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Tree Decoration


Tree Decoration

Description:  The Tree Decoration has a very rustic appearance, and would fit right in with primitive decor.  

Natural materials like Jute or Hemp will make it look just like a real tree.  The vines at the top are optional.
 

Wrapped Knots can be challenging to tie, especially when the knots are long.  For that reason, this pattern is rated Moderate.

Beginners should practice the Wrapped knot before attempting this project.




2017 Update:  This pattern has been completely changed to make it look more like a tree. 

Contact me if you need the original version.



Supplies Needed:
  • 2mm Hemp or Jute (60 yards) 
  • 3mm Cotton, Jute, or Hemp material (60 yards)
  • One 15-inch ring
  • One 2-inch ring
  • Artificial vines with small leaves (optional)
  • Surgical clamps or pliers
  • Project Board and pins
  • Craft wire (12 inches)
 

Knots Used:





Preparation



Wire

Step 1: Attach the 2-inch ring to the 15-inch ring by wrapping the wire around both several times.

Make sure the connection is tight, so the small ring doesn't slide around.



Design Tip:   In the example shown, the Tree Decoration was made with both Cotton and Jute.  

The material you use for the core (inside) of the branches should be the same color as the material covering the ring.   See step 3 for more details.



Wrap

Step 2:  Cut one 3mm size cord, 10 yards long.  Place the center of it on top of the wire connecting the two rings. 

Use each half to wrap the 15-inch ring, moving in opposite directions.   Wrap tightly, and make sure the coils don't overlap.




Step 2, continued:  Push the coils close together as you progress, so there are no gaps.  The two ends should meet at the bottom of the ring, straight down from where you started (center).

Tie the two ends together with an Overhand knot.




Branches


Now it's time to make the first branch for your Tree Decoration.  You start by attaching the cords that form the CORE (inside) of the branch. 

In the example shown, the ring was wrapped with Cotton, so I used the same material for the core of the branches.  The brown material is Jute, which was wrapped around the core.


Step 3:  Cut 2 cords, each 2 yards long.  Prepare the tips with Overhand knots, or use tape. 



Fold

Step 4:  Fold one cord in half and place it on top of the 15-inch ring, near the area where the 2-inch ring is attached.

The fold should be heading towards the inside of the ring.



Larks Head

To complete the Larks Head knot, pass the ends under the ring and over the folded area of the cord.

Move the knot close to the 2-inch ring, then pull the ends to tighten it.



2 Cords

Step 5:  Repeat step 4 with the other cord, placing it beside the first.

Both cords are used to make the first branch for the Tree Decoration. 



Step 6:  Cut one working cord, 4 yards long (Jute or Hemp).   

Place the large ring on your project board so the 2-inch ring is at the top. 

Tie an Overhand knot at one end of the working cord.  Place the knot on the outside of the 15-inch ring, next to the holding cords. 

Secure the knot to the board with a pin.



Measure


Step 7:  Measure from the ring down 7.5 inches, then place a pin at that spot.



Fold

Bring the working cord down to the pin, then fold it around and move it back up to the ring.

Take the long portion of the cord (working end) and roll it around your hand several times. Then remove it and secure the bundle with a rubber band.



Wrap

Step 8: Wrap the working end around the core, as well as the secured portion of the working cord. 

Wrap snugly but NOT TIGHTLY, pushing the coils close together, so there are no gaps.   The secured portion of the cord needs to be able to slide, so be careful with tightening.



End

Stop wrapping when you are close to the folded area of the working cord (approximately 7 inches).

Pass the end through the folded portion, which looks like a loop.



Pull

Step 9: Go up to the ring and remove the pin from the secured end.

Use the surgical clamp (or pliers) to pull it gradually



Inside

The folded portion and working end will be pulled inside the Wrapped knot.



Step 9, continued:    Cut off the secured end of the working cord, so it is flush with the top of the branch (near the ring).  Tuck the stub inside the wrapped portion.

Do not cut off the excess material at the bottom. 



Branches

Step 10:  Make 10 more branches for your Tree Decoration, by repeating steps 3 - 9.

There should be 1/2-inch of space between the branches.

Continued Below



When you make branch 6, at the center where the small ring is attached, use three holding cords for the core (Cotton material).

This will make the branch thicker than the others. The brown working cord should be at least 5 yards long.

Do the same when you make branches 1 and 11, which are furthest to the right and left.


The branches for your Tree Decoration should be different lengths.  Cut the brown working cords to the lengths below, to change the sizes:

  • 3.5 yards = 6.5 inches
  • 4 yards = 7 inches
  • 4.5 yards = 7.5 inches
  • 5 yards = 8 inches


When measuring in step 7, add 1/2-inch to the finished size of the branch you are making, then place the pin at that point.  

So for an 8-inch branch, the pin should be placed 8.5 inches from the ring.





Connecting the Branches


Now you begin the process of constructing the Tree Decoration by connecting the branches.   Mentally number them 1 - 11. 

Locate branches 1, 6, and 11.  These are the thick branches made with 3 cotton cords for the core.   These three branches should be mentally labeled "group 1".



Step 11:  Cut 1 working cord, at least 2 yards long. 

Bring branches 6 and 11 together, bending them so they look natural.

You can connect them side-by-side or with one above the other.



Link

Fold the working cord 3.5 inches from one end as you begin making the Wrapped knot. 

Make sure you start wrapping in the brown area of the branches, at least 1/4-inch above the Cotton cords. 

This applies if you are using only one type of material.



Connect

Wrap for 1-inch, making sure the coils are FIRMLY attached to both branches, so they can't move.

In other words, wrap more tightly than you did when you make the branches.



Important: You won't be able to push the coils close together in the areas connecting the branches for the Tree Decoration.  

So wrap slowly, placing each coil below the previous one, fitting them close together.  Eliminate any gaps, so the cotton cords don't show.



Third Branch

Step 12:  Place branch 1 on top of the two you just connected.

Make sure the bottom of branch 1 is at least 1/2-inch below the point where you stopped wrapping in the previous step.



Wrap

Continue wrapping for 2 inches, around all three branches.

Complete the knot by passing the end through the folded area (as in step 8). 

Pull on the opposite end (as in step 9).



Step 13:  Repeat steps 11 - 12 to make GROUP 2, connecting four branches.  Cut the working cord 2.5 yards long, since you have an extra branch. 

The bottom of the Wrapped knot should be level with the one from group 1. 
(See the image for step 15)

Important:  Make sure you take the branches from different areas on the ring, and intertwine them so the Tree Decoration looks as natural as possible.


Repeat the same process again to make GROUP 3, but cut the working cord at least 3 yards long.  This Wrapped knot should be longer than the other two groups (at least 4 inches).




The Trunk


Now it's time to connect all three groups of cords, making the trunk for your Tree Decoration.  They are connected with one Wrapped knot, which needs to be long enough to reach the bottom center area of the ring.

Step 14:  Locate group 1, which is the first set of branches you connected.   Measure the distance between the lower edge of the Wrapped Knot and the bottom of the ring. 

Then cut the working cord to the appropriate length:
  • For 6.5 inches or less, the working cord should be 10 yards long.
  • For 7 inches, the working cord should be 12 yards long.



On Top

Step 15:  Place group 1 on top of group 2.

Secure the working cord beside (or behind) the two groups.  Bring it down past the bottom of the ring, then back up to where you plan to start wrapping.



Step 15, continued:  Start wrapping in the brown area, and continue for 1-inch. 

Place group 3 under groups 1 and 2, then wrap for another 3 inches. 

The reason you place the groups on top of each other is to make sure the trunk of the Tree Decoration is thicker front to back, rather than side-to-side.



Step 16:  Divide the Cotton cords (core) into two equal groups. Place one group beneath the ring. 



DHH

Choose a cord from the middle of the group, and attach it to the bottom of the ring with a Double Half Hitch. 

It should rest to the left of the cord used to wrap the ring.  

The image shows a single Half Hitch. Make sure you tie two.



Step 16, continued:  Place the other half of the cords on top of the ring.  Choose one cord from that group, and attach it to the ring with a DHH. 

Place it to the right of the cord used to wrap the ring.


Step 17:  Resume tying the Wrapped knot, making sure the two groups of Cotton cords stay in place.   Stop wrapping when you reach the bottom of the ring. 

Complete the knot by passing the working end through the folded area.  Pull on the opposite end to secure the knot.




Finishing Touches


Hang up your Tree Decoration by the small ring at the top, so you can work on the fringe.



Fringe

Locate the cords resting behind the ring, and trim them 10 - 15 inches below the ring.

The fringe should be shorter for the cords in front of the ring (6 - 8 inches long).

Unravel each cord completely (usually 3 - 4 strands).





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Have any comments about the Tree Decoration? Contact Me.



 
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