Friday, December 23, 2011

Clay Pot Christmas Tree

A friend of mine did this craft with her children and I thought it was the cutest idea to make a Christmas tree out of small clay pots, so I headed to the craft store and made my purchases.  The best part about this is that I think the biggest pot was only $1 and they went down from there, so it was really inexpensive!  These are pictures from my trial-run with Alexandria to see how it turned out and it came out so well that I bought an extra set of materials for her and Emma to make another one while we're on holiday next week.  We gave this one as a present to the woman who watches Alexandria during the day and she loved it!

Things you'll need:
 - green and red paint (with or without glitter)
 - paint brushes
 - glue or glue gun
 - bag of various sizes of glitter pom-pom balls
 - 1 big clay pot (1st level or bottom of tree)
 - 2 medium clay pots (2nd level of tree and tree stand)
 - 1 small clay pot (3rd level of tree)
 - 1 extra small clay pot (4th level or top of tree)

First things first are the clay pots.  I was afforded this being easier for me in the store since there was an example of this craft on display right with the clay pots.  All you have to do is stack them up with the various sizes to make sure everything fits just right.  They pretty much should only sit about an inch or less of overlap when you stack them up.  The one for the red base shown above should be sized so that it hits directly on the ridge of the pot that is sitting upside-down on top of it.  It didn't matter if the pots were different colors since you're painting over them anyway.  Keep in mind that the base and the second layer of the tree are the same size pot.

I had Alexandria paint all of the clay pots while they were still separate so that she wouldn't get drips of paint stuck under the ridges that would drip down and dry that way.  We only did one layer of paint (green or red depending on what pot) on each pot and then I actually used a colored glitter paint as a second coat to add some shine.  Below you can see the pot on the left that has only a layer of green paint (I used Crayola washable paint) and then next to it is another pot that has a layer of green paint and another layer of green glitter paint.  I really liked the shine that the glitter paint gave to the pots, so I'd definitely recommend using it!  I did let the pots dry for quite awhile in between coats and before I moved on to the next part.

Next was the trickiest part; stacking the pots and figuring out a way to glue them together!  I used a glue gun for this and after a bit of trial and error, I found a way that worked.  First I'd stack two of the clay pots together and see where on the inside of the one sitting on top was rubbing the other so I knew where I had to place the glue.  Then I applied a large dot (size of a dime) of glue with the hot glue gun at 4 various points around the inside of the clay pot going on top where it was going to hit pot that it was stacking on top of.  Hold the pot so that you can see the inside while you're applying the glue and then quickly flip it over onto the other pot it's stacking on top of.  Because of the large dot of glue, it doesn't dry right away and will drip down to hold the two pots together once you stack them.  Make sure to quickly make any adjustments if it's crooked or sitting odd before the glue dries!  I tried other various ways to put the glue onto the pot and try to get them to stay together and nothing else worked.  Again, I let the tree sit for awhile to make sure that the glue dried fully before moving on to the final step.

Using the glue gun, Alexandria would point to where she wanted to place a glitter pom-pom ball on the tree, I'd put a small spot of glue on the tree and she'd stick the ball to the glue.  Obviously, be very careful with this since the glue is extremely hot; you may just want to have your child point and then apply the ball yourself.

I was stumped for what to put at the top; I considered trying to find a small ornamental start to put on top, a snowflake pin, and various other ideas.  It ended up that the first place Alexandria wanted to place a pom-pom ball was smack in the middle on top!  I thought she had a great idea, so I found the largest yellow glitter pom-pom ball and we used that as the topper; worked perfectly!

We both really enjoyed making this craft and Emma is extremely excited to be making one of her own next week.  For how inexpensive this is, it would make a great long-lasting decoration or even a good Christmas gift!

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