Working with 3-D Shapes: The Button Tree

Yes, I know- it’s just past Valentine’s Day, and maybe craft blogs are gearing up for spring and Easter. But here I am posting a tree craft that can be used as a Christmas tree ornament. I’ll add those tags to the post so when you’re hunting around for paper crafts in November, you can find it- and hopefully, I’ll remember to add a darker green variant of my printable.

I’ve previously posted 4 activities that can be used to earn the retired Numbers and Shapes Brownie try-it, but since I’m all about options, I’m going to post this project idea as well. It can actually be used for a couple of different try-it/badge requirements. For example, I planned this project for my girls to use for the Stitching It Together try-it. I used it as a substitute for the Button Collage activity. If that wasn’t enough, it’s a fun math activity for students who are learning about 3 dimensional shapes.

Here are the list of supplies I used to make my button tree ornament:

  • Square pyramid template or printable
  • Buttons- real or paper (this can be a good excuse to explore grandma’s button box, or use those spare buttons that you get with shirts)
  • Embroidery floss or thread
  • Pom-poms
  • Small thread spool- I found packages of these in the wooden shapes section of my local craft store

For the purposes of this tutorial, I’m going to presume that you’ll be grabbing my printable freebie found at the end of this post. It’s given to you as a jpeg file, so all you’ll need to do is open it in your word processing or graphics program, and print it. I’ve included the tree and some paper buttons to add. I have left light fold lines for you to create all of the edges and flaps.

  Square pyramid shapes cut on the Cricut. Scored template ready to fold

Once you have your piece cut out, it will be simplest if you attach the buttons before you assemble the pyramid. For projects like this, I like the effect of the exposed thread tails so I tie them off on the right side of the project and trim.

Setting up button sites

Attach buttons using embroidery floss

Once your buttons are attached, you can assemble your pyramid by adhering the side tab. At this point, do not seal the bottom- it will be easier to pull the whole thing together later, attach the pom-pom, and create a secure hanger.

Adding the spool trunk needs the help of a diagram:

You’ll notice in my examples below that I used yarn for this prototype project. Upon reflection, I’m not going to recommend using yarn- go for a lighter weight fiber, such as embroidery floss or pearl cotton. You’ll end up with much less bulk on your needle and will have a much easier time attaching your pom-pom topper. However, the girls will have an easier time tying floss than a much thinner thread- thread is very slippery in small fingers!

I used a fairly long piece of fiber- long enough to run the height of the tree, allow for a decent hanger loop, and to secure the spool with a button. I took my threaded needle and went through the spool, through two button holes, and back through the spool. I stabbed a small hole in the square bottom of the tree structure and fed the needle and thread up through the center of the tree and out of the top.

To attach the pom-pom, I ran the needle right through the center of it- it will hold without the need for glue. Finally, Tie a knot at the end of the thread to make the hanger.

That’s it! For a troop meeting with younger girls, you’ll want extra hands on deck to help with threading needles, but older girls (Juniors and up) should be capable of doing this themselves. I found the sewing exercises have been wonderful with helping the girls become confident with tying knots!

OK, you’ve been waiting all post for it, so here’s my printable freebie for you! Please enjoy!

(Click on preview to download from 4Shared)


Time to turn the page…

As of July 1st, I’ll be officially retired as a hybrid template designer. While there is a measure of sadness after having designed templates for two and a half years, I’m looking forward to shifting focus with my creative endeavors. I’m not leaving scrapbooking and paper crafting! I’m looking forward to getting back to making hybrid goodies for Sugarplum Paperie, so you’ll see plenty of enabling there.

However, the focus of this blog will shift- from strictly designer and store enabling to being a resource blog for paper crafting and scrapbooking with children. I’m going to start sharing the projects I have done with Natalie’s Girl Scout troop- project tutorials, highlighting products and designers, and probably the occasional digital freebie here and there. I’m so excited!

Here are photos of a few of the girl scout inspired projects that I’ve done. Click on the photos to link to my gallery at The DigiChick to get information on the products I used.  The tutorial list has been started:

Mini Tag Album- the girls earned their green Daisy petal- "Using Resources Wisely"

Our 2010 Brownie Investiture Invite (my sample)

Natalie's Try-It Journal

Not to worry! All of the template or printable freebies that I made as a Creative Team or Design Team member (at least, the ones I didn’t have to take down after a set amount of time) will still be available on 4Shared. I’ll work on tagging those posts with “freebie” so you can find them easy.

Do you need tutorial ideas now? I do have a couple written for the stores I have designed for (thanks, ScrapMatters and The DigiChick/ The Hybrid Chick for a fabulous opportunity to be creative!!!!)

Paper Bag Album Tutorial- Thinking Day “Passport”

Hybrid Labels- STICKERS!

Trinket Boxes from Plastic Boxes

Hybrid Mythbusters (not a tutorial, per se, but some decent information on trying hybrid papercrafting)

Repurposing Chipboard

If you happen to be a Girl Scout Leader stopping by- Welcome!! If you’re looking for particular project ideas- don’t hesitate to write me a comment. It will help guide the mountain of ideas on my list.

Have a great 4th of July Weekend! Be safe!


New products, a sale, a concert review, and a template freebie!

Wow- that’s a lot to write about!

First off the sale going on At ScrapMatters, since all of my new products are included!


Many of my products can be used for holiday themes, so a lot of my shop is on sale!  Here are some of my new goodies added just for the sale:

Level up preview600


Be Merry Advent Cal Preview600

Aren’t they cute?  Please head over to SM and show me that staying up until 3:30am to load them into the store was worth it!  LOL!

Right then.  Now let me tell you about Tuesday night.  This year was mine and Jeff’s 10 year anniversary, and for his gift, I got us tickets for the Billy Joel/Elton John concert that was coming to town.  That was this past Tuesday night.

Best.  Concert.  Ever.

What an amazing night!  It started a little after 7:30pm, and between the two of them, we got 3 1/2 HOURS of music.  Two pianos facing each other rose out of the stage, and out walked Elton and Billy.  They played about 6 songs as duets, three from each artist.  Then Billy took a break, his piano sunk down in to the stage, and Elton John played for the next 90 minutes.  It was like I put my Greatest Hits CD on and just let it go- Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Crocodile Rock, Saturday Night, Rocket Man, Philadelphia Freedom.  It was heaven.

And if that had been it, it would have been Ok.   But then, you realized there was another half of the ticket!

I grew up on Long Island, so Billy Joel has a special place in my heart- because he’s an “Islander like me”.  Jeff’s also a big fan, and he’s already seen him in concert (Washington DC in 1998).   Billy Joel played for another hour- and, again, it was like pulling out the boxed set!  And then, he endeared himself to Columbus forever.  There’s a break in the song River of Dreams- which he used to play a little bit of Hang On Sloopy!!  It’s an OSU Marching Band thing…

That wasn’t quite it.  Elton came back out (after a costume change from a purple shirt and dark glasses to a red shirt and glasses), and they played another set of 7-8 duets, ending with Piano Man, with the whole audience swaying and singing along.  Amazing.  My hands ached by the end of it- can you imagine playing piano that long- let alone AMAZING piano.  I haven’t been to too many concerts, but this one as definitely the best I had been to!  So, if they are coming to town, you really need to try to go!!!  Happy Anniversary, Jeff!!!!

Oh, and here’s the one picture I took with my phone:

johnjoel concert web

Ok, so you’ve waited though the ad, and you waded through the concert review, so I have a reward for you- a template freebie!  This is a challenge sketch for Columbus Scrappers this week for our Summer Challenge Festival, so I thought I’d share.  It’s based off of one of the cards in my Diamond Life card templates- enjoy!

Challenge template preview600

(image is linked to 4Shared)

Here’s the full-sized version of the page I made with it.  It’s featuring a new kit by Sugarplum Paperie called Candy Sunshine, with a couple of pieces from Lime Twist thrown in:

sunshine boy web

Oh, and one last note- I’m the hostess for the next ScrapMatters Speed Scrap- it’s Tuesday night, 7/21, at 9:30pm EDT.  I have a really cute alpha to give away from WM[squared] Designs, so you don’t want to miss it!

Freebie and a drawing for MDA

Happy Labor Day!

I have a freebie and a bribe today!  Until Jeff and I make enough money to be professional philantropists, we’ll just encourage our friends to join us!

I made this cool lunch box using a new digital kit available today!  It’s called Chilled Wine, and is a joint effort between Sugarplum Paperie and mgl Designs.  It’s rich colors are wonderful to work with, and the kit is just huge!!!!

Photo Box using Chilled Wine kit- you can win it!!

Photo Box using Chilled Wine kit- you can win it!!

I have enough trinkets around my house, so I want to give it away!!!  There is a tiny catch… 🙂

Head over to, and make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association.  Then head back here and let me know you did it, and you’ll be entered! I’ll keep this offer open until Saturday, September 6th, and then I’ll pick a winner.

I always watched the telethon as a child, and now I get to work with the mission everyday, as a member of Dr. Mendell’s Lab over at Nationwide Children’s Research Institute.

Also, here’s the real freebie, a little piece of word art.  It’s my first, it’s a little amateurish, but hey, it’s mine! 🙂

Here’s a page I did with it, also using the fabulous Chilled Wine kit:

More fun announcements this week- my creative cup overflows!!!