It all started with Pinterest--waaaaayyyy too many waaaayyy cute things made with mini bottle brush trees---bottle brush trees under glasses, bottle brush trees in salt shakers, bottle brush trees dyed pink... you get the idea. I knew I had a bag of green trees from last year, but couldn't find them, and they were the wrong color anyway. In search at Michael's, I discovered these small packs of ivory trees--the preferred color:
And used them all! That's when I panicked! Had to have more. So I called all the local Michael's--sold out. YIKES! Would I actually have to wait until NEXT Christmas to make all those cute creations swirling in my head????
Then I discovered on PINTEREST that you could bleach the green trees. That made me look hard for my trees, and lo and behold, I finally found them--under a pile of old books and Christmas tree garland in a box in a corner of my garage! Hurray! I couldn't wait to start bleaching.
One pinner's instruction was to put the trees in bleach and then in vinegar to stop the reaction. Eagerly I put on two right-handed rubber gloves (all I could find), got tubs ready, and began the process in the kitchen. What a smell! (My husband moved me out to the garage.) I soon got excited! The green trees were becoming ivory before my very eyes! But they were also turning a little dark--especially in the center...
Well, you're probably crafty and very ahead of me, and you probably guessed why! Vinegar rusts metal! Doh! I was not happy. These trees didn't look elegant--they looked very primitive. Now I had no true ivory trees and fewer green trees! My heart started beating fast--a near panic attack coming on. How would I possibly have enough now to make gifts for everyone? Could I dye these back to green and hide the rust? I tried a few more using only bleach and was please with the result. Before bleaching my entire stash, I used a few green ones in vignettes, and decided green with snow was kinda nice. Now I didn't want to use up all my green trees! What to do?
Poor hubby...every time afterward that we went out together I asked to stop by Michael's or JoAnn's to look for trees. I finally found a bag for 60% off. The stash was growing. Still wasn't sure I had enough.
Then a few mornings later, as I was feeding my addiction to daily deal craft sites, I found trees on The Plaid Barn. Hurray! I ordered 3 bunches--twelve altogether. Aaaaaaahhhh.... that ought to be enough, I thought.
and they bleached really well:
I had quite a few trees at this point:
Then about a week afterward, hubby and I stopped after brunch at a nearby thrift shop. Guess what I found?????? A whole bag of green trees for $4.00! So I HAD to buy them! You can believe I walked very sheepishly out to the car where hubby was waiting.
My collection was quite large now.
And just to complete my obsession, I bleached a couple of large ivory trees that had gold glitter and terrible fake balls. Before I knew it, I had a box full of trees and I just had to laugh and laugh. Do you think I have enough to work with now? :-)