Magical Woodland Tree Topper

here is the magical woodland tree topper i finally made!

it was inspired by the two below that anthropologie offered last year.  they were both close to $400 a piece!!
yeah, crazy, right?!

anthropologie's teeming forest tree topper

anthropologie's mythic nest tree topper

my friend natasha found this crazy plastic piece of who-knows-what on the side of the road and thought it was the right shape for a tree topper!  smarty party!

this is what the base looks like, upright, with moss and twigs glued to the bottom.  i used a glue gun for the entire project, which is one of my favorite tools, but i am still finding hot glue strands/webs to pull off each day!  and i covered the bottom so that when this is up on the tree, you don't see plastic when looking up at it.

i had been collecting material all year, saving little bits of this and that, knowing that we would finally attempt this project, this season! 

before natasha had found this plastic piece i had begun to make a lot of tree topper bases out of strong cardboard and a cardboard toilet paper tube in the center.  i was envisioning the tube slipping nicely over the top of the tree and the lightweight base resting easily in the supporting branches near the top of the tree.

like this!  and even this odd plastic base is light enough for a small sturdy tree.

i still have several cardboard bases i will continue to work on but i think this one will be for my family. 

a few weeks ago i had the idea to add some silver glass glitter to some very small paper-wasp nests i had.  i was thinking ahead knowing i would want to attach one to my magical woodland winter scene.  i think it looks rather awesome!

and here too, i had glittered some pieces of the inside paper comb.

another tree top image.  it really looks like a fantastic woodland crown on the top of the tree!

once i started gluing down moss and lichen covered sticks to the top of the base, i had more place to attach other items too and it just became a big interwoven puzzle.  working from side to side and back and forth made it easy to see where places needing filling in or covered up.

the beeswax candles are not meant to be burned.  they are just for magical woodland effect!  a while ago i was working on a gnome house project. i had used the tiniest grapevine wreath i could find, smaller than the palm of my hand, and tied ribbon to it to make it hang like a chandelier from the gnome house ceiling.  then i used these beeswax birthday candles to make it look like the tiny wreath had candles sticking up out of it, burned the tips and used the hot wax to secure the candles in the wreath, and voila!, a gnome chandelier was born!

so the little vintage candle clips that are holding these tree topper candles are meant to hold real candles, from back in the day, when folks were brave and daring and put real candles on their tree!
on the tree topper, like i said, they are just for effect.  i am not brave or daring when it comes to combining fire and dead, dry evergreen foliage!

the little vintage glass baubles, balls, pine cones, and sprays are just old odds and ends i find here and there and all are attached with a little dab of hot glue.

there are mushrooms, a bird, a variety of dried plant material, and even millinery supplies tucked in there!

and there is even a stag to face toward the back side in case you can ever get a glimpse back there!

i will keep working on bases and hope to have many made, and for sale, in the shop by next season!  I know, a whole 'nother year from now!  perhaps i will be able to get a few more done but i think most folks already have their trees up and topped for this year!

what's on top of your tree?

making, sewing, designing, and styling,