***updated 11/20/12.. I am now offering a newly designed PDF download of the tree cone patterns (5 sizes in one) and detailed tutorial for making fabric covered poster board tree cones. I have redesigned and made it so much easier to create fabric covered cones. You can see the latest information here.
I absolutely LOVE the fabulous and whimsical fabric covered Christmas cone trees that I have been seeing in stores this Christmas season. I fell in love with a BEAUTIFUL set of these trees at Neiman Marcus in Houston and wanted to buy them until I saw that each tree STARTED at $85.00! Yikes!! When I lifted one of the trees up to look a little closer, I realized that these fun trees were just cardboard that had been rolled into a cone and adorned with fabric and trim!
So I sat down, talked to my engineer neighbor and figured out how to make a template for the cone and now I can’t stop making them! They’re so fun and easy and I rest them on tall candle sticks/holders to raise them up and display them. Because the cones are hollow, they just slide ride over the candles holders and fit snug and will not move. Here is the picture of the holders I used without the cones:
Cones over candle sticks:
Here are so close ups of some of the trees:
The great thing about this project is that is very inexpensive. I used extra fabric and trim that I already had in my fabric bin and used poster board that I paid 3 for $1.00. I was a little worried about the poster board being sturdy enough but it turned out to be perfect because the way I created my template, I basically double up the poster board. Here is what the inside of the covered cone looks like:
These cone trees are super sturdy and I will be able to pack them away by covering in tissue and stacking them on top of each other and use them again next year. I used several different types of fabric and found that upholstery/drapery fabric worked the best.
There are so many endless possibilities with these cones!
***updated 11/20/12… This post is two years old and has been updated and I am now offering a PDF download of the cone patterns (5 sizes of cones all in one pattern) in my online shop. Included with the template download is a new tutorial which is different from the old tutorial here that I posted two years ago. I designed the template download in a way that we can now attach the fabric to the poster board first using pattern guide lines the rolling and securing the tree cone. The template and tutorial download eliminate several steps from the old tutorial and it is so much faster to create fabric covered cones. You can find out more about the templates here.
I’ll be posting some more fun Christmas projects in the next week, so please check back! Enjoy your Christmas crafting!
Step 1- Making the Cone Templates:
1) Take a piece of standard poster board and cut out a two inch strip down the longest side of the poster board like this:
2) Take a tack and push through one end of your strip. On the other end poke a hole with a knife or ice pick and push through your pencil like this (it needs to be a tight enough fit for the pencil to stand up:
3) Push the tack and strip through corner of new poster board (not the poster board that you used to cut your strip) and keep the tack corner over the edge of a counter like this:
4) While holding your tack with your left hand, with your right hand, gently start your pencil at #1 as seen in the picture below and use your strip as your line guide but make sure you do not pull so hard that the tack and corner are raised up. Draw your line until you run out of board and reach #2 as seen below (click on diagram picture for close up):
5) Cut out your template and it should look like this when your done:
6) Cut several short strips of packing tape and have them ready to grab as you begin rolling your cone.
7) The best way to begin rolling your cone is to start at the tip (#3 on above diagram)) and sort of fold/arch it over gently halfway at your tip (see my red dashes of where to arch and tuck) until you get a good point and HOLD! Now, go to the base of the cone and tuck until #2 is on top of #1 or until you have only the rounded curve (black dashes on diagram) around your base and hold! Go back to your tip and tape it down at the point to secure. In order for your cone to stand level, you can only have the curved edge where you drew your line (black dashes on diagram) on the bottom like this:
8) Once you have a good point at the tip of your cone and point #4 is completely tucked in the roll, secure the cone with packing tape vertically from the tip down to the bottom over the board edge. It took me a couple tries before I got my cone rolling down pat and now I can do it in my sleep!
9) To make a middle size cone, repeat the above steps but cut 4 inches off of your measuring strip. To make a small size cone, cut off 4 more inches off of your middle size measuring strip. I made 3 templates and now all I have to do is pull out my template to trace and no longer have to use a measuring strip.
Step 2- Covering the Cone in Fabric
1) Once you have your cone ready, lay out your fabric on a large surface. Again, keep in mind, upholstery/drapery fabric are ideal, heavy cotton is ok and velvet and stretchy fabrics are very challenging.
2) If you are using a solid fabric with no pattern or pattern that you do not care how it is laid out, lay your cone down on your fabric with the line/edge of the cone meeting the edge of the fabric. Be sure and allow an extra 1/2 inch at the tip like this:
3) With a black sharpie, trace along the base of the cone onto the fabric and then gently turn your cone and trace again (if you’ve ever done a fabric cover for a lamp shade, it’s the same technique) You will do this until your line/edge of your cone has made a full circle.
4) As you turn your cone to trace, watch and hold your tip so as your turn your cone, the tip of your cone also turns on the fabric as it would naturally roll as well. Like this.
5) Trace your cone until the edge/ line of the cone has made a full roll and draw a line on the fabric from the bottom to the tip to show where you should cut the fabric give an extra inch or so).
6) Cut out your fabric (cut inside black sharpie marks) and it should look like this :
7) Go outside and spray your cone completely and heavily with a good spray adhesive. I use Treehouse and it is awesome! Be sure and spray well, especially the tip.
8) Place your sprayed cone onto the fabric at the same position where you started when you began to trace onto the fabric.
9) Begin at the tip of your cone and roll the edge of the fabric up like this:
10) Now begin gently rolling the cone around the fabric, slightly pulling down and watching that you do not get creases. If you are using an upholstery fabric, you will not have to pull much and it should just perfectly roll and stick onto your cone.
11) You should have about two inches or less of fabric left over that you will need to go outside and spray to get it to stick to the rest of the fabric covered cone. I sprayed the loose fabric well, especially the tip like this:
12) Finish rolling the excess fabric gently onto the cone pressing down to get a flush line like this:
13) Trim any excess fabric around the base of your cone to get a perfect line around your base.
14) If you are using a pattern fabric that you do want to position on the tree a certain way, place your cone on your fabric in the middle of fabric with 1/2 inch extra at the tip and draw your line at the base and then roll half way to the right and draw your line at the base (draw line from base to tip as well). and then go back to the middle and then roll half way to the left and draw your line at the base and draw a line from base to tip and cut your fabric.
Step 3- Trimming your Fabric Covered Cone
1) You can trim your tree with anything! Fabric trim, Christmas cording or anything!
2) Use a glue gun to begin gluing your trim at the tip of your cone on the backside where the line of the fabric is (this will be the backside of your cone).
3) You can either trim diagonally down along your cone for a sloping garland look or vertical, glueing every so often.
4) I think it looks more finished to add cording or trim around the base of the cone.
5) No more steps, get creative and have fun!
That’s it for now!! Enjoy making your fabric covered cones and I would love to see pictures of your finished creations! So fun!