Seamingly Crafty

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Dum Dum Tree Tutorial

on February 21, 2013

I finally got the Dum Dum Tree done.  I seen a post on Pinterest that had a sucker topiary tree and I wanted to have one on Caitlin’s sweets table at her party.

After trial and error I finally got it done.  My first attempt was a total fail!  I tried using a small cone for the suckers and found that when I got to the top there was not enough room for the suckers to fit and the cone was breaking apart.

As seen in the failed attempt above the cone did not make for a good base.  I tried only pushing the Dum Dums in halfway, well I actually had no choice in the matter because that is as far as they’d go without getting crowded even at the bottom.  So with that said, I’m going to move on.

I am all about being frugal as most of you know, and I enjoy seeing what I can make and how awesome I can make a party on as little cash as possible!  It is like a challenge for me!  I love to entertain but I don’t love the bill that comes with it. Luckily the cone above came from the Dollar store and it will not go to waste still because I will break it up and use it as stuffing for my next project that requires to be stuffed. 🙂

This project was made with 95% materials purchased from my local Dollar Tree.

:)

I added the push pins to my project as I was moving along on it.

Supplies:

  • 3 foam cubes (Dollar Tree)
  • 1   2″ foam ball (multi pack Dollar Tree)
  • approximately 265 Dum Dum Suckers
    (I had some on hand and bought 5 additional bags at the Dollar Tree)
  • 4 large thumb tacks
    these come in a variety of sizes shapes and colors I had these on hand but I did purchase them at the Dollar Tree a few years ago
  • A scrap piece of felt
  • A larger piece of scrap fabric
  • wooden dowels (Dollar Tree)
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • coping saw or other serrated cutting utensil
  • 3½” circle template (I cut out from a cereal box)
  • scissors
  • sharpie
  • colored pencil or chalk (not pictured)
  • a clean large work space

Lets get started!

Open the foam cubes and trace the circle onto one of them. (photo 1. below)

Using the coping saw carefully cut straight down around the circle. (photo 2.)

Once you have the circle cut out flip the cylinder over and place the 3″ circle template on it. If you haven’t cut straight down evenly you will get what you see in photo 3 below.  Hold the template and carefully shave off the excess foam using the coping saw.

Repeat this for the second foam cube. Next put a good amount of hot glue on one of the cylinders and stack the other on top. you should now have a nice tall cylinder as seen in photo 4. below.  Do any more trimming needed. however as seen in my photo it doesn’t have to be perfect because it is going to be covered.

A side note: use one of the larger foam pieces you cut off to test the glue on the foam. You want to be sure it isn’t going to eat through the foam! If it does your glue may be too hot.  And you may need to use a cooler temp hot glue.

This is very messy!! Use a cloth to cut on so you can easily dispose of all the foam you cut off.  Pay no attention to my un manicured nails 😉

We want to make sure that glue cools completely before we attempt to start poking at it so set it aside get rid of all the foam that is now covering you and your entire work space and floor.  Grab your large piece of fabric and lay it flat with the wrong side up.  Take your 3rd foam cube and place it in the center of your fabric and using your chalk or colored pencil trace it 9 times as seen in the photo below.

Cut out the entire combined square leaving at least ½” extra material all around.  This cut does not have to be perfect just as long as you leave enough material to fold under.  Next you want to cut from each corner in stopping at the center square as seen in the photo below.

Still working from the picture above put some hot glue all around one side of the cube and carefully put it in the center square.  Next put some glue in the square just below the cube. you don’t need a large amount but enough to be sure it sticks. Pull that side up snug and press and smooth it to the side of the cube.

Turn the cube counter clock wise and carefully put some glue on the piece of fabric that is like a triangle now folding it over snug smoothing it out as seen in photo 1. below.  cut off that little part that is hanging over the side.  Turn the cube counter clock wise again and put glue in the square and pull that side up taught and smooth it. Next turn the cube clockwise put some glue in the triangle and smooth it over the one you have glued down already as seen in photo 2 below. Cut off the extra piece hanging over the side.

Turn the cube all the way around to the opposite side of the triangle pieces you glued down and glue down the triangle pieces on this side. Don’t forget to cut off that extra piece that hangs over the side.

In photo 3 below you can see I am cutting off part of the triangle piece, the first thing you want to do is fold the triangle in and then fold up the side to be sure you have a nice edge lined up then cut the excess off  put a small line of hot glue to hold the fold over.  Do the same on the other side. Put hot glue in this folded edge square pull it up taught and smooth out see photo 4 below. Repeat on the opposite side.

take care in step 4 to make it pretty, this part of the tree will be visible.

Flip the cube and glue down the edges on the bottom.

Your cube should look like the one above at this point. Next put a little hot glue on the tacks and push them into each corner on the bottom.

Cut little squares out of your scrap felt and put a bead of hot glue on them and press onto the tacks as seen below.

These would make really cute jewelry displays too I think 🙂 so adorable!!!  IF you can’t find decorative thumb tacks at the Dollar store try Wal-mart or an office supply store!

Now we are going to move onto the 2″ ball.  cover the ball with fabric gluing and working the fabric in small sections cutting excess fabric off along the way once you get down to the bottom of the ball cut off all excess fabric. Next cut a circle out of the same fabric and glue it onto the bottom of the ball covering up the gathered fabric taking care to glue down the edges of the circle! Be careful not to burn your finger!!  I’m a daily cook at home and I craft a lot so my fingers are used to the heat but it will still burn the day lights out of my fingers if I don’t let the glue cool a bit before pushing down.  I also use the stand part of my glue gun to push down small parts of fabric.

once the glue is cooled you can rub at the glue that is exposed to get it off. But if there are stubborn pieces that can be seen (if using black fabric) you can use your sharpie on them to blend it in.

Using your coping saw cut a wooden dowel in half.  Next take your scissors and poke a small hole through the fabric on the bottom of the ball. Put some glue on the end of the dowel and insert it into the ball taking care not to go through the top!

My daughter said this looks like a cake pop.. she is addicted to starbucks birthday cake pops 🙂 Styrofoam everywhere still 🙂

This would be a great time to take a break and stretch, do yoga, take a brisk walk… whatever makes you centered 🙂 Or you can switch over your laundry… yes unfortunately it is a chore that we have to do! UGH! My least favorite chore!  You will never see me get excited to wash clothes.  I must have been one of those people that did nothing but wash clothes all day in a past life… like down in the basement of a castle!  Or I could have been the princess and never had to wash clothes… either way I think I’d dislike it no matter which I would have been lol 🙂

Now that you have centered or done a chore lets get on to the fun part!!!

start pushing the Dum Dum’s into the cylinder.  I suggest pushing them in all the way as seen in photo 2 below.  For 2 reasons 1. you will use less suckers to take up space and 2. the tree will be much more stable.

The only uniform I used in putting them in was in the first row. after that just start pushing them in working your way up to the top.  You will see in photo 3 below that there are some spaces between some suckers.  This is ok we will be going back filling them in later.

Once you get to the top push your dowel that was inserted in the ball down into the center of the cylinder.  Take care to go down straight, pull back out and put some glue on the dowel and push it back down into the hole.   If you didn’t get the dowel to go straight down you can use another piece of dowel and push it in next to the ball as seen below to straighten it out.  Add some glue around the dowel. You will want the ball to be about 2″ above the cylinder.

yeah yeah, I should have taken a break I stuffed the stick in crooked lol

Start filling in the rest of the way with the suckers going all the way up to the ball. Then go back and fill in any gaps between suckers.  I used approximately 265 suckers.  You can cut your cylinder shorter if you like so you don’t need to use as many suckers.

Once the suckers are all packed in push in on them all the way around making sure they are all snug.  Then gently lay the sucker tree on it’s side.  Cut another dowel in half and poke each half into the bottom of the cylinder as seen below.

Using your colored pencil or chalk heavily color the bottom of the dowels as seen below.  Carefully pick of your tree trying to keep it centered on the fabric cube press the dowels onto the fabric. The lay back down on it’s side.  This will transfer the color onto the cube so you know where to poke through the fabric.  If it didn’t work scrape more color onto the dowels and try again.  If it did work use your scissors and carefully poke through the fabric.

Remove the dowels and put some glue on them then push them back into the holes and allow a few minutes to dry a bit.

Put some glue along the dowels and on the top of your fabric cube, carefully push the dowels into the holes you cut in the fabric and down into the cube. make sure it goes all the way down it should with no problem.

Allow the glue to dry completely and sit back and admire YOUR Dum Dum sucker tree!

I am going to be adding rainbow ribbon around the bottom and the tag will be black, purple and white! I am also going to pin a purple number 16 to the top of the ball.

I hope you are as excited to try this as I was to make it!  This can be used at any kind of party and it will be amazing!  Boys parties too!  I think it would look awesome with camo material!  Or even cartoon theme!

So grab your reuseable bags and head up to your local dollar store and get started! 🙂

Until next time stay Crafty!!

Word.. 😉

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5 responses to “Dum Dum Tree Tutorial

  1. […] with some bags and ties that had a little thank you card attached.  The candy buffet had skittles, the dum dum tree, marshmallow horns (unicorn horns), life savers, gummy bears, pixie stix, Twizzlers and gourmet […]

  2. amy says:

    How neat! I am enjoying all the sweet 16 prep posts 🙂

  3. tammie says:

    good job ..love it … hope you got your laundry done 🙂

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