Does your toddler like to play with your Christmas tree? Do you get panic attacks every time they go near it? Especially when they go near the side that has your favourite glass decoration on it that you got on holiday 5 years ago and you know you can’t ever replace?? I’m hoping that this play tree will solve my problem. A little tree just for your kids to decorate and play with as much as they like.
These felt trees are so much fun! Even I enjoy playing with it. I’ve set it up in our dining room/sewing room so that when I’m working on a project Roman can play with the tree and we can hang out together. I think I got an hour of uninterrupted project time the other day. Roman loves taking all the decorations off and then sticking them back up again.
The best part about this project is how easy it is! There is no sewing involved. Felt sticks to felt, so there is no velcro either, just pieces of felt. Acrylic felt is fine to use for this, no need to hunt down wool blend felt unless you really want to.
To make it feel a bit more festive, I decorated the baubles with dimensional glitter fabric paints. This is not at all necessary and I think it would look just as nice if the decorations were plain. It would also make the project cheaper and faster. If your kids are old enough, they can help decorate the baubles or cut out the felt shapes. I find that the shapes still stick to the felt, even if the decorated side is to the back (and stuck to the tree).
The fabric paints I used had quite hard containers, so my hands got very sore squeezing the tubes. If you’re looking to buy some fabric paints, make sure the tubes aren’t too stiff!
Play Felt Christmas Tree
A large piece of green felt – mine was 1m x 70 cm (36″ x 28″)
scraps or sheets of coloured felt
A pen for marking the felt
Blu tack or 3M Command poster strips to put up the tree
Dimensional glitter fabric paints (optional)
To start, you’ll need to cut out your tree. I made mine 1m tall and 70 cm wide at the base (36″ x 28″). I actually think it’s a little too big for Roman as he can’t quite put the star on the top. I get the occasional ‘Mama do it’ which I don’t mind.
Lay out your felt and find the middle of the top short side. Using a long ruler or piece of string, mark a line from one bottom corner up to the top middle. Repeat for the other side to get your triangle. Now think about how you want to cut it out. You can simply cut along those lines to make a plain triangle, or use your imagination. Here are some ideas:
- Cut along the line in a jagged fashion to give the tree a bushy appearance (this is what I did)
- Add some tiers to the triangle for a more traditional shape
- Add curved tiers
Once you’ve chosen your shape, mark it on the felt using the triangle lines as a guide. The side you draw on will be the back, so feel free to redraw the lines if you need to. If you’re happy with how it looks, cut it out. You’re tree is now done!
To make the baubles, trace around a cup onto the coloured sheets of felt. Cut around the circles. Repeat with each sheet using different size cups or other round containers for your templates.
I did my star free hand and also made a template on paper by hand for my lights (I think they look like fish). I picked up my snowmen in an op-shop for 10c.
If you want to decorate the baubles with fabric paint, do so and then leave to dry for about 24 hours. I found that mine curled up a bit so after they were dry I put them under a book for a few hours to flatten out. Make sure you put some baking paper on the glitter side so that they don’t stick to the book.
That’s it! Find a nice place to stick up your tree and let the kids at it!