Thursday, December 2, 2010

O Tannenbaum! A Tutorial.

I created this adorable Christmas Tree from a obsolete book I had lying around. Now I'm sure some will want to argue and say no book is obsolete but this one was, it was an old Photoshop book from their seventh release back in 02....pretty old considering the rate of growth with technology. So anyways, I got the idea to make this book tree from a tutorial I had seen done on Cheeky Magpie when I first saw this a few months ago I made a pumpkin, loved it but wanted to do more with extra old books I had lying around...enter the Christmas Tree.
A little warning, this project is not for someone with A.D.D. or any type of hand/wrist problem as this is a time consuming project that feels like it will never end! But seriously it is a lot of cutting with a Xacto knife so if you do have a hand problem and still want to give this a shot, give yourself plenty of time to get it done.

Now on with the show!

To get started you'll want to have:
  • A thick book, if it has a firm cover save one to make your template
  • "Snail" Adhesive
  • Xacto Knife
  • Pencil
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Distress Ink in Bundled Sage
  • Tattered Angels Glimmer Mist in Old Olive and Old Lace
  • Your personal choice of decor for your tree. I used pealized beads, butterfly and a Origami Flower.

I first cut my book in half to make trimming the tree easier. 
Next I created a Tree template using the cover of the book. I used "Snail" adhesive to attach the template to the top page to act as my guide. 
Its also important to note that I left the top of my tree flat because I figured I was going to put something big up there and it would be easier with a flat top then with the traditional point.

Here I started cutting away at the book, I started with the bottom half first and then went back to the top half. I would go down roughly 20 pages before I'd stop and switch sides.

Here I have one of my completed trees, I'll be using the Distress Ink to stain the edges of the pages to add color depth to my tree.

I used the pad directly onto the tree to darken the
 edges as much as I could. I found that bending and fanning the pages made it easier to get the color in deeper.

Next I grabbed a felt pad so I could get the color into the areas the ink pad could not reach.

Now you'll want to bend and crack the spine of the book, this will help to loosen up up the pages to allow for a beautiful spreading of the pages to make the tree.
After a bit of manipulation I found that this book had a lot of glue binding the pages together so I took my xacto knife and started to shave away some of that glue. After I shaved away the glue I lightly scored small "X" marks all over the spine, this made it much easier to loosen up the pages to fully fan out.

I used a hot glue to glue at the intersections of the spines but I was careful not to glue the pages together. By gluing the book in this fashion it allows all the pages to fan without 2 sections of page clumping.

Here it is fully glued and you can see there isn't much space where I glued the spines together.

I sprayed Old Olive first over the entire tree before giving it a few sprites of Old lace just to add a light touching of brown for further depth.
Let this dry for 10 minutes, you can clean your space or start getting the decorations ready.

There you go, one pretty little tree that I accented with golden ribbon, a butterfly, pearlized beads and a big distressed origami flower on top!

Happy Holidays!


  1. This is such a fantastic project!!
    I love that you made it a shaped tree too!!!
    Thank you so much for sharing with us at Paper Issues!

  2. thank you SOOO much for sharing this WONDERFUL tutorial!!! BEAUTIFUL TREE!!

  3. I saw this over at Paper Issues! It gorgeous! I'm going to give it a try! Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Wow... what a beautiful tree. You did a great job. Thanks so much for the tutorial!

  5. This is awesome! I featured you on my blog...I am truly inspired!