This felt tree is a great activity for a toddler or small child. Felt sticks to felt and fleece, so you can store the felt ornaments in the pockets and let them decorate their tree all season long.
Step 1: You'll Need:
About 36x24 inches of green felt or fleece for the tree
About 36x24 inches of contact paper for the tree (or any other single side adhesive paper)
A few sheets of construction paper for making ornament templates
Assorted felt colors for the ornaments and present pockets. We made 11 ornaments, each about 5 inches in diameter, plus 4 pockets, each about 5x6 inches.
Assorted glitter glue for the ornaments
Space for cutting out the tree, and for the glitter glue on the ornaments to dry overnight
A hot glue gun and plenty of extra glue shot
Fabric chalk for marking dark colors, a dark marker for marking light colors and scissors
A sewing machine, plus top thread colors to match the pocket colors
Step 2: Step 1: Cut Out the Tree Shape
Fold the green felt or fleece in half, draw a half tree with fabric chalk, and cut out the tree
Step 3: Step 2: Cut Out the Pocket Shapes
For each pocket, fold the fabric in order to cut out two thicknesses of each color, and don't retain the fold line. You can draw the pockets first with chalk or a marker or cut them out free hand. They don't have to be exact. You will end up with a front and a back for each pocket, so two rectangles of each color.
Step 4: Step 3
Pin the fronts and the backs of the pockets together.
Step 5: Step 4: Iron
If your felt is wrinkly, iron each pinned pocket flat, both sides.
Step 6: Step 5: Sew the Pockets
Sew three sides of each pocket, two long sides and one short side. The fourth side will be the opening. Sew all sides in one continuous line, backstitching the beginning and end.
Note: The stitching will show because if we turned these inside out they wouldn't lay flat against the wall when hung. I used opposing thread and a funky zigzag stitch because I thought it would give the pockets some character, but in hindsight, this is unnecessary because the felt ribbon decoration on the pockets will be doing that already. So you can just use a straight stitch in the same color as each present.
Step 7: Step 6: Make the Ribbon Decoration
Draw a bow and some straight ribbon shapes on an opposing color felt and cut them out.
Hot glue the ribbon pieces to the present. I recommend doing this in sections:
1. Lay all the pieces out on the present
2. Lift a section of one of the ribbon pieces
3. Apply the hot glue to the present, and lay down the section of ribbon
4. Glue the next section so that the whole piece of ribbon is glued.
If you try to apply glue to an entire piece before laying it down, the glue will probably dry before the ribbon gets to the present. Make sure that the bow is glued at the top on the side of the opening.
Step 8: Step 7: Make Some Ornament Templates
Draw some simple ornament shapes on construction paper and cut them out
Step 9: Step 8: Make the Ornaments
Make multiples of each type of ornament by laying out each color of felt, tracing the template on the felt and cutting out the ornaments.
Decorate them with glitter glue in opposing colors.
Allow the glitter glue to dry. This may require an entire day.
Step 10: Step 9: Attach the Presents to the Tree
Lay the presents out at the base of the tree so that the tops of the presents are overlapping the tree by a few inches.
Hot glue the presents to the tree where they overlap. I recommend doing this in sections.
Step 11: Step 10: Attach the Contact Paper
Turn the tree over so that the back of it is facing up.
Hot glue the non-adhesive side of the contact paper to the tree, also in sections. Be sure to glue all edges of the paper to the tree. The paper I had wasn't wide enough for the tree so I had to glue two separate pieces to the tree, side by side.
Cut the excess paper off around the perimeter of the tree.
Note: If you use contact paper, you'll have to glue more contact paper to it for next year after removing the tree from the wall. Alternatively, you can use tacks or blue tape to hang the tree. The contact paper, or cardboard, or a large piece of fabric should still be glued to the back of the tree-it's necessary for rigidity and to preserve the integrity of the tree over time.
Step 12: Final Step
Hang the tree and allow the toddler to decorate it with the ornaments!