Updated: Dec 16, 2022
Are you, or is someone you know just starting out in the wonderful world of crochet? The first place to start is making a chain. This will get you familiar with holding the hook and yarn.
HMMM, BUT WHAT DO YOU DO WITH IT?
Sure, you can unravel it and make another and another until you gain confidence, but how about getting creative from the very first time you pick up a hook.
Enter, these gorgeous little trees. Although they look like they have been made in the round and stuffed, they are in fact chains and cardboard.
One of the reasons people often throw down their hook and step away from this art is their frustration at not creating something straight away.
This project is perfect for any age, especially children, as you really can’t go wrong. It doesn’t matter if your tension is out and your tree is a bit wonky.
Wonky is good in our world as it adds character and we call it artistic flair. And we LOVE a bit of artistic flair!
HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED
UK Double knit yarn/wool – Each double-strand tree takes approx 20g of wool
(DOUBLE STRAND IS USED THROUGHOUT)
Crochet hooks – we used a 5mm & a 6mm (6mm was used for the 4 strand tree)
Wool darning needle – to sew in ends
cardboard for tree template
(download template BELOW)
strong glue or double-sided sticky tape
The tutorial is in UK crochet terms and double-strand is used throughout
yo = yarn over
ch = chain (yo, pull through)
HERE’S WHAT YOU DO
Print the template, you can find it in the link above. The best way to use the template is to print it directly on the piece of card you will be using. Try to colour match the card as best you can to the yarn colour, so that it doesn’t show too much if your chains are loose. However, some printers don't like thick card. In this case, print it out on the thickest card your printer will take and make a template so you can use it again and again. If you just want to use the template to make a plain tree out of patterned card, print on the reverse so that the pattern on the front is not affected. You will still need to add the glue or tape to the right side of the flap for assembly.
CUT OUT THE TEMPLATE (ADULT SUPERVISION IS REQUIRED HERE)
Once you have cut around the shape, fold the flap back over the wrong side of the card. It should be folded along the black line.
Spread a layer of strong glue, or use double-sided tape all over the flap. You will need to use strong tape or glue to make sure the cone doesn’t come undone.
Before you stick the cone together, gently roll it the way you want it to go. You will find it much easier to line up.
Stick the long edge and the flap edge together, making sure that you line the bottom edge up first. This will make sure that once completed, the tree won’t wobble about.
This part is not essential, but we cut about 1-2cm’s off the top of our cone. If you do this, you may find it easier when you come to apply the last bit of the chain.
The cone is now ready to decorate. If you have used patterned card, your tree is now complete and you can display it.
Now comes the fun part. You can use all your oddments of wool and make the tree any colour you like. We decided to keep ours traditional and use green. A nice touch is to use two different shades as your tree will appear to have more depth. It will also hide any inconsistencies in the tension. Ideally, the chain should be fairly tight and even, but as we said it’s a perfect way to use up practice chains. Don’t worry too much if yours are uneven. Have a little play with different wool and hooks until you are happy with the size. Take note though that the bigger the chain, the more chance you will see the cardboard behind.
Using double-strand and your chosen hook (ours was 5mm), start with a slip knot.
Then it’s just a case of chain, chain and chain again. This is a good time to practice your tension, trying to keep them as even as possible.
Keep going and going until you have a long chain. We worked roughly 450 chains for ours. The first time you make one, it’s a good idea to work a fairly long chain and then move onto the next step. That way you can add chains as you need them.
Once you have your chain you can start adding it to the cone. This is done from the bottom edge upwards. Care must always be taken when working with glue and always read the instructions first. Add a two-inch generous layer of strong glue. Don’t be tempted to cover the cone in one go. You will either get in a terrible mess or not have enough chain and the glue may dry. You can use double-sided tape for this part too but again work in small sections at a time.
Starting from the bottom edge, with the beginning of the chain, stick it to the cone. Press down firmly and it’s a good idea to line the chain up so that the V”s are at the top. This gives the tree the impression that it has been crocheted rather than chained. Try not to twist the chain if you can help it.
Keep going the same way and wrap the chain around and around the cone. Try to get it as close as possible to the previous round so that there are no gaps.
Keep going until you have covered all the glue.
Add more glue and carry on up the cone.
Keep going until you have covered all the cone. Make sure that the top has been glued well.
Leave the cone to dry completely before sewing the ends in. Once dry, use a wool darning needle to sew the ends in. Tie off any loose ends that are left.
Weave behind the V’s so that the ends are hidden.
Your tree is now finished.
The cream tree was made using 4 strands of wool and a 6mm hook. It had approximately 275 chains as it was thicker. Each round covered more space on the cone. You can experiment and use as many strands as you dare. You can also enlarge or reduce the template before you print it if you want to make a different size tree.
These are so simple, yet really effective.
We’re off to have a play with Jute and supersize the tree so watch this space.
Although we have made them with Christmas in mind, these would be fab all year round in your home.
We love seeing your creations so don’t forget to tag us in your makes #CraftyCoCreations
The Crafty Co