Fashion, My Creative Projects

How To Make a Christmas Tree Mannequin

If you were around the interwebs leading up to Christmas, you probably saw the mannequins-turned-christmas-tree. Here’s one example.¬†

When a friend shared this with me, I was quite excited to try it out myself, but all of the how-to’s I found had elaborate steps with obscure materials I didn’t have the time or know-how for. This is how I went about creating my own, just so you all have another option. Whatever you have to work with, I bet you can figure it out with a little persistence and creativity ūüôā

 

My Main Supplies

  • Dress Form
  • Old Christmas Tree
  • Dress Top & Tree Decor

I saved the Dress Form from the junkyard, got an old tree from new friends, and got the top & decor by thrift shopping. Hopefully you’ll find everything as easily as I did, but in case you need help with the dress form and have some money to spare, you can always buy one here:¬†http://www.mannequinmadness.com/collections/dress-forms

 

Step 1, detach the tree branches. 

I was lucky enough to be given an old tree with hooked branches. Like so:

Hooks

 

The branches were attached to the tree, not just hooked on, but thankfully I had a boyfriend handyman who used a drill to detach it.

Drilling

See that wire fake-tree garland wrapped around the middle bar? That’s important! I saved that too.

 

Step 2: Get that fake-tree garland off the bar

TGross Hairhis part wasn’t supposed to be difficult. It certainly wasn’t supposed to¬†be tedious. Just untwist it, right? Wrong. Ya know how they keep it all on there? Hair. Okay, maybe that’s not really what it is, but just look at it. Appearance and texture of hair.

After much cutting, detangling, unknotting, and unwrapping of all this hair, I would be blessed with some tiny fluff branches (also important) and the garland.

This is the approximate ratio of hair-to-branch:

Hair-To-Branch Ratio

 

Step 3: Compile the tree-skirt

This is the main work.

  • (Have top on the dress form already, so that it will be “tucked in” to the tree-skirt.)
  • Wrap¬†the garlands around the dress form, and twist tight for hold. One garland should be at about waist level, the other at about hip level.
  • Hook the branches, first at hip level, then at waist level, varying branch length at random.
  • Hide excess gaps with the little fluff branches as needed.

 

At this point my tree looked something like this:

Branches Are On

 

Step 4: Decorate

Then it’s just the final touches. Fluffing out branches that lie flat, or pushing down branches that jut out weird. Adding ornaments or ribbon or accessories to give it some final flare. Making the tree look something like this. Isn’t she a beaut?

Full Tree

Finished Tree

Finished from Above

Central IL, Fashion, Musings

Olde English Faire 2014

Here come the freaks!

I don’t write fan fiction. I don’t do role-playing games. I don’t enjoy gaming or anime or cosplay. I’m not a Trekkie or a Belieber or a Whovian, and I try not to come across as a Gleek. In fact, I try to avoid coming across as a fangirl of any sort. Why? Good question.¬†

For one thing, I don’t enjoy those things (except Glee. That I can’t help. And for the record, I’d be a fan of Dr. Who if I watched it, I just haven’t gotten around to it.) For another thing, I’m not generally that obsessive over those things. (What I am obsessive over¬†can be saved for another blogpost.) But also because there’s a stereotype there – a stereotype of weirdos who jump off the deep end with everything –¬†unreasonably obsessive, unable to hold a conversation outside of their niche, and¬†prone to bouts¬†of squealing. That stereotype. You can see why I want to avoid it.

And yet, there is one location these obsessive types gather that I can’t help but join. The Olde English Faire.

 

Me (on the left) and a couple of my writer's group friends at last year's Olde English Faire.
Me (on the left) and a couple of my writer’s group friends at last year’s Olde English Faire.

Olde English Faire is Coming to Town

Jousts, dancing, archery, knights, maidens, pirates, and people/creatures from all time periods, all worlds, all stories gathered in one place. It’s like a more manageable-sized ComiCon. Kinda. I may have exaggerated that a bit. But the ability to encounter characters and create characters and become characters – it’s a writer’s/reader’s dream come true.

For the record,¬†I hear Bristol is huge and makes Peoria’s seem boring. Until I have the exciting opportunity to experience that though, this is a nice alternative. Don’t bash our humble villager celebrations.

What girl turns down a chance to dress up? – whether in a little black dress for a special night out, a bridesmaid dress, or a fancy gown from another era. For me, it may not be entirely accurate midieval-wear. And I’m fine with that. I like to dress up as characters I make up, from worlds that may be entirely different or fairly similar to our own.

 

Are You Going?

It’s this weekend. If you’re in the area, don’t miss it! Note that tickets are cheaper for those in costume ūüėȬ†If you’re not in the area, it may be time for a roadtrip (okay, not really –¬†save your money and¬†roadtrip to Bristol later.)¬†¬†

Will give an update here later on the event.

 

What About You?

Do you attend an Olde English Faire anywhere? Do you dress up?