Using nylon net to create a whimsical Christmas tree has been a popular craft for decades. One vintage magazine called these charming decorations "Fairyland Net Trees" for their gossamer appearance. You can use them as centrepieces for your table by colour coordinating the tulle you use with your china pattern, or cluster them on a mantelpiece for a retro look.
Buy a dowel 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) in diameter and 45 cm (18 inches) long. Buy a piece of 2.5 cm (1-inch) thick, 20 cm (8-inch) square wood base to hold the dowel. Drill a hole 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) deep and 1.25 cm (1/2 inch) in diameter in the wood square to hold the dowel. Put wood glue in the hole before inserting the dowel. Allow to dry overnight. Paint the dowel and base in the desired colour.
Cut a circle out of cardboard 8 inches in diameter. Cut a hole in the centre and slide onto the dowel. Cut two pieces of nylon net, each 30 cm (12 inches) wide and 182 cm (72 inches) long. Fold in half so that the net measures 15 cm (6 inches) wide and 182 cm (72 inches) long. Thread your needle with an 200 cm (80-inch) piece of crochet thread. Tie a knot in a piece of crochet thread, leaving a tail of about 7.5 cm (3 inches) on the end.
Baste the two sides together 0.6 cm (1/4-inch) above the fold. Once the net is basted, gather the fabric as tightly as possible so that the net forms a doughnut shape. Tie the two thread ends together to keep the net in a tight circle. Use the hole in the middle of the net circle to slide it on to the dowel. The cardboard circle will keep the net in position. Repeat with the second piece of 182 cm (72-inch) by 30 cm (12-inch) fabric.
Make the next two layers 27.5 (11 inches) wide by 182 cm (72 inches) long. Repeat the same process of folding, basting and gathering. Reduce each subsequent pair of layers by 1.25 cm (1/2 inch). The final two layers should be 1.25 (1/2 wide) by 182 cm (72 inches) long.
Use your fingers to fluff the layers of fabric into the desired shape. You can put hot glue on the edges of the net to affix sequins, beads or glitter if desired.
Things you need
- Wood stand
- Wood glue
- 9 metres (9 yards) nylon net
- Crochet thread