This Powertex treasure tree was originally made for the Powertex design team and appeared on the Powertex UK blog. The theme of the month was keepsakes.
This blog also comes with a free Powertex Treasure Tree Guide to print off so you can watch first and then keep the guide on your table and the Powertex off your keyboard!
I keep a box of treasures that I have collected over the years. They include tiny gifts from dear friends, a crystal pendant bought on a special holiday, a chinese coin, a teeny clay cat and a little silver angel. Usually these things hide away, only occasionally being found for a wander down memory lane.
My Treasure Tree project gives me a way to display my tiny keepsakes all the time.
- Powertex Universal Medium in Red and Blue
- Black Bister spray
- Easy Varnish and Copper Colortricx pigment
- 3d balls in Medium and Large
- 1mm craft wire
- Masking tape
- Cotton fabric strips and textures e.g. string
- Base or box for your tree to stand on
- Flat brush and paper towel
Step 1. Making the wire frame
A quick internet search showed me ways to make a wire tree and I took advice from those to make my tree frame. 1mm craft wire is good for this as thicker wire can be hard to twist when you have several strands together.
I wrapped wire round an A5 notebook to measure it out, cut the wires at the top and then used my fingers to create a loop at the bottom. From here I can twist the wires into a trunk and branches. Bend the loop over to make the base and keep the branches horizontal so you can hang your treasures. I trimmed my wire branches but you can make them as long as you like! Watch my video below for more details on creating the tree shape.
This video shows me making my second tree!
Step 2. Taping the tree
When the wire tree has been made, I give it some shape by wrapping strips of foil around the trunk and the start of the branches. Padding out the bottom also means I can tape it to a base or box lid. Then I completely cover the wire and foil with masking tape.
Video of step 2 Taping the tree
Step 3. Powertex and fabric wrapping
Now it’s time to get the Powertex out. I wanted to use a purple colour, so I mixed Red and Blue but any dark colour of Powertex will work brilliantly. I pre cut strips of cotton fabric no more than 6″ long. If the pieces are too long they can be tricky to wrap around the branches. I also had some pieces of stockinette, string, muslin and 3d balls for texture for the base.
I painted the tree and base with Powertex first, then used the fabric wrapping technique to cover the tree. I wrapped the strips in spirals and kept lots of texture. The stockinette pieces were gathered around the base of the tree. This created wrinkles and pockets that would hold trinkets when the tree was finished. String pieces and 3d balls were added last, coated in Powertex and put into place.
Step 4. Adding colour
When dry, colour can be added. I used a few sprays of Black Bister around the base and the trunk. This created depth and shadows. A quick blast with a hairdryer works before adding my dry brushing. I chose the Copper Colortricx pigment for my tree and didn’t need to add any more colours as the metallic effect looked great without anything else.
This technique uses a dry mix of Easy Varnish and pigment powder and is applied to raised areas using a flat brush. Add your pigment over your project, highlighting all the textures. It works best if you remove excess colour onto a paper towel first and keep your brush flat against your project. Watch your tree come alive as the textures are picked out against the dark background.
The finished tree is perfect for hanging my tiny treasures and displaying those little keepsakes that get lost at the bottom of my memory box. They can be attached or left free to move and change.
You can also print off the Powertex Treasure Tree Guide for a reminder of the steps while you create, without getting Powertex on your keyboard!