and an olive bucket from Hobby Lobby.
You will need three olive stems from Hobby Lobby, (with the 50% off discount they came to $10.50 for the three and they measured about 24" long), a plastic pot to "plant" them in, and a decorative container or a square of burlap just large enough to wrap around and cover the plastic container.
You will also need plaster of Paris, a small block of Styrofoam, floral wire and floral tape, white glue, paint and coffee grounds.
Bundle the three stems together and wire them together securely using 28 or 30 gauge floral wire.
Next wrap the stems with the floral tape covering the wire.
Hot glue a piece of Styrofoam in the center of your plastic container and once cool insert the olive stems into the center of the Styrofoam.
This will keep the stems upright and centered while you add the plaster of Paris.
Fill your container to the top with the plaster, following the directions on the package. Allow to thoroughly dry. I decided to try and add a bit of texture to the stem so I coated it with white glue and sprinkled the wet glue with coffee grounds. I liked the darker color and the added texture that the grounds created. After that was completely dry I painted the stems with a bit of dark green and burnt umber acrylic paint. You could eliminate this step but I just liked how it added some character and realism to the tree trunk.
If you cover the base with burlap there is no need to paint the plaster, but if you want the look of exposed dirt, paint the plaster with glue then sprinkle more coffee grounds on the wet surface for the look of potting soil. You can also add paint as you did on the stems and even some moss if you'd like.
If you are wrapping the base with burlap, add just a bit of stuffing around the pot then tie the burlap with jute twine around the stem. I didn't take of photo of this next step, but you will want to apply the coffee grounds to the stem and paint it before wrapping the base in burlap.
I had so much fun making the olive tree that I decided to try making a lemon tree from stems I found at Kirkland's. I did this tree exactly like the olive tree and love the pop of color that the fruit adds.
I hope you found this tutorial helpful and I would love to know if you try these. These little trees create such a bright and cheery spot in your home, especially this time of year when our homes seem to suffer from the wintertime blahs.
Encourage one another,