Some of you already know this, but I went to college in Mississippi (Ole Miss to be exact–Hotty Toddy!) and down in that neck of the woods, Mardi Gras is a big deal. I’m talking HUGE. People take off work to attend the festivities and parades, and the entire town of New Orleans doesn’t sleep for about a week. It’s quite a spectacle and definitely something worth checking out, if you’ve never been. But I actually prefer New Orleans on a regular weekend, when nothing special is going on. It’s such a charming city with so much history! Oh, and amazing food too!
So what does New Orleans have to do with this beaded cone tree? Well, where do you think I got all of those beads? Beads are EVERYWHERE during Mardi Gras. Supposedly you have to show your “girls” (if you know what I mean) to obtain beads from the people riding the parade floats or even other parade participants–they throw them into the crowd like candy. But even if you’re more on the modest side, you can still manage to walk away with a neck full of them. And no, you’re not allowed to ask how I got mine! (wink wink) ha!
Mardi Gras colors are gold, green, and purple, so I happened to have a lot of gold beads. These trees would look cute in any color though! Green, pink, rainbow! You could even do an ombre type of faded effect, depending on your bead selection. Now, I know a lot of you probably don’t have a large quantity of beads laying around, so lucky for you, they are easily found at Michaels Craft Store and if you can’t find any in your area, you can purchase them online.
Last year I did a collection of different trees on my dining room table, and I really liked it. I often change things up from year to year, but I decided to do the same grouping this year. Most of the trees are items I have purchased over the years, and this easy, beaded tree goes great with the rest of them!
Stringed beads of any color. You could use a beaded garland, or necklaces, as long as when you cut the necklace, the beads won’t all come off of the strand.
Paper mache cone (Also available at Joann’s Fabrics and Crafts)
Spray paint the cone your desired color. You will be able to see the cardboard through the beads, so unless you don’t mind the brown color showing through, paint the cone before you start glueing the beads.
After it’s dry, you can start glueing the bead strands onto the cone. Starting at the top, put a small bead of glue on the tip of the cone, then hold the bead in place until it hardens. Proceed putting a few more small dots of glue on the next few beads then wrap them around the cone, and hold them in place until they are firm. The first few are the hardest because the beads are wound around so tightly. Once you get the first few secured, you can work a little faster by putting glue on several beads at once. I found that gluing around 6-8 beads at a time was the easiest. Be careful not to burn yourself! #speakingfromexperience
Let me just take a moment to ask you to please ignore my terrible nails. I obviously prioritize crafts over self care.
I opted to put the glue directly on the beads instead of putting a line of glue on the cone because I thought less glue would show through this way. But, if it’s easier for you to put the glue on the cone, then go for it!
Work your way down to the bottom of the cone and trim off any extra beads. If you are working with necklace strands, when your existing strand ends, start a new one by securing the first 2 beads, let them harden, then you can proceed with the 8 beads at a time method, or whatever number you are comfortable with. Trim off any excess and you’re all done!
Have you ever been to Mardi Gras?