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Lighted Retro Tree

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Materials
  • In addition to basic embroidery supplies, there are only a few things needed for this project:
  • Styrofoam cone (project used 4-7/8” x 17-7/8”)
  • 1 yd. green glitter felt
  • Battery pack mini or rice lights (https://www.batteryoperatedcandles.net/floral-mini-lights.html)
  • Tacky glue
  • Tearaway stabilizer
  • Thread as designated in design color charts
  • Gold metallic thread
  • Small amount of fiber fill
  • Paper to make patterns
  • Sequin pins

  • Designs used in this project
  • https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/productdetails/1Z-Embroidery/1/1Z00166D.aspx
  • https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/productdetails/1Z-Embroidery/1/1Z00031C.aspx
  • https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/productdetails/1Z-Embroidery/1/1Z00038A.aspx
  • https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/productdetails/1Z-Embroidery/1/1Z00151A.aspx
  • https://www.embroiderydesigns.com/productdetails/1Z-Embroidery/1/1Z00027B.aspx


  • Preface:
    Designs used for this project are from 1Z Embroidery. Note: the designs were not used in groups as they are shown, but instead, each individual design was used to create a miniature ornament for the tree. Following are the edits that were done to the designs. Do the edits at your machine or in software. Save the design in the format needed for your machine. Use the thread as listed, or choose your own colors for the designs you are doing. Be sure to test all designs before beginning.

  • Holly: resized smaller (2.55 wide x 2.73 high)
  • Mistletoe: background and text eliminated.
  • Mittens: text eliminated, each mitten sewn separately.
  • Ornaments: each ornament sewn separately.
  • Snowflake: two smaller snowflakes sewn separately. Large snowflake was sewn twice, using gold metallic thread.
  • Presents: sewn separately onto tree skirt.



  • Step 1:
    The Holly design was resized smaller in embroidery software to be in proportion with other designs.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 2:
    The background and text were eliminated from the mistletoe design in software. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 3:
    Begin by making a paper pattern for the felt fabric that will cover the Styrofoam cone. Find the seam of the cone, lay it at the beginning of the paper, roll the cone and when doing so, make tick marks at the top and bottom of the cone until the seam is at the end. Draw straight lines at the seam marks. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 4:
    Add 1” seam allowances all around and cut out the pattern. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 5:
    Cut out and test the pattern and wrap it around the cone to make sure it will fit. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 6:
    >Turn on the lights and test them to make sure they work and all the connections are good. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 7:
    Decide where the lights are to go on the tree. These lights came with rubber 0-rings which were helpful in deciding the placement. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 8:
    Place a mark on the pattern where each light is to go. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 9:
    Print out the embroidery design patterns after they have been prepared in the preface. Be sure they are printed actual size. Cut loosely around each design and roughly determine their placement on the tree. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

     


    Step 10:
    Two of the large snowflake will be embroidered in gold metallic thread, sewn together, and used at the top of the tree. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 11:
    Also create a pattern for a tree skirt. Place the cone base on the paper. Draw around the base. Draw another circle 3” away. Plan placement of the presents designs. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 12:
    Embroidery the designs on the felt, using the tearaway stabilizer. If the hoop for your machine is large enough, gang up the designs into a single hooping. Leave enough room for cutting around each embroidery design. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 13:
    After the embroidery is finished, remove the felt from the hoop and loosely cut around each design. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 14:
    Then cut more closely, leaving about 3/16” of felt outside the embroidered area. Cut a square of felt to hold all the designs. Lay the felt, wrong side up, then place each ornament on the felt. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 15:
    Cut a length of ribbon (length depends on ornament) and fold it into a loop.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 16:
    Spread a thin layer of tacky glue on the back side of the ornament; keep the glue within the embroidery area. Place the ribbon loop onto the glue, extending the loop beyond the top of the ornament. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 17:
    Flip the ornament over onto the felt piece. Press down firmly. Repeat for each ornament. Set this aside and let the glue dry while completing the rest of the project. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 18:
    Cut out and align the two snowflake ornaments for the top of the tree. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 19:
    Pin them together and decide the opening that needs to be left so the topper will slip onto the tree after it is finished. Place pins for the start and end points to sew the two pieces together. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

     


    Step 20:
    Use a straight stitch and matching thread to sew from the first pin around the top, and to the end pin. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 21:
    Lightly stuff with fiberfill. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 22:
    The next step will be to embroider the presents onto the skirt. Turn them every which way. Do as many presents as you would like on the tree skirt. Mark the placement, hoop the felt with tearaway stabilizer, and embroider the designs. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 23:
    Remove the tree skirt from the hoop, but do not tear away the stabilizer yet. It will be used as a stabilizer to finish the edge of the tree skirt. Test some decorative scallop designs on your sewing machine to see what you like best. Adjust the length and width of the stitch if needed. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 24:
    Follow along the outside mark and sew the border using the decorative stitch. Use embroidery thread that was used in stitching the designs. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 25:
    Remove the stabilizer and trim the felt close to the decorative stitching.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 26:
    Use the paper pattern and cut out the felt tree. Cut the felt about 1” larger at the sides to accommodate the wires of the lights. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 27:
    Transfer the marks from the pattern to the felt for placement of the lights. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 28:
    Embroider or sew eyelets if needed for the lights you will be using. For these lights and this particular project, all that was needed was to use an awl to poke a hole in the felt. (Follow the manufacturer’s directions for the lights purchased for this step.) 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 29:
    Slide the light from the back through the hole.

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

     


    Step 30:
    To the front and add the 0-ring supplied with the lights. (The steps for the lights may vary slightly depending upon the light set purchased.) 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 31:
    Continue until all the lights are used. Test the lights again. Be careful working with the lights so none of the wires becomes damaged. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 32:
    From the back this is what it will look like. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 33:
    Now carefully begin at one edge and pin the felt along the seamline of the Styrofoam cone. Use the sequin pins to secure the edge in place. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 34:
    Carefully roll the cone over the fabric, keep the lights and wires in place, and extend the control box outside the back edge as shown. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 35:
    Fold under the raw edge and use the sequin pins to secure the edge in place, overlapping the first raw edge. Place as many pins as needed to keep everything secured. The fabric will hold the wires in place around the Styrofoam. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 36:
    On the bottom, rap the excess felt fabric under the base of the cone and secure with the pins.    

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 37:
    Make tucks at the top of the tree and pin in place. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 38:
    Add the topper and secure with pins. The sequin pins are small enough to secure through (and get lost in) the embroidery stitches. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 39:
    Now the glue should be dry on the ornamnents. Cut out each ornament from the felt. Carefully fold back the ribbon loop toward the front to trim the felt behind it. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)

     


    Step 40:
    Cut a length of ribbon, fold it in half to find the center. Pin this center to the tree (be sure not to pin through any of the light wires!) Slide an ornament onto the ribbon through the loop. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 41:
    Tie a bow and trim the excess ribbon tails. Repeat until all the ornaments have been added to the tree. 

    (Click Image to Enlarge)



    Step 42:
    (Click Image to Enlarge)
    Place the tree on the tree skirt, turn on the lights, and you’ll have a Retro Tree sure to delight! This would make a great gift idea for a friend in the hospital during Christmas time, for a loved one in a nursing home, or even a corner of your home that needs some added decoration during the holidays.


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    Meet The Author: Ramona Baird
    Ramona is a free-lance educator with many years of experience in the industry. She loves learning about new techniques and styles, and absolutely loves creating new and exciting projects for EmbroideryDesigns.com

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