Advent Trees: layering ricrac

Use layers of overlapping ricrac in different sizes to create this tree decoration.

This is just a quick variation on the advent tree from ribbons and other trim, this time using ricrac. I wanted to make it a separate post to include a few more steps. The waviness of the ricrac brings to mind the branches, so I wanted to use that idea and layer the different rows, rather than put them side by side.

A selection of ricrac in a variety of colours and widths

My local haberdashery has a fantastic selection of ribbons and trims all sold by the metre, and when I spotted this wide velvet ricrac, I just knew I had to make a tree with it. I’ve chosen a selection of ricracs in different shades of green, and in different sizes, mixed with gold for contrast.

  1. To sew this version, start by planning out the layers, mixing up the colours and thicknesses. I used the back of the thick velvet ricrac as well, and played around with layers over the top of each other. Once you’re happy, take a quick photo to remind yourself of the layout (or you’ll have to reconstruct it all again like muggins, here).
  2. The backing fabric won’t show for this, so can stitch straight onto the felt if you prefer. Cut it a little larger than the template and overhang the ricrac on the edges.
  3. Starting from the bottom layer, sew each strip in place, gradually working up the tree to the top layers. You want the first layer of ricrac to overhang the bottom edge of the tree. I sewed the large pieces of ricrac along the top edge, which was then hidden by subsequent layers, but for the thinner pieces I just stitched straight across with matching thread.

    Start from the bottom of the tree.

    Layer each row over the top of the previous and stitch in place.

  4. Keep sewing until the background is covered. Then trim to the size of the template, sealing the edges with fray check.
    Keep layering until the tree template is covered

  5. When you make up the tree, sew the bottom edge first – lift up the bottom layer of ricrac and sew the felt pieces together underneath, so that the bottom edge is hidden. Then sew the two sides normally.
    When sewing the felt backing, sew the bottom edge first, lifting up the lowest ricrac to sew underneath.

Two variations of the advent trees made with ricrac.

Here you can see two different versions of the finished tree. If you can’t get hold of such a good range of ricrac, you could try using alternate colours instead for a different effect.

Or take a look at some of the other variations in the advent tree series.

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