Thursday, November 21, 2013

Christmas Countdown Tree Stack Tutorial

If you purchased and downloaded the 
3d Christmas Tree Drawers Stack Countdown file 
from Silhouette America in 2013,
we have discovered that there is an extra "solid" cut line
that overlays the perforation on the second to largest drawer shape.
A corrected file has been resubmitted to Silhouette and they will replace it
in the online store immediately.
You will be able to download the corrected version.

The colored file available from SVG Attic is correct as downloaded,
except if you purchased and downloaded prior to Sept. 30,
the "stem" base shape for the number 25 design was not included.
Please re-download the file.

Here is this fun dimensional project 
to help count down the days until Christmas.
Four layers of wedge shaped drawers that fit into "shelves"
and stack into 6 columns and assemble as a Christmas Tree. 
Finished size tree: 9.5” tall x 7.6” diameter base circle; 
largest drawer approx. 3.25” front width x 1.5” depth.

Download the design, then follow this detailed tutorial 
to get yours made in time for December 1st!

Step 1. Identify the parts and cut the quantities needed. 
Base (1) and Reinforcing Base (1)
Pole (1)
Tree Wedges (6)
Tree Topper Shapes (6)
Shelf shapes (6 of each of the 4 sizes)
Step 2. Fold each shelf shape inward on all perforations. Apply glue to the long side tab. Overlap straight edge of opposite side, align edge exactly at perforation fold and apply pressure until glue is secure.

Repeat this step for all 24 shelf shapes. Organize six sets of shelf sizes 1-4. Note that each size shelf shape has the "level" number cut out from the side flange.

Step 3. Arrange so that decorative front edge is on TOP. Apply glue to the UPPER surface of the largest (shelf 1). Align the next level shelf (2) exactly over shelf 1 and hold in place until glue is secure. Apply pressure to the entire areas to be glued by moving fingers around, front to back, sides, etc. "Perfect" alignment and precision adhesion at edges will help with the final product.

Repeat until all four shelves in a set are attached in this way.

Repeat until all six stacks are completed.

Step 4. Fold one tree wedge shape with inward folds up "spine". Fold bottom tabs inward, too.

Apply glue to one side of the stack. (Here I am gluing the left side first.) Position with back corner aligning with corresponding spine perforation, also lower stack edge and tree shape edges exactly even.

Wrap the tree wedge around the stack to help get it positioned as snugly into place as possible, even though the second side has not YET had glue applied.

Here you can see how well the flat back angle of the stack should fit into the spine area of the tree shape. Make sure that the lower corner and edge stay lined up, making any adjustments needed while the glue can still be worked.

Once the first side is secure, open tree shape, apply glue to the second stack side, re-wrap tree and repeat alignment and securing process. 

Step 5. Fold the post on all perforations as inward ("mountain") folds. Position the long tab edge under the opposite straight edge. Apply glue to the tab, overlap edge to perforation exactly, hold in place until glue is secure. It will help to insert a long dowel or equivalent inside to provide a "push-against" surface while the glue is curing. Move fingers along the top surface to ensure even adhesion and accurate gluing.

Step 6. Insert tab end of pole through hexagon hole from face side slotted base shape. Fold pole tabs outward. Slide so tabs are flush with backside surface.

Step 7. Apply glue to tabs and secure in place.

Step 8. Apply glue to bottom of wedge with stack assembly. Position on base shape and slide tabs through base slots. 

Pull tabs through to backside completely. Apply adhesive to INSIDE surface of each tab, then fold toward center, under the area where the stack is being attached. Hold until secure.

Step 9. Separate the tree spine area and the pole as much as possible to apply glue to spine. Realign and apply pressure until secure.

It will help to insert the dowel or other tool into the pole so that pressure can be applied to help stack attach securely.

Once the first stack is secured, complete steps 4, 8 & 9 for the remaining 5 stacks.

Step 10. Apply glue and attach cosmetic base shape onto underside of tree assembly. Here I have cut an extra base shape from Silhouette chip board that I will glue in place first, then the second "green" shape for extra stability, and to hide the tabs construction.

Step 11. Prepare the tree topper shapes by folding inward at center fold, folding narrow tabs outward. Also fold the bottom tabs back.

Step 12. Apply glue to all tabs. Position the topper shape in between tree sides near top of assembly. Push into place so that back tabs attach to the spine area. Push bottom tabs into place so that they attach to top of shelf shape. Adjust sides so that space between each flange of tree is about the same.

To help tabs attach, it may be helpful to use the side of a thin credit card to push into the narrow spaces until glue is secure.

Step 13. Identify the four sizes of drawer shapes (each has a different symbol punched into the back center tab). 

The following steps of this tutorial apply to a version that includes decorative eyelets on the front of each drawer. If you wish to not include the eyelets, BEFORE YOU CUT THE DRAWERS, "release compound path" and "ungroup" drawer shapes in cut file, delete both eyelet holes. regroup and cut shapes.

Step 14. Fold each drawer shape on all perforations as inward folds. NOTE that this includes the tiny triangle tab at the center back.

Step 15. Apply glue to the center ONLY of the inner front area of the drawer, including areas around finger pull cut-out and eyelet holes. (Leave side areas glue-free so that side tabs can be slid into place later in the assembly process.)

Step 16. Attach eyelet to drawer front. 

Push semi-circle pull tab (layers) outward slightly to make sure they extend freely.

Step 17. Open the space at sides between front and inner front surfaces and apply glue.

Fold the side upward and slide the tab into place. Hold until glue is secure. Repeat for the other side.

Step 18. Fold triangle tab upward, fold symbol tab inward and overlap plain tab. Glue in place.

Repeat steps 13-18 for remaining 23 drawers.

Step 19. Slide drawers into positions in stacks. Determine how you will number your drawers, then attach numbers to drawer fronts accordingly.

Step 20. Identify shapes for the "25" topper. (There is NOT a drawer for Christmas Day, since there will be more significant "opening" built into that date.)

Shapes shown here include (bottom up):
base shapes with stems
decorative scallop circles
base plain circles
smaller plan circles
"25" echo shape bases
"2" & "5" shapes

Optional: double-sided adhesive shapes (yellow liner paper here) and silver glitter.

Step 21. Attach all shapes in order (bottom to top), including the numbers onto their base echo shape.

 Step 22. To apply glitter, also attach the double-sided adhesive numbers over the original numbers.

 Apply glitter.

 Step 23. Join the completed marquee shapes back to back.

Step 24. Slide stem into top of pole opening.

And you have your project completed.
Place something into each drawer, and enjoy the fun
as your favorite little people enjoy the anticipation of Christmas
with something to do, eat, or experience each day.
Besides small pieces of candy, you could include clues to find
larger objects or treats such as juice bottles, mini-box cereals,
bakery sugar cookies, etc., that can't fit into the boxes.
An alternative to treats is to place an activity description
written or typed onto a slip of paper.
Have fun using your imagination!


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  2. I love this and have purchased the pattern through Sillouette Studio - now in order for me to make it up, it would be much easier if I could print this tutorial out to follow as I try to make this project :-(

  3. I just finished this tree for my 6 year old granddaughter...she is going to love it! Thank you so much for sharing this!

  4. Unfortunately I don't have the Silhouette. I have SCAL and the Cricut. Can you use this Silhouette file with my programs? I really love your tutorial. Really easy to follow now I just need the cuts.

    1. Don't know about your programs. You might be able to get info at the Silhouette America help phone line number. Just go to their site.

  5. Hi Jodie. This is a stupid question but i am new to the silhouette. I see on the file that you have a smaller alternitave tree. If i wanted to use the samller tree would i need to make everything else smaller too or would it still fit? I love the tree im so excited to make it!!

    1. There shouldn't be a smaller alternative tree. I am wondering if you are looking at the one-sixth wedge that the drawers and "shelves" fit between, with six of these "stacks" going together to make the full size tree. Look at the tutorial again, and see if you can identify the shape that is making you think there is a different, alternative tree. Then you can try the question again if you think that would help me understand better. J

  6. Hi - I love this pattern - - I have one question on the drawer with the triangle (2nd smallest) the right top edge that is tucked is not perforating for me it always wants to cut straight through. On my pattern the line looks different than the other boxes - all of which cut and perforated perfectly. I am new to Silhouette so I am sorry if there is a simple fix. Any help though would be greatly appreciated!!'

  7. I am having the same issue as Ginger Barton. Every time I cut the drawer (with the triangle) it cuts a solid line instead of perforating it.

  8. Sorry for double posting but I found the solution to Ginger and my problem! Select the shape so there is a box around it ( like when you move it) then ungroup the item...this will allow you to move the different parts of the box. I went to the tab that had the issue and I removed a solid line that somehow was there and underneath it was the perforated line. Now everything cuts just fine. I hope this helps.

  9. Hi! How many 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper do you need to complete this project?

    1. Sorry, I don't have this information. You can explore your cutting screen set up to lay out the shapes to try to determine how many of each color. In Studio for Silhouette software, for instance, you could draw the 8.5x11 sheet size on your screen, then move the shapes around to fill as many sheet duplications as needed to determine how many sheets.

    2. I arrange the pieces so that it took 24 8.5x11 sheets to get all the parts in the right quantities. I put all the drawers on the same page(s) so they could be cut on a different paper.

  10. Love this! I made the majority of it last year and then set it aside. I just finished the topper. It's too stinking cute!

  11. I can't wait to make 2 of these for my granddaughters this Christmas. I'm just in the process of un-grouping and placing them on different pages. I always remove the dotted lines on any of the projects I do as I do find they tend to weaken the card and in a lot of cases it tears. Hope that helps for anyone having problems with any of the score lines. If unsure then cut them on scarp card with dotted lines as templates to find the folds on the removed dotted lines. (perforations)

  12. Is this still available in the Silhouette Studio Store? I can't seem to find it...

    1. Yes. Here is the link:
      You can search for design 51935.