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The branches of our feathered tree feature egg and carrot ornaments hanging from loops of silver thread, as well as pipe cleaner baskets filled with Easter creatures and more eggs. Millinery blooms flower on several limbs, fastened by their stems.
As you hang the ornaments, be sure to intersperse decorations of different sizes and hues for a balanced display.
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What You'll Need:
- Feather tree (we used Oval Spring and Easter Feather Tree in ivory, by Dennis Bauer, from hometraditions.com)
- White bump chenille stems, by Accent Design, from createforless.com
- White chenille stems, by Accent Design, from createforless.com
- Liquid dye in denim blue, kelly green, rose pink, and yellow, by RIT, from createforless.com
- Fabri-Tak adhesive, by Beacon, from createforless.com
- 1- to 3-inch-tall Styrofoam eggs, by FloraCraft, from createforless.com
- White 1/2-inch, 1-inch, and 3/8-inch pom-poms, by Accent Design, from createforless.com
- Pink paper, available from marthastewartcrafts.com
- Black and pink embroidery floss
- Small colorful feathers
- Pink and white felt, assorted spring colors, by National Nonwovens, from createforless.com
- Straight pins
- Small paintbrush
- White glue, available from marthastewartcrafts.com
- Perle cotton thread No. 5 in various colors, by DMC, from herrschners.com
- Screw eyes in silver, from metalliferous.com
- Silver thread
- Optional: Similar vintage flowers in white and pink, and leaves in white, from tinseltrading.com
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Step 1: Thread-Wrapped Egg Ornaments:
Wrap Styrofoam eggs -- ranging in size from one to three inches tall -- in perle cotton thread and embellish them with dainty vintage millinery flowers, ribbons, and decorative trim.
Learn How to Make the Thread-Wrapped Eggs
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Step 2: Pom-Pom Bunnies and Carrots:
These bunnies are so easy to assemble, you can create a whole bunch of the fuzzy friends in no time. Nestle them in pipe-cleaner baskets and hang them from your tree.
Shape forms out of polymer clay; bake them according to the manufacturer's instructions. Follow our instructions for wrapping objects using peach- and orange-hued perle cotton thread. Glue on green felt strips for the tops. To make your carrots hang, insert screw eyes into tops as the clay cools.
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Step 3: Assemble the Bunnies:
You will need 1 pom-pom each in 1-, 3/4-, and 3/8-inch sizes, clear fabric glue, white and pink felt, and black and pink embroidery floss.
Use glue to attach 2 larger pom-poms.
Download and print templates for feet and ears; cut out. Using templates as a guide, cut 2 ear shapes from pink felt, and 2 feet from white felt.
At end of each ear, apply a dab of glue, and pinch end together; set aside to dry. For each eye, make embroidery-floss knots.
To make the nose: Use your fingers to coat several inches of pink embroidery floss with glue (this will stiffen it). When the glue dries, snip 2 small pieces of floss, and glue them together in an X shape.
Use fabric glue to attach ears, nose, tail, and feet to body.
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Step 4: Fuzzy Chicks in Pipe-Cleaner Baskets:
Nestled in chenille pipe cleaner baskets, these handmade fuzzy chicks make an adorable statement for Easter. You can hang the baskets from branches, or place them at the top or base of your tree.
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Step 5: Dye the Pipe Cleaners for Chicks and Baskets:
Although chenille craft stems are sold in a variety of bold colors, we dyed ours to achieve a pastel palette.
Buy bump-chenille and regular chenille craft stems in white, as well as yellow, blue, pink, and green fabric dye. Dilute 3 tablespoons of each dye with 2 cups hot water; for the latter three colors, mix in varying amounts of yellow to achieve desired hues (you may need to experiment a bit). Follow manufacturer's instructions to dye stems; let dry overnight.
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Step 6: Construct the Baskets:
You will need chenille stems, clear fabric glue, and a large Styrofoam egg to shape the baskets.
For small baskets, up to about 2 1/2 inches in diameter: Cut 4 stems in half, and twist them together at midpoint to create a star shape with 8 spokes. Add a ninth spoke by hooking the end of another stem to the star's center. Trim the ends so all spokes are the same length. Space spokes evenly apart. Hook the end of another stem to one of the spokes, near the star's center. Center the bottom of the egg over the star, and pin it to bottom. Curl spokes upward onto egg to form a cup shape. Begin tightly weaving stem over and under each of the spokes. When you reach the stem's end, wire another to its end, and continue weaving through spokes; repeat until you reach ends of spokes. Lock in weave by hooking each spoke end over last woven stick.
To make the handle: Twist 2 stems together; trim to desired length, and hook onto lip of basket.
To make the base: Twist 2 stems together, and form an appropriate size circle; trim excess. Attach circle to the bottom of basket with glue.
To make larger baskets, up to about 4 inches in diameter (on top of tree): Follow the same technique, but when forming the star, use full-length stems instead of halves.
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Step 7: Make the Chicks:
You will need bump-chenille stems, 1/2-inch pom-poms, clear fabric glue, pink paper, black embroidery floss, and small colored feathers. Each chick requires 1 bump-chenille stem with 4 bumps.
Snip 1 bump off each end of stem. Using the tweezers, tightly roll 1 bump into a spiral, leaving the skinny end straight (this is the chick's head). Repeat with other bump, then flatten the spiral somewhat between your fingers to form the chick's tail section.
To make the body: Trim skinny ends from remaining section of chenille stem (so you have 2 bumps joined by a skinny section). Using the tweezers, roll each bump toward the center into a tight spiral; stop just before skinny portion. Bend the skinny portion between bumps to form a W shape. Turn both spirals so their flat sides are facing. Wire the chick's head and tail pieces to the W portion of the body piece using their skinny ends. Insert pom-pom between the 2 body spirals to form the breast; secure with glue.
To make the beak: Fold paper in half, and cut out a small triangle shape; affix with glue.
For each eye: Make a knot from 4 strands of black embroidery floss; cut excess thread from knot. Attach with glue.
To make the tail: Trim off tip of a feather, and glue it to chick's tail end.
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Step 8: Add Fabric Flowers for a Flourish:
Fastened by their stems, fabric millinery blooms can flower on several limbs of your Easter tree. Simply wrap the wire stems around the branches.
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