Monday, November 28, 2011

25 Gifts & Ornaments - #1 - Rosette Christmas Tree!

Today I am starting something that has become a bit of a tradition here at Ink Stains...  It started out as 25 days of Ornaments then I the next year I added gifts as many people requested.  This year, several people have e-mailed asking about ideas for creating Christmas charms so I'm going to be tossing a few in here and there as we go.  I think they will fall under the gifts but of course you could always keep them for yourself ;)

I left off the "Days" part as I may squeeze in a couple ideas in on one day and skip another day.  Just be assured, each idea will be numbered so if you think you've missed something, because you missed a day all you have to do is check the numbered list if you're keeping track of 'em.

To kick off the 25 G&O I thought I would start with something I knew I wanted to include the minute I saw how popular the folded rosettes have become ~ rosette Christmas trees!  There are 2-3 mfg. with dies on the market to create rosettes but you are somewhat limited on the sizes.  Rather than spend $20.00+ on the dies I prefer to keep that money (to spend on other goodies of course) and make them the old fashion way....cut, score & fold.  It's really very easy - nothing complicated at all about it and I'll even share my secret on how to cut your time in half when working with rosettes!

25 Gifts & Ornaments
#1 - Rosette Christmas Tree Decoration/Ornament


1 - 12x12" sheets of green cardstock (or other color/pattern paper)
Trimmer (with ruler)
Score blade or Bone Folder or similar
Hot Glue* or Thick Glue  (*I'll explain why below)
Red Line Tape (or other double sided extra sticky type tape)
Coffee Stirrer**
Metallic Pipe Cleaner or Wired Mini Garland
Pick or other sharp instrument (scissor tips work too)
(optional) Glass Glitter, Wire, Stretch Cord, Fiber, Ribbon, Bead, circle punch

1. Cut the cardstock into the following size strips - (1) 12" x 2" strip; (1) 12" x  1 3/4" strips; (1) 12" x 2 3/4" strips.

2. Score each strip every 1/4".  I have a blade that fits into my rotary trimmer that will score but if yours doesn't come with a score blade you can use a bone folder instead.

Rosette Tree 001

3. Accordion fold each strip along the score marks.   Now comes the real time are going to cut the strips down so you can make the 8 rosettes you will need to make each tree. 

Cut the 2" strip in half to make (2) 1" strips.
Cut 1/2" off of both of the 1 3/4" strips so you end up with - (2) 1/2" strips & (2) 1 1/4" strips.
Cut 1 1/2" from the 2 3/4" strip so you end up with (1) 1 1/4" strip and (1) 1 1/2" strip.

You should now have the following: (2) 1/2" strips; (2) 1" strips; (3) 1 1/4" strips and (1) 1 1/2" strip.   These are all the strips you need an you already have all of the scoring and folding done!  Instead of scoring and folding 8 separate strips you only had to score and fold 4 cutting your time in half.

Rosette Tree 002

4. Place a piece of double stick tape on one end of each strip, remove the liner paper and join this end with the other end of the strip.  You'll have 8 accordion circles now.  You might be thinkin' .... how am I going to get a Christmas tree shape when I only have 4 different sized strips?  Well the great thing about rosettes is that by varying how tightly you pack them you can vary the width of the finished rosette greatly.

Here is what I'm talking about.....

This is a 1 1/4" strip compressed pretty tight.  It measures at just about 2 3/4"
rosette christmas tree 005

This is the same exact 1 1/4" strip packed very loosely - notice the wide open hole in the center - the rosette now measures a whopping 3 1/2" in diameter!  So you can see by using a few sizes of strips you can vary the finished rosette greatly.
rosette christmas tree 004

5.  Cut several circles ranging in size from 1/2" - 1" in diameter.  These will be our caps we use to glue the rosettes so they are the proper size.  I punch the ones I have paper punches for and draw/cut the other sizes I need.

6. Apply hot glue to one of the caps, compress the rosette strip to the desired size and place the cap over the center of the rosette. 

*NOTE - Hot glue is the best for this process.  It has a very strong hold and provides an instant bond.  When you work with cardstock for rosettes the cardstock tends to pop out of the compressed state VERY easily.  I tried all sorts of adhesives before I finally dug out my hot glue gun.  It was the only thing that really held the caps in place keeping the rosettes the sizes I needed.

The finished rosette sizes are pretty open ~ I didn't measure anything.  Basically I started out by making the smallest rosette very tight, glued a cap to it's top & bottom hen moved to rosette #2.  I placed #1 by #2 to determine how large #2 had to be.  Once I was satisfied with it's size I glued a cap to it's top and bottom. 

I then placed #2 by #3 to determine it's size, glued it's caps on and continued until all 8 rosettes were finished.

rosette christmas tree 006

7. After I finished all of the rosettes I then poked holes through the center of each rosette/caps with my pick.  If you don't have a pick or paper piercer you could use the tip of your scissors but be careful.  You only want a small hole in the center.

8. Next, gather 1 coffee stirrer**, wired garland or pipe cleaner and all of your rosettes.   Slide the largest rosette onto the stirrer, wrap a short length of metallic pipe cleaner or wired garland around the stirrer.  This garland will be your spacer.  Slide the next rosette on the stirrer, garland spacer, rosette, etc....  Continue until all of the rosettes have been added to the straw and top it off with a bit of garland.  I used a bit of glue to secure this final piece of garland to the straw.

Remember, you don't have to use 8 tiers for your trees....especially if you're going to be making a grouping of them. I like odd numbers myself so I'd try a 3, 5 and 7 tier tree grouped together. 

Rosette Tree 003

**NOTE - I found a package of brown coffee stirrers at Wal-Mart ($0.97 for 100) and I have to tell you I LOVE these things!  You will be seeing them pop for several of the projects I want to share with you in the coming days.  These things ROCK! 

9. (optional) if desired you can add a bit of glue to the edges of each rosette and add regular or glass glitter for a bit of extra holiday sparkle.  You could at this time also add a ribbon to the top or add whatever else you might like to help finish off your tree.

You now have a couple choices for display.  Since we used the coffee stirrer as the base you can thread a piece of wire, stretch cord, ribbon, fiber, etc. through the straw - secure it to the bottom of the tree, make a loop at the top of the tree and use it for hanging on your tree, from a mantel, doorway, window, etc.    OR  since the bottom of the tree is flat you might choose to simply make a few trees to adorn your table top, mantel, side table, etc. 

Rosette Tree 007

So there you are...
a Rosette Christmas Tree
to start your holiday season off right...
#1 down, 24 to go!


  1. Roni, love the tree. I am going to make a heap of these. Thanks for sharing, can't wait to see the rest of the 25.

  2. That's awesome! Great directions too!

  3. Well I never saw that coming very clever :)

  4. Roni -

    This is adorable. I love all the sparkle. Thank you so much for sharing the tutorial with us. Great instructions.

    Elaine Allen

  5. Super cute Roni! I love it when you do these series. They are so creative!

  6. wow..roni..what an awesome start to your festive 25 days of..i love this and will make a great project to do with the grand-d's help..tfs..loves ya

  7. Oh I love it!! And using a coffee stirrer is such a great idea...will have to go buy a box!

  8. That is a great tree! I love the idea of a grouping of them!

  9. What a fun and festive ornament~thanks for sharing!

  10. Roni,

    You can also border punch the edges of the strips after cutting and scoring. Then the rosettes have lacy edges. Folding the strips are a little trickier but look really cool. Great tree.

    Kim McKinney

  11. Thanks again Roni for a fab post!!

  12. You amaze me every time!!! Ths is so adorable! There are a lot of decorating ideas that could be used for this little! tfs Roni!

  13. What a lovely idea with the rosettes!Thanks for the instructions.

  14. Love the tree. Am going to have to try that!

  15. 2nd try!

    Love the 3-D tree, not what I was expecting at all. Great start!

    The shortcut for rosettes was definitely worth the price of admission!


  16. This is so cute. I love it! I actually enjoy making paper rosettes, but your time-saver is wonderful. Thank you for sharing your talent! I'm looking forward to the other 24.

  17. wow this is so cool! love the idea :)


Thanks for your thoughts and comments!