Last year around this time, I had to have some vintage bottle brush trees. I knew how to make them myself, but couldn't find the trees to dye. So I went searching etsy. I bought 5 or so small pink ones for about $8 without shipping. This year, I wanted some teal trees to go with my pink ones so I decided to try to find trees so I could make them this year. And I found them!
You'll need bottle brush trees. I found these Lemax ones at Michael's by the Christmas villages They were $20 but on sale for 50% off. Not bad at all! I was worried about them having snow, but it comes off in the bleaching process, so no worries there. You also need bleach, a big container for bleaching, dye (I used rit teal and fuchsia), bowls for dyeing, glue and glitter. Oh you'll also want gloves:
The bleach will make them terribly dry with out them and the dye will dye your fingers. I couldn't find mine when I decided to do this and I had to go to dinner with the in-laws with blue fingers.
I didn't mix my bleach with water because I am impatient and I wanted the bleach to work quickly, use your own judgement here. You can see the difference between the trees above. I put the green ones in about five minutes after the ones that were already pretty far along in the bleaching process. You will need to get in there and rub the bleach in to the trees. Another reason why you'll want the gloves.
Once they are bleached, rinse them in hot water and then wash them in some hot soapy water to get off all the bleach. During the bleaching and washing all of the snow will come off.
Drain off some of the water while you prepare the dye.
I used half of the package of dye mixed with a tablespoon of salt into a big bowl full of hot water.
The trees will take the dye immediately. This was after one dip into the dye. If you want them darker you can keep them in the dye longer.
Make sure different colored trees aren't touching. The dye will spread. I had one pink tree with a teal spot on it the next morning.
Dry overnight. Once dry, fluff them up. They will look pretty clumped up.
I used some martha stewart glue that came with a glitter set. Martha isn't fooling anyone though, that stuff was mod podge, so if you have a thick glue use that. :)
I used martha's smoky quartz fine glitter. It has that vintagey quality about it.
You could always use something else for the base, but I didn't want to bother with finding something to work. The ones I bought on etsy had a really small base and fall over a lot, so be careful with what you choose if you decide to change them out.