I had some hide stretchers and I had originally bought them with the idea of repurposing them. I did try to sell them as is, but they didn’t sell. The tapered shape of the hide stretcher screams Christmas tree to me, so let’s put a tree on it!
Tools & Materials
The tools and materials for this project will vary based on what you have on hand or are most comfortable using. The list I have included are just ideas. If you have been around for a while, you know that when I DIY, I am always testing different things out just to see how it works!
In my video for this particular project, I test out a paint Sharpie, a regular chalk marker, a thick chalk marker, and a stick of chalk. The stick chalk will wipe away easily, so if you are worried about making mistakes that might be a good route to go!
Designing Your Trees
This is a project that definitely requires a little bit of planning. I knew I wanted trees that were simply designed so I could easily replicate them. That made me think of the doodle-style trees you see on chalkboards. I did a quick Google search for “chalkboard trees” to get ideas. I sketched out several designs to see what I liked best and to practice. Since I have five hide stretchers, I am going to create five different trees just to see what works.
As a side note, I have one hide stretcher that I really love with old advertising. If you want to create that look yourself, use some stamps to add some. That tip doesn’t just go for these hide stretchers – you can do it on a variety of different things…crates, boards, furniture, etc.
When you have a plan for your trees, it is time to get started. For some of my trees, I used a ruler to find the center and keep my lines straight. You can get technical and measure out every detail or you can wing it! It really depends on the look you are going for. I did a little bit of both.
What I Learned
My Sharpie paint pen didn’t work as well as I had hoped, but I think that was mostly due to it being a little bit dried out. The chalk marker results were similar to the paint pen but it was maybe a little bit more vibrant. The thick chalk pen worked really well, snagging on splinters in the wood was the biggest difficulty. The stick of chalk definitely made the most vibrant lines, but it could smear very easily.
Displaying your Trees
I see these on a mantle with greenery, pine cones, and maybe some brass candlesticks for a winter wonderland vignette. Don’t be scared to put your own spin on it. As always, I want to inspire you!
For another tree project, check out my Stick Christmas Tree.
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