By Ann Tatko-Peterson
Monday, December 22nd, 2008 at 11:27 am in Christmas.
Growing up, my family always finished off the trees in the same way. We had a blond-haired angel (which seemed odd in a family of brown-haired folks) on the main tree and a lit star on the smaller window tree. It’s likely my parents would still be using the same tree toppers today if my mom hadn’t downsized the main tree and scratched the window tree four years ago.
In my own house, I decided we should try to be different. That’s how we ended up with a teddy bear wearing a green Christmas dress topping our tree. My stepdaughter, Dana, and I wanted an “original.” And truth be told, with so many other holiday decorating items, we couldn’t find a spot for the Christmas bear. Our Do-It-Yourself project was pretty simple. Using thick cardboard, we made a cone, stuck it up around the bears legs and then used safety pins (through the underside of the cone) to attach the bear to the cone. She’s been atop our tree the past three years.
But to avoid getting stuck in a rut, we’ve vowed to retire the Christmas bear next year and make a new tree topper. Fortunately, we’ve found some great online resources for other DIY tree toppers. Here are just a few that sound interesting:
1. Felt Star Christmas Tree Topper from HGTV.com — I love this one because it looks ornate but it sounds simple to make. Here’s the instructions: Materials — 2 colors of felt (one for each side of star), fabric marker, scissors, needle and thread, cotton batting, thick-gauge wire (at least 12 inches long), vintage buttons, ribbon
fabric glue (optional). Instructions — 1. Draw star shape onto two pieces of felt. Cut out both shapes. Put star cutouts back to back and whip-stitch edges together, leaving one point unstitched so batting and wire stand can be added. Tip: These stitches will be covered with ribbon so they need not be neat. 2. Stuff star, making it as full as desired. Coil wire around your fingers to create the wire stand that will attach finished star to tree top. Insert coiled wire in bottom of star. 3. Finish stitching edges of star together. Cover stitched edges with ribbon, attaching it either with fabric glue or by sewing it on by hand. 4. Embellish star by sewing (or gluing) on vintage buttons.
2. Peacock Feather Topper by BHG.com — When it comes to simple, this one is as easy as it gets. Plus, it’s extremely different. Take as many peacock feathers as you would like and arrange them so they span out (the way they might on the actual peacock). Then use a thick gauge wire to bind them in this arrangement. Leave about three inches to wrap around the tree.
3. Ribbon topper by BHG.com — I like this one for its vivid colors and because after Christmas, I always end up with tons of leftover ribbon. This particular one uses 4-inch wide ribbon (wired ribbon works best because you can determine the shape). Be sure to cut them in equal lengths to keep each bow the same size. Leave 3 inches of wire on each side to wrap around the top of the tree.