“A CHRISTMAS tree, in our house?! Never!”, my mother would reprimand me when I suggested a new holiday decoration in the form of pine needles and twigs. Coming from a long line of observant Jews and nothing else, it should have come as no surprise that my parents wouldn’t budge on the subject, but the holiday symbols have come to mean something completely different from their religious origins. Anything that has that certain holiday cheer to it, that indescribable seasonal joy, be it a menorah, stocking, or snowman simply turns my heart into marshmallow fluff. All that matters is the celebration, not the ritual. And so I persisted like the annoying gnat I imitate so well now, and for the first time last year, I was finally given permission to bring that other holiday’s symbol into our home. Of course, there were conditions- It was to be small, very small, so small it might get lost in the jungle of dishes that is our kitchen. December 31, it was to be gone, no questions asked. And of course, it was my own rule that prevented me from ripping a healthy little sapling out of the ground, and so artificial tinsel on a wire frame it was!
Affectionately named “Filbert,” the mere sight of the one foot-tall, glittery shrub brings a smile to my face.
Since this is the second year that Filbert has come out of hibernation, you would think that I’ve already fashioned eight dozen miniature ornaments to outfit him in, but alas, the holidays always pass so quickly- The poor bush still has little more than the blue orbs he was purchased with. Although this year is no exception in terms of its hectic pace, I’ve at least taken the time to give him a more personal affect, and one that says a lot about where my mind has been lately: A tiny felt cupcake.
At this rate, I might be able to fill all of Filbert’s stubby branches by the year 2025, but hey, it’s a start.
And in the spirit of the holidays, I thought I might just share this simple design with you, and perhaps you might find the inspiration to start replacing your own store-bought ornaments with handmade gems, too. Since Filbert is so tiny, I might suggest enlarging this pattern 2 or 3 times for a regular-sized tree, lest it get lost in all of the greenery. It’s another dead-easy project that could be enjoyed by crafters of any skill level, so get out the kids and let them make their own cupcake ornaments, too!
First of all, click here, [enlarge if desired], print and cut.
To assemble, all you need to do is cut 2 frosting shapes out of your desired frosting-colored felt, and 2 cake shapes out of your desired cake colored felt. Sew one frosting to one cake along the dotted line, and repeat for the other pair. Attach bugle beads to the frosting to imitate sprinkles. Hold the two sides together with the right sides facing out, and starting from the left bottom corner, whip stitch the pieces together. Pause when you get down to the bottom right side (leaving the bottom open) to attach a length of embroidery floss for the hanger/loop, lightly stuff, and then sew closed. Have a happy tree!