Saturday, December 15, 2012

DIY Glittered Bottle Brush Trees


enhancing bottle brush trees

So, I have to admit that I have gone bottle brush crazy this
holiday season.  It actually started last Christmas when I saw
other folks on blogs and Pinterest using cute bottle brush trees in 
decorating so I bought some packages of bottle brush trees
 at after-Christmas sales to save for this year's decorating.

The bottle brush trees that I had seen that appealed to 
me the most, were ones that looked vintage. 
To get a vintage look, folks were bleaching new
and fairly inexpensive green bottle brush trees
available in craft stores then adding glitter and/or beads. 

I followed other's directions for bleaching the bottle brush 
trees this year in a mix of water and bleach in my kitchen sink. 
make bottle brush trees look vintage

I really didn't measure as well as the directions indicated.
Pretty much it was about 1/3 a sink of water and a
five second "pour" of regular bleach.  Some trees bleached 
faster and better than others (even ones out of the same pack).
how to bleach bottle brush trees

I just left them in the bleach solution till they
 lost most of their green color.
For some that was 15 minutes and for others it was hours.
For a few, it was never.
how to change to color of bottle brush trees

The bottle brush trees need to be made of a natural material
and not heavily flocked to be able to bleach out.  

For the trees that turned out to be non-bleachable,
 I decided to try to spray paint them.
how to change the color of bottle brush trees
Trees that would not bleach out getting a paint job

I kept trying to come up with the perfect paint color or
combination of paint colors to make the trees look
like the trees that bleached out well.
how to change bottle brush tree color

I tried different whites, almonds, beiges, yellows, even
 matte gold spray paints, but nothing I acheived
 looked exactly like the real thing. 
 However, the paint turned out to be "good enough".

In the end, the ones that looked the best had kind
 of a layering/combination/melding  of the different colors,
(that's just FYI in case you decide that a nice size bottle brush
tree is worth trying to spray paint and glitter. I do think it is.)
how to paint bottle brush trees

I finally had to move on to other projects and stop
 trying to get the perfect color for the trees.
 I hoped that adding glitter would hide the fact that
 the trees were not same colors as the bleached trees.

The least attractive trees got the most glitter.
The process is quite simple.
Apply spray adhesive to the tree and 
immediately add glitter.
DIY glitter on bottle brush trees

Pictured below are the trees that refused to let much 
their green color be covered up with spray paint. 
They got a dose of copper and/or bronze glitter.
Trees that turned out whiter, got silver or white glitter.
glittering bottle brush trees

To also keep folks from inspecting the less than
 great trees too closely, I decided to put them behind glass
in the bookcase/dresser that I painted this past year. 

Here is a photo of other objects that I was planning 
on painting/enhancing also for use in the bottle brush vignette.
planning bottle brush vignette

The clear bottles got an "inside job" with Krylon's mirror 
finish spray paint.  I just realized this week that to get 
the reflective finish, it has to be sprayed on the 
INSIDE of a clear object.  That is stated on the label
but I had never bothered to read that bit of info. 
DIY mirror glass finish

The green bottles got sprayed with white paint.
DIY snow covered bottle

After the now-white bottles were dry, they got a coat of 
spray adhesive and then were quickly rolled in a pile
 epsom salt to give the illusion of snow on the bottle. 
This idea came from Tracie at her Cleverly Inspired blog.
DIY snow covered bottle

The too-terribly tarnished goblets that were passed along
to me from my grandmother, were given a treatment
with silver "Rub and Buff" cream from the craft store.

I moved the shelves around in the cabinet to 
accomodate the bottles for this Christmas display.
how to make bottle brush vignette

silver bottle brush vignette

bottle brush tree

bottle brush tree

I'm opening the glass doors for you to see
 close-ups of the vignettes:
DIY silver mirror bottle

how to give bottle mirror finish

bleaching bottle brush trees
The tiniest trees in the cabinet were some that DID bleach well.  You can see how you can 
determine how much or little color you want in trees that are bleach-able by how long you 
leave them in the water/bleach bath.  These little ones only have glitter or paint applied to their 
bases...none on their branches for this vignette. 

bottle brush vignette

glittering bottle brush trees

bronze glitter bottle brush tree


The trees that got glitter look much more
"sparkle-y" in person.

I'm sharing this post at 
Glitter, Glue and Paint blog @ Throwback Thursday





12 comments:

NanaDiana said...

Those look wonderful. I even like the ones that didn't bleach out perfectly. I think they look really good with the bronze and copper colors. Everything is staged nicely and the bottles are wonderful. xo Diana

Jenny Lynn said...

Everything looks great so nicely placed in the cabinet. Very wintery!
Have a wonderful Sunday!
blogged hopped over from Debbie-debbiedoos.

Grandma Barb's This and That said...

They all look wonderful, even the ones that didn't bleach well! They are so pretty with the silver bottles.

Jessabells said...

I didn't know that you can bleach the bottle brush trees. I like your display. It looks great. Have a wonderful holiday!

Jessica

Little Miss Maggie said...

Wow, these came out beautiful. I love your finishes on the bottles and am making note of it for future reference. I think all your trees turned out great. FYI Joann's had the white bottle brush trees really cheap. I stockpiled a few for next year. Happy holidays.

Infuse With Liz said...

All you fussing turned into a very nice collection of trees! The variance in color gives them a nice look- more interesting than if they all matched perfectly. Your painted bottles look really nice mixed in and your goblets look fabulous!

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

what a fun project! looks like you found a solution for the non bleachable items :)

Ivy and Elephants said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial, I love these and was silly enough to think that everyone was able to find the vintage ones but me! LOL
I'm going to give this a try. Yours look amazing and the bottles, too. Just shows what real creativity can do.
Hugs,
Patti

Kathy Shea Mormino said...

Hello, new follower here and I’d like to invite you to join me at my weekly
Clever Chicks Blog Hop:

http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/clever-chicks-blog-hop-13.html
I hope you can make it!
Cheers,
Kathy Shea Mormino
The Chicken Chick

the cape on the corner said...

oh my gosh, this looks great! i would never think you could diy that, lol. this year i'm going to see if i can find any on clearance.

Michele said...

I'm all about the bottle brush trees in my own decorating, so really enjoyed seeing how you transformed and used them in your house. Thanks for sharing!

Denyse @ Glitter, Glue, Paint said...

This is a really cute display of trees. I think the ones that didn't bleach out so well give them a variety of "white". Thanks for sharing at Throwback Thursday.

xoxo
Denyse